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Jump in 1979
|Born||Alexander Gordon Jump
April 1, 1932
Dayton, Ohio, U.S.
|Died||September 22, 2003
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Olinda D. Kandt (1954–1962)
Anna F. Inge Jump (1963–1992)
Betty McKeever (1993–2003)
Alexander Gordon Jump (April 1, 1932 – September 22, 2003) was an American actor best known as the clueless radio station manager Arthur "Big Guy" Carlson in the TV series WKRP in Cincinnati and the incompetent "Chief of Police Tinkler" in the sitcom Soap. He also played the "Maytag Repairman" in commercials for Maytag brand appliances, from 1989 until his retirement from the role in July 2003.
Born Alexander Gordon Jump, in Dayton, Ohio, Jump graduated from Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio, in 1955. In 1957, Jump graduated with a degree in journalism from Kansas State University, where he was a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity and worked for KSDB, the Kansas State Student Radio Station. He began his career working at radio and television stations in Manhattan and Topeka, Kansas. In Topeka he did the weather on WIBW-TV in 1959; in the early 1960s, he performed on the station's Saturday morning children's program as "Wib the Clown." He later returned to Dayton and worked as a producer and on-air personality in Gordon Jump's Fun Time, a popular show for younger children, at WLWD (now WDTN) before deciding to move to Los Angeles and study acting.
Jump first began his acting career in the 1960s with minor roles in television on such shows as Get Smart, Lancer, Here Come the Brides, and Green Acres. He also guest-starred in a number of series during the 1970s including The Rockford Files, Paul Sand in Friends and Lovers, The Incredible Hulk (in an October 1978 episode called "Ricky"), The Lost Saucer, Starsky and Hutch, Lou Grant, Kojak, The Bionic Woman, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries. He had a brief speaking role as a farmer in the 1976 television movie Sybil.
In the 1960s, Jump converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as the Mormons). Subsequently, he acted in several church-sanctioned instructional and educational productions, including a marriage-advice film, and as the Apostle Peter in a 1969 film used as part of the LDS temple ceremonies. Jump would return to LDS films with a small role in the 2002 comedy The Singles Ward.
In 1978, he landed his signature role of Arthur "Big Guy" Carlson on the situation comedy WKRP in Cincinnati, portraying a bumbling radio station manager whose main qualification for the job is being the son of the station's owner.
After WKRP in Cincinnati folded in 1982, Jump made an appearance on a two-part episode of Diff'rent Strokes, cast as Mr. Horton, the owner of a bicycle shop who attempts to sexually molest series protagonist Arnold Jackson and his friend, Dudley Ramsey. He later hosted the PBS series Make Yourself at Home, taught voice classes, and made frequent appearances on the hit television show Growing Pains playing Joanna Kerns's father. Jump also enjoyed working in theater.
In 1989, Jump took over the Maytag repairman role from Jesse White. In the 1990s, Jump starred in a short-lived revival of WKRP in Cincinnati entitled The New WKRP in Cincinnati. He also appeared in the ninth and final season of Seinfeld, where he played George Costanza's boss at a playground equipment company over two episodes. Jump's last movie role was in the 2004 film Changing of the Guard, released after his death.
|1972||Conquest of the Planet of the Apes||Auctioneer|
|1978||The Fury||Mr. Nuckells|
|1984||Making the Grade||Mr. Harriman||Alternative title: The Last American Preppy|
|1990||Honeymoon Academy||Mr. Nelson||Alternative title: For Better or For Worse|
|2002||The Singles Ward||An Airline Passenger|
|1965||Daniel Boone||Marcus Clements||1 episode|
|1967||T.H.E. Cat||1 episode|
|1971||The Doris Day Show||Mr. Robinson||1 episode|
|1973||The Paul Lynde Show||Larry||1 episode|
|1974||Paul Sand in Friends and Lovers||Mr. Mead||1 episode|
|1974||The Rockford Files||Freddie||season 1 episode 23|
|1974–1975||That's My Mama||Officer O'Reilley||3 episodes|
|1975||The Streets of San Francisco||Sergeant Lacy||1 episode|
|1976||Alice||Sheriff McElroy||1 episode|
|1976||McDuff, the Talking Dog||Amos Ferguson||11 episodes|
|1977||Lou Grant||National Editor||6 episodes|
|1977||The Nancy Drew Mysteries (USA short title)||Officer Hooper - The Mystery of the Diamond Triangle||1 episode|
|1978-82||WKRP in Cincinnati||Arthur "Big Guy" Carlson, Station Manager||88 episodes (90 in Syndication)|
|1980||Mr. Krueger's Christmas||Narrator||Television movie|
|1983||Diff'rent Strokes||Mr. Horton||2 episodes|
|1985||Tall Tales & Legends||Mr. Ripple||1 episode|
|1986-91||Growing Pains||Ed Malone||11 episodes|
|1986||Simon & Simon||Ross Garrett||1 episode|
|1986||The Golden Girls||Guest star||1 episode|
|1988||Who's the Boss?||Archie||1 episode|
|1989||Sister Kate||Lucas Underwood||1 episode|
|1994||Baywatch||Max Edelman||2 episodes|
|1995||Empty Nest||Bud||1 episode|
|1997||Married... with Children||Mr. Tot||1 episode|
|1997||Seinfeld||Mr. Thomassoulo||2 episodes|
|1998||Mike Hammer, Private Eye||Augustus Hancock Sterling
- Oliver, Myrna (September 24, 2003). "Gordon Jump, 71; Was 'Maytag Man' in Ads, 'Big Guy' on 'WKRP' TV Series". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-01-29.
- Marriage: What Kind for You? from IMDB
- Mormon Temple Film from IMDB
- "Gordon Jump, 71, 'WKRP' Actor Who Played Maytag's Repairman". New York Times. September 24, 2003. Retrieved 2007-07-21. "Gordon Jump, who played a befuddled radio station manager on the sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati and made his mark in commercials as the lonely Maytag repairman, died on Monday at his home southeast of Los Angeles. He had pulmonary fibrosis."
- Gordon Jump at the Internet Movie Database
- The MSN Entertainment entry on Jump
- The USA Today Obituary on Jump
- Kansas State Historical Society biography of Gordon Jump
- Gordon Jump at Find a Grave