Bob Newhart Defiantly Refuses to Retire as He Turns 90
Bob Newhart hasn't forgotten what is truly important in life.
Legendary comedic actor Bob Newhart may be turning 90 on September 5, but he has no intention of retiring anytime soon.
Newhart Won’t Be Retiring
“I always say, ‘What are you going to tell people: ‘I’m really tired of making people laugh?’” Newhart said, according to Fox News. “It’s a wonderful thing to be able to do. You go out and do a good show, and you and the audience are happy for an hour or so. People forget their troubles, pick themselves up and dust themselves off. How could you hate that? I don’t think I’ll ever stop performing. It’s in my blood.”
“I’ve done just about everything I’ve ever thought or even didn’t think I would do,” Newhart added. “Making people laugh is all I care about.”
Newhart went on to say that he loves passing on all of the lessons he’s learned from his decades working in Hollywood to his grandchildren.
“My grandson, who’s 12, did stand-up the other day,” he said. “I asked him what it was like. He said he told one joke and it worked, then he told another that didn’t work, but he went right ahead. I said, ‘That’s the secret. You’ve got to keep going and put one foot in front of the other.’”
Newhart’s Strong Marriage
These days, Newhart is loving the life he has with his beloved wife Ginny, who he has been married to for 56 years. Comedian Buddy Hackett introduced the couple when Ginny was babysitting his children.
“… He said, ‘I’ve got a nice Catholic girl for you,’” Newhart remembered. “So he set us up on a blind date, and then we started dating, and we ended up getting married in 1963.”
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Newhart added that he never had any doubt that Ginny was “the one.”
“We had the same values, and we enjoyed being with each other,” he said. “She had a great sense of humor, so she had all the things I was looking for. She brings me down to Earth if I get too full of myself. Several years ago, Ginny asked me to take out the recyclables. I was feeling full of myself, so I said, ‘Do you think Angelina Jolie makes Brad Pitt take out the recyclables?’ And she said, ‘If you were Brad Pitt, I wouldn’t ask you to take out the recyclables!’”
The fact that Ginny had experience in Hollywood only made their relationship stronger.
“She was an extra in movies, so we know the other side of show business,” Newhart said. “We didn’t go to all the A-list parties. That isn’t the way we wanted to live. It looks glamorous, but when you’re going to perform and you have to walk through the kitchen and somebody says, ‘Don’t step on that lettuce over there,’ it brings you back down to Earth. … If I could’ve afforded it, I would’ve gotten married earlier. When my first record came out and hit number one, I really didn’t have anyone to share it wit. It would’ve been great if Ginny and I could’ve shared that, but I couldn’t afford to get married.”
Newhart Grieves His Loved Ones
Life sadly isn’t always easy for Newhart, however. Like anyone his age, he has lost many close friends and family members in recent years. Friends of his like Don Rickles and Tim Conway passed away in recent years, and his sister Mary Joan died last year.
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“She was a nun, and she was hoping she’d make 90,” Newhart explained. “She just missed it by a couple of days, so I’m making it to 90 for her.”
These deaths have only shown Newhart how important spending time with family really is.
“I got some offers to appear in Chicago, which is where I’m originally from,” he said. “Then I thought to myself, ‘No, I want to be with my family on my 90th birthday.’ So we’re all getting together, and that’s the way it should be… It’s probably trite, but it’s also true: When all is said and done, and all the accolades and honors you receive, it’s all about friends and family.”