Captain Kangaroo‘s Mr. Baxter, played by James Wall, died Wednesday night in his sleep.
Before joining Captain Kangaroo as Mr. Baxter, James Wall worked on the show as a stage manager. He convinced the show to add a black character, and the show turned around and gave him the part.
James Wall’s part on Captain Kangaroo ended in 1978. He continued to work in Manhattan as a stage manager for CBS until 2009.
Shows he worked on include NFL Today and 60 Minutes. He also managed numerous presidential inaugurations and political events, as well as the U.S. Open tennis tournament for 41 consecutive years.
Captain Kangaroo aired for nearly 30 years, from 1955 through 1984. At the time, it was the longest-running children’s show ever.