Dick Wilson, 'Mr. Whipple,' dead at 91

Nov. 19, 2007 at 1:39 PM

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Actor Dick Wilson -- known to millions as grocer Mr. Whipple on the Charmin toilet tissue commercials -- died Monday in California. He was 91.

Wilson's career spanned nearly 70 years and included roles in radio, television, film and theater.

He appeared as Mr. Whipple in more than 500 spots for Charmin, starting in 1964.

In 2001, Wilson received a lifetime achievement award to commemorate his contribution to the brand.

"The Mr. Whipple character ... is one of the most recognizable faces in the history of American advertising," Dennis Legault, Charmin brand manager, said in a statement. "(Wilson) 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."

Among Wilson's film credits were "Shakiest Gun in the West," "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken," "Planet of the Apes," "The Star" and "What a Way to Go."

The actor also played Captain Gruber on "Hogan's Heroes," and appeared on "McHale's Navy," "Bewitched," "Perry Mason," "That Girl," "The Rifleman," "The Rockford Files" and "The Partridge Family."

He is survived by his wife Meg, three children and three grandchildren.

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