Jesse White


Actor
Jesse White

About

Also Known As
Jesse Marc White, Jesse Weidenfield
Birth Place
Buffalo, New York, USA
Born
January 03, 1917
Died
January 09, 1997
Cause of Death
Cardiac Arrest Following Colon Cancer Surgery

Biography

Often remembered as one of the iconic Maytag Repairmen from the long-running ad campaign, Jesse White first took to the stage in an amateur production at 15. He eventually worked his way up from vaudeville and burlesque to legitimate theater, and by 1943, he was on Broadway as a brusque sanitarium orderly in the fantasy-infused drama "Harvey," which centers on a man whose best friend is ...

Family & Companions

Celia White
Wife
Survived him.

Biography

Often remembered as one of the iconic Maytag Repairmen from the long-running ad campaign, Jesse White first took to the stage in an amateur production at 15. He eventually worked his way up from vaudeville and burlesque to legitimate theater, and by 1943, he was on Broadway as a brusque sanitarium orderly in the fantasy-infused drama "Harvey," which centers on a man whose best friend is an invisible 6-foot-tall rabbit. When the hit play was adapted into a film seven years later, White reprised his role and worked opposite movie mega star James Stewart. Between the play and the film, White was now a recognizable talent in Hollywood, and he went on to appear in a string of films before breaking into television with a variety of one-off roles. White would ultimately appear in 160 TV and film productions over a career that spanned five decades, but it was his part as the perennially bored Maytag Repairman for which White became best known. White was offered the role of the unneeded Repairman after an ad exec saw his deadpan comedy bit as a monotone-speaking yet cantankerous janitor in the 1967 Don Knotts/Leslie Nielsen space program comedy "The Reluctant Astronaut." The next year White became the face of Maytag and went on to reprise the role of the loveable and lonely mascot in ads until 1988, after which he became a Maytag consultant. White worked steadily in TV and film until his death from a heart attack in 1997.

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Matinee (1993)
Monster in the Closet (1987)
The Cat From Outer Space (1978)
New Girl in Town (1977)
Nashville Girl (1976)
Return to Campus (1975)
Sports Announcer
Las Vegas Lady (1975)
Big Jake
The Brothers O'Toole (1973)
Harvey (1972)
Bless the Beasts & Children (1971)
Sid Shecker
The Reluctant Astronaut (1967)
Donelli
The Spirit Is Willing (1967)
Fess Dorple
The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini (1966)
J. Sinister Hulk
Dear Brigitte (1965)
Argyle
Pajama Party (1964)
J. Sinister Hulk
Looking for Love (1964)
Tiger Shay
A House Is Not a Home (1964)
Rafferty
The Yellow Canary (1963)
Editor Thornburg
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963)
Radio tower operator
It's Only Money (1962)
Pete Flint
Sail a Crooked Ship (1962)
McDonald
Three Blondes in His Life (1961)
Kelly
Tomboy and the Champ (1961)
Windy Skiles
The Right Approach (1961)
Brian Freer
On the Double (1961)
Cpl. Joseph Praeger
A Fever in the Blood (1961)
Mickey Beers
The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond (1960)
Leo Bremer
The Big Night (1960)
Wegg
Country Music Holiday (1958)
Sonny Moon
Marjorie Morningstar (1958)
Lou Michaelson
Designing Woman (1957)
Charlie Arneg
God Is My Partner (1957)
Louis "The Lump" Lumpkin
Johnny Trouble (1957)
Parsons
Back from Eternity (1956)
Pete Boswick
The Come On (1956)
J. J. McGonigle
The Bad Seed (1956)
Emory
He Laughed Last (1956)
Max Lassiter
The Girl Rush (1955)
Pit boss, Ludwig
Not As a Stranger (1955)
[Ben] Cosgrove
Witness to Murder (1954)
Eddie Vincent
Forever Female (1954)
Willie Wolfe
Hell's Half Acre (1954)
Tubby Otis
Champ for a Day (1953)
Willie Foltis
Gunsmoke (1953)
Professor
Million Dollar Mermaid (1952)
Doc Cronnol
The Girl in White (1952)
Alec
Death of a Salesman (1952)
Stanley
Bedtime For Bonzo (1951)
Babcock
Callaway Went Thataway (1951)
Georgie Markham
Francis Goes to the Races (1951)
Frank Daner
Katie Did It (1951)
Jim Dilloway
Guilty Bystander (1950)
Masher
Harvey (1950)
[Marvin] Wilson
Gentleman's Agreement (1948)
Elevator starter
Kiss of Death (1947)
Taxi driver

Cast (Special)

Night of 100 Stars III (1990)
Happy Birthday, Hollywood! (1987)
The Screen Actors Guild 50th Anniversary Celebration (1984)
The Plant Family (1978)
Homer and the Wacky Donut Machine (1976)
Mr Gabby
Of Thee I Sing (1972)
Matthew Fulton
George M! (1970)
E F Albee
Another Day, Another Dollar (1959)
John Burke
The Time Element (1958)
Bartender
The Marriage Broker (1957)
Doberman (Guest)

Life Events

1943

First role on Broadway

1944

Performed in Mary Chase's play "Harvey"

1950

Film acting debut in "Harvey"

1952

Starred in "Make Room for Daddy"

1970

Returned to Broadway in a revival of "Harvey" co-starring Helen Hayes and James Stewart

1993

Final film role in "Matinee"

1996

Last TV appearance on NBC series "Seinfeld"

Photo Collections

Harvey - Lobby Cards
Here are several Lobby Cards from Harvey (1950), starring James Stewart. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.

Videos

Movie Clip

Callaway Went Thataway (1951) - There Is No Smoky Callaway We’ve just met Fred MacMurray as TV ad-man Mike Frye, who introduces Dorothy McGuire as his partner, and through exposition we find out that the old movie singing cowboy they’ve turned into a TV star is missing, Jesse White as his old agent, in Callaway Went Thataway, 1951.
Back From Eternity (1956) - Blue Moon Girls Between segments of the South American airline journey, little Tommy (Jon Provost) rescued by nice Louise (Phyllis Kirk) but not vampy Rena (Anita Ekberg), who joins jaded pilot Bill (Robert Ryan), in John Farrow's Back From Eternity, 1956.
Harvey (1950) - This Person You Call Harvey Veda (Josephine Hull), with her brother Elwood (James Stewart, not seen) already hustled away by the sanitarium staff, explains to Dr. Sanderson (Charles Drake) why she’s having him committed, leading to substantial confusion, in Harvey, 1950, from the Mary Chase play.
Harvey (1950) - The Evening Wore On Orderly Wilson (Jesse White), Dr. Sanderson (Charles Drake) and nurse Kelly (Peggy Dow) have tracked Elwood (James Stewart) to the bar, convinced that he, and maybe his imaginary giant rabbit friend, had something to do with the disappearance of their boss Dr. Chumley, in Harvey, 1950.
Dear Brigitte (1965) - I Did Not Resign Again Jesse White is the kooky old steamboat captain in a Bay Area town, introducing leading man James Stewart as cantankerous professor Leaf, and Glynis Johns as his wife Vina, in the family novelty comedy featuring a French superstar, Dear Brigitte, 1965.
Bad Seed, The (1956) - Peanut Butter Sandwich Shocking news on the radio, mom Christine (Nancy Kelly) supported by friend Monica (Evelyn Varden), her brother (Jesse White) and writer Reggie (Gage Clarke), the child Rhoda (Patty McCormack) arriving home unfazed, in The Bad Seed, 1956, from Maxwell Anderson's play.
Johnny Trouble - I Like Boys Serene Mrs. Chandler (Ethel Barrymore) receives antsy Mr. Parsons (Jesse White), who's expecting her to move out, early in Warner Bros. Johnny Trouble, 1957.

Trailer

Family

Sid White
Brother
Survived him.
Al White
Brother
Survived him.
Carole Ita White
Daughter
Actor. Played Rosie Greenbaum on "Laverne & Shirley"; survived him.
Janet Jonas
Daughter
Survived him.

Companions

Celia White
Wife
Survived him.

Bibliography