Poston, Tom 1921-2007 (Thomas Gordon Poston)

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Poston, Tom 1921-2007 (Thomas Gordon Poston)


Born October 17, 1921, in Columbus, OH; died after a brief illness, April 30, 2007, in Los Angeles, CA. Actor. Always preferring to be in the supporting role rather than the lead actor, Poston made a career out of playing the lovable yet bumbling everyman who kept the audience laughing. After studying briefly at Bethany College in West Virginia, Poston enlisted as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force in 1941 during World War II and upon discharge enrolled in acting classes in New York City. He began his professional acting career in 1947 with a small part in the Broadway production of Cyrano de Bergerac. Poston's early career was as a dramatic actor, and he appeared in productions of The Barretts of Wimpole Street and King Lear. Poston was soon named host of the television programs Entertainment and Split Personality and also appeared as a regular on the quiz show To Tell the Truth. Comedian Steve Allen took notice and invited Poston to audition for The Steve Allen Show. Poston stayed with the show from 1956 until 1959, winning an Emmy Award in 1959 for best supporting actor in a comedy series. Poston continued to find work in film, television, and on the stage, always preferring to be the supporting actor. Poston was a recurring guest star on The Bob Newhart Show in the 1970s and joined the cast of Mork & Mindy in 1979. It was playing country handyman George Utley from 1982 until 1990 in the television program Newhart that won Poston legions of fans and three Emmy Award nominations. After leaving the acclaimed Newhart, Poston continued to be in steady demand as a guest actor, appearing in television programs such as Family Matters, Murphy Brown, Home Improvement, Cosby, ER, Will & Grace, and The Suite Life of Cody & Zach. Poston was married three times, and his third wife was actress Suzanne Pleshette, his costar from The Bob Newhart Show.


Variety, May 7, 2007.