By Adam S. Levy for Dailymail.com
04:19 25 April 2023, update 07:59 25 April 2023
- The couple celebrated their 60th birthday last January
- They had been arranged by a mutual friend, the late Buddy Hackett
- Bob, 93, attributed their longtime relationship to laughing together
Ginnie Newhart, the longtime wife of comedian Bob Newhart, died Sunday at the age of 82, just three months after the couple celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.
“We lost our beloved Ginnie Quinn Newhart – wife, mother and grandmother on April 23, 2023 after a long battle with illness,” a statement on Newhart’s Twitter page on behalf of the family read Monday. “She was our rock and we miss her terribly.”
Family publicist Jerry Digney confirmed Ginnie’s death in a statement to People Monday. A private service will be held for Ginnie, according to Digney.
Bob, 93, told the outlet in 2019 how he was arranged with his longtime love by the late actor Buddy Hackett, who was a friend of the two.
“Buddy said, ‘I’ve got a girl for you,’ Bob said. ‘She’s dating another guy, but I don’t think he’s right for her, so I’m going to ask you out. blind. You’ll meet her, you’ll date and you’ll get married. Then you’ll have kids and you’ll call one of the kids Buddy.” What we have done.
The couple ended up exchanging vows the following year and would have four children.
Bob, speaking with Parade last year, said keeping things light and fun had been a huge factor in their six-decade union.
“Comedian marriages, stormy as they are, seem to last a long time, and I attribute that to laughter,” Bob told the publication. “No matter how intense the argument you have, you can find a line and then you both look at each other and start laughing. It’s over, you know?
“I think a sense of humor is very important for the longevity of a marriage.”
Ginnie expressed the same idea when speaking with PBS in 2005 about why marriage between funny people has its perks.
“Comedians are just fun to be around,” Ginnie said. “They seem to have longevity in their marriages.”
Bob chats with CBS Sunday morning in 2020 about supporting a wife, Ginnie, throughout her career in show business.
“She would be in the locker room,” he said. “She was like, ‘Something’s wrong with the sound system. I did not hear anything. I said, “Honey, there was nothing wrong with the sound system. They weren’t laughing!” ‘
In the piece, Ginnie noted how “terribly shy” Bob was when he wasn’t performing, and she wondered if her career would deviate from show business.
“I always thought maybe he would go into teaching or do something else,” she said. “But then I realized it was definitely in his blood and he was starting to…like it. I knew he was addicted.
Ginnie, who was the daughter of actor Bill Quinn, was the creative inspiration behind the dream idea that ended the CBS comic book series Newhart in 1990.
In the sequence, Bob’s character, Dick Loudon, awoke into the identity of his character from the first The Bob Newhart Show, Bob Hartley.
Speaking to Yahoo Entertainment in May 2020, Bob explained the creative pursuits that made for a memorable finale for the second show, which ran from 1982 to 1990.
“Ginny knew I wasn’t happy with CBS,” Bob said. ‘She said, ‘You know what the final show should be? You wake up in bed with (The Bob Newhart Show co-star, the late Suzanne Pleshette) and you describe that dream you had of owning an inn in Vermont.”
“I said, ‘Honey, that’s a great idea! Suzanne was actually at the same party, and we told her about it when we saw her. She said, “I’ll be there in a minute in New York.” ‘
Bob added, “I gave the idea to the writers and they filled in the rest.”
The couple were close friends with the late Don Rickles, who died in 2017, and his late wife Barbara, who died in 2021, as they often traveled together.
Ginnie is survived by Bob, their four children and 10 grandchildren.