William D. Cunningham

william cunningham

February 20, 1926 ~ July 11, 2016

Cunningham, William D. age 90, of Palisades Park, on July 11, 2016. He was born in South Lawrence, Massachusetts and served his country proudly in the Navy during WWII. He was an Entertainer. Beloved husband of Maureen nee; Cathcart. Devoted father of Dennis Michael Cunningham, Diane Margaret Petersen and the twins William David Cunningham and Heather Eileen Cunningham. Loving brother of the late Claire Murray and Lt. Col. Robert Cunningham. Bill was a Soloist at age 12 on a 50,000-watt radio station, then a lyric baritone on his own show at 16, with then-unknown Ed McMahon as announcer. Bill donned a naval uniform (our side) and patrolled the bridge of a destroyer in the North Atlantic. His next patrol was in the halls of Boston University in the daytime, and singing in cabarets at night. This singing impressionist became a comic when he saw the contract of the comic on his show and went home and learned two jokes! Bill advanced to be the opening act for some twenty recording stars. Performances with Louis Armstrong, the McGuire Sisters, Miss Diahann Carroll, Tom Jones, brilliant Italian tenor Sergio Franchi, Rosie Clooney, Tony winner Nell Carter, "Fiddler on the Roof" Theodore Bikel. A Broadway audition got him the lead in an "industrial show" with a cast of twelve singers and dancers to tour the world for major corporations in Madrid, Cancun, Estoril Portugal, Acapulco, Hawaii and Japan. Bill is especially proud as a solo comic at the opening of Loews Monte Carlo with the Prince and Princess (Grace Kelly) of Monaco and young family, Prince Albert and Caroline. Other celebs at ringside were David Niven and Rex Harrison. He is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, worked in films with Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino, also Actors Equity, AFTRA, and the Friars Club, Fort Lee Lions Club and V.F.W Post # 2342. The family will receive their friends on Thursday 3:00 – 7:00 PM at the Frank A. Patti and Kenneth Mikatarian Funeral Home 327 Main Street "opposite the Fort Lee Library". The funeral will leave Friday at 10:30 AM for the celebration of his funeral mass in St. Matthew's R C Church at 11:00 AM. For condolences, directions, or information or call (201) 944-0100 or www.frankpatti.com

Services

Mass: July 15, 2016 11:00 am

St. Matthew┬┤s R C Church
555 Prospect Avenue
Rdigefield, NJ 07657


Visitation at Funeral Home: July 14, 2016 3:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Frank A. Patti & Kenneth Mikatarian Funeral Home
327 Main Street
Fort Lee, NJ 07024


Final Resting Place:

Rosedale Crematory
408 Orange Road
Montclair, NJ 07042


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Memories Timeline

Guestbook

  1. To our beloved neighbor of 20 years. His constant humor and jokes will be missed, but I'm sure he will do a lot of entertaining up in heaven. Our deepest condoloscenes to Maureen, Will and Heather. Sincerely, The Santos family

  2. Maureen, Heather, and Will – Your Dad will always have a special place in my heart. I adored him from an early age, even though I hated that movie camera he always toted around. I was always the one running away from it. But I understand his love for those movies as they brought his extended family to him when he was far away. And he'd bring them with him when he visited and shared them so many, many times.

    He'll never really be gone as long you keep him in your heart.

    Claire

  3. My sincere condolence on the loss of Mr. Cunningham. I work with his neice Claire Murray.

  4. Will,
    So sorry to hear of your loss. It is not easy but remember all the good stuff.
    Take care and my sympathy
    Hillaire Gallagher

  5. Hi Will,

    SO sorry on the loss of your Dad. What a beautiful life he had. Seemed like he enjoyed it to the fullest. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time.

    With Deepest Sympathy,
    Tracey Conlon

  6. Dear Will & Family. Please accept my deepest condolences on your loss. From what I am reading he is a gentleman who had so much to give and offer to everyone he touched.
    With deepest sympathy
    Maryann Miller

  7. Hi Will,

    I'm deeply saddened to hear of the loss of your dad; I offer you my thoughts, prayers and well wishes during this difficult time.

    May God give him eternal rest and the family the strength to bear the great pain.

    With deepest sympathy,
    Prince

  8. Will,
    My sincerest condolences to you and your family. May you find peace in the beautiful memories you have of your Dad.

    With deepest sympathy,
    Mary Muise

  9. Dear Will,

    I was so sorry to about the passing of your Father. After reading his obituary, it appears he had a very full life. What a talented man!! I am sure you were very proud of him. My thoughts and prayers go out you and your family.

    With deepest sympathy,

    Diane


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