Veteran character actor William Schallert, perhaps best known as Patty Duke's dad on The Patty Duke Show, has died at 93, his son reports.
Schallert was a very familiar face to lovers of '50s and '60s TV, in particular. He made impressions on early fare like Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe (1955), The Adventures of Jim Bowie (1957-1958), Steve Canyon (1958-1959), Philip Marlowe (1959-1960), Twilight Zone (1960), Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1962), Perry Mason (1957-1962), The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (1959-1962), Get Smart (1967-1970), The Partridge Family (1971), The Nancy Walker Show (1976-1977), The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries (1977-1979), Dream On (1994-1997), True Blood (2008-2011) as well as dozens of drama anthologies.
Frankly, it would be hard to think of a classic or not-so-classic early TV series on which Schallert didn't show his face.
His final TV appearance was an uncredited part—which was how he started his prolific career in the '40s—on the regrettably popular 2 Broke Girls (2014), but isn't it great that he worked into his nineties?
Among Schallert's other diverse achievements: He was directed on the stage by Charlie Chaplin in 1948, worked with Elvis, was the voice of the Pop-Tarts toaster, appeared in one of TV's most beloved episodes (Star Trek's “The Trouble with Tribbles” in 1967) and was president of SAG (1979-1981).
Though far better known for his TV parts, Schallert made appearances in a string of big-screen genre flicks, including Mighty Joe Young (1949), The Man from Planet X (1951), Them! (1955) and The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957), and popped up in famous films like The Red Badge of Courage (1951), Singin' in the Rain (1952), Written on the Wind (1956), Pillow Talk (1959), In the Heat of the Night (1967) and Innerspace (1987).
I would be remiss if I did not mention Schallert starred in the 1976 exploitation classique Dawn: Portrait of a Teenage Runaway on TV.
In recent years, Schallert gamely appeared at autograph shows, greeting fans in spite of his fragile health.