Bill 'Wallace' Thompson Of Long-Running Phoenix 'Wallace And Ladmo' TV Show, Dies At 82
July 25, 2014 at 4:47 AM (PT)
Condolences to family, friends, and fans of BILL THOMPSON, known to generations of PHOENIX television viewers as WALLACE, co-host of KPHO-TV's "WALLACE AND LADMO," one of the longest-running daily local children's TV shows in U.S. broadcasting history, who died WEDNESDAY (7/23) in PHOENIX at 82.
THOMPSON and LADIMIR "LADMO" KWIATKOWSKI, abetted for much of the run by longtime KTAR personality PAT MCMAHON playing a variety of characters, were fixtures on PHOENIX channel 5 for 36 years, and counted STEVEN SPIELBERG and ALICE COOPER among fans (both appeared on the show when very young, COOPER as a member of local band THE SPIDERS). Reruns air as specials on independent KAZT-TV (AZTV)/PHOENIX, where MCMAHON contributes commentaries.
Joining KPHO-TV in 1954 as Art Director and portraying the "WALLACE SNEAD" character for the "GOLDDUST CHARLIE" show, THOMPSON's character's early popularity led to his hosting a twice-weekly 15-minute radio show on sister KPHO-A (now Sports KGME-A (FOX SPORTS 910) for a brief time in FEBRUARY 1955 and then his own TV show, "IT'S WALLACE?," which added LADMO, a camera operator for the station, in 1956. The show changed names to "WALLACE AND COMPANY" in 1968 and "THE WALLACE AND LADMO SHOW" in 1970, running through 1989. LADMO, whose name adorned the "LADMO Bags" of prizes and candy given to audience members, died in 1994 at 65.
AZTV posted a tribute video to THOMPSON: