Dick Wilson

Riccardo DiGuglielmo (30 July 1916 – 18 November 2007), better known as Dick Wilson was a British-born American actor who was best known as grocery store manager Mr. George Whipple in more than 500 Charmin toilet paper television commercials (1965–89, 1999–2000).[1]

Dick Wilson
Dick Wilson in Bewitched 1965.jpg
Dick Wilson in Bewitched 1965
Born(1916-07-30)30 July 1916
Died18 November 2007(2007-11-18) (aged 91)
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills, California
Years active1956–89, 1999–2000
Spouse(s)Meg Wilson (1950 – 18 November 2007; his death)
Children2 (including Melanie)


Dick Wilson was born in Preston, Lancashire. In 1916 his father moved the family to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He got his start in show business with a part-time job at CHML radio in Hamilton at age fifteen.

Wilson graduated from the Ontario College of Art & Design. Paid in dance lessons, he became a comedic acrobatic dancer and performed in vaudeville for 20 years, according to Procter & Gamble.[2]

Wilson had taught himself to fly when he was 16 years old, working for a time as a bush pilot who flew supplies to mining camps in remote regions of Canada. His earlier experience got him into military flight training and he became a bomber pilot.[3] After the Second World War where he served in the Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal Air Force[4]he moved to the United States and became an American citizen in 1954. He headed to California in 1954 for film and television work.[2]

Wilson made numerous appearances on Bewitched, playing "various" drunks. He also appeared on Tabitha and McHale's Navy. He also appeared on The Donna Reed Show, Hogan's Heroes, and The Bob Newhart Show.[2]

Wilson was quoted as saying, "I've done thirty-eight pictures and nobody remembers any of them, but they all remember me selling toilet paper." He made 504 commercials as Mr. Whipple, earning U.S. $300,000 annually and working only 12–16 days a year.[2][5]

In an interview with ABC News on 22 April 1983, he mentioned that the first series of commercials for Charmin toilet paper he appeared in were filmed in, appropriately enough, Flushing, New York City.[6] He described acting in commercials as "the hardest thing to do in the entire acting realm. You've got 24 seconds to introduce yourself, introduce the product, say something nice about it and get off gracefully."[7]


Wilson died 18 November 2007, at the Motion Picture and Television Hospital in Woodland Hills, California at the age of 91. He was survived by his wife, Meg; his children, stunt coordinator Stuart F. Wilson, Wendy, and actress Melanie Wilson; and five grandchildren. He was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills, in Los Angeles.[5]



  1. ^ Associated Press Obituary Archived 21 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b c d Foley, Doug (20 November 2007). "Corktown lad became TV's Mr. Whipple". The Hamilton Spectator. Archived from the original on 22 November 2007. Retrieved 21 November 2007.
  3. ^ "Henderson's Dick Wilson -- Mr. Whipple to you -- is still squeezably soft after all these years - Las Vegas Sun Newspaper". 31 August 1999.
  4. ^ "Dick Wilson: Character actor". 27 November 2007.
  5. ^ a b Gates, Anita. Dick Wilson, Squeezer of Tissue Rolls on Television, Dies at 91, The New York Times, 20 November 2007.
  6. ^ Video on YouTube
  7. ^ "Showtimes, reviews, trailers, news and more - MSN Movies". Movies.msn.com. Archived from the original on 4 April 2012. Retrieved 7 January 2018.

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