The Duke of Catalina

The Duke of Catalina: Duke Fishman, the "Original Greeter" at Avalon. Landing on Catalina Island in 1933 after living in a South Seas orphanage for most of his life, a 27-year-old Duke finds work as a lifeguard on the island. After a short stint as a houseman at the Annandale Golf Club, Duke becomes Avalon's "Goodwill Ambassador” - Avalon Harbor is Catalina’s main attraction. Duke leads tourists in singing the town's signature song "Avalon" as they disembark their steamships. Duke is also notable as the original, advertising character for the cleaning product “Mr. Clean." In 1975, he has open heart surgery and gives up his lifeguard duties in Avalon, but continues his role as Avalon's greeter. In 1977, his health deteriorates, and he returns to his small trailer in Palm Springs - as he did every fall. After 40 years, Avalon decides not to renew his contract as "Official Greeter,” and on December 22, 1977, a friend finds Duke dead in his trailer from a heart attack. He was 71. He is interred in Avalon's Cemetery. The position of "Official Greeter" has remained vacant since his death. 

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