Gordon Jump, Character Actor, Is Dead at 71

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24 Sep 2003

Gordon Jump, the endearing, round-faced character actor who played a string of muddled but lovable roles over a four-decade career, died at his Los Angeles area home on Sept. 22, Associated Press reported. He was 71.



Mr. Jump had pulmonary fibrosis.

The actor was primarily known for two television roles: Arthur Carlson, the befuddled, well-meaning radio station owner in the sitcom "WKRP in Cincinnati," and "Ol' Lonely," the Maytag repairman who waited in vain for a phone call through a string of iconic commercials.

During his long and prolific career, Mr. Jump seemingly appeared on nearly every popular television program, beginning with "Daniel Boone" in 1964 and "Get Smart" in 1965. Other guest appearances included "Green Acres," "The Brady Bunch," "Mannix," "The Patridge Family," "Love, American Style," "Mary Tyler Moore," "Streets of San Francisco," "Starsky and Hutch," "Kojak," "Alice," "The Bionic Woman," "McMillan and Wife," "The Rockford Files," "Lou Grant," "Good Times," "The Love Boat," "The Golden Girls," "Baywatch," "Growing Pains," "Soap" and "Seinfeld."

However, he was most identified with "WKRP," a surprise hit, which ran for four seasons from 1978 to 1982. The show was revived with Mr. Jump in 1991 as "The New WKRP in Cincinnati," but it failed to take off for a second time.

Mr. Jump also did stage work, including a production of Norman, Is That You? in Florida.

He is survived by his wife, Betty, four daughters and a son.