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William Schallert

  • Birthplace: Los Angeles, California
  • Birthday: July 06
Date of passing: 
May 08, 2016

William Schallert was a stage, film and television actor who appeared in several dozen TV series during his nearly 70-year career, but was perhaps best known for playing the father and uncle to two "identical cousins," played by Patty Duke on the popular comedy The Patty Duke Show.

Versatile and prolific, Schallert thrived in both comedy and drama and worked steadily form his twenties into his nineties, eschewing thoughts of retirement despite his advanced age.

Often cast as fathers, judges, doctors, teachers and other authority figures, he was a reliable suporting player and for several decades was a familar face as a guest performer or co-star on an array of television projects.

A partial list of his credits included Lux Video Theatre, Playhouse 90, Blondie, Zorro, Leave it to Beaver, Hey, Jeannie!, The Adventures of Jim Bowie, The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, Wanted: Dead or Alive, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, The Twilight Zone, Dr. Kildare, The Wild Wild West, Get Smart, Hawaii Five-O, The Partridge Family, Love, American Style, The Nancy Walker Show, Maude, The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, The Waltons, Banacek, Kung FuNorth and South: Book II, The New Gidget, War and Remembrance, The Torkelsons, Dream On, Melrose PlaceDesperate Housewives and True Blood.

His final credit was a 2014 episode of the CBS comedy 2 Broke Girls.

William Schallert was a stage, film and television actor who appeared in several dozen TV series during his nearly 70-year career, but was perhaps best known for playing the father and uncle to two "identical cousins," played by Patty Duke on the popular comedy The Patty Duke Show.

Versatile and prolific, Schallert thrived in both comedy and drama and worked steadily form his twenties into his nineties, eschewing thoughts of retirement despite his advanced age.

Often cast as fathers, judges, doctors, teachers and other authority figures, he was a reliable suporting player and for several decades was a familar face as a guest performer or co-star on an array of television projects.

A partial list of his credits included Lux Video Theatre, Playhouse 90, Blondie, Zorro, Leave it to Beaver, Hey, Jeannie!, The Adventures of Jim Bowie, The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, Wanted: Dead or Alive, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, The Twilight Zone, Dr. Kildare, The Wild Wild West, Get Smart, Hawaii Five-O, The Partridge Family, Love, American Style, The Nancy Walker Show, Maude, The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, The Waltons, Banacek, Kung FuNorth and South: Book II, The New Gidget, War and Remembrance, The Torkelsons, Dream On, Melrose PlaceDesperate Housewives and True Blood.

His final credit was a 2014 episode of the CBS comedy 2 Broke Girls.

Although The Patty Duke Show only aired from 1963 to 1966, Schallert was long remembered for the role of Martin Lane — New York newspaper editor, father to Patty Lane and uncle to Cathy Lane — and Star Trek fans remember him for the "The Trouble with Tribbles," a 1967 episode regarded as one of the sci-fi saga's best.

Schallert also appeared in numerous feature films, beginning with the 1947 release The Foxes of Harrow. Other movies credits included The Man from Planet X, Gog, The Incredible Shrinking Man, In the Heat of the Night, The Trial of the Catonsville Nine, Will Penny, Sam Whiskey, The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, The Strongest Man in the World, The Jerk, Gremlins and Innerspace.

In addition, he voiced many characters in commercials and on animated programs such as Dinky Dog, ’Tis the Season to Be Smurfy and What's New, Scooby-Doo? He also provided the voice of Abraham Lincoln for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois.

A native of Los Angeles, Schallert was the son of Edwin Francis Schallert, a respected critic and drama editor for the Los Angeles Times and Elza Emily Baumgarten, an entertainment journalist and radio commentator. He graduated from UCLA, where he initially studied music before turning his attention to acting. He began performing professionally while still a student at the renowned Circle Theater in Hollywood. In 1952 he studied theater in Britain as a Fulbright scholar and was a guest lecturer at Oxford University before he returned to Los Angeles to resume his professional career.

From 1979 to 1981 he was president of the Screen Actors Guild.

Schallert died May 8, 2016, in Pacific Palisades, California. He was 93.

 

 

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