FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) - The Fort Wayne “Potato Chip Lady,” who became a local celebrity after appearing on several late night talk shows with her collection of chips that resembled celebrities and animals, has died, her daughter and a funeral home said. She was 90.
Myrtle Young’s daughter, Marilyn Young Wiles, told The News-Sentinel (https://bit.ly/1Bby66J ) that her mother died Saturday morning of congestive heart failure.
Young worked as a potato chip inspector for 17 years at the former Seyfert’s plant in Fort Wayne. She began collecting potato chips that looked like famous people, animals and various objects in 1986.
After an interview with a reporter from The News-Sentinel, Young began to make the rounds on the late night talk show circuit.
She initially appeared on “Late Night with David Letterman,” before her most well-known appearance on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show” in October 1987.
While Young shared her potato chip collection with Carson’s audience, the comedian bit down on a potato chip that was hidden behind his desk. She whirled around to Carson, thinking he ate one of her prized chips.
The guest spot is included in “Johnny Carson: His Favorite Moments from ‘The Tonight Show,’” a four-volume set of show highlights. In 1999, Carson’s trick was named the funniest moment on television in the past 50 years by the editors of TV Guide.
Young also appeared “The Chevy Chase Show,” Bill Cosby’s “You Bet Your Life,” Geraldo Rivera’s “Geraldo” and Vicki Lawrence’s “Vicki!,” among others. Wiles said her mother even traveled overseas to appear on shows in Amsterdam and London.
When Young retired from her job as a potato chip inspector, she continued to work at Seyfert’s as a tour guide. She showed visitors around the plant and shared her potato chip collection with them.
Wiles said there are about 250 to 300 potato chips in her mother’s collection. She said some of the chips and other memorabilia will be on display at Young’s viewing Wednesday and funeral Thursday.
“I don’t think anyone will leave there sad,” Wiles said.
The funeral director at Covington Memorial Funeral Home confirmed her death to The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Information from: The News-Sentinel, https://www.news-sentinel.com/ns
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