Born Riccardo DiGuglielmo, Wilson changed his name while working as an actor in efforts to avoid typecasting as an Italian-American. Little did he know that he would be typecast as America's favorite, um, cleanup enthusiast.
Emigrating to the U.S. from England as wee lad, he went on to star in over 500 -- 500?! -- Charmin commercials. His acting and squeeze-shunning abilities landed him a free lifetime supply of toilet paper from Procter & Gamble as well a place in American po(o)p culture. (Heh.) Sure, he played the alcoholic on several episodes of Bewitched, and did bit parts on Hogan's Heroes and The Bob Newhart Show, but in the world of TP commercial acting, he was a star.
Although the Associated Press tarnishes this man's good name by labeling him a "closeted squeezer," we refuse to believe such a thing. He was simply led astray by overzealous shoppers. And we salute you, Mr. Wilson cum Whipple. Toilet paper commercials have gotten excessively crass for us over the years. Images of cartoon bears with flecks of paper on their behinds and euphemistic blue-colored water tearing apart brands that are more fragile are much too revealing for us. Back when such things like urination and bowel movements weren't discussed, much less admitted to having as a bodily function, we had Mr. Whipple to conceal it all for us. He didn't remind us what toilet paper was used for; he let us know what it wasn't meant for: molesting. RIP, Mr. Whipple.