William Schallert: Beloved TV Dad of Patty Duke, Nancy Drew & Gidget, Not to Mention the Definitive Teacher/Professor in THE MANY LOVES OF DOBIE GILLIS, Walt Disney/Kurt Russell Comedies & More

Schallert, best known for playing the dad of Patty Lane (Patty Duke) & Nancy Drew (Pamela Sue Martin) and his appearance in the STAR TREK episode The Trouble with Tribbles, passed away on May 8th, 2016. He was 93.

The ubiquitous & prolific character man appeared in over 350 films, TV shows & tele-films/mini-series in his over 65 year career. He most recently played an elevator operator in an episode of 2 BROKE GIRLS last year.

Besides being the perfect TV/film father, Schallert also played a slew of professors, doctors, attorneys, scientists, reporters, teachers, judges, dispatchers, military brass, secretaries, clerks, bankers, clergymen, bartenders, policeman, salesmen, mayors, politicians, deans, sheriffs, old codgers (a persona he’s used often), etc..

Schallert has been cast by a wide array of directors: Joe Dante, Don Siegel, John Huston, William Wellman, Vincente Minnelli, Norman Jewison, Walt Disney, John Sturges, Robert Montgomery, Dan Curtis, Irwin Allen, Douglas Sirk and other Hollywood craftsmen.

My favorite Schallert big screen roles include:

Professor Quigley in the Walt Disney/Kurt Russell comedies THE COMPUTER WORE TENNIS SHOES & THE STRONGEST MAN IN THE WORLD,
The Mayor in IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT, San Miguel Sheriff Bill Horton in CHARLEY VARRICK, Dr. Mears in the 1951 sci-fi cheapie THE MAN FROM PLANET X, Sheriff Walter Matthau’s Deputy Harry in LONELY ARE THE BRAVE, CIA Director Grauber in COLOSSUS: THE FORBIN PROJECT, Dr. Fraker in WILL PENNY, Judge Spicer in HOUR OF THE GUN, the banker Henderson in CRY TERROR!, Abel Esterlake, the financially strapped friend of Elvis Presley in SPEEDWAY and Arthur Bramson, the Doctor of THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN (Grant Williams).

THE STRONGEST MAN IN THE WORLD

With Oscar Winner Rod Steiger in IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT

CHARLEY VARRICK

With Randy Stuart and THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN

With Robert Clarke and Raymond Bond in THE MAN FROM PLANET X

With Elvis in SPEEDWAY

With his real-life pal Walter Matthau in LONELY ARE THE BRAVE
Also his many appearances in Joe Dante’s films:

Dr. Grabow in the movie within a movie in MATINEE

Dr. Greenbush in INNERSPACE

Father Bartlett in GREMLINS with Harry Carey Jr.
The father of the little monster Anthony (Jeremy Licht) in the TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE segment It’s a Good Life

With Kevin McCarthy, Patricia Barry and Cherie Currie TZ:THE MOVIE

Schallert’s regular roles on TV include:
Martin Lane, Managing Editor of the New York Daily Chronicle & his twin brother Kenneth Lane, fathers of 2 Patty Duke’s on THE PATTY DUKE SHOW (1963-66 ABC), attorney Carson Drew, father of comely young sleuth Pamela Sue Martin (and later Janet Louise Johnson) in the first 2 seasons of THE HARDY BOYS/NANCY DREW MYSTERIES (ABC 1977-79), powerful TV network honcho Teddy Futterman on THE NANCY WALKER SHOW (1976 ABC), another father of a iconic TV character, Russ Lawrence on THE NEW GIDGET (Syndicated 1986 to 1988) and playing boarder Wesley Hodges in the first season of THE TORKELSONS/ALMOST HOME (NBC 1991-93).

THE PATTY DUKE SHOW

Schallert with Paul O’Keefe, Jean Byron and Duke

With Caryn Richman, THE NEW GIDGET

With Martin, George O’Hanlon Jr. and Jean Rasey in NANCY DREW
He has had many recurring roles on the boob tube:
Ted Richards in COMMANDO CODY:SKY MARSHAL OF THE UNIVERSE, Herbert in HEY, JEANNIE! (CBS 1956-58), Justinian Tebbs in THE ADVENTURES OF JIM BOWIE (ABC 1956-58), Maj. Karl Richmond in STEVE CANYON (NBC 1958-59), Lt. Manny Harris in PHILIP MARLOWE (ABC 1959-60), one of my favorite Schallert roles–the deadpan English & Science teacher Mr. Leander Pomfritt in THE MANY LOVES OF DOBIE GILLIS (CBS 1969-63), The Admiral, aging founder of CONTROL, in GET SMART (NBC & CBS 1965-70), Borden on the very short-lived THE MAN IN THE CITY with Anthony Quinn (ABC 1971-72), Mayor Hawkins in THE MISADVENTURES OF SHERIFF LOBO (NBC 1979-81), Stanley Perkins in four episodes of THE WALTONS in the 1980-81 season of the CBS mainstay, Dr. Olan Standley in 3 episodes of NBC’s ST. ELSEWHERE during the 1986-87 season, Mr. Bloomgarden in THE NEW LEAVE IT TO BEAVER–a role he played in an episode of the original LEAVE IT TO BEAVER 30 years earlier! (Disney Channel & TBS 1984-89), Roger Wainwright on the soap SANTA BARBARA in 1990, Wendie Malick’s father in the last 2 seasons of DREAM ON (HBO 1990-96) and Mayor Norris from 2008-11 on TRUE BLOOD (HBO 2008-14).

With Shelia James, Steve Franken and Dwayne Hickman DOBIE GILLIS

With Don Adams GET SMART

As Peggy Rea’s beau on THE WALTONS

With Stephen Moyer TRUE BLOOD
Some of Schallert’s notable guest star and tele-film/mini-series roles include:
Nilz Baris, stuffy under-secretary of agriculture at Deep Space Station K7, in the classic The Trouble with Tribbles episode of STAR TREK, U.S. Secret Service Agent Frank Harper, one of the fill-in partners for Robert Conrad while Ross Martin recovered from a heart attack, on THE WILD WILD WEST, the ruthless and rich Max Devore in the 2011 A&E 2-part adaptation of Stephen King’s BAG OF BONES, several appearances on THE GEORGE BURNS AND GRACIE ALLEN SHOW, a cop in the Mr. Bevis episode of THE TWILIGHT ZONE, Dr. Sanders in the ONE STEP BEYOND episode Epilogue , Edward R. Furrow on THE RED SKELTON HOUR. several roles on WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE with Steve McQueen, Lt. Gunderson in the ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS episode Bad Actor with Robert Duvall, Rev. Kirk in the A Word a Day episode of THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW, Varani the Bajoran musician in the STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE episode Sanctuary, Ken on DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, famed heart surgeon Dr. Harrison Selby in the MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE episode The Train , the title role folk singer in THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY episode The Red Woodloe Story , Sen. Harrison in the 1971 TV movie ESCAPE, the Judge in THE TRIAL OF THE CATONSVILLE NINE, Frank Kleiner in HIJACK!, Harry in DAWN: PORTRAIT OF A TEENAGE RUNAWAY, the pompous wine steward Alexander in the ELLERY QUEEN episode The Adventure of the Black Falcon , Gen. Zwicker in TAIL GUNNER JOE with Peter Boyle, Jonathan March in the 1978 TV version of LITTLE WOMEN, Father Tucker in GRACE KELLY, Wallace in THE INCIDENT with Walter Matthau, Justice John Paul Stevens in RECOUNT, Judge Gaffney in the the 1986 TV version of HARVEY with Harry Anderson, the Secretary of Defense in THE SECOND CIVIL WAR and numerous appearances on HAVE GUN–WILL TRAVEL, DEATH VALLEY DAYS, PERRY MASON, RAWHIDE, GUNSMOKE and THE RIFLEMAN.

William Shatner, Whit Bissell, Schallert and Leonard Nimoy are having trouble with tribbles

BAG OF BONES

With Robert Conrad on THE WWW

DEEP SPACE NINE

With Suzanne Crough on THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY

With Jim Hutton and David Wayne on ELLERY QUEEN

As Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens in HBO’s RECOUNT
He also portrayed such other real-life folk as Gen. Robert E. Lee (NORTH AND SOUTH: BOOK II), FDR advisor Harry Hopkins (WAR AND REMEMBRANCE), Gen. Mark Clark (IKE: THE WAR YEARS) and Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain (DEATH VALLEY DAYS).

As Gen. Lee in N & S BOOK II

With FDR (Ralph Bellamy) in W & R
And who can forget Schallert as Retired Man/Scarlet Cyclone in the star-studded (Adam West, Frank Gorshin, Burt Ward, Charlie Callas, Ed McMahon, Ruth Buzzi, Howard Morris, etc.) 1978 TV specials, LEGENDS OF THE SUPERHEROES!

His many other TV and film credits (including voice over work) include: THE STORY OF MANKIND (as the Earl of Warwick), HOUSE PARTY 2, MIGHTY JOE YOUNG, M, THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE, THE GIRL IN THE KREMLIN (as Stalin’s oldest son Jacob aka Yakov), SPACE PATROL, STORM OVER TIBET, CAPTIVE WOMEN, FLAP TOP, RIOT IN CELL BLOCK 11, THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY, BLIND AMBITION, ONE DAY AT A TIME, THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW, TOP OF THE WORLD, HELL’S HORIZON, FOUR STAR PLAYHOUSE, TV READER’S DIGEST, RAW EDGE, LUX VIDEO THEATRE, THE LONE RANGER, GUNSLINGER, THAT GIRL, HERE COME THE BRIDES, YOU ARE THERE, WRITTEN ON THE WIND, THE MONOLITH MONSTERS, MAN IN THE SHADOW, CLIMAX!, SOME CAME RUNNING, PILLOW TALK, BLUE DENIM, THE DONNA REED SHOW, WAGON TRAIN, SEA HUNT, G,E, THEATER, THE UNTOUCHABLES, LIFE WITH ARCHIE, THRILLER, THE REBEL, BONANZA, DR. KILDARE, PARADISE ALLEY (1962), HAZEL, EMPIRE, SHOTGUN WEDDING, COMBAT!, SAM WHISKEY, THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW, ROOM 222, LAND OF THE GIANTS, TWO BOYS, BRACKEN’S WORLD, MAN ON A STRING, THE D.A., MEDIUM, THE DEEP END, ACCORDING TO JIM, MY NAME IS EARL, SON OF THE BEACH, WHAT’S NEW, SCOOBY DOO, THE PATTY DUKE SHOW: STILL ROCKIN’ BROOKLYN HEIGHTS, HOW I MET MY MOTHER, TO DANCE WITH OLIVIA, ER, THE ANGRY BEAVERS, ROSEANNE, MELROSE PLACE, REBEL HIGHWAY, SHAKE, RATTLE AND ROCK!, COACH, the TV series IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT, THE GUNS OF WILL SONNETT, KUNG FU, THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN, TUNNEL VISION, THE BIONIC WOMAN, MAUDE, THE JERK, LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE, THROUGH NAKED EYES, MATT HOUSTON, LOU GRANT, THE DUCK FACTORY (as Jim Carrey’s father), TEACHERS, AMAZONS, UNDER THE INFLUENCE, SIMON & SIMON, ‘TIS THE SEASON TO BE SMURFY, MATLOCK, A YEAR IN THE LIFE, HELD HOSTAGE: THE SIS AND JERRY LEVIN STORY, THEM!, THE GALLANT HOURS and many, many more.

THEM!

THE STORY OF MANKIND

Reunited with Patty Duke

THE MONOLITH MONSTERS

With Burt Reynolds in SAM WHISKEY
Schallert has also been heard in hundreds of TV commercials through the years. He was the voice of Milton the Toaster for Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts.

Mid 1970’s Pop-Tarts spot y-HfXBdzzWo

Schallert also shined on stage. He, along with Sydney Chaplin & others, was an original member of the late 1940’s U.C.L.A. offshoot, The Circle Players, and has appeared in numerous theatrical productions in the Los Angeles area, including: RAIN (directed by Sydney’s dad Charlie Chaplin), HOUSE (with Harry Hamlin) and ASPIRIN AND ELEPHANTS.

Charlie Chaplin talking to his RAIN Circle Players ensemble: Schallert and June Havoc are on the left and Sydney Chaplin is on the right

With Sandy Kerns in ASPIRIN AND ELEPHANTS

Did you know…?
Schallert was born in Los Angeles. His parents were The Los Angeles Times drama critic & editor Edwin Schallert and magazine writer/radio host Elza Schallert.
He went to high school with Alan Hale Jr., Nanette Fabray and Mickey Rooney.
He was the President of the Screen Actors Guild from 1979 to 1981. In 1993, he was awarded the Ralph Morgan Award for his service to the guild.
Schallert and Warren Kenner are the only 2 actors to appear in both the film and TV versions of IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT.
His wife of over 66 years was actress Leah Waggner (PETER GUNN, THE TWILIGHT ZONE, THE PATTY DUKE SHOW, THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW), who passed away in 2015. They had 4 sons.

An accomplished singer, pianist and composer, Schallert sang on THE PATTY DUKE SHOW, THE MANY LOVES OF DOBIE GILLIS, THE WALTONS and SURFSIDE 6.
TV Guide ranked Schallert’s Martin Lane of THE PATTY DUKE SHOW 39th in it’s ”50 Greatest TV Dads” list.

Schallert Quote:
”I believe you shouldn’t become an actor unless you need to. Unless you have no choice about it. Liking–even loving–acting is not enough. You have to need to act. ”

Schallert at work:
Some THE PATTY DUKE SHOW episodes c6ZFYT8cwZM 09jdKtRk3aQ K2cKmCa2Rqg
Some THE MANY LOVES OF DOBIE GILLIS episodes TSv6gsu9PCs YocC1hEfcME PMojMxCIzDw
NANCY DREW clip yhcb6GhgUiA
NORTH & SOUTH BOOK II clip L5CtPzMtMUs
STAR TREK’s The Trouble With Tribbles episode fhUfRVexg_g
Here comes trouble!

CHARLEY VARRICK trailer TxaqjQWQVAk
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE The Train episode MYPNtKsg_KE
THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN trailer 1j6cqeqbqGk
THE WILD WILD WEST episodes The Night of the Winged Terror Part 1 & 2 Qp3yt9KDMgE NGLIG1-BU9E
THE MAN FROM PLANET X trailer 82jvWxJ9hKg

THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW episode A Word a Day Schallert’s real-life wife Leah plays his on screen wife 1ZhtdeY6evU
LEGENDS OF THE SUPERHEROES clip bWyGdUVg-D0
9 mins. of BAG OF BONES DXyQKXIGDqk
ELLERY QUEEN episode The Adventure of the Black Falcon HlonuOu6wZI
THE COMPUTER IN TENNIS SHOES music video mCMZxbonQtk