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PASSINGS: Byron Palmer, Dr. John Miller Hyson Jr.

Byron Palmer

Broadway, TV actor

Byron Palmer, 89, an actor and singer who broke through in the late 1940s in the hit Broadway musical "Where's Charley?" and later co-starred on the TV show "This Is Your Music," died of natural causes Wednesday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, his family announced.

Born June 21, 1920, in Los Angeles, he was the second of four children of Harlan G. Palmer, publisher of the old Hollywood Citizen News, and his wife, Ethelyn. While attending Occidental College, Palmer wrote obituaries for his father's paper, then joined CBS as a page and eventually became a radio announcer.

During World War II, Palmer joined the Army Air Forces and ran a radio station on an island in the Pacific. Between news broadcasts, he sang tenor on the air with a quartet called the Music Mates. Soldiers sent him fan mail that persuaded him to take voice lessons after the war, his family said.

After acting as master of ceremonies for a touring "Hollywood on Ice" show, he starred with Ray Bolger in "Where's Charley?" in 1948. He also was featured in the early 1950s Broadway revue "Bless You All" with Pearl Bailey.

In the movies, Palmer debuted in 1953 in "Tonight We Sing." He also appeared with Jack Palance in "Man in the Attic" (1953), with Gordon MacRae in "The Best Things in Life Are Free" (1956) and in several other films.

On television, he had guest roles on several series, including dramas, but may be best known for co-starring with Joan Weldon on "This Is Your Music." The show, which aired on KTTV-TV Channel 11, featured the pair singing "songs America loves best," according to a 1955 ad in Billboard magazine.

John Miller Hyson Jr.

Dental historian and collector

Dr. John Miller Hyson Jr., 81, a retired dentist, former director of archives and history at the National Museum of Dentistry and author who wrote widely on the history of dentistry, died Sept. 26 of a stroke at a Baltimore hospice.

Hyson was a prodigious contributor to the Journal of the History of Dentistry, the Military Medicine journal and the Bulletin of the History of Dentistry.

His articles covered such topics as the history of the toothbrush, women dentists, George Washington's dental health and his wooden dentures, and African American contract dental surgeons in the Spanish American War.

At the National Museum of Dentistry at the University of Maryland Dental School, Hyson served in various curatorial posts, including director of archives and history.

The son of a dentist and a homemaker, Hyson was born in Baltimore on Oct. 17, 1927. He graduated from the University of Maryland Dental School in 1950, then served as a dental officer in the Air Force at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida until 1953.

He earned a master's degree in oral surgery at the University of Maryland Dental School in 1959, and a master's in museum studies in 1999 at the University of Delaware.

In 1953, he established a general dental practice and worked until retiring in 1999.

Hyson also was an avid collector of historic dental memorabilia dating to the 19th century, including instruments, books and U.S. Army Dental Corps uniforms. Part of his collection was purchased recently by the Army Medical Department Museum Foundation in San Antonio.

-- times staff and wire reports news.obits@latimes.com

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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