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'Match Game' Wit Patti Deutsch Dead at 73

'Match Game' Wit Patti Deutsch Dead at 73

Patti Deutsch, well-known in the '70s as a sardonic celebrity guest on game shows like "Match Game" and a prominent voice artist, has died at 73.

THR reports Deutsch succumbed to cancer after a "long battle."

Deutsch gained acclaim as part of the Ace Trucking Company improv group alongside Fred Willard, and was a regular on the final season of "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" (1972-1973), but it was her distinctively nasal, humorously whiny voice that became her calling card. She was heard in 500 local and national spots, including squeezing Mr. Whipple's Charmin, sipping Folgers coffee with Mrs. Olson, and driving a taxi in a famous Safeguard soap ad that featured future stars Tom Selleck, Teri Garr and Penny Marshall.

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"You know, it's a pleasure having someone in my cab who smells so fresh and clean. You married?"

On TV, she provided voices for dozens of children's animated series, including "Capitol Critters" (1992), "The Wild Thornberrys" (1998-2004), "Angelina Ballerina" (2002-2006) and "As Told by Ginger" (2004).

Deutsch's stand-up-ready wit made her a staple of late-night TV and a natural on game shows, including "Match Game" (1973-1978), on which she was usually the last star to reply and reliably had offbeat answers designed to be funny more than to match contestants. A new iteration of "Match Game" launched with Alec Baldwin as host in 2016 revived interest in the original.

She also provided voice-overs in films like "The Emperor's New Groove" (2000) and "Monsters, Inc." (2001).

According to a family statement, Deutsch is survived by her husband, Donald Ross; her children Max, Lee, and Alexis and their spouses; and three grandchildren.