Bob NewhartComedian / Actor
Born: 5 September 1929
Birthplace: Oak Park, Illinois
Best known as: Deadpan star of the sitcom Newhart
Name at birth: George Robert Newhart
Bob Newhart is a comedian whose deadpan delivery and understated wit made him a top stand-up act in the 1960s and a TV star in the 1970s and '80s. His first comedy record, The Button-down Mind of Bob Newhart, was the top-selling comedy record of 1960 and earned Newhart three Grammy awards. Known especially for variations on one unique act -- a comical one-sided phone conversation -- Newhart became a frequent guest star on television variety shows, especially those of Dean Martin and Johnny Carson. In the 1970s he starred in The Bob Newhart Show (1972-78) as Bob Hartley, a Chicago psychologist. In the '80s he starred in Newhart (1982-90) as Dick Loudon, a Vermont innkeeper. In an era when crass was king, Newhart practiced clean and subtly subversive comedy and became one of television's biggest stars. He still tours and appears in TV shows and movies; he had high-profile parts in the movie Elf (2003, starring Will Ferrell) and in the TV shows ER (in 2003) and Desperate Housewives (in 2005, starring Teri Hatcher).
Extra credit: He is the voice of Bernard in Walt Disney's The Rescuers (1977)... Suzanne Pleshette played his wife in The Bob Newhart Show; Mary Frann played his wife in Newhart... The final episode of Newhart is considered a television classic: at the end of the episode, Newhart wakes in his old bed with his wife from The Bob Newhart Show, Suzanne Pleshette, and his entire run as a Vermont innkeeper on Newhart is explained away as a dream.
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