Dick Wilson

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Dick Wilson
Born (1916-07-30)July 30, 1916
Preston, Lancashire, England, UK
Died November 18, 2007(2007-11-18) (aged 91)
Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Resting place Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills, California
Years active 1956–89, 1999–2000
Spouse(s) Meg Wilson (1950 – November 19, 2007; his death)
Children Melanie Wilson, Stuart F. Wilson, Wendy Wilson

Dick Wilson (July 30, 1916 – November 18, 2007), was a British-born American character actor who played the role of finicky grocery store manager Mr. George Whipple in more than 500 Charmin toilet paper television commercials (1965–89, 1999–2000).[1]

Biography[edit]

Dick Wilson was born in Preston, Lancashire. His father performed in vaudeville and his mother was a singer. In late 1916 his father moved the family to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He got his start in show business with a part-time job at CHML radio in Hamilton at age fifteen.

Wilson graduated from the Ontario College of Art & Design. Paid in dance lessons, he became a comedic acrobatic dancer and performed in vaudeville for 20 years, according to Procter & Gamble.[2] Wilson enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force and served as a pilot in World War II. After the war he moved to the United States and became an American citizen in 1954. He headed to California in 1954 for film and television work.[2]

Wilson made numerous appearances on Bewitched, playing "various" drunks. He also appeared on Tabitha and McHale's Navy. He also appeared on The Donna Reed Show, Hogan's Heroes, and The Bob Newhart Show.[2]

Wilson was quoted as saying, "I've done thirty-eight pictures and nobody remembers any of them, but they all remember me selling toilet paper." He made 504 commercials as Mr. Whipple, earning U.S. $300,000 annually and working only 12–16 days a year.[2][3]

In an interview with ABC News on April 22, 1983, he mentioned that the first series of commercials for Charmin toilet paper he appeared in were filmed in, appropriately enough, Flushing, New York.[4] He described acting in commercials as "the hardest thing to do in the entire acting realm. You've got 24 seconds to introduce yourself, introduce the product, say something nice about it and get off gracefully."[5]

Death[edit]

Wilson died November 18, 2007, at the Motion Picture and Television Hospital in Woodland Hills, California at the age of 91. He was survived by his wife, Meg; his children, stunt coordinator Stuart F. Wilson, Wendy, and actress Melanie Wilson; and five grandchildren. He was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills, in Los Angeles.[3]

Filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Associated Press Obituary Archived November 21, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ a b c d Foley, Doug (2007-11-20). "Corktown lad became TV's Mr. Whipple". The Hamilton Spectator. Archived from the original on 2007-11-22. Retrieved 2007-11-21. 
  3. ^ a b Gates, Anita. Dick Wilson, Squeezer of Tissue Rolls on Television, Dies at 91, The New York Times, November 20, 2007.
  4. ^ Video on YouTube
  5. ^ "Showtimes, reviews, trailers, news and more - MSN Movies". Movies.msn.com. Retrieved 7 January 2018. 

External links[edit]