Dick Maugg, Half of Bartles & Jaymes, Dies at 83

28 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Thank you for your support': Dick Maugg, famous for playing stony-faced silent one in ’80s Bartles & Jaymes commercials, dies at 83.

Dick Maugg, a building contractor known for his stone-faced role in the popular 1980s television commercials for Bartles & Jaymes wine coolers, has died. Maugg and his counterpart, a central Oregon farmer, were made famous as the celebrated duo Ed Jaymes and Frank Bartles in a series of classic spots that ran for seven years, endearing them to the public even as they made the E&J Gallo wine cooler a top seller. He never said a word, providing counterpoint to the fictional Bartles, a talkative, down-home huckster who started each 30-second spot with “Hello,” and ended them with “Thank you for your support.” Clad always in a button-down shirt and tie, with his too-large ball cap pulled low to his ears, Maugg’s sidekick character often displayed a certain distractedness, and seemed only mildly interested in the product. “They were really very funny, and much better than most of the advertising that was going on then,” said Maugg’s wife of 58 years, Barbara Maugg. “After they finished, a lot of advertising got better because of it, I think.” Long past his stint in advertising — an unintended bit of serendipity — Maugg remained busy in development well into his later years, until his health began to fail.

Riney, one of the most vaunted figures in his trade, had been a creator of the “Morning in America” commercials that helped cement Ronald Reagan’s reelection in 1984. Riney once told an interviewer that the teaming worked because “people seem to find humor when a fat person and a thin person are paired.” Richard Maugg was born in Longview, Wash., in 1931 and graduated in 1953 from the University of Washington.

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