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Dick Wilson

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Dick Wilson as Mr. Whipple

Dick Wilson as Mr. Whipple.

Dick Wilson, born Ricardo DiGuglielmo (July 30, 1916 (Preston, Lancashire, England) — November 19, 2007 (Woodland Hills, California)), was a British-born American character actor who is mainly known for his role as the finicky grocery store manager, Mister (George) Whipple in over 500 Charmin toilet paper television commercials (1964-1989, 1999). He is also known for his protrayals as either neighbors or other stock characters in such American television shows as Bewitched, McHale's Navy, The Bob Newhart Show, My Living Doll, Perry Mason, The Bob Cummings Show and Maude. He also appeared as a guest star in several episodes of the 1960s sitcom, Hogan's Heroes.

Biography Edit

Dick Wilson was born in Preston, Lancashire, England to an Italian father, Aldo DiGuglielmo, who was a vaudeville performer, and an English mother, Victoria Wilson, a singer. In late 1916, his father moved the family to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, where Dick would spend his childhood in the Corktown neighborhood and on the Mountain. He attended Queen Victoria and Sacred Hearts Schools. At the age of fifteen, he got a part-time job at CHML radio in Hamilton. To avoid being typecasted as an Italian while performing at the station, Dick Anglicized his first name and changed his last name from his father's DiGuglielmo to his mother's Wilson.

Dick graduated from the Ontario College of Art & Design and then became a comic dancer in vaudeville. He enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force early in World War II, serving as a fighter pilot against the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain. After the war, Dick would move to the United States, becoming an American citizen in 1954. He moved first to New York City where he would perform as an acrobatic dancer before finally moving to California in 1954 to work in films and on television.

His first appearance on television was on the New York based The Better Home Show playing himself, in 1951, before appearing before a national audience in The Adventures of Jim Bowie. His first film appearance would be in 1957, where he played the First Jury Foreman in The Tattered Dress. Dick would spend the next several years making appearances as several characters on such television sitcoms as Bewitched (usually as a drunk) and McHale's Navy, mainly as either a neighbor or other stock characters. He would play similair characters on such films as The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, The Shakiest Gun in the West and The World's Greatest Athlete. He would also make guest appeareances on Hogan's Heroes and The Bob Newhart Show.

In 1964, Dick began doing commercials for Procter & Gamble's Charmin bathroom tissue, playing George Whipple, who, at the start of the series, would admonished the females inside his store, telling them "Not to squeeze the Charmin" before being caught doing it himself. About halfway through the run, the direction of the commercial was changed, where he was actually suggesting that people do squeeze the Charmin. The series of television ads ran originally from 1964 to 1989, and then returning for an encore run in 1999, before being replaced by a series featuring animated bears. He would make over 500 commercials for the company, making anually $300,000 U.S. and working 12 days a year, while his character and his character's original tag line would become a part of popular culture.

In the 1970s and 1980s, he would appear in less films and television shows because of his Charmin commercials' popularity, although he would make guest appearances on such shows as Maude, Alice and Quincy, M.E. and films such as The Incredible Shrinking Woman and Get Out of My Room.

On November 19, 2007, Dick died at the Motion Picture and Television Hospital in Woodland Hills, California. He is survived by his wife, Meg, and daughters Woody and actress Melanie Wilson, and five grandchildren. He was buried at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles.

Several days after his death, Procter & Gamble released a short tribute to Dick for his commercial work.

Filmography Edit

Notable TV Guest Appearances Edit

  • MythBusters playing "Mr. Whipple" (uncredited) in episode: "Exploding Port-A-Potty" (episode # 3.3) 2 March 2005
  • Square One TV playing "Grocer" in episode: "Episode #1.1" (episode # 1.1) 26 January 1987
  • Mathnet playing "Grocer" in episode: "The Problem of the Missing Monkey" (episode # 1.2) 1 January 1987
  • Disneyland playing "Drunk in Bar" in episode: "The World's Greatest Athlete: Part 2" (episode # 29.15) 11 January 1983
  • Disneyland playing "Drunk in Bar" in episode: "The World's Greatest Athlete: Part 1" (episode # 29.14) 4 January 1983
  • Quincy, M.E. playing "Car salesman" in episode: "T.K.O." (episode # 5.19) 13 March 1980
  • Alice playing "Actor" in episode: "The Fourth Time Around" (episode # 3.15) 21 January 1979
  • Fantasy Island playing "Minister" in episode: "The War Game/Queen of the Boston Bruisers" (episode # 2.6) 28 October 1978
  • Tabitha playing "Mr. Green" in episode: "Halloween Show" (episode # 1.2) 12 November 1977
  • Maude playing "Man" in episode: "The Case of the Broken Punch Bowl" (episode #4.15) 5 January 1976
  • Maude playing "Sam Lewis" in episode: "Walter's Pride" (episode # 3.20) 24 February 1975
  • The Bob Newhart Show playing "Mr. Berry" in episode: "A Pound of Flesh" (episode # 3.19) 25 January 1975
  • The Bob Newhart Show playing "Man" in episode: "By the Way...You're Fired" (episode # 2.22) 16 February 1974
  • Disneyland playing "Mr. Hodges" in episode: "The Whiz Kid and the Mystery of Riverton: Part 2" (episode # 20.12) 13 January 1974
  • Disneyland playing "Mr. Hodges" in episode: "The Whiz Kid and the Mystery of Riverton: Part 1" (episode # 20.11) 6 January 1974
  • Adam-12 playing "Louis Nelson" in episode: "If the Shoe Fits" (episode # 6.12) 12 December 1973
  • The Bob Newhart Show playing "Milt" in episode: "My Wife Belongs to Daddy" (episode # 2.13) 8 December 1973
  • Love Thy Neighbor playing "Actor" in episode: "Pilot" (episode # 1.1) 15 June 1973
  • Bewitched playing "Neighbor" in episode: "George Washington Zapped Here: Part 1" (episode # 8.21) 19 February 1972
  • McMillan & Wife playing "Simon Mehlin" in episode: "The Face of Murder" (episode # 1.5) 5 January 1972
  • Love, American Style playing "Mr. Hutton" in episode: "Love and the Bashful Groom" (episode # 3.6b) 22 October 1971
  • Nanny and the Professor playing "Actor" in episode: "Sunday's Hero" (episode # 3.3) 27 September 1971
  • Marcus Welby, M.D. playing "Health Faddist" in epsiode: "The Contract" (episode # 2.22) 16 March 1971
  • Hogan's Heroes playing "Underground Agent Bruner" in episode: "Hogan's Double Life" (episode # 6.22) 7 March 1971
  • The Partridge Family playing "Cowboy" in episode: "Road Show" (episode # 1.22) 26 February 1971
  • Hogan's Heroes playing "Karl" in episode: "Operation Tiger" (episode # 6.11) 29 November 1970
  • Hogan's Heroes playing "Karl" in episode: "Eight O'Clock and All Is Well" (episode # 6.8) 8 November 1970
  • Bewitched playing "Old Timer" in episode: "Darrin on a Pedestal" (episode # 7.5) 22 October 1970
  • Bewitched playing "Old Timer" in episode: "Samantha's Hot Bedwarmer" (episode # 7.4) 15 October 1970
  • Bewitched playing "Old Timer" in episode: "The Salem Saga" (episode # 7.3) 8 October 1970
  • Hogan's Heroes playing "Count von Hertzel" in episode: "Gowns by Yvette" (episode # 5.19) 30 January 1970
  • The Good Guys playing "Ira" in episode: "A Familiar Ring" (episode # 2.12) 12 December 1969
  • Bracken's World playing "Harry" in episode: "Move in for a Close-Up" (episode # 1.12) 12 December 1969
  • The Bill Cosby Show playing "Mr. Jacobi" in episode: "Going the Route" (episode # 1.11) 30 November 1969
  • Bewitched playing "Drunk" in episode: "A Bunny for Tabitha" (episode # 6.8) 6 November 1969
  • I Dream of Jeannie playing "Dockweiler" in episode: "Djinn Djinn, the Pied Piper" (episode # 5.2) 23 September 1969
  • Bewitched playing "Customer" in episode: "Samantha, the Bard" (episode # 5.18) 30 January 1969
  • Hogan's Heroes playing "Captain Gruber" in episode: "Operation Hannibal" (episode # 4.17) 18 January 1969
  • The Queen & I playing "Man" in episode: "Duffy's Cruise" (episode # 1.1) 16 January 1969
  • Hogan's Heroes playing "Captain Gruber" in episode: "The Missing Klink" (episode # 4.15) 4 January 1969
  • Mayberry R.F.D. playing "Ralph Carr" in episode: "Miss Farmerette" (episode # 1.12) 23 December 1968
  • Bewitched playing "Man in Bar" in episode: "Is It Magic or Imagination?" (episode # 5.8) 21 November 1968
  • Hogan's Heroes playing "Bonner" in episode: "Man's Best Friend Is Not His Dog" (episode # 4.6) 2 November 1968
  • Bewitched playing "Drunk" in episode: "It's So Nice to Have a Spouse Around the House" (episode # 5.5) 24 October 1968
  • Get Smart playing "Jeweler" in episode: "Diamonds Are a Spy's Best Friend" (episode # 4.5) 19 October 1968
  • Bewitched playing "Frank O'Hara" in episode: "Samantha's Wedding Present" (episode # 5.1) 26 September 1968
  • Bewitched playing "Drunk" in episode: "I Confess" (episode # 4.28) 4 April 1968
  • The Flying Nun playing "Joe/Man #1" in episode: "Young man With a Cornette" (episode # 1.12) 23 November 1967
  • Petticoat Junction playing "Airline's Clerk" in episode: "Kate's Birthday" (episode # 5.11) 18 November 1967
  • Bewitched playing "Drunk" in episode: "Allergic to Macedonian Dodo Birds" (episode # 4.11) 16 November 1967
  • Bewitched playing "Drunk" in episode: "No Zip in My Zap" (episode # 4.6) 12 October 1967
  • Bewitched playing "Customer" in episode: "Toys in Babeland" (episode # 4.2) 14 September 1967
  • Bewitched playing "Harry" in episode: "No More, Mr. Nice Guy" (episode # 3.28) 23 March 1967
  • That Girl playing "Clerk" in episode: "The Honeymoon Apartment" (episode # 1.27) 16 March 1967
  • Occasional Wife playing "Waiter" in episode: "One Plus One Equals Too Many" (episode # 1.19) 31 January 1967
  • Bewitched playing "Solow" in episode: "Hoho the Clown" (episode # 3.18) 12 January 1967
  • Get Smart playing "Creevley' in episode: "Perils in a Pet Shop" (episode # 2.13) 10 December 1966
  • Hogan's Heroes playing "Captain Fritz Gruber" in episode: "Don't Forget to Write" (episode # 2.13) 9 December 1966
  • The Hero playing "Actor" in episode: "The Day They Shot Sam Garrett" (episode # 1.8) 3 November 1966
  • I Dream of Jeannie playing "Mr. Wimple" in episode: "What's New, Poodle Dog?" (episode # 2.6) 17 October 1966
  • The Jean Arthur Show playing "Angelo Liguori" in episode: "Blackstone, Italian Style" (episode # 1.3) 26 September 1966
  • My Mother the Car playing "Jenkins" in episode: "Over the Hill to the Junkyard" (episode # 1.25) 1 March 1966
  • Bewitched playing "Drunk" in episode: "Fastest Gun on Madion Avenue" (episode # 2.21) 3 February 1966
  • The Munsters playing "Al" in episode: "A Man for Marilyn" (episode # 2.10) 18 November 1965
  • Gidget playing "Mr. Lefferts" in episode: "All the Best Diseases Are Taken" (episode #1.10) 17 November 1965
  • The Loner playing "Bartender" in episode: "The House Rules at Mrs. Wayne's" (episode # 1.8) 6 November 1965
  • Bewitched playing "Montague" in episode: "The Very Informal Dress" (episode # 2.8) 4 November 1965
  • The Fugitive playing "Berger" in episode: "Conspiracy of Silence" (episode # 3.5) 12 October 1965
  • Bewitched playing "Man in Bar" in episode: "A Change of Face" (episode # 1.33) 13 May 1965
  • Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. playing "Clerk #3" in episode: "The Case of the Marine Mandit" (episode # 1.13) 18 December 1964
  • My Favorite Martian playing "Davey" in episode: "Night Life of Uncle Martin" (episode # 2.12) 13 December 1964
  • My Living Doll playing "Salesman" in episode: "Beauty Contest" (episode # 1.8) 15 November 1964
  • Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre playing "Actor" in episode: "The Turncoat" (episode # 2.4) 23 October 1964
  • My Favorite Martian playing "Charlie" in episode: "Uncle Martin's Broadcast" (episode # 1.22) 8 March 1964
  • The Great Adventure playing "Actor" in episode: "The Testing of Sam Houston" (episode # 1.16) 31 January 1964
  • My Favorite Martian playing "Joe-Patrolman #2" in episode: "How to Be a Hero Without Really Trying" (episode # 1.13) 29 December 1963
  • The Twilight Zone playing "Clock Mover" in episode: "Ninety Years Without Slumbering" (episode # 5.12) 20 December 1963
  • Glynis playing "Danny" in episode: "Crime After a Fashion" (episode # 1.13) 18 December 1963
  • Ben Casey playing "Jake Martin" in episode: "La Vie, La Vie Interieure" (episode # 2.28) 22 April 1963
  • Perry Mason playing "Prisoner" in episode: "The Case of the Constant Doyle" (episode # 6.16) 31 January 1963
  • The Virginian playing "Bartender" in episode: "The Man from the Sea" (episode # 1.14) 26 December 1962
  • Our Man Higgins playing "Fletcher" in episode: "A Servant of the People" (episode # 1.2) 10 October 1962
  • Checkmate playing "Clerk" in episode: "A Funny Thing Happen on My Way to the Game" (episode # 2.12) 3 January 1962
  • The Bob Cummings Show playing "Actor" in episode: "Executive Sweet" (episode # 1.1) 5 October 1961
  • The Lawless Years playing "Hymie Cee" in episode: "The Jack 'Legs' Diamond Story" (episode # 3.1) 12 May 1961
  • The Deputy playing "Actor" in episode: "The Lonely Road" (episode # 2.21) 18 February 1961
  • Bat Masterson playing "Tobias Tinker" in episode: "The Court Martial of Major Mars" (episode # 3.15) 11 January 1961
  • The Millionaire playing "Sullivian" in episode: "Millionaire Maggie Dalton" (episode # 6.35) 31 May 1960
  • Maverick playing "Crenshaw" in episode: "The People's Friend" (episode # 3.21) 7 February 1960
  • M Squad playing "Moe Norton" in episode: "The Second Best Killer" (episode # 3.17) 15 January 1960
  • The Untouchables playing "Sheriff Wilson" (uncredited) in episode: "The Tri-State Gang" (episode # 1.9) 10 December 1959
  • Tales of Wells Fargo playing "The Cafe Owner" in episode: "End of a Legend" (episode # 4.11) 23 November 1959
  • The Lawless Years playing "Flipper" in episode: "The Big Man" (episode # 2.5) 12 November 1959
  • The Twilight Zone playing "Insurance Adjuster" in episode: "Escape Clause" (episode # 1.6) 6 November 1959
  • The Lawless Years playing "Game Boy Miles" in episode: "Four the Hard Way" (episode # 1.13) 23 July 1959
  • The Lawless Years playing "Charley" in episode: "The Muddy Kasoff Story" (episode # 1.11) 2 July 1959
  • The Texan playing "Norm Seevey" in episode: "A Time of the Year" (episode # 1.13) 22 December 1958
  • Wagon Train playing "Bartender" in episode: "The Doctor Willoughby Story" (episode # 2.6) 5 November 1958
  • M Squad playing "Max" in episode: "The Missing Claimant" (episode # 2.3) 3 October 1958
  • Sergeant Preston of the Yukon playing "Actor" in episode: "Follow the Leader" (episode # 3.15) 9 January 1958
  • Jane Wyman Presents the Fireside Theater playing "Alex" in episode: "The Elevator" (episode # 3.10) 2 January 1958
  • Sergeant Preston of the Yukon playing "Jake Lucas" in episode: "The Jailbreaker" (episode # 3.8) 21 November 1957
  • The Adventures of Jim Bowie playing "Woodsman" in episode: "The Swordsman" (episode # 1.15) 14 December 1956
  • Sergeant Preston of the Yukon playing "Skeeter" (as Richard Wilson) in episode: "The Tobacco Smugglers" (episode # 2.12) 29 November
  • Sergeant Preston of the Yukon playing "Beaver Louis" in episode: "The Cache" (episode # 1.25) 15 March 1956

External links Edit

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