Tom Carroll, radio personality, TV-film actor and commercial spokesman, died March 18 of natural causes in Hollywood. He was 69.
Carroll began his career at age nine in the New York legiter “Set It in Troy” before appearing onstage in productions including “Medea,” “Rebecca of Sunny Brook Farm” and “The Visit.”
The New Yorker spent eight years in Hawaii, working in local and national radio and television. He made his film debut in “Violated” and went on to appear in the Academy Award-nominated docudrama “3rd Avenue El” and several television shows including “The Sleeping Prince” and “The Young and the Restless.”
While in Hawaii, Carroll narrated NBC’s radio series “Monitor” and the as well as for the Armed Forces Radio Service and emceed 64 segments of the nationally syndicated “Aloha Game TV Show.”
In San Francisco, while playing Bozo the Clown on his daily KEMO TV show, Carroll endured the wrath of a lad who, on live television, told the clown to “cram it” and made an obscene gesture with his middle finger. Local and national newspapers picked up the story, and Carroll entered broadcast history.
In 1983, after a seven-year hiatus from the entertainment industry, Carroll hosted a 60-minute PBS television special, “Dr. Who in America,” produced in conjunction with the BBC’s sci-fi hit series “Dr. Who.” He wrote, produced and hosted “Cable Film Classics With Tom Carroll,” a 13-week series for Viacom that remained in syndication for five years.
He co-starred in this year’s “Grandpa’s Zoo,” a short film making the rounds of international film festivals.
He is survived by a stepson.
Services will be held at Pierce Brothers Valhalla Cemetery of North Hollywood at the Wall of Remembrance in April.