b. Paul Edward Lynde, 13 June 1926, Mount Vernon, Ohio, USA, d. 10 January 1982, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA. Starting out in New York as a stand-up comic with an outrageous line in thinly disguised sexual double entendres, Lynde appeared on Broadway in New Faces Of 1952, also appearing in the 1954 film of the show, and some of his sketches were used in the 1956 and 1962 editions of the show. He sang ‘Hymn To A Sunday Evening’ in the Broadway show Bye Bye Birdie (1960), displaying a middle American’s yen to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show. Lynde played in summer stock productions of The Impossible Years, Don’t Drink The Water, and Plaza Suite. In the early 60s he made some films, including Son Of Flubber (1960), Bye Bye Birdie and Under The Yum Yum Tree (both 1963), Send Me No Flowers (1964) and The Glass Bottom Boat (1966), the latter pair with Doris Day. In 1969 he dubbed voices for the animated television series The Cattanooga Cats and had similar tasks for the films Charlotte’s Web (1973), Journey Back To Oz (1974) and Hugo The Hippo (1976).
On television he was often on The Perry Como Show (1948), and thereafter appeared in episodes of The Red Buttons Show (1952), Bilko (1958/9), The Andy Williams Show (1962), Burke’s Law (1963-65), The Munsters (1964/5), The Jack Benny Show (1964), Bewitched (1965-71), I Dream Of Jeannie (1966-68), Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In (1972) and The Dean Martin Show (1972). Additionally, from 1966-79 he was a panellist on The Hollywood Squares. He had his own show, The Paul Lynde Show (1972), a leading role as Dr. Paul Mercy in Temperatures Rising (1972-74), and made single appearances in scores of other television shows. He also hosted The Paul Lynde Halloween Special (1976) and Paul Lynde At The Movies (1979). Although frequently outrageously camp in manner and dress, society’s attitudes during the era of Lynde’s popularity meant that his sexual proclivities were not openly known. Following years of heavy drinking and substance abuse, he suffered a heart attack and was found dead at his home.