A Salute to House Peters, Jr.
We here at ComicMix pride ourselves on being not only a comic book site, but also a pop culture site and so we cannot let the passing of House Peters, Jr. go by without noting it. The actor, born January 12, 1916, died from pneumonia on October 1.
Who you might wonder? The actor was the model for Proctor & Gamble’s Mr. Clean, an icon that has gone largely unchanged.
The actor also had an early role as a Sharkman in the original 1936 Flash Gordon serial.
His son Jon Peters said in a release, "he always played the heavy. Even though he wasn’t happy about being cast in those roles, he worked really hard at it."
Peters’ credits include roles in The Twilight Zone (1960), Target Earth (1954), Port Sinister (1953), Red Planet Mars (1952), The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), King of the Rocket Men (1949), and Batman and Robin (1949). It wasn’t until he starred in a series of commercials as Mr. Clean that he gained familiarity with household viewers.
He was largely a villain westerns and crime shows, earning a Golden Boot Award in 2000 for his lifetime contributions. He was often seen on the Roy Rogers and Gene Autry television series
The actor stopped performing in 1967 but wrote an autobiography, Another Side of Hollywood, in 2000. There, he talked of being raised by actor parents during the silent film and early talkie days.
Mr. Clean was developed in Puerto Rico for P&G and was introduced in 1958, rapidly becoming the number one household cleaner. In 1962, a contest was held to give him a first name and the winner was Veritably. A complete set of Mr. Clean commercials, including Peters’ efforts, were donated on the products’ 24th anniversary to the UCLA Film Television and Radio Archives.
He is survived by his wife, Lucy Pickett (whom he married in 1946); his two sons, Bob and Job; daughter Kathy; and four grandchildren.