Medical examiners are due to conduct a preliminary autopsy Monday on Billy Mays, the man with the booming voice famous for fronting products such as OxiClean and Orange Glo in TV commercials.
The procedure will take about four hours, the Hillsborough medical examiner’s office told CNN. The pitchman was pronounced dead at his home near Tampa, Florida, Sunday morning, after his wife, Deborah, found him unresponsive, Tampa police said. He was 50. He had told a friend before he went to sleep Saturday he was not feeling well. “He said he was groggy, he wasn’t feeling that great. He wanted to get some sleep,” Todd Schnitt said. Watch friends remember Billy Mays » The cause of death is unknown. Police said there were no signs of forced entry to the residence and there is no suspected foul play. Mays was on a US Airways flight from Philadelphia that had a hard landing Saturday at Tampa International Airport after the front tire of the plane blew out.
Bay News 9: Billy Mays has died
After the flight, Mays told a Tampa TV station, “All of a sudden as we hit, you know, it was just the hardest hit, all the things from the ceiling started dropping. It hit me on the head, but I got a hard head.” Airline spokesman Jim Olson told CNN on Sunday there were no reported passenger injuries from Flight 1241. The airline vowed to “cooperate fully” with authorities in the investigation. “We were very sad to learn of Billy Mays’ passing and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family,” Olson said.
In a statement, Deborah Mays said that although “Billy lived a public life,” the family does not plan immediate public statements about his death. The Discovery Channel — which airs “Pitchmen” co-hosted by Mays — issued a statement saying, “It is with incredible sadness that we have to report that Billy Mays died in his sleep last night. Everyone that knows him was aware of his larger-than-life personality, generosity and warmth. Billy was a pioneer in his field and helped many people fulfill their dreams. He will be greatly missed as a loyal and compassionate friend.”