I represent the first generation who, when we were born, the television was now a permanent fixture in our homes. When I was born people had breakfast with Barbara Walters, dinner with Walter Cronkite, and slept with Johnny Carson.
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Friday, August 19, 2016
John A. "Jack" Riley Jr. December 30, 1935 - August 19, 2016
Jack Riley, died of pneumonia and infection today in Los Angeles. He was 80.
Riley became a popular radio personality in Cleveland, along with his radio partner and "straight man" Jeff Baxter;The Baxter and Riley ShowonWERE (1300 AM)featured not only music but comedy sketches and a slew of offbeat characters which Riley and Baxter voiced.
The show expanded for a time to local television on WEWS.
Riley gave up the radio show in the mid 1960s and moved to Los Angeles, where his friend Tim Conway helped him receive work writing comedy sketches, which later led to acting opportunities.
On May 18, 1975, he married Ginger Lawrence. They have two children.Riley was first a semi-regular in the cast of the 1960s sitcomOccasional Wife, a short-lived show on NBC in which he played Wally Frick, although, and perhaps, his greatest fame came in the character of Elliot Carlin, the neurotic, sour and selfish patient onThe Bob Newhart Show.
He soon became one of the busiest guest stars on television in the 1970s and '80s.
In 1973, he was cast as Gomez Addams in The Addams Family Fun-House, then in 1979, he starred in ABC's holiday telefilm The Halloween That Almost Wasn't (aka The Night Dracula Saved The World) as Warren the Werewolf (Wolf Man) of Budapest.
In 1985, he reprised his Bob Newhart Show role of Elliot Carlin on St. Elsewhere.
Riley has also been a ubiquitous voice in television and radio commercials, most notably in spots for Country Crock margarine. He also voiced the character "P.C. Modem, the computer genius" in radio commercials for CompUSA which aired in the 1990s, and the character Stu Pickles in Rugrats and All Grown Up!.