Bobby Hatfield

August 10, 1940 – November 5, 2003


Bobby Hatfield
Bobby Hatfield



Bobby and his partner Bill Medley were the Righteous Brothers.
Read all about them here.

Bobby lived in Newport Beach in a gated community called Harbor Cove with his wife of over 30 years.



Thank you Kim, for those pictures!



Bobby and Bill Medley were in Kalamazoo, Michigan on November 5, 2003.  They were staying at The Radisson on Michigan Avenue.



Not sure which room.  Here is the front entrance.



The Righteous Brothers were due to perform at the Miller Auditorium on the Western Michigan University campus.



When Bobby failed to show up at the gig, someone went to the hotel to check on him.  His body was discovered 30 minutes before they were due on stage.  He was pronounced dead at 7:02 p.m. EST.

2400 people were waiting in the Miller Auditorium, to be informed the show was cancelled because of a “personal emergency of an unspecified nature.”

He was 63 years old.



Bobby Hatfield's Death Certificate
Bobby Hatfield’s Death Certificate


According to the band’s manager David Cohen, Bill Medley was “broken up. He’s not even coherent.” It had to be hard to lose your singing partner and watch your career circling the bowl all at once.

Preliminary results of an autopsy conducted Thursday at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing indicated Hatfield died of a heart attack, the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety said in a statement.  Actual cause of death was ruled Severe Cocaine Toxicity. The autopsy also revealed that his last meal was potatoes, and he had an old illegible tattoo on his left bicep. Toxology found Cocaine, Norcocaine, benzoylecgonine, ecgonine Methyl Aunt Ester, Caffeine and Verapamil.

Don’t do drugs.  Not only are drugs dangerous and lethal, but its also embarrassing when you end up dead and your family and friends are left to pick up the pieces.

On November 11th, a funeral service was held at the non denominational Mariner’s Church in Irvine.



Bill Medley sat alone at a piano and performed the gospel song, Precious Lord. There were pictures on display and a video montage of the Righteous Brothers performing.



Brad Garrett of Everybody Loves Raymond spoke about opening for the group in the 80s, which you can read about here, as well as how his wife and children heard the news.

Bobby was taken to Pacific View Cemetery in Newport Beach for burial. View his tombstone (with typo) here.



Bill Medley and Brad Garrett were pallbearers.

Thanks to Mary and Stephanie, my friends in Kazoo, the great people at Celebrity Archives for the autopsy report, and my pal Queen of the OC for the funeral information and memorial booklet.



9 thoughts on “Bobby Hatfield

  • May 15, 2023 at 11:52 am

    is the “typo” on his grave the using of the word “than” when it should be “then”? I couldn’t find any misspelled words, just using the wrong word. Sorta like using “there” when it should be “their”.

    • May 19, 2023 at 12:52 pm

      Typographical errors (Typos) aren’t just misspelled words. The phrase is used to describe any mistake made in the process of printing.

  • April 10, 2022 at 5:21 am

    I loved their music. Both Bill Medily, and Bobby Hatfield had beautiful voices in their on way.
    I’m 78 years old, and I still love their music . Rest In Peace , because there is a Rock & Roll heaven!!!

  • November 26, 2021 at 9:59 am

    will always love Bobby’s beautiful music. I don’t believe cocaine story, it should never have been published.

    • April 13, 2022 at 12:57 pm

      You can love his beautiful music all you want Susan but if he OD’d on cocaine then what was printed were FACTS. Considering the chief medical examiner performed an autopsy and came up with those findings it should be believed. But I guess your love for his music should come before facts 🙄.

  • September 27, 2021 at 8:58 pm

    I love this wonderful singer and lovely man …… cocaine or not.

  • June 15, 2021 at 12:29 pm

    I cried everytime I heard Unchained Melody he just melted my ❤. Rest in Peace Bobby.

  • August 10, 2020 at 11:03 am

    Did you know that Pacific View Cemetary is the final resting place of Kobe Bryant and his a Daughter Gigi…..thought you would like to know.

  • August 9, 2020 at 1:24 pm

    Iam a 73 year old man and i really liked there songs I loved Bobby’s solo of unchanged melodies. It brings tears to my eyes when I see him sing it he was good I feel for his children

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