Louisville, Kentucky born comedian Foster Brooks, superb at playing the quintessential drunkard, died of natural causes in December 2001, at age 89. The son of a county sheriff, Brooks dropped out of school in the 6th grade. Before becoming an entertainer, he worked as a disc jockey, a newscaster, and even a guard at Dodger Stadium.
Brooks twice played a judge on TV’s Bonanza, and also appeared as “Cactus Jack” in Hal Needham’s Comedy-Western The Villain, starring Kirk Douglas, Ann Margret and Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was also a frequent guest on the Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts, staggering while slurring his speech and slaughtering the English language. In real life, Brooks was actually a national spokesperson for Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD).