Frank Tripucka, 85, who quarterbacked the Denver Broncos in their inaugural AFL season and later allowed his No. 18 to be unretired so Peyton Manning could wear it, died Thursday in Woodland Park, N.J., the Broncos announced. His family said he had congestive heart failure.
A former standout at Notre Dame, Tripucka played for the Detroit Lions, Chicago Cardinals and Dallas Texans in the NFL and for Saskatchewan and Ottawa in Canada. He was brought in as a Bronco coach before the 1960 season, but it became obvious he was Denver's best option at quarterback. Tripucka threw for 3,038 yards and 24 touchdowns that season. He also tossed the first touchdown pass in American Football League history.
His number was one of three retired by the Broncos, but Tripucka gladly gave Manning permission to wear it when he joined the team in 2012.
Born Dec. 8, 1927, in Bloomfield, N.J., Tripucka was voted All-America honors in 1948, when his Notre Dame team finished 9-0-1, the tie coming against USC.
After retiring from football, Tripucka became a beer distributor in New Jersey. His son Kelly played basketball at Notre Dame and in the NBA.
Popular TV talk show guest in the 1960s and '70s
Reiko Douglas, 77, a Japanese-born entertainer who with her comedy-writer husband, Jack Douglas, was a frequent guest and foil for TV talk show hosts such as Jack Paar and Merv Griffin, died Monday of lung cancer at West Hills Hospital, said family spokesman Alan Eichler.
Born Reiko Hashimoto in Kanazawa, Japan, on Sept. 2, 1936, she studied acrobatic dancing in her teens and performed with the Tokyo Can-Can Girls on Japanese television before adding singing to her act.
FOR THE RECORD:
Reiko Douglas: In the Sept. 13 LATExtra section, a brief obituary of Reiko Douglas, who with her comedy-writer husband Jack Douglas was a fixture on TV talk shows in the 1960s and '70s, said that she was 46 years younger than he was. She was 28 years younger. —
She moved to the United States in 1955 and performed in Hawaii and Chicago before landing in Los Angeles, where she opened for Jack Douglas at a club on La Cienega Boulevard. Despite a major age difference — she was 46 years his junior — they were married in 1960 and settled in New York.
FOR THE RECORD:
Reiko Douglas: An obituary in the Sept. 13 LATExtra section on Reiko Douglas, who with her comedy-writer husband Jack Douglas was a fixture on TV talk shows in the 1960s and ’70s, erred in saying she was 46 years younger than he was. She was 28 years younger.
In 1961, she made her first appearance on the Paar show with her husband, who wrote for the talk-show host. She came on stage wearing a traditional Japanese kimono and spoke poor English, which became a comic asset. She went on to make nearly 100 appearances with Paar and became a popular guest on shows hosted by Griffin, Mike Douglas, David Frost and Johnny Carson.
"A highlight of Reiko's appearances," Eichler noted, "was 'The President's Song,' written by her husband, in which she triumphantly sang the name of every U.S. President from George Washington up to the present."
Her life with her husband and their two children provided material for his humor books, which include "Benedict Arnold Slept Here" and "Going Nuts in Brazil." She continued to perform for some years after he died in 1989 at the age of 80.