Sad news from Hollywood to start 2012: Kaye Stevens, an actress and singer best known for her association with the Rat Pack, died on Wednesday following complications due to breast cancer. She was 79.

Stevens, born Catherine Louise Stephens in Pittsburgh, began her career as a singer and dummer. She married band leader Tommy Amato and performed with him throughout the U.S.; during a stop in New Jersey, she was discovered by Ed McMahon, which led to appearances on 'The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.' Stevens's bigger break came later: during a performance in Las Vegas, she filled in for an ill Debbie Reynolds and became an immediate sensation.

Stevens often performed with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and the rest of the Rat Pack. Onscreen she appeared in 'The Interns' and 'Jaws 3.' She was a frequent guest on 'Hollywood Squares,' 'The Joey Bishop Show' and 'The Tonight Show.' Stevens also performed with Bob Hope during his USO tours.

Kaye Stevens passed away at Villages Hospital in Florida.

[via Variety, LAT]

[Photo: AP]





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