Earl John Hindman was born Oct. 20, 1942 in Bizbee, Ariz. He got his first professional Shakespearean role between semesters in university and decided to take up acting full time. He kept busy with a long stream of repertory theatre appearances; later he garnered roles in various off-Broadway productions. Hindman was also lucky enough to land two Broadway roles in The Lincoln Mask and The Love Suicide at Schofield Barracks. He toured in the U.S. traveling production of The Great White Hope. Hindman's numerous TV and movie credits include appearances in Kojak, Spencer: For Hire and The Equalizer, Earl also had a role on the soap Ryan's Hope for 9 years. Perhaps his most notable role was as Wilson the invisible neighbor on Home Improvement. Earl was married to and lived in Stamford, Conn. with his wife until his death in 2003.
Wilson is the show's resident poet-philosopher, and a guru Tim relies on heavily for advice both marital and professional. On the series, Wilson's mouth was never seen - he'd usually reside behind a fence, but whenever he was somewhere else he'd either face away from the camera or a conveniently placed object would obscure his mouth. Two versions of the show's finale were taped: one in which Wilson's mouth is revealed and another in which there was no reveal. The producers chose to keep the mystery alive until the very end, never revealing Wilson's full face.