| The Southern Ontario/WNY Radio-TV Forum

You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?

August 8, 2021 8:27 pm  #1

Another Baby Boomer Icon Gone: Josephine The Plumber

Her real name was Jane Withers and I never realized until reading her obit that she was actually a huge child star in the 1930s, after appearing in some films with legendary moppet Shirley Temple. But it's as Josephine the Plumber, bragging about Comet cleanser in an endless series of TV commercials, that most of us will remember her. 

“Oh, the money is nice, all right,” she told the Los Angeles Times in 1963. “I got five figures for eight of those commercials, and I’m doing four more.”

She also appeared with James Dean in the classic Giant and even did laundry for the much-revered actor.

"During shooting of the film, she and Dean were close," notes The Hollywood Reporter. "She would wash his favorite pink cowboy shirt every night (he said the studio would always lose his laundry), and he would pick it up the next day. Withers had the shirt on Sept. 30, 1955, when Dean was killed in a car accident. “He asked me to hold it for him, and I have kept it all these years,” she said.

Jane Withers, child actor turned commercial star, dies at 95