WFAA-TV (ABC) Dallas-Ft. Worth reports the death of Jerry Haynes, known to generations of viewers as “Mr. Peppermint.” He died Monday (9/26) at age 84 from complications related to Parkinson’s disease.
Haynes retired in 1996 after 35 years as Mr. Peppermint, hosting the daily children’s show. It began on WFAA in 1961 and was syndicated to more than 100 markets at one point. “I was in people’s living rooms every day as they were getting dressed and eating their cereal. So I’m a buddy. They saw me. I didn’t see them,” he said in a 2008 WFAA interview.
Active as an actor in addition to his kiddie TV work, Haynes appeared in numerous films and TV series shot in North Texas, such as “Dallas” and “Walker, Texas Ranger.” His chief feature film roles included Deputy Jack Driscoll in “Places in the Heart” and as Patsy Cline’s record producer Owen Bradley in “Sweet Dreams.”
On November 22, 1963 Haynes happened to be at Dealey Plaza in Dallas when President John F. Kennedy was shot. He sprinted back to the studio and went on the air as one of the first to give incredulous viewers an account of the assassination.