On Sunday, June 13, 2010, singer, television star and one-time owner of his namesake sausage company, Jimmy Dean, passed away at the age of 81, reports the AP.
According to the report, "His wife, Donna Meade Dean, said her husband died at their Henrico County, Va., home. She told The Associated Press that he had some health problems but was still functioning well, so his death came as a shock. She said he was eating in front of the television. She left the room for a time and came back and he was unresponsive."
No cause of death was reported in the story.
Before he became known for Jimmy Dean Sausage — and the commercials he starred in for the products — Jimmy Dean was a professional singer and star of "The Jimmy Dean Show."
He won a Grammy award for the song "Big Bad John" in 1961, which led to his ABC musical
variety series which ran from 1963-66.
Here’s a singing commercial Dean made in 1960 for the Chevy Corvair. (The notorious Corvair was later labeled as "unsafe at any speed" by Ralph Nader.)