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Tom Poston

promotional photo of Tom Poston
Born Thomas Gordon Poston
October 17, 1921(1921-10-17)
Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
Died April 30, 2007 (aged 85)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1950–2006
Spouse(s) Jean Sullivan (1955-1968)
Kay Hudson (1968-1975)
Kay Hudson (1980-1998)
Suzanne Pleshette (2001-2007)

Thomas Gordon "Tom" Poston (October 17, 1921 – April 30, 2007) was an American television and film actor. He starred on television in a career that began in 1950. He appeared as a comic actor, game show panelist, comedy/variety show host, film actor, television actor, and Broadway performer.

Contents

Biography

Early life

Poston was born in Columbus, Ohio, the son of Margaret and George Poston, who was a liquor salesman and dairy chemist.[1] After completing high school, Poston attended Bethany College in West Virginia, but did not graduate.

Instead, he joined the United States Army Air Forces in 1941. Accepted to officer candidate school and then graduating from flight training, Poston served as a pilot in the European Theater in World War II; his aircraft dropped paratroopers for the Normandy invasion. Poston served in North Africa, Italy, France, and England. After his discharge, he began studying acting in New York City.

Career

In the 1950s, Poston gained recognition as a comedic "Man in the Street" (along with his colleagues Louie Nye, Dayton Allen and Don Knotts) on the Steve Allen Show. For these performances, Poston won the 1959 Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor (Continuing Character) in a Comedy Series. Following that, he appeared frequently on Broadway and as a television game show panelist, including regular appearances on To Tell the Truth and What's My Line?. While Poston's film career was limited to quirky comedies (such as William Castle's "Zotz!" and "The Old Dark House" in the 1960s), his television career was expansive, covering the better part of five decades, and saw him contributing his comedic talents in virtually every corner of the medium, from made-for-TV movies to variety shows to situation comedies to talk shows and even to voice-overs for cartoons. He also appeared on the suite life of zack and cody

The handprints of Tom Poston in front of Hollywood Hills Amphitheater at Walt Disney World's Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park.

Poston was a recurring guest star on The Bob Newhart Show in the 1970s. He later played the role of Franklin Delano Bickley on Mork & Mindy. A longtime friend of Bob Newhart, Poston played George Utley, bumbling country handyman of the Stratford Inn, on Newhart and appeared with Newhart in Cold Turkey (1971) as the town drunk, Edgar Stopworth. He was nominated for an Emmy Award three times for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his performance on Newhart in 1984, 1986, and 1987. He had a third role with Newhart in the short-lived Bob.

Poston also had regular roles on many other television series: Family Matters, Murphy Brown, Home Improvement, Cosby, Malcolm & Eddie, ER, Grace Under Fire, That '70s Show, Will & Grace, and guest starred in an episode of The Simpsons as the Capital City Goofball. He also played dentist / jeweler, Art Hibke, on ABC's Coach, for which he was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series in 1991.

In the summer of 1968, Poston played the role of the Scarecrow, at The Municipal Opera Association of St. Louis, production of The Wizard of Oz. Lana Cantrell played Dorothy Gale, and Betty Low played the Sorceress of the North, aka Glinda.

In 2001, Poston married for the third time, to actress Suzanne Pleshette, who played the wife of Newhart's character Bob Hartley on The Bob Newhart Show. Poston continued to appear in supporting roles in films, including 2003's Beethoven's 5th and two released in 2004, Christmas with the Kranks and The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, and on several television programs. In 2005, he played the character "Clown" on the brief-lived NBC series Committed. The band They Might Be Giants mentioned Poston as a writer for the The New York Times in their song "Critic Intro". In 2005 Poston guest starred on 8 Simple Rules as Rory's unlawful friend Jake in the episode "Good Moms Gone Wild". In 2006 Poston guest-starred on an episode of The Suite Life of Zack & Cody in the episode "Ah! Wilderness" as Merle, which was his final role.

Death

After a brief illness, Poston died of respiratory failure on April 30, 2007 in Los Angeles, California aged 85.[2]

Personal life

Tom Poston was married to:[3]

  • Suzanne Pleshette (11 May 2001 - 30 April 2007) (until his death)
  • Kay Hudson (30 December 1980 - 10 July 1998) (until her death)
  • Kay Hudson (8 June 1968 - 1975) (divorced) a son Jason Poston and daughter Hudson
  • Jean Sullivan (1955–1968) (divorced) one daughter Francesca Poston

See also

References

External links








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