'Jolly Green Giant' voice dead at 80posted 2005-10-26 10:13:19 by beth
PALM SPRINGS, California -- Elmer "Len" Dresslar Jr., who extolled vegetables to generations of TV watchers as the booming voice of the Jolly Green Giant, has died. He was 80.
Dresslar died October 16 of cancer, according to daughter Teri Bennett.
Dresslar was an entertainer and singer for nearly six decades. But his voice rang through millions of households when he sang the simple refrain, "Ho, Ho, Ho," in an ad jingle for Green Giant foods.
Dresslar, a Kansas native, moved to Chicago with his wife in the early 1950s to study voice after touring with a production of "South Pacific." By the 1960s, the Navy veteran had carved out a career singing in clubs, on television and in advertising jingles.
He recorded 15 albums with The Singers Unlimited jazz group and appeared on the CBS television show "In Town Tonight" from 1955 to 1960.
Ad jingles were the most consistent part of his career, and he landed roles for Rice Krispies cereal, Marlboro cigarettes, Amoco oil and Dinty Moore canned beef stew.
He periodically re-recorded the "Ho, Ho, Ho" for Jolly Green Giant commercials, most recently about 10 years ago.
Copyright 2005 The Associated Press.