20 November 2007

RIP: Dick Wilson

Dick Wilson
30 Jul 1916 - 19 Nov 2007

ZUI this press release from Procter & Gamble:
Long-time Charmin bath tissue pitchman Dick Wilson -- known to millions as Mr. Whipple -- died Monday at the Motion Picture & Television Hospital in Woodland Hills, CA. He was 91.

Wilson's career spanned nearly 70 years with roles in radio, television, film and theater. In his most famous role, Wilson portrayed grocer Mr. Whipple and made "Please don't squeeze the Charmin" a household phrase. Wilson appeared as Mr. Whipple in more than 500 spots for Charmin from 1964 through 1985. After a 14-year hiatus, Wilson reprised the role in 1999 to introduce a new version of Charmin. In 2001, Procter & Gamble, maker of Charmin, presented Wilson with a lifetime achievement award to commemorate his contribution to the brand.

And this from the New York Times:
Born in Preston, England, on July 30, 1916, Mr. Wilson grew up in Ontario, the son of a vaudeville entertainer and a singer. He soon followed his parents into show business. He worked for a local radio station as a teenager; was part of the Whiz Bang Revue, a local group that did shows for servicemen; and went on to work in both film and theater. During World War II he served in the Canadian Air Force.

In the 1950s and ’60s, he appeared on numerous American television series, including “Wagon Train,” “The Untouchables,” “My Favorite Martian” and “Hogan’s Heroes.” He had something of a recurring cameo on the sitcom “Bewitched,” appearing in about 18 episodes as a drunk man who sees the main character, played by Elizabeth Montgomery, perform some feat of witchcraft, and then immediately swears off alcohol.

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