Rob Thielke Dies: Vern Fonk President Ranked With George Foreman & Richard Simmons As Top TV Pitchmen [Video]

Rob Thielke dies after rising to fame in two ways. Rob was known both as the man who created the beloved Vern Fonk Insurance TV ads and as the president of the company. Thielke died from colon cancer at 50, reported Seattle PI.

After working as an insurance agent in 1989, Rob became president of the company in 2013. Vern Fonk Insurance paid tribute to Thielke in a statement released after he died. The company noted that Rob fostered the expansion of the insurance company to more than 20 locations in Oregon and Washington.

“In addition to his steadfast leadership, Rob enjoyed dreaming up ideas for TV commercials,” praised Craig Rexroat, Chief Operating Officer at the company.

Thielke once revealed how his famous TV commercials began, noting that the insurance company’s founder, Vern, encouraged him.

“I was just being goofy, silly in the office all the time,” admitted Rob. “Vern says, ‘Hey, I want you to go do some TV ads.'”

And Thielke had a family connection in Hollywood. Rob’s brother, actor Joel Thielke, advised him on how to put it together. And when Rob hit on the concept of taking relevant, odd topics and mocking them or creating a parody in an ad that also showcased the company, he had a winner.

Those in some areas can look forward to Vern Fonk Insurance’s upcoming TV commercials that will replay Thielke’s best moments. The company is doing so after Rob’s family requested it following the announcement that the TV pitchman and company president had died.

Thielke isn’t the only well-known TV pitchman. The others range from George Foreman to Richard Simmons, reported Daily Finance.

Foreman has become known not just for boxing but for his role as the cooking product spokesperson. And just like with Rob’s commercials for the insurance company, Foreman succeeded in making ads that kept viewers riveted to the screen instead of flipping the channel.

Then there is Tae Bo, pitched by Billy Blanks. His Tae Bo routine weaves boxing with martial arts. Blanks made his mark in TV pitchmen history by having celebrities such as Carmen Electra and Shaquille O’Neal participate in his commercials to endorse his products.

Richard Simmons has pitched his weight loss products ranging from food plans to workout videos. And yes, Richard still wears those peppermint-striped shorts and tank tops.

As the Inquisitr reported, Simmons also is among the many celebrities who have appeared on Dr. Mehmet Oz’s talk show.

[Photo by Michel Porro / Getty Images]