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The Hollywood Reporter

Ric de Azevedo, King Family Singer and ‘Private Benjamin’ Producer, Dies at 75

By Mike Barnes,


Ric de Azevedo, who performed as a member of the voluminous King Family and served as a TV producer on Private Benjamin, California Dreams, Young Maverick and the Dukes of Hazzard spinoff Enos , has died. He was 75.

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De Azevedo died March 14 in Fruit Heights, Utah, after an undisclosed illness, his family announced.

Survivors include a brother, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles actor Cam Clarke, and a cousin, singer and My Three Sons actress Tina Cole.

De Azevedo also worked as a postproduction executive at Universal Studios, as director of postproduction for Warner Bros. Television from 1983-93 and as director of film services for Warner Bros. Studios, where he helped develop the organizational system for the studio’s vault assets.

Known for his soulfully expressive singing voice, de Azevedo appeared with 37 family members on the ABC musical variety series The King Family Show in 1965-66 and 1969. He also performed alongside The King Family’s teen offshoot, The King Cousins.

He recorded with those groups for Warner Bros. Records and as a solo artist for Capitol Records and joined The King Family in live concerts and on The Ed Sullivan Show and The Hollywood Palace throughout the 1960s and ’70s.

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Ric de Azevedo (center) performed as a member of The King Family in 1965.

Richard Renato de Azevedo was born in North Hollywood on May 10, 1947. His mother, Alyce King, was a founding member of the Grammy-nominated vocal quartet The King Sisters, whose six-decade career with the Alvino Rey Orchestra included such signature hits as “I’ll Get By” and “In the Mood.” The King Sisters were the stars of The King Family franchise.

His father, Sydney de Azevedo, died when Ric was just 5 after returning from service during World War II. His stepfather was actor-producer Robert Clarke.

De Azevedo also worked on The King Family’s series of 17 syndicated holiday-themed TV specials. In 1967’s Christmas With the King Family , de Azevedo — then serving in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War and the vocal soloist for the U.S. Army Field Band — surprised his mom live on camera during her rendition of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”

The special aired annually for the next decade and more recently returned to TV on the digital network getTV. In 2009, de Azevedo served as a consulting producer and appeared in a Christmas With the King Family reunion show on PBS.

In the mid-1970s, de Azevedo starred in theatrical productions and national tours of Saturday’s Warrior and Threads of Glory , Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints-themed musicals created by his brother Lex de Azevedo. He also appeared on original cast albums.

In the ’80s, de Azevedo joined Jim Pike, Gary Pike and Bobby Engemann of The Lettermen in forming Reunion, a vocal group that recorded and toured internationally for more than three decades.

In addition to Cole and his two brothers, survivors include his wife of 48 years, Anna; children Jennifer and Eric; five grandchildren and a great-grandchild; seven nieces and three nephews; and hundreds of extended family members.

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