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TV Pitchman Billy Mays dead at age 50

by Bob in Breckenridge ( 71 Comments › )
Filed under Media at June 28th, 2009 - 2:35 pm

TV Pitchman Billy Mays dead at age fifty

Television pitchman Billy Mays — who built his fame by appearing on commercials and infomercials promoting household products and gadgets — died Sunday.

Mays, 50, was found unresponsive by his wife inside his Tampa, Fla., home at 7:45 a.m. on Sunday, according to the Tampa Police Department.

Police said there were no signs of forced entry to Mays’ residence and foul play is not suspected. Authorities said an autopsy should be complete by Monday afternoon.

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

Mays was well known for his numerous television promotions of such products as Orange Glo and OxiClean. He was also featured on the reality TV show “Pitchmen” on the Discovery Channel, which followed Mays and Anthony Sullivan in their marketing jobs.


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.”

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71 Responses to “TV Pitchman Billy Mays dead at age 50”
( jump to bottom )

  1. 1 | June 28, 2009 2:42 pm



    Actually, now this makes FIVE people dead when it should have stopped 2 people ago.

    Remember the rule of three.

  2. Bob in Breckenridge
    2 | June 28, 2009 2:43 pm

    re: #1 by savage

    YES WE DO!!!

  3. 3 | June 28, 2009 2:53 pm

    re: #2 by Bob in Breckenridge


  4. 4 | June 28, 2009 2:53 pm

    Damn now Billy Mays, wow this is really getting bugged out.

  5. 5 | June 28, 2009 2:56 pm

    Oh, we can add Gale Storm to the list of the dead.

    She was one of the early TV stars

  6. 6 | June 28, 2009 2:59 pm

    one more to go.

    I liked him.

  7. 7 | June 28, 2009 3:05 pm

    re: #6 by LanceKates

    I got stuck at home and Mom wanted me to watch TV with her and Billy was on The View. I was surprised at how cool the guy actually was. Talked just like everyone else. Pretty charming dude.

  8. 8 | June 28, 2009 3:19 pm

    re: #7 by savage

    He lived here in Tampa.

  9. 9 | June 28, 2009 3:26 pm

    re: #8 by Rodan

    I noticed that when I was reading the press release from US Airways. Looks like the plane he was on blew out a couple of tires and the overhead baggage flew out all over and something hit him in the head.

  10. Speranza
    10 | June 28, 2009 3:32 pm

    R.I.P. -- actually he should have called himself Willie Mays instead of Billy Mays.

  11. Speranza
    11 | June 28, 2009 3:33 pm

    re: #8 by Rodan

    Tampa -- an hours drive to the airport from my home in Bradenton!

  12. 12 | June 28, 2009 3:53 pm

    re: #11 by Speranza

    OMG! I was in your area last night visiting my parents! I will email you.

  13. BuddyG
    13 | June 28, 2009 3:56 pm

    Bye Bye Billy Mays

  14. Speranza
    14 | June 28, 2009 3:56 pm

    Am I the only one finding “Flo” (actually comedienne Stephanie Courtney) of the Progressive Auto Insurance commercials to be the most annoying person on TV commercials?

  15. Speranza
    15 | June 28, 2009 4:03 pm

    Let’s not forget Natasha Richardson.

  16. BuddyG
    16 | June 28, 2009 4:42 pm

    re: #14 by Speranza

    The most annoying person on TV commercials is without a doubt
    William Shatner

  17. song_and_dance_man
    17 | June 28, 2009 4:46 pm

    It isn’t a person, but that stack of money with eyes also pegs the annoyometer.

  18. Speranza
    18 | June 28, 2009 5:33 pm

    re: #16 by BuddyG

    Vince the ShamWow guy?

  19. 19 | June 28, 2009 6:44 pm

    re: #18 by Speranza

    I just looked up Vince the Sham-wow guy and turns out the guy is Israeli. wow

  20. no2liberals
    21 | June 28, 2009 6:50 pm

    re: #17 by song_and_dance_man
    To me it’s the GEICO lizard.
    Honestly, has there ever been a more annoying pitch man?

  21. off with my head
    22 | June 28, 2009 6:51 pm

    re: #8 by Rodan

    Hey Rodan,
    How are the Tampa Sweethearts?

  22. song_and_dance_man
    23 | June 28, 2009 7:01 pm

    re: #21 by no2liberals

    Yes. The Michelin man.

  23. song_and_dance_man
    24 | June 28, 2009 7:03 pm

    Or those bears with the toilet paper on their butts.

  24. no2liberals
    25 | June 28, 2009 7:06 pm

    re: #24 by song_and_dance_man
    All of those are minor annoyances to me, compared to a freaking lizard with a Brit accent.
    If I ever meet the guy that came up with that ad idea, I will do the same thing to him I will to the man that invented ring tones, punch him in the nose, and kick him in the yarbles.
    /if he has any

  25. Jognot
    26 | June 28, 2009 7:07 pm

    In Three or Four speak, There should be another, coming event.
    David Caridine, Ed Mcmahan, Farragh,
    mj, This add guy, and Ron Paul. or,
    Lets face it. Lets face the pond scum. Now.

  26. song_and_dance_man
    27 | June 28, 2009 7:13 pm

    re: #25 by no2liberals

    They should stick with the cavemen and the road squirrels. The commercial with the screaming critters from owls to a bug was definitely funny.

  27. no2liberals
    28 | June 28, 2009 7:16 pm

    re: #27 by song_and_dance_man
    Haven’t seen the cavemen in a while.

  28. no2liberals
    29 | June 28, 2009 7:18 pm

    Breakthrough on the Authorship of Obama’s ‘Dreams’

    The now overwhelming evidence strongly suggests that he(Ayers) used the frame of Obama’s life and finished it off with his own ideas, his own biases, his own experiences, his own passions, his own friends, even his own romances, all of this toned down just enough to keep Obama viable as a potential candidate.

  29. 30 | June 28, 2009 7:50 pm

    Say what you want about Billy Mays, that OxiClean is some good stuff.

  30. Jognot
    31 | June 28, 2009 7:50 pm

    re: #29 by no2liberals

    Yes. Butt. Who wrote the next me please book?
    Wernt numb nuts o….!
    Fo Sho, 70′s add lib. cool.
    Piss out of a boot, could not determine up, or down. Terminate abort mission. Piss runs uphill. Over. FAIL.

  31. 32 | June 28, 2009 7:51 pm

    re: #31 by Jognot


  32. song_and_dance_man
    33 | June 28, 2009 7:54 pm

    Is that TFK?


    errata…Can’t be. There are caps.

  33. Bill Jenkins
    34 | June 28, 2009 7:57 pm

    Seriously, his voice would wake me up from a dead sleep… Hopefully “out of respect” they yank his commercials like they removed the almond commercials with Robert Goulet. Then I will finally be able to sleep through my televisions “sleep” timer mode.

  34. 35 | June 28, 2009 7:57 pm

    re: #29 by no2liberals



  35. 36 | June 28, 2009 8:00 pm

    re: #34 by Bill Jenkins

    I’ve always liked Billy Mays. I’m not sure why, he just wasn’t annoying like the ShamWow guy.

    Now, I don’t know what his friend will do, regarding his pitchmen show. Hard loss for his friends and family, very sad.

  36. no2liberals
    37 | June 28, 2009 8:01 pm

    re: #31 by Jognot
    Alrighty, then.

  37. no2liberals
    38 | June 28, 2009 8:02 pm

    re: #30 by tqcincinnatus
    I keep some Oxi around, and it works, but I later found out it is mostly hydrogen peroxide.

  38. 39 | June 28, 2009 8:07 pm

    re: #38 by no2liberals

    speaking of finding out cool stuff…. Ever have to maintain a pool and pay through the nose for pool chemicals?

    chlorine tablets cost 3 to 4 times more than generic brand liquid bleach (and don’t work as well as liquid bleach) from the laundry aisle.

    Need to control the alkaline level? Don’t buy the chemical, use generic baking powder.

    PH level too low? Don’t buy the way the hell too expensive PH Up. Just use 20 mule team borax. Fraction of the cost.

  39. no2liberals
    40 | June 28, 2009 8:10 pm

    re: #39 by LanceKates
    Never have, but good info.

  40. song_and_dance_man
    41 | June 28, 2009 8:10 pm

    If Oxi is hydrogen based the why is it called Oxi?

    Shouldn’t it be called HydroClean?

    I use vinegar in my wash.

  41. 42 | June 28, 2009 8:11 pm

    re: #40 by no2liberals

    We maintain a 16000 gallon pool. ANy cost cutting measures are worthwhile.

  42. 43 | June 28, 2009 8:12 pm

    re: #41 by song_and_dance_man

    Chemical interaction in water.

    And a catchier name.

    Hydroclean makes it sound like you’re just using water, rather than a reference to hydrogen.

  43. CloudyDay
    44 | June 28, 2009 8:27 pm

    Wow, this is a bad time to be a famous person.

    Bea Arthur, Ed McMahon, Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, David Carradine.

    Ricardo Montalban died earlier this year, in January.

    Actor Ron Silver died in March of this year, so too actress Natasha Richardson, and singer Dan Seals.

    Actor Andy Hallett passed away in April (he played “Loren” the green demon character on the vampire TV show “Angel.”)

    Pitcher Nick Adenhart died in April 09, too.

    Dom DeLuise died in May 09.

    Lynyrd Skynyrd bassist Donald ‘Ean’ Evans -- died in May 09 as well.

    Wayne Allwine, voice of Mickey Mouse in cartoons, also passed away in May 09.

  44. song_and_dance_man
    45 | June 28, 2009 8:37 pm

    re: #43 by LanceKates

    Ah, yes. I know hydrogen peroxide can whiten teeth and hair, but I have a hard time believing it could remove stains as quickly as the commercials claimed.

    I never used it so I really don’t know. OxyClean, that is.

  45. no2liberals
    46 | June 28, 2009 8:40 pm

    re: #45 by song_and_dance_man
    I didn’t say it was all H2O2, just mostly.

  46. bar
    47 | June 28, 2009 8:41 pm

    Does anyone know what they used in the 1800′s to whiten their teeth?

    They say the early morning stuff was best, too bad it removed the enamel also, so white teeth now, no teeth later.

  47. no2liberals
    48 | June 28, 2009 8:47 pm

    re: #47 by bar
    I know they used baking soda and salt for a long time.

    How’s your toof?

  48. bar
    49 | June 28, 2009 8:52 pm

    re: #48 by no2liberals

    Urine was the 1800′s teeth whitener. Early morning urine they say was the best.
    Ammonia being the key ingredient, but it destroys the tooth enamel and then its all over.

    And the new diesel cars also use a chemical found in urine to lower their emissions.

    My tooth is doing good, except now I need to get a crown and the Endodontist says I have only 30 days, so I will have to push it to the limit.

  49. song_and_dance_man
    50 | June 28, 2009 8:52 pm

    I’ve used baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to clean my teeth for most of my life and have had only one cavity so far. And that ONE just happened.

  50. no2liberals
    51 | June 28, 2009 8:55 pm

    re: #49 by bar
    TMI, on the early tooth care.

    Yeah, you don’t want that temp coming off.

  51. bar
    52 | June 28, 2009 8:59 pm

    re: #51 by no2liberals

    Temp crown?

    I don’t have that yet.

    Hell I had this half tooth with an exposed root for going on 2 years, so whats another 30 days or so?

  52. bar
    53 | June 28, 2009 9:01 pm

    re: #50 by song_and_dance_man

    Some people just have good teeth.

    I don’t take care of mine like I should and I have had only a few cavities.

  53. song_and_dance_man
    54 | June 28, 2009 9:02 pm

    re: #49 by bar

    That’s disgusting. I heard or read that corn cobs used to used as…nevermind

  54. no2liberals
    55 | June 28, 2009 9:05 pm

    re: #52 by bar
    Okay, really-really TMI.
    They put in a temp as soon as they did my root canal. Got the crown a few weeks later.

  55. no2liberals
    56 | June 28, 2009 9:06 pm

    Most-decorated Marine pilot dies at 89.
    God speed, Col.
    What a man, what a Marine.

  56. song_and_dance_man
    57 | June 28, 2009 9:08 pm

    re: #53 by bar

    That may be it. A genetic thing. My dad, when he left us, still had a fair set of teeth and full head of hair.

  57. bar
    58 | June 28, 2009 9:14 pm

    re: #54 by song_and_dance_man

    And I heard the Sears catalog was the ultimate TP.

  58. no2liberals
    59 | June 28, 2009 9:15 pm

    John Thune has a Government Ownership Exit Plan.
    A great idea, which is why it will never see the light of day in the Senate.

  59. no2liberals
    60 | June 28, 2009 9:15 pm

    Y’all have a good’un.
    Fading fast.

  60. bar
    61 | June 28, 2009 9:17 pm

    re: #55 by no2liberals

    My dentist didnt do root canals, so I had to go somewheres else.
    Thus the no temp crown yet.

  61. bar
    62 | June 28, 2009 9:17 pm

    re: #60 by no2liberals

    Have a good night and great tomorrow.

  62. bar
    63 | June 28, 2009 9:23 pm

    re: #56 by no2liberals

    Now that says a lot about the current state of morals in American.
    A moment of silence for MJ and not an hour of silence for this brave gentleman.

    This man is a true American hero.

  63. off with my head
    64 | June 28, 2009 9:28 pm

    “Powdered Oxygen Bleach Products”:

    Did I mention I hate Obama?

  64. CloudyDay
    65 | June 28, 2009 9:49 pm

    My Mom used to tell me about the corn cobs. That, and the Sears catalog.

  65. CloudyDay
    66 | June 28, 2009 9:51 pm

    Follow up to my 65.
    My dad still gets a giggle every now and then by mentioning that Arabs use their left hand.

  66. bar
    67 | June 28, 2009 10:29 pm

    re: #66 by CloudyDay

    Yeah, but bacon is forbidden!

  67. song_and_dance_man
    68 | June 28, 2009 10:35 pm

    re: #66 by CloudyDay

    OxiClean for your left hand. But wait…

  68. Speranza
    69 | June 29, 2009 5:34 am

    re: #19 by savage

    He was born in Israel but came to this country when he was an infant.

  69. Speranza
    70 | June 29, 2009 5:35 am

    re: #21 by no2liberals

    How about the GEICO cave men?

  70. 71 | June 29, 2009 6:10 am

    Buy your commemorative engraved Awesome Auger(TM) TODAY for only $19.99!

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