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Judy Berkal

May 15, 1923 — August 26, 2022

Judy Berkal

Recording artist and children's television performer Judy Valentine (Berkal), a well-known personality from the Golden Age of Television in Greater Boston, passed away on August 26 at the age of 99.

Born Norma Baker in Boston in 1923, as a youth she lived with her family in Lowell. In the 1940's she worked at radio station WEEI as a secretary where she met - and later married - disc jockey and song writer Sherm Feller, who became instrumental in promoting her career as a recording artist. The two hosted a program, Club Midnight, featuring live performances/interviews with many music artists visiting the Boston area. She recorded more than 30 songs, including "She Was Five And He Was Ten" (charting in Top Ten) and "Kiss Me Sweet," the latter having the distinction of being banned by some radio stations due to a suggestive "pause" delivered during one of the song's lines (unintended by the performer). During the 1960's she divorced, and later remarried to an attorney, Leonard Berkal. Valentine was best known, however, for her singing and dancing performances as a primary cast member of the decade-long running "The Bozo Show" on WHDH/Channel 5. She was the last of the surviving performers of the "Big 3" of Boston children's television programs of the 1960's ("The Major Mudd Show" [Ed McDonnell], "Boom Town" [Rex Trailer], and "The Bozo Show" [Frank Avruch, Valentine]). After departing the program to raise her two children, she remained active largely in charitable activities, particularly those to benefit children, including work at North Shore Children's Hospital in Salem.

She is survived by her daughter, Shari, and her son, Ross.

Funeral Services will be private.


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