RICHMOND, Va. -- Jimmy Dean, a nation song fable for his pound strike about a workingman hero, "Big Bad John," and an businessman well well known for his sausage brand, died on Sunday. He was 81.
His wife, Donna Meade Dean, conspicuous her father died at their Henrico County, Va., home.
She told that he had a little health problems but was still functioning well, so his genocide came as a shock. She conspicuous he was eating in front of the television. She left the room for a time and came behind and he was unresponsive. She conspicuous he was conspicuous passed at 7:54 p.m.
"He was amazing," she said. "He had a lot of talents."
Born in 1928, Dean was lifted in misery in Plainview, Texas, and forsaken out of high propagandize after the ninth grade. He went on to a successful party career in the 1950s and "60s that enclosed the nationally televised "The Jimmy Dean Show."
In 1969, Dean went in to the sausage business, starting the Jimmy Dean Meat Co. in his hometown. He sole the association to Sara Lee Corp. in 1984.
Dean lived in semiretirement with his wife, who is a songwriter and recording artist, on their 200-acre estate only outward Richmond, where he enjoyed investing, boating and examination the object set over the James River.
In 2009 a glow gutted their home, but his Grammy for "Big Bad John," a puppet done by Muppets author Jim Henson, a time that had belonged to Prince Charles and Princess Diana and alternative personal skill were saved. Lost were a pick up of celebrity-autographed books, posters of Dean with Elvis Presley and alternative cherished possessions.
Donna Meade Dean conspicuous the integrate had only changed behind in to their reconstructed home.
With his drawled wisecracks and discerning wit, Dean bewitched most fans. But in both party and commercial operation circles, he was additionally well well known for his difficult hide. He dismissed bandmate Roy Clark, who went onto "Hee Haw" fame, for display up late for gigs.
More recently, a throw with Sara Lee led to inhabitant headlines.
The Chicago-based association let him go as orator in 2003, inciting Deans wrath. He released a matter patrician "Somebody doesnt similar to Sara Lee," claiming he was dumped since he got old.
"The association told me that they were perplexing to capture the younger housewife, and they didnt think I was the one to do that," Dean told in Jan 2004. "I think the the dumbest thing. But you know, what do I know?"
Sara Lee has conspicuous that it chose not to replenish Deans stipulate since the "brand was going in a new direction" that demanded a change in marketing.
Dean grew up in a low-pitched household. His mom showed him how to fool around his initial chord on the piano. His father, who left the family, was a songwriter and singer. Dean taught himself to fool around the accordion and the harmonica.
His begin in the song commercial operation came as an accordionist at a pub nearby Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, D.C., where he was stationed in the 1940s. After withdrawal the Air Force in 1948, he fronted his band, the Texas Wildcats, and drew a clever internal following by appearances on Washington-area radio.
By the early 1950s, Deans rope had the initial inhabitant strike in "Bummin" Around."
"Big Bad John," that is about a spark miner who saves associate workers when a cave roof tiles collapses, became a big strike in 1961 and won a Grammy. The star wrote it in less than dual hours.
His celebrity led him to a fibre of air wave shows, together with "The Jimmy Dean Show" on CBS. Deans last big TV army was ABCs version of "The Jimmy Dean Show" from 1963 to 1966.
Dean in Feb was inaugurated to the Country Music Hall of Fame. He was to be inducted in Oct and his mom conspicuous she thinks he was seeking brazen to it.
Dean became a superstar at venues similar to Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl and became the initial nation star to fool around on the Las Vegas strip. He was the initial guest host on "The Tonight Show," and additionally was an actress with tools in air wave and the movies, together with the purpose of James Bonds fan Willard Whyte in the 1971 movie "Diamonds Are Forever."
Besides his wife, Dean is survived by 3 immature kids and dual grandchildren, Donna Meade Dean said. Arrangements have not be made, but it will be a in isolation service, she said.
In the late "60s, Dean entered the sow businesssomething he knew well. His family had butchered hogs, with the immature Dean whacking them over the head with the brief finish of an ax. The Dean brothersJimmy and Donground the beef and their mom seasoned it.
The Jimmy Dean Meat Co. non-stop with a plant in Plainview. After 6 months, the association was profitable.
His happening was estimated at $75 million in the early "90s.
Having watched alternative stars poke afar their fortunes, Dean conspicuous he schooled to be clever with his money.
"I"ve seen so most people in this commercial operation that done a fortune," he told the AP. "They get old and pennyless and cant have any money. ... I discuss it you something, ... no ones going to fool around a good for Jimmy Dean."
Dean conspicuous afterwards that he was at assent at his estate and that he had picked a mark nearby the stream where he longed for to be buried.
"Its the sweetest square of skill in the world, we think," he told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. "It certain is pacific here."AP Entertainment Writer Chris Talbott in Nashville contributed to this report.