He entertained a city: Singer, actor, vaudevillian David Zent dies at 66

Local News

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Tuesday, we mourned the loss of a lifelong showman: Bakersfield’s David Zent. Zent passed away Oct. 31 at the age of 66 of complications from lung cancer.

If you don’t know his name there’s a good chance you know his work. Zent, raised in Bakersfield, was co-proprietor of the Vaudeville Express Melodrama Musical Theatre with John Milburn and Shari Fortino, with whom he once sang a memorable duet of “Thanks for the Memory” to 92-year-old Bob Hope at the 1995 Bakersfield Business Conference, Shari Fortino.

Zent’s Vaudeville Express brought music and bad puns to the corner of North Chester and China Grade Loop in the heart of metropolitan Oildale for a decade.

Zent—a singer, actor, writer, director and producer—leaves wife Chrissy, five daughters, three granddaughters and a treasure trove of music. 

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