December 30, 2003 by

Earl Hindman


Categories: Actors, Hollywood

ehindman.jpgEarl Hindman, an actor who was best known for playing the eccentric and obscure neighbor on the ABC show, “Home Improvement,” died on Dec. 29 from lung cancer. He was 61.
After studing acting at the University of Arizona, Hindman moved to New York City to break into show business. He appeared in several on- and off-Broadway plays including “Dark of the Moon” and “The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel.”
Hindman spent a decade playing police detective Bob Reid on the soap opera, “Ryan’s Hope,” and made numerous guest appearances on TV shows like “Spenser: For Hire,” “The Equalizer” and “Law & Order.”
But he achieved a unique type of fame in the long-running sitcom, “Home Improvement” playing next-door neighbor Wilson. In this role, Hindman gave folksy advice to Tim “The Toolman” Taylor (played by Tim Allen), but never showed his face to the camera. Instead, he was always hidden behind fences and carefully positioned props so that only his eyes and forehead were visible to the audience.
For his recent work in “Julius Caesar” at the Theatre for a New Audience in New York, Hindman won the Actor’s Equity Callaway Prize for best performance in a professional production of a classic play. The award was to be presented on Jan. 9.

32 Responses to Earl Hindman

  1. heather

    I would love to say that We will miss you very much and we would like to be able to see some of the shows that you played in my Dad loved watching your show we watched it every chance that we get

  2. Don

    I remember Earl well from “Ryan’s Hope,” which I used to watch when home sick from junior high school. I always thought it one of the best soaps ever, and Mr. Hindman one of the best actors on daytime TV. A gentle giant.

  3. Rob Waddell

    Though I never relly became that familiar with Earl proior to his part as Wilson on Home Improvement, I will always remember and respect him for being a most fabulous character, talented performer and valuable contributor to, without a doubt, the finest television series ever produced. May God Bless him, his family and the fans and cast he leaves behind.

  4. anjali nair

    I’d like to represent the people from around the world who really admired you on Home Improvement. The world has lost a fine actor. Rest in Peace

  5. Roxann Levitsky

    I watch Ryan’s Hope on Soap Opera Network, I felt and still feel you were one of the best actors. God bless your family.

  6. Chip Grant

    Along with some good frineds, Earl use to show up at the local Mexican resturaunt and throw back a few cold ones. Earl you where funny and loved by all of us, it was a pleasure to have known you. When Earl moved back east after the show closed the locals through a going away party for Earl (although) I didnt make it, I heard it was great, and YES when the group photo was shot Earl did find the back yard fence to project the simple image that made him so famous. RIP my friend…

  7. John Irving

    A bit late, but I must say that Earl’s role in Home Improvement was a lot of fun and he played the part so well. I miss him and I miss the show.
    Rest in peace.

  8. Andrew Machell

    This is a bit late but i thought you were excellent in Home Improvement especially the way your and tim allen connected on and off the set. Rest in Peace.

  9. Pete Starrett

    Earl played my father in a production of Cymbeline which we performed in New York and for a month in Stratford upon Avon. He helped me become a better actor and through his caustic wit he made me laugh harder than just about anyone I have known.

  10. megann

    sooo.. i know that i dont have much to say concidering i dont know you haha . but you were one of the greatest actors.. i followd your entire career. and its such a shame that you had to pass so early. i my self want to become an actor.. and i bass my learing off of you.

  11. oscar carrillo velazquez

    Looks like Wilson played the same person inside or outside TV studios. I will remember you too Earl. Rest in peace.

  12. troy coalwood

    earl hinman was a great actor n he was a great person even though i dont know him i think he was a great man

  13. rela

    I have just found out ’bout his death.I will always miss him becose I am a really great fan oh HI and was shocked when I found out.
    We will always miss you.

  14. jordan

    R.I.P my freind i have met this actor and i have seen all his shows and i have just found out today 6.6.07 and i am realy gutted becouse i did know him well and i hope to see you in heaven

  15. Joe

    Growing up, listening to “Wilsons” messages to Tim on home improvement I beleive taught me a lot and still does when I watch the show. You will be missed!

  16. rekurta

    dear earl.
    we just saw your whole face for the first time. you are awesome. r.i.p. we are eating raw pasta as we think of you *single tear slides down cheek and on to pasta* mmmmm salty. love your hat in home improvement. hidy-ho to you to:(

  17. micko

    You were an innovator,a man who made a trend and stuck with it all the way to the end,and nobody will ever forget who you were.RIP Earl hindman and home improvement,you’ll be sorley missed!

  18. Randy

    Wilson was such a handsome guy on Home Improvement show. I always watch that show although it’s old. I know he’s happy now in Heaven.

  19. Laido

    When I was a kid your character in the series home improvement made me want to read books about philosophy and that I could become as wise as wilson. If you would not been such a great actor of a loveable character I might had never have the chance to learn to love great books that really gave me so much.
    Thank you so much and rest in peace. You did a wonderful job in inspiring people.

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