Iconic Benjamin Franklin actor Ralph Archbold has died

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Iconic Benjamin Franklin actor Ralph Archbold has died. Christie Ileto reports during Action News at 11 p.m. on April 4. (AP Photo/Joseph Kaczmarek)

Ralph Archbold, who portrayed Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia for decades, has died.

Archbold died on Saturday, March 25, from complications of congestive heart failure. His family announced his passing on Tuesday.

He had celebrated his 75th birthday on the same day as Ben Franklin - January 17th.

Archbold was born in Dearborn, Michigan. He began portraying Benjamin Franklin in 1973, and went on to perform as the Founding Father around the world.

In his role, he was an omni-present figure at countless events and celebrations in Philadelphia. His family says, the sculpture of Benjamin Franklin that graces the Vine Street Expressway was modeled using Ralph's likeness.

He is survived by his wife, Linda, daughters Elizabeth Nelson and Marie Claire Archbold, sons Kenneth and Michael Archbold, stepdaughter Lauren Scudieri, and one grandson, Caleb Nelson.

Memorial contributions may be made to The Benjamin Franklin Museum, care of Independence National Historic Park, 143 S. 3rd St. Philadelphia PA 19106.

"May we always remember him, in colonial costume, doing what he loved best," his family said in a statement.


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