Michael Vale

Michael Vale (June 28, 1922 – December 24, 2005) was an American commercial actor famous for being the longtime sleepy-eyed mascot "Fred the Baker" for donut chain Dunkin' Donuts, with his famous catchphrase "Time to make the donuts." He was featured for 15 years until he retired in 1997, having done more than 1,300 television commercials. Vale also reprised the role for commercials for the short-lived Dunkin' Donuts Cereal. He died of complications from diabetes at age 83 in Manhattan, New York City at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Vale was born in Brooklyn, New York, and studied acting at the Dramatic Workshop in New York City with classmates Tony Curtis, Ben Gazzara, and Rod Steiger. Growing up in Brooklyn, Vale was dubbed "the actor" by his childhood friends because of his ability to imitate ballplayers and celebrities. After serving in the U.S. Army Signal Corps in Europe during World War II, he studied at the Dramatic Workshop at The New School in New York. One of his earliest appearances was in a summer stock production of George Bernard Shaw's "Androcles and the Lion". Vale later described his modest role: "I was thrown to the lions.


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