Thursday, December 2, 2010
AS SEEN IN:
'Backstairs At The White House'
AS PLAYED BY:
Irwin Hood Hoover, (October 24, 1871–September 14, 1933), also known as "Ike," was, for many years, the White House Chief Usher.
He was born in Washington, D.C., the son of a grocer. As an employee of the Edison Company, he was sent to the White House on May 6, 1891, during the Benjamin Harrison administration, to install the first electric lights. He stayed on as permanent electrician, and soon accepted a position on ushers' force, and under the Taft Administration was appointed Chief Usher. He held this position until his death in 1933.
During these forty-two years of service, Ike Hoover had intimate daily contact with ten Presidents, their wives, and their families. As Chief Usher he was the executive head of the household, in charge of all social affairs and entrusted with confidential matters of every description. It was also his duty to welcome guests of the President, to arrange the details of their visits, and to make them feel at home in the White House (a difficult task).
As 'Backstairs At The White House' was broadcast in 1979, the role of Ike Hoover probably marks the last major dramatic role Mr. Nielsen would play before his career took an amazing trajectory into comedy for the next thirty years, following 'Airplane!' in 1980.