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Empire Carpet Man, a TV icon, dies at 89

Bryan Alaspa's picture

He was known throughout Chicago and many Chicagoans grew up with his image on TV and he eventually became known throughout the country as the Empire Carpet Man and, now, he has passed away.

His real name was Elmer Lynn Hauldren, and he went by Lynn Hauldren. However, to the thousands of people who grew up watching daytime television in Chicago, he will always be known as the Empire Carpet Man. His mustachioed face was well-known on local Chicago television pitching the carpet installation services available from the company.

Chicago media reports state that Hauldren portrayed the pitch man since the 1970s. When he got older, he still lent his voice to the commercials as a computer-generated version of his face and character was shown on the commercials.

Hauldren was originally a writer for the advertising agency charged with creating the Empire Carpet commercials. However, when it came time to shoot the commercial, the owner of the ad company asked if he would step into the role. The rest became television commercial history.

Hauldren was also an actor, having acted in stage productions. He was also a decorated World War II veteran. He was also well-known among barbershop quartet circles, having even recorded albums with some groups.

Hauldren starred in commercials that were famous throughout Chicago. When local TV station, WGN, went nationwide and appeared on cable channels across the country, the Empire Carpet phenomenon went country-wide. Along with Hauldren’s face, the commercials are famous for the singing of the company phone number as Five-Eight-Eight-Two-Three Hundred, Empire!

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