Dick Maugg, the 80s pitchman for Bartles & Jaymes wine coolers, is dead at the age of 83. The star of the popular 1980s commercial died on July 28, but a formal announcement of his death was delayed because his daughter, Karen Coset, had a recurrence of cancer at the same time. Coset passed away on October 4.
Maugg was half of the Bartles & Jaymes duo who entertained America while attempting to sell wine coolers. Dick played the role of the always silent Ed Jaymes, the sidekick of the more vocal Frank Bartles. The commercials were highly acclaimed in the industry and entertained viewers with their “homey style,” MSN reports.
“Dick Maugg, Half of Bartles & Jaymes, Dies at 83” by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS via NYT https://t.co/LljYO1UFxx
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In addition to his acting role in the Bartles & Jaymes commercials, Dick Maugg also worked as a building contractor and developer in the Santa Rosa area, the New York Times reports. He leaves behind his wife, three daughters, Kathryn Toms, Kristina Maugg, and Johanna Kousoulas, and several grandchildren.
Below is a 1980s Bartles & Jaymes commercial featuring the characters Ed Jaymes and Frank Bartles.
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The character of Frank Bartles was portrayed by Dave Rufkahr. The 80s Bartles & Jaymes commercial character was a cattle rancher from Alfalfa, Oregon. Rufkahr passed away in 1996. David Joseph Rufkahr died at the age of 61 from a heart attack. Before becoming a rancher, he spent many years serving in the Air Force. He won the wine coolers commercial job in a talent search.
Many viewers thought that Ed Jaymes and Frank Bartles were real people who actually owned the wine coolers company. In private, Dave Rufkahr reportedly admitted that he only tasted the Bartles & Jaymes drink one time.
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When the run of the commercials ended, Dave candidly said, “It was a h**l of a ride while it lasted.”
The two men would frequently appear sitting on a bucolic front porch and extolling the virtues of the company’s wine coolers. At the end of each commercial, Rufkahr, acting as Frank Bartles, would pleasantly conclude his pitch with “Thank you for your support.”
Dick Maugg built the San Francisco headquarters for an advertising agency, which was run by childhood friend Hal Riney. When the ad group was hired to create Bartles & Jaymes wine cooler commercials, Maugg was suggested to play Ed Jaymes as shooting was about to being and the role was not yet cast.
The Ed Jaymes and Frank Bartles commercials aired for several years in the 1980s and were believed to have bolstered the early success of the wine cooler brand. E & J Gallo Winery introduced the brand in 1981. Wine coolers were extremely popular during the decade, and they were sold in attractive glass bottles, plastic lined boxes with a nozzle, and even in plastic two-liter bottles.
“They were really very funny, and much better than most of the advertising that was going on then,” Barbara Maugg said. “After they finished, a lot of advertising got better because of it, I think.”
The couple was married for 58 years.
Below is the Bartles & Jaymes “how to drink wine coolers in the winter” commercial.
E & J Gallo Winery eventually became a leader in the wine cooler niche during the 80s, but the sweetened wine beverage trend was short lived. During the early 90s, sales of such alcoholic drinks plummeted. The winery has continued to produce wine coolers on a smaller scale.
Dick Maugg was born and raised in Longview, Washington. He studied business at the University of Washington, graduating in 1953, the Press Democrat notes. The Bartles & Jaymes 80s pitchman was also an Army veteran.
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