TAMPA, Fla. – Billy Mays, the burly, bearded television pitchman whose boisterous hawking of products such as Orange Glo and OxiClean made him a pop-culture icon, has died. He was 50.
Tampa police said Mays was found unresponsive by his wife Sunday morning. A fire rescue crew pronounced him dead at 7:45 a.m. It was not immediately clear how he died. He said he was hit on the head when an airplane he was on made a rough landing Saturday, and Mays' wife told investigators the TV personality didn't feel well before he went to bed that night.
There were no signs of a break-in at the home, and investigators do not suspect foul play, said Lt. Brian Dugan of the Tampa Police Department, who wouldn't answer any more questions about how Mays' body was found because of the ongoing investigation. The coroner's office expects to have an autopsy done by Monday afternoon.
Mays' wife, Deborah Mays, told investigators that her husband had complained he didn't feel well before he went to bed some time after 10 p.m. Saturday night, Tampa police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said.
"Although Billy lived a public life, we don't anticipate making any public statements over the next couple of days," Deborah Mays said in a statement Sunday. "Our family asks that you respect our privacy during these difficult times."
U.S. Airways confirmed Sunday that Mays was among the passengers on a flight that made a rough landing on Saturday afternoon at Tampa International Airport, leaving debris on the runway after apparently blowing its front tires.
Tampa Bay's Fox television affiliate interviewed Mays after the incident.
"All of a sudden as we hit you know it was just the hardest hit, all the things from the ceiling started dropping," MyFox Tampa Bay quoted him as saying. "It hit me on the head, but I got a hard head."
McElroy said linking Mays' death to the rough landing Saturday afternoon would "purely be speculation." She said Mays' family members didn't report any health issues with the pitchman, but they said he was due to have hip replacement surgery in the coming weeks.
Even though he was a loud, irritating bastard, WTF....Who's next?