2013 has been touted as the Year of Luigi by Nintendo, so this comes with an extra dose of sadness: Polygon reports that Danny Wells, the man who brought life to Luigi opposite “Captain Lou” Albano’s Mario, has died, according to an obituary in the Montreal Gazette.
Wells, born Jack Westelman, voiced the green-clad Mario Bro in the animated segments of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, marking the Mushroom Kingdom’s first animated appearances. In addition to his voice, Wells provided the body in the live-action segments where he, along with his brother Mario (Albano), would get into kooky situations in their plumbing storefront. The series was bolstered by the immense popularity of the NES game, and many guest stars appeared on the show with Wells, including Magic Johnson, Vanna White, and Cyndi Lauper.
In addition to his role as Luigi, Wells’ most recognizable role was that of Charlie the bartender on the ’70s breakthrough hit The Jeffersons. He would also have roles in The A-Team, Silver Spoons and The Fall Guy. Wells was 72.
Thank you to GotGamer Omega Lyam for the tip.