Chris Wedes, better known as TV clown J. P. Patches, died Sunday morning after a long battle with cancer. He was 84.
On television from 1958 to 1981, and in countless personal appearances since, Mr. Wedes delighted generations of Puget Sound area children and adults with his zany antics and a style that was irreverent yet gentle.
Mr. Wedes’ death was confirmed by Robert L. Newman, who played Mr. Wedes’ sidekick, “Gertrude.”
“Everyone remembers him,” Newman said. “He left such a mark. He will never be forgotten.”
In his tattered hat, red nose and colorful patchwork coat, the character Mr. Wedes created, Julius Pierpont Patches, could cause all sorts of mayhem, tumbling off his tricycle, blasting himself into space and playing pranks on his TV guests.
He opened his last major public appearance, in September 2011, by leading the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance. His unrehearsed Emmy-winning show, which ran weekday mornings and afternoons on KIRO-TV, had an audience of more than 100,000 people at is peak.