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Ric De Azevedo Dies: TV Producer & King Family Singer Who Surprised Tearful Mom During Vietnam-Era Christmas Special Was 75
By Greg Evans,
Ric de Azevedo, a King Family singer who later worked on the production teams of early 1980s series Private Benjamin and Enos but might best be remembered for a surprising, tearful moment during a Vietnam-era Christmas special, died March 14 of an undisclosed illness in Fruit Heights, Utah. He was 75.
His death was announced on the King Family’s Facebook page.
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“Ric was a vibrant part of our family shows,” the King Cousins said in the statement, “and audiences always delighted in his performances and cherished the many memorable moments he was a part of — from singing and dancing in our Top Twenty segments, through his beautiful solos and of course the magical moment he surprised his mom Alyce during our very first Christmas special.”
A member of the King Family vocal group, known for their easy-listening recordings and frequent TV specials during the 1960s and early 1970s, de Azevedo later went on to a behind-the-scenes career as a postproduction executive at Universal Studios and Warner Bros. Television.
He was serving as a singer in the U.S. Army Field Band when, unbeknownst to his mother Alyce, the family arranged for a brief leave of absence so he could appear, in uniform, on 1967’s Christmas with the King Family. The visit reduced his mother, who was an original member of the group’s precursor King Sisters trio, to tears as she attempted to continue with an emotional rendition of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” The clip became a familiar holiday TV tradition, most recently as part of getTV’s Christmas programming.
Watch the visit, and de Azevedo’s remembrance of it, below (beginning at the 5:10 mark).
The King Family vocal group, which included nearly 40 members at one point including My Three Sons cast member Tina Cole, was a ubiquitous presence on 1960s television, appearing on variety shows and starring in specials and their own 1965 weekly series. De Azevedo also performed with youth-oriented spinoff group The King Cousins and, later, as a member of the vocal group Reunion.
In addition to Cole, survivors include wife Anna, two brothers, two children, and numerous extended family members.
Read the King Cousin statement, and see the 1967 Christmas surprise, below.
It is with great sadness that we share the news that we lost our dear cousin and brother Ric de Azevedo who, surrounded by members of his family, passed away on Tuesday night after a lengthy illness. Even though we knew this was coming, it’s always too soon and we can’t believe he’s gone. Our hearts are breaking.
Many of you came to know and love Ric and appreciate his incredible talent through our family’s TV series, specials, records and concerts over the years. Ric was a vibrant part of our family shows and audiences always delighted in his performances and cherished the many memorable moments he was a part of — from singing and dancing in our Top Twenty segments, through his beautiful solos and of course the magical moment he surprised his mom Alyce during our very first Christmas special. We’re so grateful that these and so many other wonderful examples of his times on stage and screen live on and continue to enthrall generations across the decades.
Ric’s many and varied accomplishments as an entertainer pale in comparison to the incredible husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, cousin, cherished friend and honorable man he was off stage.
While all of us mourn the loss of a cornerstone of our family, we are grateful for the incredible and enduring legacy he leaves us all, and grateful for the love and appreciation that each of you in our extended community of fans and friends have shown Ric and our entire family through the years.
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