Gordon Jump, of 'WKRP,' Maytag fame, dies

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

— Gordon Jump, who played a befuddled radio station manager on the sitcom "WKRP in Cincinnati" and made his mark in commercials as the lonely Maytag repairman, died Monday. He was 71.

Jump suffered from pulmonary fibrosis, said his cousin, Katherine Jump Wagner. The illness causes scarring of the air sacs of the lungs, leading to heart or respiratory failure.

Jump played Arthur Carlson in "WKRP in Cincinnati," which aired on CBS from 1978-82 and featured Gary Sandy, Loni Anderson, Tim Reid, Howard Hesseman and Richard Sanders as the ragtag station's crew.

A native of Dayton, Ohio, Jump began his career working at radio and TV stations in the Midwest. He worked behind the microphone and the camera, including jobs as a producer for Kansas and Ohio stations.

Jump portrayed the Maytag repairman "Ol' Lonely," a well-recognized advertising symbol, from 1989 until he retired in July.

Jump began his Hollywood career in 1963, appearing on series including "Daniel Boone," "Get Smart" and "The Partridge Family." His dramatic roles included a part in the TV movie "Ruby and Oswald," about the assassination of President Kennedy, and "Conquest of the Planet of the Apes."