Los Angeles – Actor Gordon Jump died yesterday less than three months after retiring from his TV and trade show role as Maytag’s ‘Ol’ Lonely’ repairman. He was 71 and reportedly succumbed to complications from pulmonary fibrosis.
In a statement, Maytag chairman/CEO Ralph Hake said, ‘It was natural for him to project an image of warmth, caring, dependability, respect and humor, because that’s exactly the kind of person he was.’
Jump, who first gained national recognition on the TV sitcom ‘WKRP in Cincinnati,’ inherited the uniform in 1989 from comic actor Jesse White. White created the iconic character of the lonely repairman, who never gets a service call for Maytag products, in 1967. He hung up his cap in 1988 and died in 1997 at age 79.
Hardy Rawls, a veteran of the stage and TV, assumed the role of Ol’ Lonely in July.