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Conservative Pundit, Former Child Actor Tony Blankley Dies at 63

January 09, 2012

Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington.

His death was announced by The Washington Times, where he was the newspaper's editorial page editor from 2002-2007 and confirmed by Edelman Public Relations, where Blankley served as executive vice president.

In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.

In a statement Gingrich said, "Tony was a very special person. Everybody in our alumni who have heard about it have felt something in their hearts because he was more than a great professional. He was a great human being, he was a caring and loving person, he was a tremendous amount of fun, remarkably erudite and educated, and we will all miss him deeply."

Earlier, Blankley spent six years in the Reagan administration in a variety of positions, including speechwriter and senior policy analyst and four years as an aide to Republican Congresswoman Bobbi Fielder, who represented a district outside Fresno.

Less well remembered was Blankley's work as a child actor in such television shows as Lassie, Highway Patrol, and Sky King. He also appeared in The Harder They Fall with Rod Steiger and Humphrey Bogart and Make Room for Daddy with Danny Thomas. Read More