Tuesday, May 10, 2016


Well, hundreds, anyway…

Just this past weekend I was watching one of my all-time favorite movies, 1954’s Them! and I mentioned to The Wife that William Schallert, who has a small part as an ambulance attendant early on, was one of the few members of that great cast who was still alive. Then yesterday we learned that Schallert has passed on, at 93.

Best known for his regular role as Patty’s Dad on The Patty Duke Show—who would’ve thought he’d outlive his TV daughter?—and his recurring role on Dobie Gillis, Schallert was one of the most ubiquitous faces in American movies and TV in the second half of the 20th Century. He appeared in movies ranging from The Man from Planet X to The Incredible Shrinking Man to Pillow Talk to In the Heat of the Night, and his dizzying list of TV roles includes everything from Twilight Zone to The Andy Griffith Show to The Wild Wild West to Get Smart to Gunsmoke to The Partridge Family to Kung Fu to the disagreeable Federation official in the Star Trek episode “The Trouble With Tribbles,” among many, many others.

Schallert, who also served as the President of the Screen Actors Guild from 1979 to 1981, slowed down a little after the ‘90s, but only a little. He was still making fairly regular TV appearances in stuff like My Name is Earl and True Blood and Medium until just a couple of years ago. RIP; his legacy with rerun junkies will not fade anytime soon.

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