Henry Gibson

A veteran character actor who adopted the name of a flowery poet persona he created in the 1960s, Henry Gibson was born James Bateman on Sept. 21, 1935, in Germantown, Pa. The Gibson character -- who would always announce his bits with the line "A poem, by Henry Gibson" -- was a play on the name of dramatist Henrik Ibsen.

Gibson rose to fame as one of the original cast members of "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In," frequently appearing in character to read his poetry and as a tea-sipping priest who delivered droll one-liners. After leaving the show, he voiced the role of Wilbur the pig in the animated classic Charlotte's Web and appeared as a country singer in 1975's Nashville, writing most of his own songs.

Later in life, Gibson played a besotted barfly in Magnolia and landed a recurring role as a judge on the hit series "Boston Legal." He died Sept. 14, 2009, after a brief battle with cancer.

Filmography