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Paul Napier, Originator of ‘Mr. Goodwrench,’ Dies at 84

Paul Napier, who originated the Mr. Goodwrench character for General Motors, died Saturday. He was 84. Details of his death were not immediately available.

Napier broke into show business as a hockey announcer in Rochester, N.Y., and a broadcaster for WBBF radio. He moved to California in 1960.

Napier had more than 400 commercial credits along with TV credits on “Kojak,” “Knots Landing,” “L.A. Law,” “Taxi,” Coach” and “Dynasty,” on which he had a recurring role as a gardener.

Napier was also active in the Screen Actors Guild, serving 26 times as a member of a negotiating committee on national contracts, and he chaired the L.A. representatives committee in the commercials contract bargaining in 2009.

Napier was also one of the founding members and producers of the SAG Awards show and served on the awards committee for two decades.

He served on the AFTRA board for almost three decades. Napier was also a longtime member of SAG’s National Honors and Tributes Committee and was among the members who selected Life Achievement recipients.

In 2010, he was selected to receive SAG’s Ralph Morgan Award for service from its Hollywood division.

“Paul’s successful acting career is just one facet of a deeply engaged and engaging person,” said SAG-AFTRA president Ken Howard. “Whether it was dedication to coaching youth sports, serving fellow union members or helping  to create our highly respected awards show, everything Paul touched was better for his involvement. He gave so much to SAG-AFTRA and to his fellow members. Our deepest condolences go out to his wonderful wife Marie, his children and grandchildren and his many friends and fans.”

 

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