Dick Wilson once 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." And Wilson should know – he was one of the most recognizable commercial actors of all time.
As Mr. Whipple, Wilson spent 24 years, from 1965 to 1989, begging us not to squeeze the Charmin. He was also a film actor – though his parts weren't huge, he appeared in a few dozen movies. But given the fact that he made more than 500 Charmin commercials, is it any surprise we remember him best as a pitchman?
It may not have been the role Dick Wilson dreamed of as a young actor, but it was lucrative. He earned $300,000 annually and worked only a few days a year… and he received a lifetime supply of Charmin as thanks for his work in making the commercials consumer favorites.
Wilson died five years ago today, but we still think of him whenever we can't resist squeezing the Charmin.
Written by Linnea Crowther