Page last updated at 08:51 GMT, Friday, 23 October 2009 09:51 UK

US pie-splattered comedian dies

Soupy Sales
Sales received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2005

US comedian Soupy Sales, who had some 20,000 pies thrown at him during a career spanning half a century, has died at the age of 83.

Sales died in a hospice in New York after being admitted a week ago, his former manager Dave Usher said.

During the 1950s and 60s, Sales was one of the most instantly recognisable faces in the US, Mr Usher said.

Having pies hurled at him became his trademark act and he acknowledged it would be his legacy.

"I'll probably be remembered for the pies, and that's all right," he said in a 1985 interview.

Sales was born Milton Supman on 8 January 1926, in Franklinton, North Carolina.

Bow tie

His television career began in 1951 hosting a children's show in Cleveland, before moving to Detroit where he drew large audiences on a local station.

Appealing to adults and children alike, the show went nationwide with co-star puppets White Fang (the meanest dog in the United States) and Black Tooth (the nicest dog in the United States).

Celebrities including Frank Sinatra and Shirley MacLaine appeared on his show to be spattered with a pie while standing next to the comedian, often wearing his trademark black jumper and oversized bow tie.

Sales remained a familiar television face, first as a regular from 1968-75 on the game show What's My Line? and later appearing on The Love Boat.

He also played himself in the 1998 Eddie Murphy film Holy Man.

Sales is survived by his wife, Trudy, and two sons, Hunt and Tony.

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