Bobby Rydell, a teen idol from the ’60s known for songs like “Wild One” and his role as Hugo Peabody in the 1963 film “Bye Bye Birdie,” has died, according to a statement released by his representatives. He was 79.
Rydell died on April 5 in Abington, Pennsylvania, from pneumonia complications, which were unrelated to Covid-19, the statement said.
Born Robert Ridarelli, Rydell got his first song on the Billboard 100 in 1959 and went on to have a career that included 34 top 100 hits and more than 25 million album sales, according to the statement.
Rydell, who opened up about receiving a double organ transplant in 2012 in his 2016 biography “Teen Idol on the Rocks: A Tale of Second Chances,” was an advocate for organ donation and supporter of The Gift of Life, a nonprofit that helps families impacted by organ transplants.
Rydell is survived by his wife, Linda J. Hoffman, son Robert Ridarelli, daughter Jennifer Dulin, and his five grandchildren, according to the statement.