Southeastern PA

Benjamin Franklin reenactor Ralph Archbold dies at age 75

PHILADELPHIA - A popular reenactor who portrayed Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia for more than 40 years has died.

The Alleva Funeral Home in Paoli, Chester County, confirmed Ralph Archbold died March 25 but said it can't disclose the cause of his death. He had turned 75 on January 17, a birthday he shared with Franklin.

Archbold was a frequent fixture in the city's historic area and took his homage to Franklin to events around the world.

He and Linda Wilde, who portrayed Betsy Ross, married in costume at Independence Hall on July 3, 2008. A family statement lists two sons, two daughters and a stepdaughter among his other survivors.

A funeral home spokesman said the services held for Archbold were private.

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