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Bob Newhart Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (2)  | Trade Mark (5)  | Trivia (47)  | Personal Quotes (32)

Overview (3)

Born in Oak Park, Illinois, USA
Birth NameGeorge Robert Newhart
Height 5' 7¾" (1.72 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Bob Newhart is an American actor and stand-up comedian. His comedic style involves deadpan delivery of dialogue, a slight stammer when talking, and comedic monologues. He has cited earlier comedians George Gobel (1919-1991), Ray Goulding (1920-1990), and Bob Elliott (1923-2016) as his main influences in developing his comedy style.

In 1929, Newhart was born in a hospital, located in Oak Park, Illinois. His parents were George David Newhart (1900-1985) and his wife Julia Pauline Burns (1900-1994). George was the son of an American father and a Canadian mother, and had both German and Irish ancestry. He claimed maternal descent from the O'Conor family of Connacht. Julia was an Irish-American. George had partial ownership in a plumbing and heating-supply business, which was the main source of income for the Newhart family.

Bob Newhart was raised in the vicinity Chicago, and attended a number of local Roman Catholic schools: first the St. Catherine of Siena Grammar School in Oak Park, then St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago. He graduated the prep school (equivalent to a high school) in 1947, and then enrolled at the Loyola University Chicago. He graduated in 1952, with a bachelor's degree in business management.

Shortly after graduating from the university, Newhart was drafted into the the United States Army. He served as a personnel manager for the Army during the Korean War (1950-1953). He was honorably discharged in 1954, during the post-war demobilization of the American armed forces. He attempted to continue his studies, and enrolled into the Loyola University Chicago School of Law. However he never completed his degree, quitting a required internship because his employer had demanded "unethical" behavior from him.

Newhart briefly worked as an accountant for the USG Corporation (United States Gypsum Corporation), a Chicago-based company which manufactures construction materials. He quit after regularly facing trouble in "adjusting petty cash imbalances". He then proceeded to work as a clerk for various employers, but found himself struggling financially.

In 1958, Newhart was hired as an advertising copywriter for a Chicago-based production company. To entertain himself, he started exchanging "long telephone calls about absurd scenarios" with a friendly co-worker. The 29-year-old Newhart had the idea to try his hand as a comedian, and developed a comedy routine based on the telephone calls. He recorded his routine into audition tapes, and send them to radio stations. His routine was met favorably. In 1959, Newhart started performing as a stand-up-comedian in nightclubs, and signed a contract with a new record company which was seeking to recruit some talent. The company was Warner Bros. Records (established in 1958), a subsidiary of the film studio Warner Bros.

Newhart became famous primarily through his audio releases. His comedy album "The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart" (1960) became the first comedy album to make number one on the Billboard charts, and earned him the 1961 Grammy Award for Best New Artist.

This success opened to him new career opportunities, in television and film. NBC offered him his own variety television show, the short-lived "The Bob Newhart Show" (October, 1961-June, 1962). The show won the 1962 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series, but was canceled anyway. It had won the award while facing four other candidates: "The Andy Griffith Show", "Car 54, Where Are You?", "Hazel", and "The Red Skelton Show". Each of them managed to outlast the award-winning show.

In 1962, Newhart made his film debut in the war film "Hell Is for Heroes". Newhart played the character James Driscoll, an Army company clerk who broadcasts misleading radio messages to the enemy limes during World War II. As essentially comic role in an otherwise dramatic film.

Newhart appeared frequently as a guest star in television over the subsequent years, but had relatively few film roles. He appeared in the caper story "Hot Millions" (1968), the reincarnation-themed fantasy film "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever" (1970), the war film "Catch-22" (1970), and the tobacco-smoking-themed satirical film "Cold Turkey" (1971).

From 1972 to 1978, Newhart starred in the hit sitcom "The Bob Newhart Show". He played the character Robert "Bob" Hartley, Ph.D. (Newhart), a Chicago psychologist who is surrounded by eccentric patients, work colleagues, friends, and family members. Hartley was effectively the "straight man" to the wacky characters surrounding him.

In 1977, Newhart voiced Bernard, the male lead in the animated film "The Rescuers" (1977). The film features the Rescue Aid Society, an international mouse organization, with its headquarters located in New York City. Bernard is not initially one of its members, but works as their janitor. When Miss Bianca, Hungary's representative in the organization, has to choose a partner for her first field mission, she impulsively chooses Bernard over the the other available agents. Part of the success of the film is based on the contrast between the two partners, the adventurous, brave, but rather impulsive Bianca, and the overly cautious, shy, and reluctant hero Bernard. "The Rescuers" earned worldwide gross rentals of 48 million dollars at the box office during its initial release, and had a total lifetime worldwide gross of 169 million dollars through subsequent re-releases.

In 1980, Newhart appeared in two live-action films, the comedy-drama "Little Miss Marker", and the political comedy "First Family". The first features Newhart as a member of a gangster-run gambling operation. The gangsters are surprised when a client uses his 6-year-old daughter as collateral for a bet, and and more surprised when the client commits suicide. The film deals with jaded criminals who develop parental feelings for the orphan girl. The other film was a more cynical comedy, with Newheart as an inept President of the United States. The main plot deals with the President tolerating the kidnapping of American citizens by a fictional African country, because the country offers some valuable resources in exchange for their new American slaves.

From 1982 to 1990, Newhart starred in a second hit sitcom, called simply "Newhart". He played the character Dick Loudon, a Vermon-based innkeeper who finds himself surrounded by strange employees, neighbors, and competitors. The show had a famous ending where the entire series is "revealed" to be a dream of Robert Hartley, Newhart's character from his first sitcom.

In 1990, Newhart returned to the role of Bernard, in the sequel film "The Rescuers Down Under". Early in the film, Bernard is preparing a marriage proposal for Miss Bianca, but his plans are derailed when they are both send to Australia for an urgent mission. The duo are partnered with Australian agent Jake, and Bernard is frustrated with when Jake competes with him for Bianca's affections. At the end of the mission, Berbard finally makes his marriage proposal, unwilling to let orders for further missions to interfere with his plans to marry the woman he loves. The film only earned 47.4 million dollars at the worldwide box office, and became Walt Disney Animation Studio's least successful theatrical animated film of the 1990s.

From 1992 to 1993, Newhart starred in his third sitcom, called simply "Bob". He played the character Bob McKay, a veteran comic book writer and artist from the 1950s. Having long retired into obscurity, McKay is hired by a corporation to produce a revival of his classic character, the superhero "Mad-Dog". The first season introduced a large cast of eccentric co-workers. The second season dismissed most of these characters, and had McKay serving as the President of a company producing greeting cards. The series suffered from low ratings, and was canceled at the end of its second season. Only 33 episodes were produced.

From 1997 to 1998, Newhart starred in his fourth sitcom "George & Leo". He played the character George Stoody, a bookstore owner who finds himself offering hospitality to a professional magician and part-time criminal, who recently robbed a Mafia-owned casino. The humor was based on the strong contrast between the two men, but the series failed to find an audience.

Newhart returned to theatrical films with the romantic comedy "In & Out" (1997). He had roles in the animated film "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie" (1998), the comedy "Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde" (2003), and the Christmas film "Elf" (2003) . From 2004 to 2008, Newhart played the major character Judson in three television films of "The Librarian" fantasy franchise. The franchise features a mystical library, which hides numerous magical and technological artifacts from various historical eras. A series of librarians have to guard the library and its contents from criminal organizations with sinister designs. Judson is the mentor who trains the current librarian, after the previous one was killed in action. The series hinted that Judson was older than he looked, and he was eventually revealed to be the original librarian. He was nearly immortal, and had trained succeeding librarians for centuries.

In 2011, Newhart played a small role in the black comedy "Horrible Bosses", playing the character of sadistic CEO Louis Sherman. Sherman is described as a "Twisted Old Fuck", who keeps people locked in his trunk.

In 2013, Newhart started playing the recurring character Arthur Jeffries (stage name "Professor Proton") in the sitcom "The Big Bang Theory" (2007-). Arthur was a scientist who decades ago served as the host of a science show aimed at children, inspiring series co-protagonists Leonard Hofstadter and Sheldon Cooper to start science careers of their own. Leonard and Sheldon, now professional physicists with academic careers, eventually get to meet their childhood idol. Arthur's scientific career ended in disgrace, his television days are long over, and he has been reduced to earning a meager living as a party entertainer.

The role of Arthur Jeffries won Newhart his first Primetime Emmy Award. The character dynamic between Arthur and Sheldon was popular, as Sheldon continued to idolize Arthur, while Arthur found his "student" to be insufferable. Following the character's physical death, Newhart has continued to appear in the series as Arthur Jeffries' ghost. He appears to Sheldon at various points to offer him advice, serving as a mentor figure. Sheldon views Arthur as his version of Obi-Wan Kenobi.

By 2018, Newhart was 89-years-old. Yet he continues tirelessly appearing in more television projects. And he continues to entertain new generations of fans.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Dimos I

Family (2)

Spouse Ginny Newhart (12 January 1963 - present)  (4 children)
Parents Newhart, George David
Newhart, Julia Pauline

Trade Mark (5)

Stammering delivery while he talks
Telephone monologues as part of his act
One-sided conversations
Calm, reasonable voice.
Downplaying his performances

Trivia (47)

Newhart insisted that there never be any children for his character to be the father of in each of his television series. "I told the creators I didn't want any children, because I didn't want it to be a show about 'How stupid Daddy is, but we love him so much, let's get him out of the trouble he's gotten himself into.'" In the sixth year of Newhart's CBS series, The Bob Newhart Show (1972), the writers wrote a script in which Emily Hartley was pregnant. When Newhart was asked his opinion of the script, he said, "It's very funny. Who are you going to get to play Bob?".
Prior to hitting his success on the comedy circuits in the 1960s, Bob worked as an accountant for a Chicago firm. He hated every minute of it.
His 1960 comedy album The Buttoned-Down Mind of Bob Newhart went to #1 on the charts, beating out Elvis Presley and The Sound of Music original Broadway cast album. The album won three Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year for 1960.
Father, with Ginny Newhart, of Robert William Newhart, Courtney Newhart, Timothy Tim Newhart and Jennifer Newhart.
He has a sister (Sister M. Joan Newhart) who is a nun.
His wife, Ginny Newhart, came up with the idea for Newhart: The Last Newhart (1990) (the last episode of Newhart (1982)), in which the entire 1982 series was all a dream of "Dr. Bob Hartley" of The Bob Newhart Show (1972).
Guest hosted The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962) 87 times.
Appeared on The Dean Martin Show (1965) 24 times.
Appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show" (a.k.a. The Ed Sullivan Show (1948)) 8 times.
Son-in-law of actor Bill Quinn.
Like Bill Cosby, Newhart has the ability to be funny without resorting to profanity. The closest Newhart comes is in his bit "The Driving Instructor," in which he comments, "...I don't suppose it is so damn funny".
He was awarded a Kennedy Centre Mark Twain Prize for comedy.
Nominated for a 2007 Grammy Award in the best spoken word album category for his album I Shouldn't Even Be Doing This!.
Every television series he starred in has his name in the title: The Bob Newhart Show (1961), The Bob Newhart Show (1972), Newhart (1982), Bob (1992), and George & Leo (1997) (George is his real first name, Robert is his middle name).
Was considered for the role of Andy Stone in Casino (1995).
His family surname was "Neuhardt" several generations back. His father was of half German and half Irish descent, and his mother was of Irish ancestry. His paternal grandmother was born in Canada, to Irish immigrants.
Good friend of Don Rickles.
Graduated from St. Ignatius College Preparatory School in Chicago, Illinois, in 1947.
His idols when he was young were Robert Benchley, Jack Benny and Fred Allen.
His parents were Julia Pauline (Burns), a housewife, and George David Newhart, a part-owner of a plumbing and heating-supply business.
Drafted in the U.S. Army and served stateside during Korean War until he was honorably discharged in 1954.
Graduated from Loyola University with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management.
Is the best and closest friend of the late Suzanne Pleshette, and spoke at her funeral, alongside another ex-The Bob Newhart Show (1972) co-star and best friend, Marcia Wallace, on 24 January 2008. Both Pleshette and Wallace co-starred in The Bob Newhart Show (1972) with him.
Before he was a successful comedian, he used to work as a delivery boy for a meat market.
Was a heavy smoker for years, until he was ordered by doctors to stop in 1985.
Was hospitalized with a nosebleed, followed by polycythemia, after all that smoking, but soon recovered. [3 September 1985].
Before he was a successful comedian, he had a lot of jobs from a pinspotter to an office boy in Downtown Chicago.
Lived with his parents until he was in his twenties.
Was stationed at Camp Roberts in San Luis, Obispo, California, in 1952.
Had released 10 comedy albums.
Before he was a successful comedian, he became an advertising copywriter for Fred A. Niles, a major independent film and television producer in Chicago.
Began his contract career as a comedian for Warner Bros. Records in 1959.
Uncle of Paul Brittain.
As a little boy, he always wanted to be called Bob, hence, he dropped his first two names George Robert to rechristen the name of Bob Newhart.
His former The Bob Newhart Show (1972) and Newhart (1982), co-stars, Marcia Wallace, Bill Daily, Tom Poston, William Sanderson, Julia Duffy and Peter Scolari, had all guest-starred on the same episode of George & Leo (1997) in 1997.
Best friend of Suzanne Pleshette from 1971-2008.
He attended the Sixth Army in San Francisco, California, after spending 22 winters in Chicago.
Best known by the public for his starring roles as Dr. Robert 'Bob' Hartley on The Bob Newhart Show (1972) and as Dick Loudin on Newhart (1982).
Was a fan of both shows: I Love Lucy (1951) and The Milton Berle Show (1966).
Attended the funeral of Bill Bixby in 1993.
As he (born 1929) got older, his sitcom wives got successively younger. In The Bob Newhart Show (1972), Suzanne Pleshette (born 1937) was eight years younger. In Newhart, Mary Frann (born 1943) was fourteen years younger. And in Bob (1992), Carlene Watkins (born 1952) was twenty-three years younger.
Acting mentor and friends of Julia Duffy and Peter Scolari.
Made several appearances as Professor Proton in Big Bang Theory season 7.
Received his first Emmy nomination in 1962. He did not win until 2014, 52 years later, for playing Arthur "Professor Proton" Jeffries in The Big Bang Theory (2007) episode The Big Bang Theory: The Proton Displacement (2013).
In the game World of Warcraft, the character of Robert Newhearth, an NPC curator of library books in the city of Dalaran, is based visually on the character of Judson in "The Librarians".
Co owns a Hollywood restaurant with comedian Dustin Hoffman.

Personal Quotes (32)

Laughter gives us distance. It allows us to step back from an event, deal with it and then move on.
Women are more emotional. They do get flustered. Which is not to say that men are better than they. It's simply the way it is.
[on quitting The Bob Newhart Show (1972) at the end of the fifth season, before CBS wouldn't allow him to do that]: This is no ploy, no device for negotiation. I am absolutely sincere about leaving the series at the end of production this year and CBS has been notified.
[Who made his reputation and fortune as a monologist]: I like the humor to come out of character. When you're going for a joke, you're stuck out there if it doesn't work. There's nowhere to go. You've done the drum role and the cymbal clash and you're out on the end of the plank.
[In 1972]: The reason I'm a psychologist is based in part on my telephone routines. Much of my humor comes out of reaction to what other people are saying. A psychologist is a man who listens, who is sympathetic.
[In 1973]: I've been told to speed up my delivery when I perform. But if I lose the stammer, I'm just another slightly amusing accountant.
[Referring to his 1961 variety show]: It won an Emmy, a Peabody Award and a pink slip from NBC. All in the same year.
[In 1976]: As far as gambling, just ask any of the dealers in the Las Vegas casinos and they'll tell you that woman can't play blackjack. They can't add up the cards fast enough.
[In 1979]: Television series are like the stock market. There's room for bears and bulls but no room for pigs. If we'd tried to milk another year out of the series, we'd have wound up with a pig.
It worked for Jack Benny. He certainly had the secret for career longevity: surround yourself with funny people. I guess I'll just never learn to live like a star. Jack Lord was born that way; I just can't get the hang of it.
[on the cancellation of The Bob Newhart Show (1972)]: I could see what was coming in situation comedy and I didn't want to be a part of it. If we'd gone another year, they'd have had a guy and two girls living in the apartment above us, a Martian living on the same floor next door to three girl detectives. The floor below us would have been occupied by a fraternity and a sorority.
[on the cancellation of Newhart (1982)]: I don't have a show anymore. I don't have a check coming in every week. This is important to me, I got to score a million tonight or it could all be over.
You may not think I'm a sex symbol, but I became a father at the age of 48. Now young people think of me as a mini-folk hero because it's difficult for them to believe a man of my age is sexually active.
[on his popularity while playing the forty-something Dr. Robert Hartley on The Bob Newhart Show]: I really don't know what makes a comedian. I think it's a family background and environment. Yet if you put the same ingredients in another person, he may never utter a funny line.
[In 1974]: There are a lot of questions I keep asking myself about why I do comedy. I guess I laugh to keep from crying. And I guess if you ever get me crying, I might not stop. This is the way I look at tragedy or else I'll cry.
[In 1975]: I remember once when I emceed 'The Tonight Show' in New York, I arrived with my manager's son. After a while, they asked, 'When are the rest of your people coming?' I had to say, 'This is it.'
[When asked about the death of his former co-star and best friend, Suzanne Pleshette, in 2008]: Her laugh. Her laugh. We just left, we just had a great time. We all loved each other and respected each other and we got paid for it.
[In 1980]: You must realize that I'm supposed to run a marathon in this picture. That's more than 26 miles.
[In 1982]: But I wanted to do something different. Sometimes you have to get away from something to appreciate it. It's like getting out of the Army. It's all laughs now but when I was in the Army, I was never so glad to get away from something. They had the wrong serial number on my discharge papers. I was afraid to tell them, afraid they'd hold me up.
[on playing another character that was not Dr. Bob Hartley]: I think you're lucky when you realize what you are. Spencer Tracy always played Spencer Tracy. I'm not putting myself into that category, but, to the same extent, the part of me that was Bob Hartley is in my new character, Dick Loudon. If you make fine bone china and you're recognized as the best in the world, you don't suddenly announce you're going to make automobiles. We see it so much in this business. We're so self-destructive. If you really do something well, you should stick to it.
[on turning 60 in 1989]: I don't worry about it. I still feel 30, except when I try to run. But it goes by so damn fast. We lost a very dear friend recently. And all I can say about life is, 'Oh, God, enjoy it.'
[Of all the ingredients of Newhart (1982)]: It started coming together last year when I was performing at an old, refurbished vaudeville theater in Seattle and staying at a small hotel of the same era nearby. I'd sit in the lobby for several days watching people walk in and out; salesmen, newlyweds, Shriners, etc., plus the people who lived and worked there permanently fascinated me. When I got back to L.A., I discussed it with my manager, Artie Price - who also heads MTM - and he put me in touch with Barry Kemp, who had done great writing on 'Taxi'. He came back a few weeks later and asked what I thought of setting the show at a historic inn in Vermont, then put it down on paper. The words jumped off the page and I couldn't wait to shoot it.
[As to why The Bob Newhart Show (1972) got canceled]: Because Bob Newhart didn't want to do it anymore. I said so the previous year, but nobody believed me. I'd had it. I felt burned out. It was more mental than anything. I kept saying, 'Didn't we do the same show in the second season?'
[In 1983]: Am I shy? Yeah, I guess you could say that. I see myself in my son, Timmy, who is 15. Rob, my older boy, is 19, and he is normal, outgoing teenager. But Timmy is quiet, the way I was growing up. I used to be able to amuse myself. I'd sit alone and think of things that would make me laugh.
[In 1986]: Look at what we have now. We've got Bill Cosby and 'Moonlighting,' and who knows, maybe 'Newhart' helped start it all.
[When he came this close to quitting Newhart (1982), after 4 seasons]: I thought I was finished. Even dramatic shows were exemplified by kid stuff like 'Wonder Woman'. I thought to myself that with this kind of junk aimed at the 12-year-old audience, how could there be a place for me?
[on his popularity while playing the fifty-something Dick Loudon on Newhart]: Our series was the perfect example of how much fun episodic television can be. We've had a wonderful cast, great writers and the spirit of family which made coming to work a pleasure.
[In 1988]: I check to see what jokes we left out and what works and what doesn't.
[In 1989]: My theory is, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I tried to capitalized on the values that made the show work. I have to be nice to my guests at the hotel, as I had to do with my patients, even when they're bugging me. And the home-life part seemed to work. I don't want ever to ride the show into the ground. It has been good to me.
The fact they're not there anymore is not a reflection on the actors. It's just that viewers didn't like it. You went, 'What the hell was that?'
I am also huddling with creative advisers and studying the possibility of calling it The.
[When asked to star in The Bob Newhart Show (1972)]: My manager, I was surprised was one of the founders of MTM Enterprises, by Mary Tyler Moore and Grant Tinker, and Mary's show was such a big hit. He came to me and said, 'Would you like to do a sitcom?' I was traveling on the road a lot, so, the sitcom I could stay home, and said, "Yeah!"

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