Ginnie Newhart, the wife of comedian Bob Newhart, has died after a long battle with an unknown illness. She was 82.
Publicist Jerry Digney confirmed the news to People on Monday, saying that she “passed away Sunday April 23rd, after a long illness.”
The “Elf” actor, 93, also shared the tragic news on Twitter, adding, “She was our rock and we miss her terribly.”
Following the news, Bob’s “Newhart” co-star Julia Duffy paid tribute to Ginnie, calling her a “funny, candid” woman with a “huge heart.”
“Gave me the best advice in everything from decorating to childbirth and children and yes, husbands,” she tweeted. “I loved her. RIP Ginnie Newhart heart💔.”
Although Ginnie didn’t star in the hit CBS series, she played a major role in its success.
During what is considered one of the best series finales in TV history, audiences learn that the entire show had been a dream — a plot devised by Ginnie.
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The couple, who celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in January, was set up on a blind date by comedian and mutual friend Buddy Hackett.
“Buddy came back one day and said in his own inimitable way, ‘I met this young guy and his name is Bobby Newhart, and he’s a comic and he’s Catholic and you’re Catholic and I think maybe you should marry each other,’ ” she recalled in a 2013 interview with City & Shore magazine.
Little did he know that the two would marry in 1963, going strong for 60 years.
In 2019, Bob revealed the secret to their decades-long marriage: laughter.
“I think laughter is vital. It’s as vital as breathing. It gets you through difficult areas,” he told The Day that year. “Laughter is one of the most beautiful sounds in the world. It’s like music, of a kind.”
“No matter how intense the argument you’re having, you can find a line, and then you both look at each other and start laughing. It’s over, you know? I think that sense of humor is very important to the longevity of a marriage,” he further explained during an interview with Parade.
The pair share children Robert Jr., Timothy, Courtney and Jennifer, as well as 10 grandchildren.
Reps for the Newharts did not immediately reply to Page Six’s request for comment.
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