Frightenstein star Billy Van dies

Billy Van, the television comic best known for his roles on <I>The Hilarious House of Frightenstein</I>, has died of cancer. He was 68.

Billy Van, the television comic best known for his roles on The Hilarious House of Frightenstein, has died of cancer. He was 68.

The actor, whose full name was Billy Van Evera, had been diagnosed with the disease in December 1999.

He died Monday at Toronto's Sunnybrook hospital.

Van Evera starred in the 1960s CBC program Nightcap. He became a familiar face to American television audiences as a cast member of such 1970s variety series as The Sonny and Cher Show and The Hudson Brothers Razzle Dazzle Show.

He also appeared on such Canadian shows as the charades program Party Game and the sketch comedy series Bizarre.

But he was perhaps best known to television audiences in southern Ontario as the star of The Hilarious House of Frightenstein. Van Evera played numerous characters, including a green-faced vampire and a disc-jockey werewolf.

In 1971, 130 episodes of the series were produced at a Hamilton, Ont. television station. It ran in syndication throughout North American for years, and spawned an intense cult following.

Van Evera is survived by his wife Susan and two daughters, Tracy and Robyn, from a previous marriage.

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