Bill Wendell, veteran radio and TV announcer perhaps best known for his “Late Night” introduction of “Da-a-avid Letterman!” died April 14 of complications from cancer at a hospice in Boca Raton, Fla. He was 75.
Wendell announced the lineup of guests and the opening joke that was part of the distinctive introduction of Letterman’s name on NBC’s “Late Night.” He stayed with Letterman when the comedian moved to CBS in 1993, but retired from the program in 1995.
The native New Yorker and World War II Army veteran began his radio career in the late 1940s playing the sidekick to stars including Jack Benny, Bob Hope and Ernie Kovacs.
He studied announcing and English at Fordham U. and graduated with a degree in speech before joining the DuMont television network in the early 1950s.
His TV career also included a 1969-1978 stint with Garry Moore on a syndicated version of “To Tell the Truth.”
Wendell is survived by his wife, Anne, three daughters, two sons and 14 grandchildren.