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TV pitchman Billy Mays found dead

Discussion in 'Balboa Park' started by ChargerJeff, Jun 28, 2009.

  1. ChargerJeff

    ChargerJeff Boltaholic

    Mar 24, 2008
    Mays best known for his hawking of products such as Orange Glo, Oxiclean

    TAMPA, Fla. - Billy Mays, the burly, bearded television pitchman known for his boisterous hawking of products such as Orange Glo and OxiClean, has died. He was 50.

    Tampa police said Mays was found unresponsive by his wife Sunday morning. A fire rescue crew pronounced him dead at 7:45 a.m.

    There were no signs of a break-in, and investigators do not suspect foul play. The coroner's office expects to have an autopsy done by Monday afternoon.

    "Although Billy lived a public life, we don't anticipate making any public statements over the next couple of days," said Mays' wife, Deborah. "Our family asks that you respect our privacy during these difficult times."

    Born William Mays in McKees Rocks, Pa., on July 20, 1958, Mays developed his style demonstrating knives, mops and other "as seen on TV" gadgets on Atlantic City's boardwalk. For years he worked as a hired gun on the state fair and home show circuits, attracting crowds with his booming voice and genial manner.

    'Long live your laundry!'
    After meeting Orange Glo International founder Max Appel at a home show in Pittsburgh in the mid-1990s, Mays was recruited to demonstrate the environmentally friendly line of cleaning products on the St. Petersburg-based Home Shopping Network.

    Commercials and informercials followed, anchored by the high-energy Mays showing how it's done while tossing out kitschy phrases like, "Long live your laundry!"

    Recently he's been seen on commercials for a wide variety of products and is featured on the reality TV show "Pitchmen" on the Discovery Channel, which follows Mays and Anthony Sullivan in their marketing jobs. He's also been seen in ESPN ads.

    His ubiquitousness and thumbs-up, in-your-face pitches won Mays plenty of fans. People line up at his personal appearances for autographed color glossies, and strangers stop him in airports to chat about the products.

    "I enjoy what I do," Mays told The Associated Press in a 2002 interview. "I think it shows."

    Mays liked to tell the story of giving bottles of OxiClean to the 300 guests at his wedding, and doing his ad spiel ("powered by the air we breathe!") on the dance floor at the reception. Visitors to his house typically got bottles of cleaner and housekeeping tips.

    Discovery Channel spokeswoman Elizabeth Hillman released a statement Sunday extending sympathy to the Mays family.

    "Everyone that knows him was aware of his larger-than-life personality, generosity and warmth," Hillman's statement said. "Billy was a pioneer in his field and helped many people fulfill their dreams. He will be greatly missed as a loyal and compassionate friend."

  2. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

    Aug 15, 2006
    I'm more sad about this than the MJ death.

    Billy Mays was awesome, and we all loved his show Pitchmen.

  3. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

    Nov 11, 2007
    :( very sad, I just saw him on Conan '9I think it was Conan) like last week.... again only 50. Sending some love and good juju to his family, RIP sir.
  4. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

    Aug 15, 2006
    Yeha, he was on Conan like 3 nights ago.
  5. WyomingBoltFan

    WyomingBoltFan Well-Known Member

    Dec 9, 2007
    • Like Like x 1
  6. sdbound

    sdbound Well-Known Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    Billy Mays shouting spokesperson dead: Possibly due to injury in plane landing

    Mays was on the U.S. Airways flight that made a troubled landing in Tampa Saturday when the front tires blew out. He was interviewed after the landing and told TV reporters,

    "All of a sudden as we hit. You know it was just the hardest hit. All the things from the ceiling started dropping. It hit me on the head, but I got a hard head."

    Billy's wife said that Billy said he wasn't feeling well before he went to bed Saturday night, and he died in his sleep. This incident reminds me of Natasha Richardson's death. She died after hitting her head when she fell on a ski slope in March of this year. After the fall Richardson also said that she was fine, but within hours she too was dead. As in the case of Richardson, we will have to wait for the autopsy report to know the actual cause of death.
  7. Carrie1219

    Carrie1219 Banned Banned

    Nov 16, 2005

    Richardson had an epidural hematoma which would cause death rather quickly if not treated (as we found out)

    Mays could have had a subdural hematoma which would grow slower and cause death several hours to days later. I would think he would have had to have sustained a pretty good bump on the noggin though for that to be the cause of death.

    Only speculation here folks that's based on what I'm reading in the media and then drawing my own medical conclusions. If the cause of death turns out to be subdural hematoma, it will be a shame because his death really could have been avoided...
  8. Rainman

    Rainman BoltTalker

    Sep 4, 2006
    This is just TOO bizarre.

    Condences to his family.
  9. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    Billy Mays' autopsy shows he died of heart disease, coroner says

    A medical examiner in Florida says Mays, a voluble TV pitchman, showed no evidence of head trauma. Mays said Saturday he had been struck on the head while aboard an airliner that made a rough landing.

    By Michael Muskal
    10:19 AM PDT, June 29, 2009

    Billy Mays, who elevated the art of the television sales spiel to a fevered pitch, apparently died of a heart attack, Florida authorities said this morning.

    Preliminary autopsy results show that Mays suffered from hypertensive heart disease, Hillsborough County Medical Examiner Vernard Adams said during a televised news conference this morning. Toxicology and tissue tests will take several weeks before a final cause of death is issued, he said.
    Mays, 50, was found dead in his Tampa home on Sunday after returning to Florida on a commercial flight that sustained a rough landing on Saturday. Mays had said that he had bumped his head during the touchdown.

    But Adams said the autopsy showed no evidence of trauma to the head, either external or internal.

    The autopsy showed that Mays' heart was heavier than normal because the left ventricle had enlarged, a symptom of heart disease, Adams said.

    Adams said authorities had ruled out prescription drug abuse. Mays was taking prescription painkillers Tramadol and hydrocodone for hip pain, but the pill counts showed that Mays had taken the correct amount, according to the medical examiner


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