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Bob Newhart is a beloved comedian and actor. His incredible career has spanned over 70 years. Over the course of his time in Hollywood, he’s appeared on many TV shows and movies and has released 10 comedy albums. How is Bob Newhart doing now?

Bob Newhart Was Born In 1929 And Is Still Alive

Bob Newhart was born in 1929, and he’s still going strong today in 2022. On September 5th of this year, he’ll celebrate his 93rd birthday.

His Legendary Entertainment Career

1960: Actor Bob Newhart and singer Nat "King" Cole (holding a Grammy) speak at the microphone during the 1960 Grammy Awards ceremony in circa 1960.
(Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

It was clear very quickly that Newhart had what it took to be a successful comedian. When he was 29 years old, he first had the idea to try standup comedy. He created a standup routine based on the telephone calls he took at his day job as an advertising copywriter. He decided to send audition tapes of this routine in to radio stations. The radio stations loved the routine, and the following year, in 1959, he started performing stand-up in nightclubs. He was quickly signed with Warner Bros. Records (which had been established only a year prior.)

In 1960, he released his first comedy album, and it made history. “The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart” was the first-ever comedy album to hit number one on the Billboard charts. The album surpassed Elvis and The Sound of Music original Broadway cast soundtrack. In 1961, Newhart received the Grammy Awards for Best New Artist and Album of the Year.

Newhart Moved To Television

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 21: Bob Newhart appears on stage at The Paley Honors: A Special Tribute To Television's Comedy Legends at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on November 21, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California.
(Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

Making a splash like that was sure to secure Newhart some major career opportunities. That same year, NBC offered him his own variety TV show. Newhart made his leap to television with The Bob Newhart Show. The series only ran from October 1961 to June 1962. Even so, it took home the 1962 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series before being canceled.

After the cancellation of his series, Newhart took things in a different direction. He took on film and television guest roles before landing a new version of The Bob Newhart Show. Newhart was the lead in this sitcom from 1972 to 1978. He began voice acting as well as acting in films. In 1982, he landed his second lead role in a sitcom. Newhart ran until 1990. Of course, this didn’t mark the end of Newhart’s reign as the king of sitcoms. In 1992, he starred in another sitcom called Bob. Bob, however, was not well received and was canceled at the end of its second season. Fortunately, there was another sitcom waiting for Newhart 5 years later. From 1997 to 1998, Newhart starred in yet another sitcom, “George & Leo.”

In the years that followed, Newhart took on many more TV and film roles. This career choice allowed him to extend the laughs to new generations. While older generations may know him from his appearances on The Carol Burnett Show or Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, younger folks almost certainly know him as Papa Elf from the holiday classic, Elf. In fact, in terms of fan mail, Newhart says “I would say half my mail is Elf.’”

Is He Still Performing Today?

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 16: Actor Bob Newhart speaks during "The Big Bang Theory" Special Screening and Panel Discussion at the Landmark Nuart Theatre on April 16, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.
(Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

For most, age 92 would be far past the time to retire. Newhart, on the other hand, isn’t ready to throw in the towel. He’s still going strong and making people laugh. Newhart wrapped up his most recent role in 2020, voicing Professor Proton on the sitcom, Young Sheldon. He also played this role on the hit series The Big Bang Theory (of which Young Sheldon is a spinoff.) He played this character from 2013 through 2020, and in 2013, it landed him an Emmy award. Newhart’s standup career isn’t over, either. He performed standup as recently as 2019, and he intends to get back to it once COVID-19 is under control.

Is He Still In Good Health?

For a 92-year-old who expects to get back to standup comedy in front of a live audience in the years to come, it’s safe to say that Newhart is in remarkably good health. Even so, he did experience some health problems when he was younger.

In 2006, Newhart’s memoir, “I Shouldn’t Even Be Doing This! and Other Things That Strike Me as Funny,” was released. In it, he recounted his days as a heavy smoker. “In nearly every photograph we have of me in the fifties, sixties, and seventies, I’m holding a cigarette. I always smoked onstage…I was so addicted that if I woke up in the night to go to the bathroom, I’d light a cigarette for the walk,” Newhart recalled. “My realization about the evils of nicotine came one summer day in 1985 when I developed a nosebleed that just wouldn’t stop.” Newhart was diagnosed with Secondary Polycythemia, which increases the risk of having a stroke. He quit smoking then and there and made a full recovery. 

Newhart remains in good health today, and he loves spending time with his grandchildren during his time off from working. He’s spent the COVID-19 pandemic streaming shows and movies with his wife of 57 years, Ginny. And, we’re sure he’s making his family laugh, According to Newhart, “Laughter gives us distance. It allows us to step back from an event, deal with it, and then move on.” We can’t wait to hear how he’ll make us laugh next.

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