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October 21, 2014

Laugh-In's Henry Gibson dead at 73

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 17th 2009 2:00AM
Henry GibsonFor some reason I thought that Henry Gibson was a lot older than 73, but the character actor with the huge resume passed away from cancer at that age yesterday in Malibu.

One of the more famous TV credits on that resume was Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, the influential 60s comedy show that no one under 30 has ever seen. He also appeared in shows like Bewitched, The Beverly Hillbillies, Deep Space Nine, Coach, MacGyver, Evening Shade, Sisters, Newhart, Magnum, P.I., and Simon and Simon.

More recently, TV fans know him from his many appearances as a judge on Boston Legal and his voice work on King of the Hill (he played Bob Jenkins). He was also in several movies, including Magnolia (he played Thurston Howell???), The Nutty Professor, Nashville, The Blues Brothers, Wedding Crashers, and a ton of others.

One of my favorite Gibson roles was as Sally's date in the "Talk to the Snail" episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show. Rob thought he had to fire one of the writers and was sad about it, so Gibson's character read this poem (later used on Laugh-In and Nashville):

KEEP A-GOIN'

If you strike a thorn or rose,

Keep a-goin'!

If it hails, or if it snows

Keep a-goin'!

Taint no use to sit and whine

When the fish ain't on your line;

Bait your hook an' keep a-tryin'

Keep a-goin'!

Here's the whole poem. RIP Henry.

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