Arizona broadcast icon dies: Bill Thompson "Wallace Snead" passe - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Arizona broadcast icon dies: Bill Thompson "Wallace Snead" passed away at 82

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) - A broadcasting legend in Arizona has died today. Bill Thompson, better known as his stage name, "Wallace Snead" passed away at the age of 82.

Thompson created the popular children's television show, "Wallace & Ladmo." It was one of the longest running children's television shows in history.

His family and friends say Thompson had been sick for a while, but even on his death bed he was making jokes, just like he did on his show. Determined to the end, to make those around him laugh.

If you grew up in the 1950's, 60's, 70's, or even part of the 80's you likely grew up watching the Wallace & Ladmo Show.

The star and creator, Bill Thompson, or better known as "Wallace" died Wednesday at the age of 82. Thompson left behind legions of fans.

"I don't know even if friend is an appropriate term, I'm an only child, but we were brothers," said Pat McMahon.

Thompson's childrens television show defined him; a man who's only mission was to make people of all ages laugh.

"He made people laugh all the time, and I saw children happy, children that sometimes didn't have very much. They would come on the show and get prizes, and I just saw joy all the time," said Wallace's daughter Carrie Thompson.

"If they knew him, or knew anything about him, the one thing they know is he never took a vacation. He couldn't imagine going anyplace more fun than putting on the Wallace and Ladmo show," said McMahon.

His daughter Carrie says her father was making jokes until the end. "He was playing dead at the hospital until the nurse said, "that's enough," he was doing that until the end," she said.

Generations of fans now left to remember Wallace, Thompson's character, who graced television screens in Arizona for more than three decades.

"He loved his audience; he used to end all his shows, especially the stage ones, with "we love ya, you're the greatest audience in the world, thank you so much," that's really how he felt," said Carrie Thompson.

Thompson leaves behind five children, ten grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.
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