PAUL LYNDE (Uncle Arthur)
Broadway, film, and television audiences began their love Affair with Paul Lynde at the Number One Fifth Avenue, where he received his first break: He was a stand-up comedian. Then came Leonard Sillman's New Faces Of 1952 on Broadway (which also launched the careers of Lynde's Bewitched costars Alice Pearce and Alice Ghostley, as well as Eartha Kitt, Carol Lawrence, and others).A two-year TV run on The Ferry Come Show followed, as did Broadway and film versions of Bye Bye Birdie (1963), which featured Lynde's rousing rendition of the tune Kids.
Before his untimely death from a heart attack in January 1982, Paul appeared in summer stock stage productions of The Impossible Years, Don't Drink the Water, and Plaza Suite. He was in the 1954 movie version of New Faces (with Alice Ghostley), and in the films Send Me No Flowers (1964) and Rabbit Test (1978).
Besides bewitching the TV world as Uncle Arthur, Lynde graced the small screen on The Dean Martin Show, The Kraft Music Hall, The Donny and Marie Show, and daytime and primetime editions of the popular game show Hollywood Squares, where for years he occupied the center square (many times coguesting with Elizabeth Montgomery).
Lynde also starred in two series of his own: The Paul Lynde
Show and The New Temperature's Rising Show, both of which were produced by William Asher, who had directed him in the Beach Blanket Bingo feature of 1965 and, of course, Bewitched. The flamboyant performer made several stage appearances before and after his stint as Sam's warlock relation, in which he appeared with Elizabeth Montgomery's mother, Elizabeth Allen (Mother Is Engaged), and Alice Ghostley (Stop, Thief Stop).
With tongue in cheek, he handled his success well.
"I always had delusions of grandeur," the actor told an interviewer in 1974. "As far back as I can remember, I was obsessed with being rich and famous.
Lynde was born and raised in Mount Vernon, Ohio, and was a graduate of Northwestern University. He lived his formative years in the Mount Vernon jail, where his father was sheriff for a two-year elective term.
Paul dated his original urge to become an actor from the time he was four or five years old. Shortly after the birth of a younger brother, his mother took him to see the original version of Ben Hur in 1926.
As he said in 1974, "I was movie-struck then, and I am movie-struck now.
*Biography from "Bewitched Forever" by Herbie J. Pilato
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