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Ron Taylor (Actor)
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    (October 16, 1952-January 16, 2002)
    Born in Galveston, Texas
    Actor, singer, and writer
    Provided the voice of Audrey II in the original off-Broadway production of the musical ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ (1982-87)
    Co-wrote and co-starred in the musical revue ‘It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues’ (1994)
    Provided the voice of Bleeding Gums Murphy on The Simpsons
    Made guest appearances in the series ‘Miami Vice,’ ‘L.A. Law,’ ‘Twin Peaks,’ ‘Matlock,’ ‘Family Matters,’ NYPD Blue,’ ‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,’ ‘Ally McBeal’ and ‘City of Angels’
    He never learned to read music.
    His scheduled performance of a number from ‘It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues’ was bumped from the Tony Awards when CBS decided the show was running long (1999).
    A lot of viewers probably came away with the erroneous impression that Bleeding Gums Murphy was voiced by James Earl Jones, since, in the episode where Murphy dies, he appears in the clouds to say goodbye to Lisa and is joined by Darth Vader, Mustafa from ‘The Lion King,’ and finally Jones announcing ‘This is CNN.’ (Actually, Jones’ voice was imitated by Harry Shearer.)
    He and Marty Robinson, the puppeteer controlling Audrey II’s movements, jointly won a Drama Desk Award for outstanding special effects (1983).
    After appearing in an episode of L.A. Law as a singer fired by a baseball team for embellishing the National Anthem (1991), he was invited to sing ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ before two Major League Baseball games and a National Hockey League game.
    When ‘It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues’ played on Broadway, he earned Tony nominations for both acting and writing (1999).
    He suffered a stroke during the Broadway run of ‘Ain’t Nothin’,’ but returned to the show after five weeks.

Credit: C. Fishel

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