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Almost Famous

Jerry Yule, who apparently was a well-known pianist at local "upscale nightclubs and restaurants," died Friday at the age of 64.

This morning, we couldn't help but take note in The Dallas Morning News of the paid obituary for local man Jerry Yule -- "the step-brother of the world-famous movie star actor Mickey Rooney," says here. Which is true, more or less: According to Yule's bio, available on his Web site, he was born in 1942 in Tennessee, then put up, with his sister, for adoption a few years later "for reasons unknown to either of the children." Says the site, Jerry and his sister were adopted by Joe and Leota Yule -- Joe being a kinda-famous vaudevillian who had the world's longest career as an uncredited performer in forgettable comedies, among them the Marx Brothers' Go West. Rooney was Joe Yule's natural son, and "while the men know each other," says Jerry's Web site, "they have never become close friends."

Only a couple of months ago, Jerry's wife Barbara -- his third wife, according to the bio -- was featured in The News; she saves unwanted bunnies by running the North Texas Rabbit Sanctuary out of the couple's climate-controlled Garland garage. Which is a long way from the glamorous life described in his bio: "Jerry has also performed for and befriended the likes of Paul Lynde, Greer Garson, Greta Garbo -- who would sneak down to see her 'favorite pianist' when he was working on the Sunset Strip -- Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, and Judy Garland ... Jerry also met and worked with Stefanie Powers, Juliet Prowse, Frank Gorshin, Johnny Cash, Rodney Dangerfield, and the Latin bandleader Esquivel. At one notable political function in Washington D.C., Jerry played for President Kennedy." --Robert Wilonsky

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky

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