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Updated: October 11, 2022

Paul Edward Lynde (June 13, 1926-January 10, 1982) was an American comedian and actor. A noted character actor, Lynde was well known for his roles as Uncle Arthur on Bewitched and Harry McAfee, the befuddled father in Bye Bye Birdie. He was also the regular "center square" on the classic game show, Hollywood Squares, from 1968 to 1981.

Lynde made his Broadway debut in the hit revue New Faces of 1952 which he co-starred in opposite fellow newcomers Eartha Kitt, Alice Ghostley, and Carol Lawrence. In one now-famous monologue, the "Trip of the Month Club," Lynde portrayed a man on crutches recounting his misadventures on the African safari he took with his late wife. The show was filmed and released as a movie in 1954. After the revue's run, Lynde co-starred in the short-lived sitcom Stanley opposite Buddy Hackett and Carol Burnett, both of whom were also starting out their careers in show business. In 1960, Lynde returned to Broadway when he was cast as the father in Bye Bye Birdie. He reprised the role in the play's film adaptation, which was released in 1963 and co-starred Dick van Dyke and Ann-Margret.

Over the years, Lynde made regular appearances on sitcoms such as The Phil Silvers Show, The Munsters, and I Dream of Jeannie, and variety shows such as The Perry Como Show and The Dean Martin Show. He has been a frequent guest on the Donny and Marie Osmond Show. He is often best remembered for his recurring role as "Uncle Arthur" on Bewitched.

Scene from Bewitched with Paul Lynde as Uncle Arthur Lynde also did extensive voice work on animated cartoons, particularly those of Hanna-Barbera Productions. His most notable roles included Sylvester Sneakly (a.k.a. "The Hooded Claw") in The Perils of Penelope Pitstop and Pertwee from Where's Huddles?. He also voiced the role of Templeton the gluttonous rat in the animated feature Charlotte's Web, whose most memorable line was the sly, drawn-out whine, "What's in it for meeee?"

In 1966, Lynde debuted on the fledgling game show Hollywood Squares, where he eventually won the coveted spot as the permanent center square and was able to showcase his comedic talents for the next several years. He left the show in 1979, but returned for the 1980-81 season. Lynde won two Emmy Awards for his work on Hollywood Squares.

In 1972, Lynde starred in the short-lived sitcom, The Paul Lynde Show, playing an uptight attorney and father at odds with his liberal-minded son. The series was cancelled after only one season. The series' failure reportedly exacerbated Lynde's pre-existing drinking problem, which led to numerous run-ins with the law and frequent arrests for public intoxication.

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