Peter Palmer Dies: ‘Li’l Abner’ Star On Stage & Screen Was 90

Peter Palmer Dies: ‘Li’l Abner’ Star On Stage & Screen Was 90
Peter Palmer, who originated the title character in Broadway’s 1956 musical Li’l Abner and then reprised the role for the 1959 film adaptation, died Tuesday. He was 90.

His death was announced on Facebook by his son Steven Palmer, who noted that the actor died one day after his 90th birthday. No cause was given.

“As a family we knew this was coming and that’s why we had such a wonderful celebration of his birthday this weekend,” Steven Palmer wrote. “He enjoyed being celebrated by his children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews and friends and extended family. Gonna miss you, Pops.”

Palmer, who majored in music while playing football in the early 1950s for the Big Ten champs University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and routinely performed the National Anthem at games, was cast as Broadway’s naïve, muscle-bound hero of Dogpatch after producers saw him sing on The Ed Sullivan Show.

The Li’l Abner musical,
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