You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Lionel Wilson

Actor-writer, voiced Tom Terrific on 'Captain Kangaroo'

Lionel Wilson, actor-writer perhaps best known to baby boomers as the voice of funnel-topped Tom Terrific in the same-named cartoon shown on TV’s “Captain Kangaroo,” but whose work spanned six decades on the stage and TV as well as in print and recordings, died April 30 in New York City of natural causes. He was 79.

He made his Broadway debut at 14, as a bellboy, in “Dodsworth,” and was featured in “Kiss and Tell,” “Janie” and “The Fragile Fox.

He toured with Gardner McKay in “The Fantasticks,” played Bud Frump in a tour of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” and was featured in “Matinee Theatre” on TV’s old Dumont Network.

Beginning in the 1950s, he focused more on voice work, including TV commercial and cartoons. Besides Tom Terrific, he voice Tom’s friend Manfred the Wonder Dog, and even just before his final illness he voiced Eustace the Farmer in Comedy Central’s “Courage the Cowardly Dog.”

He penned a mystery thriller for the stage based on the novel “Come and be Killed,” which toured summer stock and starred June Havoc and Signe Hasso, and he wrote children’s stories, including “The Mule Who Refused to Budge,” released by Crown Publishers and which featured Wilson reading the stories on accompanying CDs.

He also read dozens of other children’s books for the Listening Library including “Chicken Little,” “Chocolate Fever” and “Commander Toad in Space.”

At the time of his death, he had just completed editing his memoir “… And Also in the Cast.”

A brother survives.

More Scene

  • Katie HolmesAT&T Presents: Untold Stories Luncheon

    Katie Holmes, Kal Penn Help Decide Winner of $1 Million Filmmaker Grant

    Tribeca Film Festival and AT&T gave one young filmmaker a million and one reasons to rejoice at the “Untold Stories” third annual competition. After a nerve-wracking 10-minute long pitch in front of over 850,000 live stream audience members and a panel consisting of celebrities and industry leaders, filmmaker Kate Tsang was awarded $1 million on [...]

  • Laurie Metcalf, John Lithgow'Hillary and Clinton'

    Why John Lithgow Worried About Starring in Broadway's 'Hillary and Clinton'

    When Lucas Hnath first conceived of “Hillary and Clinton” in 2008, he was writing for and about a very different America. Now, a total reimagining of the show has made its way to Broadway with Laurie Metcalf and John Lithgow in the titular roles. At the opening on Thursday night, the cast and creatives talked [...]

  • Patrick Page, Amber Grey, Eva Noblezada,

    'Hadestown' Took 12 Years to Get to Broadway, but It's More Relevant Than Ever

    When “Hadestown” was first staged as a tiny, DIY theater project in Vermont, those involved could never have predicted that it was the start of a 12-year journey to Broadway — or how painfully relevant it would be when it arrived. At Wednesday night’s opening at the Walter Kerr Theatre, the cast and creatives discussed [...]

  • Mick Jagger

    Mick Jagger Makes First Post-Surgery Appearance at Rolling Stones Ballet Premiere

    Rock legend Mick Jagger made his first public appearance post-heart surgery on Thursday night to catch a glimpse of the world premiere of the Rolling Stones ballet “Porte Rouge.” “I hope you are going to enjoy this wonderful new ballet, and, of course, the music,” the frontman declared in a pre-recorded message to the audience [...]

  • Adam Driver appears at the curtain

    Adam Driver on Starring in 'Burn This' for a Second Time

    The Hudson Theatre’s new production of “Burn This” marks its first Broadway revival since it premiered on the Great White Way in 1987, but Adam Driver is no stranger to the work. He starred as Pale in a Juilliard production of the Lanford Wilson drama when he was still a student — and only now, [...]

  • PMC Event Rome

    Film, Fashion, Formula E Mix at Rome E-Prix Bash

    Film, fashion and Formula E auto-racing fused during a dinner and celebration of the Rome E-Prix on Thursday at the Palazzo Dama by the Piazza del Popolo in the heart of the Eternal City.  Guests mingled and sipped cocktails as hors d’oeuvres were passed around in a former home of the Italian nobility with conversation [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content