Bob Newman Passes

Chris Wedes, as J. P. Patches with Bob Newman, as Gertrude
KIRO 7 — Bob Newman, who played Gertrude, Boris S. Wort, and more than a dozen other characters on the “J.P. Patches” show, has died. He was 88 years old. Newman played the sidekick to J.P. Patches for years. Newman’s family said he died Sunday in Shoreline after a long illness.

Seattle historian, Feliks Banel wrote: Bob joined the program in 1960, and essentially created a role for himself when, working in a technical job off camera, he called out to J.P. in a falsetto voice while J.P. was pretending to speak with an unseen and unheard telephone operator named Gertrude. Soon, Newman was dressing up like a life-sized Raggedy Anne – complete with house dresses borrowed from his mother, a mop wig and heavy make-up – to appear on-camera as Gertrude. Read the story here.

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Author: Jason Remington

Creator, Admin, & Editor of PugetSound.Media, former broadcaster at KAMT/Tacoma, KRPM FM/Tacoma, KJUN/Puyallup, KASY/Auburn, KTAC AM/Tacoma, KBRD FM/Tacoma, KMTT FM/Tacoma, and KOOL FM/Phoenix. View other articles by Jason Remington

3 thoughts on “Bob Newman Passes

  1. I could’ve MURDERED that guy for something he did when I was in fifth grade, but I have long forgiven him. I was part of a Cub Scout group that visited the Patches show in 1965. After the show was done, all of us kids were meeting with “Gertrude” — who was in full costume, including that ridiculously red and sticky makeup that surrounded his mouth. All of a sudden, Newman turns to me and exclaims, “Oh, this little red-haired boy — he is SOOOOO cute!”– and he SUDDENLY PLANTS A BIG SLOPPY KISS on my forehead! Leaving a HUGE red spot. My fellow Cub Scouts were convulsed with laughter, but I was mortified. I remember our den mother trying to scrub off that make-up. Well, news about what happened to me, of course, got around quickly at Sacajawea Elementary School the following morning, and the laughter and teasing continued to my utter dismay. But, now five and a half decades later, I can chuckle about it and fully recognize what a funny and talented guy Newman was and how he was as important to the Patches show as Chris Wedes himself.

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