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Bells Are Ringing actor dead


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Doria Avila, who played Carl the delivery boy in the film version of "Bells Are Ringing" was found dead in his San Antonio home Thursday, Oct. 20. Neighbors called authorities claiming Doria's house was on fire. He body was found badly burned and his vehicle was stolen. The police are ruling this a homicide and arson. This is a sad end to the retired Broadway dancer and actor's life. Doria appeared in numerous Broadway shows including "The King and I" and "Bells Are Ringing." It was in the film version of "Bells Are Ringing" that Doria made his only screen appearance. He was a very close friend to the late Judy Holliday and was full of stories about her and show business. I was lucky to have heard many of these stories during an interview I had with him in the late 1990's. After leaving Broadway and stage directing in the late 1960's, Doria moved back home to deep South Texas where he and his partner started a ballet company and school. He retired in the early 1990's, and moved to San Antonio where he lived until his death.

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That is sad news indeed, especially the heinous crime. It sounds like it could have been part of a gay bashing?

In any event, I can't recall his presence in the movie "Bells Are Ringing" and he is not listed in the cast of the film on IMDb. It must have been a bit part.

My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

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Yes, Doria had a small part but he did have lines and he taught Judy Holliday how to "cha-cha-cha" in Bells Are Ringing. As Doria Avila revealed to me, his character of Carl the delivery boy was deleted from the film to keep the running time of the movie shorter. Vincent Minelli had decided to do this. So, the film was previewed without Doria's scenes, and of course without his name in the credits. But as Director Minelli discovered, the movie didn't make sense without Doria's character being present. So, Doria's scenes were restored, but the credits weren't changed to reflect his participation. That's why he doesn't receive any screen credit. Thanks for your well wishes. I'm sure his friends and family would appreciate that.

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