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Old 11-19-2007, 02:29 PM   #1
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Unhappy Character Actor Dick Wilson (AKA Mr. Whipple) Dies at 91

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LOS ANGELES, Nov. 19, 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.

"It is not an exaggeration to say that the Mr. Whipple character, which Dick Wilson portrayed for so many years, is one of the most recognizable faces in the history of American advertising," said Dennis Legault, Charmin brand manager. "Dick deserves much of the credit for Charmin's success. He helped define Charmin with consumers, reinforcing the product's softness with the 'Please Don't Squeeze the Charmin' slogan. He is a part of the Charmin family, and he will be missed."

Wilson's first job in the entertainment industry was as an announcer and disc jockey in Canada at the age of 15. Since then he appeared in more than 300 television shows, numerous motion pictures and a number of stage productions.

Wilson graduated from the Ontario College of Art in Toronto, with a major in sculpture. He used his artistic capabilities to design scenery for a dancing school. Instead of a paycheck, he took his compensation in lessons and became a comedic acrobatic dancer, which he pursued in Vaudeville for nearly 20 years.

During his many years in show business, Wilson played everything from circus to burlesque to British comedies. At one point in his radio career, Wilson was appearing on 17 separate shows each week as a host, an announcer, performing character voices and sound effects.

In 1932, Wilson performed in his first movie. Among his numerous motion picture credits are "World's Greatest Athlete," "Strongest Man in the World," "Shakiest Gun in the West," "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken," "One Man's Way," "Planet of the Apes," "The Star," "John Goldfarb Please Come Home" and "What a Way to Go." In the theater, Wilson performed in "The Unsinkable Molly Brown," "Dial M for Murder," "Never Too Late" and "On the Town," to name a few.

Wilson's television credits include Captain Gruber on "Hogan's Heroes," Assistant Mayor Dino Boroni on "McHale's Navy," a recurring character on "Bewitched," and other roles in "Perry Mason," "The Hero," "That Girl," "Don Rickles Show," "The Rifleman," "The Rockford Files," "Arrest & Trial," "Petticoat Junction," "Maude," "The Partridge Family" and many more.

The makers of Charmin bath tissue will make a contribution to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Wilson's name in honor of his love of the arts, culture and performance.

Wilson is survived by his wife Meg, three children and three grandchildren -- all located in the Los Angeles area.

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Last edited by Zoneboy; 11-19-2007 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 11-19-2007, 03:35 PM   #2
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I loved his appearances on Bewitched as the drunk. He also did a funny guest spot on the Bob Newhart Show. He will be missed!
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Old 11-19-2007, 03:52 PM   #3
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I used to like him on "McHales Navy" and those Charmin commercials. Like the above poster said; he'll be missed!
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Old 11-19-2007, 03:59 PM   #4
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Another Canadian icon is gone! ps, the new Charmin ads with that family of bears who s**t in the woods MAKE ME SICK!! They shouldnt have replaced Mr Whipple!
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Old 11-19-2007, 04:36 PM   #5
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He will be deeply missed. The Drunk was so good on Bewitched! He knew Sam was a witch!

See our tribute: http://www.sitcomsonline.com/blog/20...ike-alice.html
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Old 11-19-2007, 05:37 PM   #6
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Perfect Strangers fans will remember his Daughter, Melanie who played Jennifer in several episodes of the series.
He was a wonderful actor and will be missed.

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Old 11-19-2007, 07:40 PM   #7
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I will be watching Hogan's Heroes tonight in honor of him. I never made the connection that Capt. Gruber was Mr. Whipple until I read the obit this morning. I wonder, Is it safe to squeeze the charmin now?
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Old 11-19-2007, 08:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TURBOCSX
I wonder, Is it safe to squeeze the charmin now?
Not really.......Now you have to fight off a whole family of grizzly bears, if you want to squeeze the Charmin!
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Old 11-19-2007, 09:04 PM   #9
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When I work out in the morning I watch one of my many old TV shows on DVD. This morning I was watching Get Smart and Dick Wilson was in the episode. He played Mr. Spiegel, a jeweler. I was thinking when watching him, we haven't heard anything about him in a long time. About 6 hours later, I found out he passed away. What a great talent. I remember him in so many episodes of my favorite shows and of course Charmin. We still use Charmin!! Great memories...he will be missed by all.
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Old 11-19-2007, 10:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Not really.......Now you have to fight off a whole family of grizzly bears, if you want to squeeze the Charmin!
Ewwwwwwwwwww...
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Old 11-19-2007, 11:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catlover79
I loved his appearances on Bewitched as the drunk.
He was a very convincing drunk, and I believe he mentioned that he wasn't a drinker in real life.

RIP
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Old 11-19-2007, 11:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
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He was a very convincing drunk, and I believe he mentioned that he wasn't a drinker in real life.

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I read that Hal Smith (Otis Campbell on the Andy Griffith Show) didn't drink in real life as well. Funny that they could play drunk so convincingly!!
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Old 11-20-2007, 01:57 AM   #13
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Hi, In 1987 I went to the Memphis Film Festival and Dick Wilson along with several other actors were there. I meet him and talked with him. I also got his autograph and had pictures made with him. He was a very nice and friendly man. I've always wanted to go back to the Memphis Film Festival. Maybe I can go again one day. I really enjoyed it and meeting Mr. Whipple. I miss character actors like him from older shows. Thanks Stoogedog
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Old 11-20-2007, 02:10 AM   #14
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Very sad. Some of my first memories are sitting in front of the tv playing with my toys and seeing Mr. Whipple come on. He sure was an icon. R.I.P. Mr. Wilson, you now have a cloud to squeeze.
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Old 11-20-2007, 07:05 PM   #15
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RTN honored the late Dick Wilson with a retromercial today. You can see it on our blog:
http://www.sitcomsonline.com/blog/20...-rtn-adds.html
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