Mr. Clean actor House Peters Jr. dead at 92
Published: 10/2/08, 7:25 AM EDT
By RAQUEL MARIA DILLON
LOS ANGELES (AP) - House Peters Jr., a TV actor who became the original Mr. Clean in Proctor & Gamble's commercials for household cleaners, died Wednesday. He was 92.
Peters died of pneumonia at the Motion Picture and Television Fund Hospital in Los Angeles, said his son, Jon Peters.
The elder Peters' most memorable role came as Mr. Clean - a muscular man with a bald head, a hoop earring and a no-nonsense attitude toward dirt and grime. From the late 1950s and into the early 1960s, Peters Jr. helped advertise the famous household cleaner with the trademark jingle, "Mr. Clean, Mr. Clean."
Peters Jr. played many supporting roles through his career, including working with Roy Rogers and Gene Autry on their television shows. He also appeared in "Perry Mason," "Gunsmoke," "The Twilight Zone" and "Lassie."
"He always played the heavy," Jon Peters said, referring to his father's customary roles as a villain or brawny character. "Even though he wasn't happy about being cast in those roles, he worked really hard at it."
His father's acting career spanned 1935-1967, according to his Web site. He also wrote an autobiography, "Another Side of Hollywood," in which he describes growing up the son of an actress and silent film actor in Beverly Hills. His father, Robert House Peters Sr., has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Peters Jr. was never a leading man, but played many character parts in cowboy movies and won a Golden Boot Award in 2000 for his lifetime contributions to the western genre, his son said.
Peters Jr. was born Jan. 12, 1916, in New Rochelle, N.Y., as Robert House Peters Jr. His son said Peters Jr. studied drama in high school and became inspired to pursue an acting career.
He also is survived by his wife, Lucy Pickett, a daughter, another son and four grandchildren.