Tom Poston (October 17, 1921 – April 30, 2007) was an American television and film actor. He starred on television in a career that began in 1950. He appeared as a comic actor, game show panelist, comedy/variety show host, film actor, television actor, and Broadway performer.
After a brief illness, Poston died on April 30, 2007 in Los Angeles, California, aged 85
** Tom Poston’s wife is Suzanne Pleshette, who passed away January 17, 2008.
Poston was born in Columbus, Ohio. After completing high school, Poston attended Bethany College in West Virginia, but did not graduate; Bethany College awarded him an honorary Doctor of Letters degree on September 13, 1990.
Instead, he joined the United States Army Air Corps in 1941 as a private . Accepted to officer candidate school and then graduating from flight training, Poston served as a pilot in the European Theater in World War II; his aircraft dropped paratroopers for the Normandy invasion. He was awarded the Air Medal with an Oak Leaf Cluster, representing a total of three Air Medals for his actions during the war.  Poston served in North Africa, Italy, France, and England, and reached the rank of captain . After his discharge, he began studying acting in New York City.
In the 1950s, Poston gained recognition as a comedic "Man in the Street" (along with his colleagues Louie Nye, Wally Cox and Don Knotts) on the Steve Allen Show. For these performances, Poston won the 1959 Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor (Continuing Character) in a Comedy Series. Following that, he appeared frequently on Broadway and as a television game show panelist, including regular appearances on To Tell the Truth and What’s My Line?. While Poston’s film career was limited to quirky comedies (such as William Castle’s "Zotz" and "The Old Dark House" in the 1960s), his television career was expansive, covering the better part of five decades, and saw him contributing his comedic talents in virtually every corner of the medium, from made-for-TV movies to variety shows to situation comedies to talk shows and even to voice-overs for cartoons.
Poston was a recurring guest star on The Bob Newhart Show in the 1970s. He later played the role of Franklin Delano Bickley on Mork & Mindy. A longtime friend of Bob Newhart, Poston played George Utley, bumbling country handyman of the Stratford Inn, on Newhart. He was nominated for an Emmy Award three times for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his performance on Newhart: in 1984, 1986, and 1987. He had a third role with Newhart in the short-lived Bob.
Poston also had regular roles on many other television series: Family Matters, Murphy Brown, Home Improvement, Cosby, Malcolm & Eddie, ER, Grace Under Fire, That ’70s Show, Will & Grace, and guest starred in an episode of The Simpsons as the Capital City Goofball. He also played Art Hibke on ABC’s Coach, for which he was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series in 1991.
In 2001, Poston married for the third time, to actress Suzanne Pleshette, who played the wife of Newhart’s character Bob Hartley on The Bob Newhart Show. Poston continued to appear in supporting roles in films, with two new ones released in 2004, Christmas with the Kranks and The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, and on several television programs. In 2005, he played the character "Clown" on the mercifully brief-lived NBC series Committed. They Might Be Giants mentions Poston as a writer for the New York Times in their song "Critic Intro". In 2006 Poston guest-starred on an episode of The Suite Life of Zack & Cody in the episode "Ah! Wilderness" as Merle.
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