Arte Johnson, an Emmy Award-winning comedian best known for his work on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, died Wednesday at the age of 90, our sister publication Variety reports, citing heart failure as his official cause of death.
Born Jan. 20, 1929 in Benton Harbor, Mich., Johnson appeared in a number of TV shows and movies before landing a spot on Laugh-In, the NBC sketch comedy series (1968–1971) that made him a household name. Among his more popular characters was Wolfgang, a German soldier who didn’t seem to realize that World War II had ended. Wolfgang came equipped with an iconic catchphrase (“Verrrry interesting…”) that permeated pop culture for decades.
Johnson’s work on Laugh-In earned him an Emmy Award in 1969, as well as two additional nominations in 1970 and 1971.
Given his penchant for amusing voices, it should come as no surprise that many of Johnson’s post-Laugh-In roles were animated characters. In the years following the show’s conclusion, he lent his voices to a number of popular cartoons, including Pac-Man, The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, DuckTales, The Flinstone Kids, The Smurfs and Animaniacs. Johnson’s final acting credit is the voice of Virman Vundabar in a 2005 episode of Cartoon Network’s Justice League Unlimited, which aired one year before he formally retired.
How will you remember Johnson? Hit PLAY on a sample of his best work below, then drop a comment with your thoughts.