Tom Poston - Rotten Tomatoes

Tom Poston



Though many casual observers perceive that comic actor Tom Poston was "discovered" by Steve Allen in 1956, Poston had in fact been a performer long before Allen ever set foot on a stage. At age 9, Poston was a member of the Flying Zebleys, an acrobatic troupe. After Air Force service in World War II, he began his formal acting training at the AADA. Poston made his "legit" New York stage debut in Jose Ferrer's Cyrano de Bergerac (1947). With several years of stage work under his belt, Poston was engaged to host the local New York TV variety series Entertainment (1955), and it was this effort that brought him to the attention of Steve Allen. The story goes that Poston was so flustered at his audition for Allen's TV variety series that he forgot his own name when asked. From 1956 through 1960, Poston was seen along with Louis Nye and Don Knotts as a member of the Allen stock company; appropriately, he was most often cast as a "man on the street" interviewee who could never remember his name. Poston won an Emmy for his work on Allen's show in 1959, and that same year hosted the weekday TV game show Split Personality; this gig led to a long tenure as a guest panelist on other quiz programs. In films from 1953, Poston starred in a pair of offbeat William Castle-directed comedies, Zotz (1962) and The Old Dark House (1963). Poston's TV sitcom credits include such roles as prison guard Sullivan on On the Rocks (1975), absentminded Damon Jerome on We've Got Each Other (1977), cantankerous neighbor Franklin Delano Bickley on Mork and Mindy and Ringo Crowley on Good Grief (1990). In 1982, Poston beat out Jerry Van Dyke for his most famous prime-time TV role: caretaker George Utley on Newhart. Poston died at age 85 in April 2007, of undisclosed causes. Until the time of his death, he was married to Suzanne Pleshette of The Bob Newhart Show.

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
5% Christmas With the Kranks
  • Father Zabriskie
2004
25% The Princess Diaries 2 - Royal Engagement
  • Lord Palimore
2004
28% The Story of Us
  • Harry
1999
14% Krippendorf's Tribe
  • Gordon Harding
1998
No Score Yet Television: The First Fifty Years
  • Actor
1998
No Score Yet A Perfect Little Murder
  • Corman
1990
No Score Yet Murphy's Laws of Golf
  • Actor
1989
No Score Yet Carbon Copy
  • Rev. Hayworth
1981
No Score Yet Up the Academy
  • Sisson
1980
No Score Yet Rabbit Test
  • Minister
1978
No Score Yet Guide for the Married Woman
  • Actor
1978
No Score Yet The Magnificent Magical Magnet of Santa Mesa, (The Adventures of Freddy)
  • Actor
1977
No Score Yet The Happy Hooker Goes to Washington
  • J. Arthur Conrad
1977
40% Cold Turkey
  • Mr. Stopworth
1971
No Score Yet Gentle Ben, V. 1
  • Actor
1968
No Score Yet The Old Dark House
  • Tom Penderel
1963
No Score Yet Soldier in the Rain
  • Lt. Magee
1963
No Score Yet Zotz!
  • Prof. Jonathan Jones
1962
No Score Yet City That Never Sleeps
  • Detective
1953
No Score Yet Westinghouse Studio One - "Coriolanus"
  • Actor
1951
No Score Yet Westinghouse Studio One - "No Tears For Hilda"
  • Actor
1951
No Score Yet Newhart - Special Christmas Edition
  • Actor
No Score Yet Newhart - V. 2
  • Actor

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT
No Score Yet ER
1994-2009
  • Earl
No Score Yet The Simpsons
1989
  • Voice
Grace Under Fire
1993-1998
  • Floyd Norton
No Score Yet CHiPs
1977-1983
  • Bill Conner
No Score Yet Will & Grace
1998-2006
  • Norman

Quotes from Tom Poston's Characters

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