Jump, Ex-Maytag Repairman, Dies at 71

CHICAGO Former Maytag Repairman Gordon Jump died Monday at his home. He was 71.

Jump, who was also known for his role as the station manager on the sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati, played the iconic lonely repairman for 14 years. After being only the second man to play the role in the character’s 36-year history, Jump in July was succeeded by veteran character actor Hardy Rawls. Rawls is expected to appear in advertising from agency Leo Burnett in early 2004.

“While millions of Americans came to know him through Maytag commercials as Ol’ Lonely, the dependable Maytag Repairman, the employees of Maytag Corporation also knew him as a friend and colleague,” said Maytag appliances president Bill Beer in a statement. “He was a true icon, and embodied everything Maytag has ever stood for. We will miss him dearly.”

Jump is survived by his wife Betty; four daughters, Cindy, Kiva, Maggi Jo and Laura; and a son Chris.