Celebrity TV Pitchman Billy Mays Dies
Celebrity television pitchman Billy Mays has died.He was aged 50,the same age as the late pop legend Michael Jackson.
He died Sunday at his home in Tampa,Florida.He leaves a wife,Deborah Mays,son Billy Mays Jr.,who is in his 20s and a toddler daughter.His mother lives in Pittsburgh,Pennsylvania,where Mays was raised.
Doctors pronounced him dead at 7.45 a.m.
Mays,a bearded ebullient handsome TV personality, had earlier been conked on the head by falling luggage in a US Airways flight that made a hard landing at Tampa International Airport on Saturday afternoon.
Mays said the tires blew out during the landing,reports Fox News affiliate WTVT in Tampa.
"All of a sudden as we hit (the ground) you know it was just as I mean the hardest hit," he said in his charming cheerful way.
"All the top you know the things from the ceiling start dropping.
"It hit me on the head but I have a hard head," he shrugged.
Fox News plays the 911 call from a caller,apparently his wife Deborah Mays, in his posh US$1.8 million home, describing Mays had become rigid and unresponsive on Sunday morning.
Mays had earlier complained to his wife that he felt unwell when he retired to bed on Saturday night, hours after the hard landing and hit on the head.
The Hillsborough County medical examiner Dr.Vernard Adam suspected he died of heart disease after an intial autopsy that ruled out foul play.
There was no head trauma.
However, the cause of death is still not fully known until toxicology test reports that would take several weeks are ready - similar to those like the late Michael Jackson.
Mays is famous for his effective hawking of iinteresting products like Oxiclean("Powered by the air you breathe"), Mighty Putty ("Before you throw it away,let Mighty Mendit save the day") and Hercules Hooks.
He had his hip replaced last year.He had planned to promote the special impact gel insole he used to alleviate the pain.
Mays's informercial career was just gaining greater prominence as the Discovery Channel has been airing his popular Pitchmen reality television show with Mays and his co-star Anthony Sullivan since April 15,2009.
Mays and Sullivan both appeared in The Tonight Show with Conan O' Brien on June 23.
Mays was born William Darrell Mays Jr. in Mckees Rocks,Pennsylvania on July 20,1958.
He began his salesman career in the Atlantic City boardwalk selling Washmatick portable mashing machines and other products promoted on television to passers-by.
He honed his craft for 12 years across the United States pitching for various items at home and auto shows and trade fairs.
His career took off after his rival urged him to push household items like Orange Glow's OxiClean.
The US$150 billion informecial industry has lost an icon whose infectious enthusiasm and trademark: "Hi,Billy Mays,here!" booming voice and friendly big yogi bear manners would be dearly missed by US TV audience.