LOS ANGELES – Tom Poston, the tall, pasty-faced comic who found fame and fortune playing a clueless everyman on such hit television shows as "Newhart" and "Mork and Mindy," has died. He was 85.
Poston, who was married to Suzanne Pleshette of "The Bob Newhart Show," died Monday night at home after a brief illness, a family representative, Tanner Gibson, said Tuesday. The nature of his illness was not disclosed.
Poston's run as a comic bumbler began in the mid-1950s with "The Steve Allen Show" after Allen plucked the character actor from the Broadway stage to join an ensemble of eccentrics he would conduct "man in the street" interviews with.
Don Knotts was the shaky Mr. Morrison, Louis Nye was the suave, overconfident Gordon Hathaway and Poston's character was so unnerved by the television cameras that he couldn't remember who he was. He won an Emmy playing "The Man Who Can't Remember His Name."
But when Allen moved the show from New York to Los Angeles in 1959, Poston stayed behind.
"Hollywood's not for me right now; I'm a Broadway cat," he told a reporter at the time.
When he did finally move west, he quickly began appearing in variety shows, sitcoms and films.