Gordon Jump

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Gordon Jump
Gordon Jump (1979).jpg
Jump in 1979
BornAlexander Gordon Jump
(1932-04-01)April 1, 1932
Dayton, Ohio, U.S.
DiedSeptember 22, 2003(2003-09-22) (aged 71)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Years active1959–2003
Spouse(s)Olinda D. Kandt (1954–1962)
Anna F. Inge Jump (1963–1992)
Betty McKeever (1993–2003)
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Gordon Jump
Gordon Jump (1979).jpg
Jump in 1979
BornAlexander Gordon Jump
(1932-04-01)April 1, 1932
Dayton, Ohio, U.S.
DiedSeptember 22, 2003(2003-09-22) (aged 71)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Years active1959–2003
Spouse(s)Olinda D. Kandt (1954–1962)
Anna F. Inge Jump (1963–1992)
Betty McKeever (1993–2003)

Alexander Gordon Jump (April 1, 1932 – September 22, 2003) was an American actor best known as the clueless radio station manager Arthur "Big Guy" Carlson in the TV series WKRP in Cincinnati and the incompetent "Chief of Police Tinkler" in the sitcom Soap. He also played the "Maytag Repairman" in commercials for Maytag brand appliances, from 1989 until his retirement from the role in July 2003.[1]


Early life[edit]

Born Alexander Gordon Jump, in Dayton, Ohio, Jump graduated from Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio, in 1955. In 1957, Jump graduated with a degree in journalism from Kansas State University, where he was a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity and worked for KSDB, the Kansas State Student Radio Station. He began his career working at radio and television stations in Manhattan and Topeka, Kansas. In Topeka he did the weather on WIBW-TV in 1959; in the early 1960s, he performed on the station's weekday after-school children's program as "Wib the Clown," then had to change clothes quickly and wipe off the clown makeup in order to report the weather on the local evening news, which followed. He later returned to Dayton and worked as a producer and on-air personality in Gordon Jump '​s Fun Time, a popular show for younger children, at WLWD (now WDTN) before deciding to move to Los Angeles and study acting.

Acting career[edit]

Jump first began his acting career in the 1960s with minor roles in television on such shows as Get Smart, Lancer, Here Come the Brides, and Green Acres. He also guest-starred in a number of series during the 1970s including The Rockford Files, A Touch of Grace, Paul Sand in Friends and Lovers, The Incredible Hulk (in an October 1978 episode called "Ricky"), The Lost Saucer, Starsky and Hutch, Lou Grant, Kojak, The Bionic Woman, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries. He had a brief speaking role as a farmer in the 1976 television movie Sybil.

In the 1960s, Jump converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Subsequently, he acted in several church-sanctioned instructional and educational productions, including a marriage-advice film,[2] and as the Apostle Peter in a 1969 film used as part of the LDS temple ceremonies.[3] Jump would return to LDS films with a small role in the 2002 comedy The Singles Ward.

In 1978, he landed his signature role of Arthur "Big Guy" Carlson on the situation comedy WKRP in Cincinnati, portraying a bumbling radio station manager whose main qualification for the job is being the son of the station's owner.

After WKRP in Cincinnati folded in 1982, Jump made an appearance on a two-part episode of Diff'rent Strokes, cast as Mr. Horton, the owner of a bicycle shop who attempts to sexually molest series protagonist Arnold Jackson and his friend, Dudley Ramsey. He later hosted the PBS series Make Yourself at Home, taught voice classes, and made frequent appearances on the hit television show Growing Pains playing Joanna Kerns's father. Jump also enjoyed working in theater.

In 1989, Jump took over the Maytag repairman role from Jesse White. In the 1990s, Jump starred in a short-lived revival of WKRP in Cincinnati entitled The New WKRP in Cincinnati. He also appeared in the ninth and final season of Seinfeld, where he played George Costanza's boss at a playground equipment company over two episodes. Jump's last movie role was in the 2004 film Changing of the Guard, released after his death.


Jump died in 2003 from pulmonary fibrosis, leading to respiratory failure at his home near Los Angeles, California.[4]

Selected filmography[edit]

1972Conquest of the Planet of the ApesAuctioneer
1978The FuryMr. Nuckells
1984Making the GradeMr. HarrimanAlternative title: The Last American Preppy
1988MovingSimon Eberhart
1990Honeymoon AcademyMr. NelsonAlternative title: For Better or For Worse
2002The Singles WardAn Airline Passenger
1965Daniel BooneMarcus Clements1 episode
1967T.H.E. Cat1 episode
1970MannixCharlie1 episode
1971The Doris Day ShowMr. Robinson1 episode
1973A Touch of GraceGreenwald1 episode
1973The Paul Lynde ShowLarry1 episode
1974KojakJonas1 episode
1974Paul Sand in Friends and LoversMr. Mead1 episode
1974The Rockford FilesFreddieseason 1 episode 23
1974–1975That's My MamaOfficer O'Reilley3 episodes
1975The Streets of San FranciscoSergeant Lacy1 episode
1976AliceSheriff McElroy1 episode
1976McDuff, the Talking DogAmos Ferguson11 episodes
1977Lou GrantNational Editor6 episodes
1977The Nancy Drew Mysteries (USA short title)Officer Hooper - The Mystery of the Diamond Triangle1 episode
1978-82WKRP in CincinnatiArthur "Big Guy" Carlson, Station Manager88 episodes (90 in Syndication)
1980Mr. Krueger's ChristmasNarratorTelevision movie
1983Diff'rent StrokesMr. Horton2 episodes
1984"Night Court"1 episode
1985Tall Tales & LegendsMr. Ripple1 episode
1986-91Growing PainsEd Malone11 episodes
1986Simon & SimonRoss Garrett1 episode
1986The Golden GirlsLeonard BartonEp. "Big Daddy"
1988Who's the Boss?Archie1 episode
1989Sister KateLucas Underwood1 episode
1994BaywatchMax Edelman2 episodes
1995Empty NestBud1 episode
1997Married... with ChildrenMr. Tot1 episode
1997SeinfeldMr. Thomassoulo2 episodes
1998Mike Hammer, Private EyeAugustus Hancock Sterling
The General
2 episodes

Gordon Jump was the surveyor on episode 9 of Green Acres 1968.


  1. ^ Oliver, Myrna (September 24, 2003). "Gordon Jump, 71; Was 'Maytag Man' in Ads, 'Big Guy' on 'WKRP' TV Series". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-01-29. 
  2. ^ Marriage: What Kind for You? from IMDB
  3. ^ Mormon Temple Film from IMDB
  4. ^ "Gordon Jump, 71, 'WKRP' Actor Who Played Maytag's Repairman". New York Times. September 24, 2003. Retrieved 2007-07-21. Gordon Jump, who played a befuddled radio station manager on the sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati and made his mark in commercials as the lonely Maytag repairman, died on Monday at his home southeast of Los Angeles. He had pulmonary fibrosis. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Jesse White
Maytag Repairman
Succeeded by
Hardy Rawls