“Hello, Sammy!” I absolutely loved when Paul Lynde would show up unannounced on “Bewitched” and utter those words to Samantha Stevens. (Be still my beating heart. Ahhh Liz Montgomery) Uncle Arthur was a great character portrayed by a great character actor. Paul Lynde worked his way into america’s heart through Hollywood Squares where he was the best “center square” in history. His quips and quotes from the night before were passed along at the watercoolers across the country everyday at work. My personal favorite…
Peter Marshall: “Paul, is it true that there is a musical bra?”
Paul Lynde: “The hills are alive!…” (Sung to the Sound of Music tune)
But did you know that the handsome, flamboyant comedian/actor was once a heavy set guy from Ohio who struggled with self-confidence? I watched a special on Paul Lynde recently and was blown away when I saw the images of him when he had a serious weight problem. (Check it out HERE) I dont think its a shock to anyone that Paul was gay but in those days it just wasn’t as accepted so he had to live with that demon as well.
When you watch the special I linked you to in the last paragraph you’ll here the story of how one night Paul and his partner were out partying when his partner, intoxicated, decided to hang out of their hotel window as a goof. He slipped and Paul watched him fall to his death.
Obviously he had a lot to process. Paul Lynde had a difficult personal life. Some say his alcoholism held him back while others talked of his quirky hang ups like when he would buy a new home and decorated it he wouldn’t allow folks to come inside during his housewarming party.
But all that aside….I loved the guy. Whether he was the voice of Templeton the rat in the animated Charlotte’s Web or Uncle Arthur…he was hilarious. One of the best.
Paul Lynde left us suddenly on January 10th 1982 5 months shy of his 56th birthday. He died of a heart attack. But we will never forget him.