Carol Wayne, the full-figured, squeaky-voiced blonde who was the Matinee Lady on the “Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” for many years, was reported dead today in the Mexican resort of Manzanillo.
Her ex-husband, Barry Feinstein, said from New York that an autopsy disclosed that she had drowned. She was 42. Her body was found Sunday.
Miss Wayne, a former ice show performer, was the outwardly dumb, constantly amazed foil for Carson when he performed as Art Fern, the lecherous host of the “Tea Time Movie.”
In a year-old interview in Playboy, Miss Wayne, thrice married and divorced and the mother of a teen-age boy, said she was “discovered” at a Hollywood party and auditioned for the Tonight show after appearances as a Las Vegas chorine.
When Carson dropped her after trimming his show to one hour, she estimated she had made 101 appearances. She also appeared in several TV series, almost always as the quizzical, buxom blonde with a seemingly natural gift for double entendres.