Empire carpet pitchman Hauldren dead at 89

April 28, 2011 at 12:54 PM

EVANSTON, Ill., April 28 (UPI) -- U.S. television pitchman Elmer Lynn Hauldren has died of natural causes at his home in Evanston, Ill., his family said. He was 89.

The Chicago Tribune reported Hauldren's death Wednesday, but did not say exactly what the cause of it was.

The decorated World War II veteran played the Empire carpet salesman in commercials from the 1970s until his death.

"Lynn was truly passionate about the Empire brand," Steve Silvers, Empire Today's chief executive officer, told the Chicago Sun-Times. "He has made an indelible mark on advertising history with his creativity and warmth. Lynn will always have a special place in the hearts of many."

The Sun-Times said he also recorded several albums with the barbershop quartet Chordiac Arrest and the Tribune noted he performed with the a capella group The Fabulous '40s.

Hauldren's son, Joseph, told the Tribune he thinks the actor was popular because he was so genuine.

"He was a great father, a great family man, very mild-mannered and friendly. He was a lot like that character on TV," Joseph Hauldren said.

The Tribune said Elmer Lynn Hauldren also is survived by his wife, Helen; five other children; and 15 grandchildren.

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