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Johnny Roventini
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    (August 15, 1910-November 30, 1998)
    Representative for Philip Morris tobacco products (1933-1974)
    AKA Johnny Philip Morris
    Signature call: ‘Call for Phiiiiiliiiiiiip Morrrrrriiiiiiissss’
    Obviously, he promoted cigarettes.
    Advertising agent Milton Biow played a weird gag on him: handing him a dollar to go all over the hotel calling for ‘Philip Morris’ (‘I had no idea Philip Morris was a cigarette!’).
    As a company man, he was not particularly concerned about the link between tobacco and health.
    A pituitary gland disorder stunted his growth before he hit puberty. Thus, his voice remained high-pitched.
    At his death, he was listed as weighing 59 pounds and standing 47 inches (3’11).
    He encountered scores of radio personalities who tried to trip him up in the midst of his routine.
    Groucho Marx was said to have used the call line as a running gag.
    He was a genuine bellhop.
    According to his nephew, his smoking habit never went beyond the ‘light social’ stage.
    While in his 40s, he played stickball with teenagers in the Bensonhurst area — some of whom don’t ever recall him taking a puff.
    ‘I Love Lucy’ - and its stars in particular - were among his prime backers.
    His signature call is the anchor of what is considered the greatest American advertising campaign of all time. In fact, he himself received a lifetime contract for his work.
    Only one other actor, also of Italian lineage, took his signature role.

Credit: Cool It All Right?


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