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Bernard Fox, the bumbling Dr. Bombay on 'Bewitched,' dies at 89

Bernard Fox, the bumbling Dr. Bombay on 'Bewitched,' dies at 89
British actor Bernard Fox died December 14, 2016 at Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys. He was 89. (Hand Out)

Bernard Fox, known to a generation of TV viewers as Dr. Bombay on "Bewitched" and the fumbling, forever naive Col. Crittendon on "Hogan's Heroes," has died. He was 89.

Fox died Wednesday of heart failure while hospitalized in Van Nuys, family spokesman Harlan Boll said.

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Though his role as the womanizing, wisecracking warlock on "Bewitched" — summoned from thin air with the command "Calling Dr. Bombay" — was only occasional, his character became a favorite with hardcore fans of the long-running show.

Years later, Fox spoofed the Dr. Bombay character in an episode of "Pee-wee's Playhouse," appearing as Dr. Jinga-Janga.

Born in Port Talbot, Wales, Fox initially pursued a career in theater before finding his way to the cinema. He appeared in both James Cameron's 1997 "Titanic" and a 1958 movie about the ship tragedy "A  Night to Remember," uttering a single line: "Iceberg's dead ahead, sir."

Fox had a long and varied résumé in film and TV work, appearing in prime-time favorites such as "Columbo," "The Andy Griffith Show," "McHale's Navy" and "The Dick Van Dyke Show" as well as daytime fare like "General Hospital."

His film work was colorful, at least in title — "Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo," "Yellowbeard" and "The Private Eyes," in which he was cast a homicidal butler. He also appeared in the 1999 version of "The Mummy," the story of an archaeological dig gone wrong.

A fan of magic and illusion, Fox had long been a member of the Magic Castle in Hollywood.

He is survived by his wife, Jacqueline, their daughter, Amanda, and two grandchildren.

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