Tom Poston

  • Celebrity
  • Birth Name: Thomas Gordon Poston
  • Birth Place: Columbus, Ohio, United States
  • Died: April 30, 2007
  • Profession: Actor
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Biography

With his hangdog face and sad, bulgy eyes, this small-screen second banana cracked up audiences for five decades on shows such as Mork & Mindy, Newhart and The Steve Allen Show. As a young man, Poston worked a striking variety of odd jobs: he was a Captain in the Army Air Corps during World War II and also enjoyed stints as an amateur boxer and tumbler. But comedy was his calling and after studying acting at New York's American Academy of Dramatic Arts, he began landing parts on Broadway and television. In the mid-1950s, he hosted Entertainment, a daily live variety show, and caught Steve Allen's eye. He was soon working alongside the comedian and his cohorts, playing dim-witted goofs in a series of sketches, and in 1959 he was honored with an Emmy for his stock of everyman characters. Although Poston kept busy in the '60s and '70s, he often played himself, cracking wise as a panelist on popular game shows like To Tell the Truth and What's My Line?. In the '80s and '90s, he became a TV icon at an age when many would opt for retirement, inhabiting a succession of supporting sitcom roles: a curmudgeonly neighbor on Mork & Mindy, a befuddled handyman on Newhart, and most recently, a literally closeted clown on the short-lived Committed. Over the years, Poston popped up in myriad guest spots, usually playing variations of his well-honed persona. He was a favorite collaborator of other funnymen — Bob Newhart employed him on four series: The Bob Newhart Show, Newhart, Bob and George & Leo. Poston also made quite an impression on another costar, Suzanne Pleshette. The two first met in the 1959 Broadway play Golden Fleecing and enjoyed a brief romance before going on to marry others (two others each, to be exact). After they were both widowed, they wed in 2001. Pleshette had been battling lung cancer for a number of years when Poston died in April 2007 after a brief illness. It was a sudden sad end to a career filled with laughter

Fast Facts

  • Was a Captain in the Army Air Corps during World War II, flying missions in England, France and Italy.
  • First acting role was in Jose Ferrer's Cyrano de Bergerac on Broadway in 1946.
  • Known best for his comedic TV roles on The Steve Allen Show, The Bob Newhart Show, Newhart and Mork & Mindy.
  • First met his third wife, actress Suzanne Pleshette, in 1959, when they costarred on Broadway in Golden Fleecing; they later costarred on The Bob Newhart Show, but didn't begin dating until they were both widowed in the late 1990s.

Awards

  • 1987, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 1959, Emmy — Best Supporting Actor (Continuing Character) in a Comedy Series: Winner
  • 1991, Emmy — Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 1984, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 1986, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Nominee

Relationships

  • Francesca Poston — Daughter
  • Suzanne Pleshette — Wife
  • Richard Poston — Brother
  • Jean Sullivan — Ex-wife
  • Kay Hudson — Wife (deceased)
  • Hudson Poston — Daughter
  • Rosalie Cassou — Sister
  • Jason Poston — Son

College

  • Attended Bethany College, Bethany, West Virginia, United States; American Academy of Dramatic Arts, New York, New York, United States

Details

  • Birth Name: Thomas Gordon Poston
  • Birth Place: Columbus, Ohio, United States
  • Died: April 30, 2007
  • Profession: Actor