Paul Lynde

June 13th Celebrates Paul Lynde

Who remembers Uncle Arthur from the television show called, Bewitched?

Born on June 13th 1926, like so many other great comedians he left us way too soon. A noted character actor with a distinctively campy and sneaky persona that often poked fun at his barely in-the-closet homosexuality, Lynde was well known for his roles as Uncle Arthur on Bewitched and the befuddled father Harry MacAfee in Bye Bye Birdie.

He was also the regular “center square” guest on the game show Hollywood Squares from 1968 to 1981, and he voiced Templeton the gluttonous rat and The Hooded Claw in the Hanna-Barbera productions Charlotte’s Web and the Perils of Penelope Pitstop.

Today’s YouTube video clip today shared by user name ‘Toddlassila,’ reverting to the center square, is Paul Lynde on Hollywood Squares as he plays himself on his witty replies.

How did Paul Lynde become who is known today?

Paul Lynde was born in Mount Vernon, Ohio; he graduated from Mount Vernon High School in 1944, and then studied drama at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where his fellow students included Cloris Leachman, Charlotte Rae, Patricia Neal, Jeffrey Hunter and Claude Akins.

At Northwestern, he joined the Upsilon chapter of Phi Kappa Sigma and is listed amongst the most famous members of the fraternity. He graduated in 1948 and moved to New York City, where he initially worked as a stand-up comic.

Small role parts on other television shows from The Munster’s, to Bewitched, in 1966, Lynde debuted on the fledgling game show Hollywood Squares and quickly became its iconic guest star. Eventually he assumed a permanent spot as the “center square,” a move which ensured that he would be called upon by contestants at least once in almost every round.

Paul Lynde’s popularity and admiration of him have continued since his 1982 death. A biography was published in 2005, titled Center Square: The Paul Lynde Story. Authors Steve Wilson and Joe Florenski described Lynde as “Liberace without a piano” and that to most 1970s-era viewers, he was a frustrated bit player and “character actor on a daytime game show.” To the homosexual community, his reputation was less than stellar: “In some ways, he came to symbolize what’s perceived to be a self-loathing era for gay culture.”

In lieu of today’s story, Happy Birthday Uncle Arthur where ever you are!

Written & Designed by JD Mitchell

J.D Mitchell Design Studio

jdmitchelldesigns@gmail.com

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