Last call for Philip Morris!
Monday, December 7, 1998; Washington Post, Page B06
Johnny Roventini, 88, the pint-size bellboy who became one of the best-known figures in American advertising with his shrill shout of "Call for Philip Morris," died Nov. 30 at a hospital in Suffern, N.Y. The cause of death was not reported.
In 1933, he was being promoted by the New Yorker Hotel as "the smallest bellboy in the world" at 4 feet tall when he met advertising man Milton Biow, who had an idea for a cigarette ad. Biow gave him a dollar "to locate Philip Morris." In time, "Call for Philip Morris" was known to almost every person in the world.
That began a career that brought Mr. Roventini a life contract. He was heard on popular live radio programs and on some of the most-watched television shows of the 1950s and 1960s, including "I Love Lucy," "Candid Camera" and the Red Skelton and Jackie Gleason shows.Click here to read about Johnny Roventini's life in MUCH GREATER detail. The site has extensive photos of Johnny, along with ads and memorabilia. There is an MP3 file which lets you hear his famous "Call" in crystal clarity.
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