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TV composer Billy Barnes dies at 85

Billy Barnes, a composer and lyricist whose music and devilishly funny lyrics were displayed on "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" in the 1960s and '70s and in his earlier series of satirical music revues in Hollywood that launched the careers of performers such as Ken Berry, Bert Convy and Jo Anne Worley, has died. He was 85.

Barnes died Tuesday in Los Angeles of complications from Alzheimer's disease, said his longtime partner, Richard T. Jordan.

"If it weren't for Billy Barnes, I certainly would not have had the kind of career I had," said Worley, who was cast in a new "Billy Barnes Revue" company at the Las Palmas Theater when the original cast went to New York.

Worley also worked with Barnes when she was a cast member of "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In," the wildly wacky hit comedy-variety series for which he wrote humorous and topical songs from 1968 to 1973 and received three Emmy nominations.

Barnes' music for television earned him three other Emmy nominations -- in 1966 for "The Danny Kaye Show"; in 1971 for the Goldie Hawn special "Pure Goldie"; and in 1975 for the variety series "Cher."

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