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Bob Newhart Breaks His Silence After Losing His Wife

Bob Newhart is an icon of comedy and acting, with a career that has spanned decades. Sadly, his marriage, which had been equally has long, has come to an end, with the death of his long time love, Ginnie Newhart. Ginnie passed away in April of 2023, leaving Bob devastated. In this video, we’re taking a look at their life together, as well as the other challenges in Bob’s long career. So stick around, as Facts Verse presents: Bob Newhart Breaks His Silence After Losing His Wife

Fans of legendary comedian and actor Bob Newhart saddened to learn about the passing of his wife, Ginnie Newhart, on April 23, 2023. She died in the Newhart home in Century City, California, at the age of 82, after fighting a long illness. Bob and Ginnie had together for decades, having recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

Their Marriage

Bob and Ginnie actually met on a blind date. It concocted by fellow comedian Buddy Hackett, because at the time, Ginnie hired on as a babysitter for his children. According to Ginnie, Buddy arrived home one day and told her that Bob Newhart was an up and coming comedian, and that he was Catholic, like her. As such, Buddy joked, the two should probably married. But while that might have been a tongue in cheek remark by Hackett, it ended up being an accurate prediction.

The two met up at Hackett’s house for the first time, playing pool and generally being silly around each other. Ginnie recalled that, for some reason that day, whenever someone sent a poll ball into one of the pockets on the table. The two of them would run around the table singing the song “‘Bridge on the River Kwai.” Interestingly enough, the two didn’t start dating then. They even lost touch for several years. But they managed to get back in touch, and started dating. Eventually, Bob popped the question, and they married January 12, 1963.

When Buddy introduced them, he also made the prediction that they would have children and that they’d name one of them ‘Buddy’. While he was right about them getting married, Newhart and Quinn ended up naming their four children Robert, Timothy, Jennifer, and Courtney.

Newhart told CBS that the key to he and his wife’s successful marriage was laughter. In his words, ‘there’s something about laughter’ that correlates to ‘the longevity of a marriage. While Ginnie didn’t have the career that Bob did, or her father did (He was legendary character actor Bill Quinn) she did make occasional appearances on TV alongside Bob. She’d sometimes appear as a background actor on his shows. And she participated in celebrity games shows like Tattletales and Super Password with him as well.

Ginnie’s Legendary Idea

Ginnie was famous for having conceived of the idea for the ending of the show Newhart. The idea came to her while at a Christmas party, where she was talking to actress Suzanne Pleshette. Pleshette had played Bob’s wife in his first hit series, The Bob Newhart Show. Bob played a psychologist opposite Pleshette. Then came the show, Newhart. In that one, Bob played an innkeeper in Vermont, and his wife played by actress Mary Frann.

As the story goes, they were struggling to figure out how to end the series. But when Ginnine saw Pleshette at that Christmas party, a though occurred to her: They should have the final episode of Newhart show Bob waking up in bed with Pleshette, and treat the entire series of Newhart as if it had been a dream by the character in The Bob Newhart Show. The results were a total surprise to viewers. And it left a lasting impression on them, not to mention TV history.

A Tribute to Ginnie

Bob Newhart, in a tweet posted via his publicist, mourned the loss of his beloved wife. The tweet read, “We lost our beloved Ginnie Quinn Newhart – Wife, Mother and Grandmother on April 23rd, 2023 after a long battle with illness. She was our rock and we miss her terribly.” No doubt Bob is leaning on family and friends to help him through the rocky times he’s going through. He’ll also be able to look fondly back on 60 years of marriage with Ginnie.

The Newharts and the Rickles

Although the two men had very different comedic styles, one of Newhart’s closest friends was Don Rickles. The legendary comic known for his scathingly hilarious insults. Newhart and Rickles would travel together and whenever Rickles thought that he had offended anybody in the audience he would accordingly to Newhart feel pretty awful. The two comedians remained fairly close over the years. They would even attend each other’s family vacations and tours together. Even though Rickles offended Ginnie the first time that they met. While at the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas, Bob and Ginnie sat in the front row to watch Don perform.

Although Newhart warned his wife about Rickles’s reputation for harsh jabs, she apparently not prepared enough when Rickles proclaimed that the ‘stammering idiot from Chicago’ was ‘in the audience with his hooker wife from New Jersey’. Despite that pretty awkward moment, Newhart always knew that Rickles was a good guy at heart, so when Rickles died in 2017, Newhart honored his friend’s memory by sharing with The Hollywood Reporter that the comedian ‘didn’t have a mean bone in his body’ and that it in fact an honor honor to picked on by him.

Newhart’s Pre-Comedy Years

Despite his long and storied career, Newhart did not find success in comedy right out of the gate. He actually started out in accounting and advertising. He and his co-worker Ed Gallagher used to pass the hours by taping comedy scenes that they sent to radio stations all across the country hoping to catch someone’s attention. They would do these improv comedy routines sometimes over the phone. Gallagher would interview him and play the ‘straight’ guy. It was essentially a budget version of Bob and Ray. Then one day, Gallagher suggested that they try to sell their bits to radio stations. The two men would have to wait until everybody went home so that they could secretly use the company’s recording equipment.

They recorded four or five routines then sent them out to more than a hundred radio stations. Turns out, Newhart a pretty lousy accountant because he and Gallagher spending more on postage than they were getting paid for the material. But that didn’t matter all that much, because what they were after was exposure. Newhart finally got lucky when he was almost 30 when Warner Bros. Records offered him a contract which he eagerly signed, of course.

Newhart Was In The Military During The Korean War

After graduating from college, Newhart drafted into the Army during the Korean war. He had an uncanny ability to talk his way out of being sent overseas and traveled around bases on the West Coast instead. In 2005, Bob gave an interview to Today where he shared how he used to drive around LA with his buddies while stationed in California. They would drive west on Sunset Boulevard while looking at all the big houses and wonder who was living there.

But of course, one day he was one of them. His stint in the Army was the inspiration for one of his first comedy routines, ‘The Cruise of the USS Codfish’ which he later performed on The Sullivan Show.

The act poked fun at how inefficient such a large organization like the Navy could be, showing that even a bumbling fool like his character could promoted through its ranks. He later revisited his Army years when portraying Major Major in’Catch-22′ which provided audiences with another unflattering glimpse into some of the Army’s deficiencies. So stick around, as Facts Verse presents: Bob Newhart Breaks His Silence After Losing His Wife.

Bob’s Failing Health

In the tabloid, The Globe, an article published in late 2020, speculating that Bob at death’s door. They reported that he was looking gaunt and incredibly frail to begin with, but that he was also still performing. The unnamed sources in the piece, as tends to be the case with tabloid journalism, said that Bob’s refusal to stop performing was essentially killing him. Though it should also argued that being in ones 90’s is likely what’s really killing a person. The article talked about how when Bob is on stage, it looks as if he might topple over at any time during his performances. The article also said that people in Newhart’s circle worried that he’d have issues with polycythemia rubra, a form of bone marrow cancer.

He’d been diagnosed with it in 1985, and at that point he had to be hospitalized. But again, this seems to be more speculation than fact, since he not only has survived that health issue for almost 40 years, but also it’s coming from a tabloid. One guess that might be accurate is that Bob still feels the effects of the losses of the people around him. While the article was published before Ginnie’s death, it did mention the deaths of some of Bob’s closest people, including Mike Connors, Tim Conway, and Don Rickles. These actors and comedians were close friends of Bob’s, and he no doubt feels the sting from their deaths as he inches closer to his own.

Hopefully Bob can rely on the support of those around him as he deals with the loss of his wife. Ginnie will be remembered fondly by all who knew her, and we wish the Newharts the best.

Now it’s time to hear from you. Did you know that Bob and Ginnine Newhart were married for 60 years before her recent passing? And did you know that she came up with the legendary ending for the show, Newhart? Let us know in the comments section below!

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