Eugene Patton, 83, the stagehand who became "Gene Gene the Dancing Machine" on TV's The Gong Show in the late 1970s, died in Pasadena, Calif., on March 9 of complications from diabetes.

A veteran stagehand, Mr. Patton worked on shows like Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In and The Flip Wilson Show. He moved onstage for a dance to Count Basie's "Jumpin' at the Woodside" on The Gong Show, the absurdist talent show.

His first appearance was an attempt to kill time, but he soon became a regular, dodging objects thrown onstage as the studio audience cheered. - AP