Veteran actor William Schallert, a familiar face on television for decades who was best known for playing Patty Duke’s father on “The Patty Duke Show,” has died. The Los Angeles Times reports that Schallert died Sunday at his home in Pacific Palisades, Calif. He was 93.
“Though usually seen in secondary roles, Schallert’s lean, friendly face was familiar for roles in two classic sitcoms — as a frustrated English teacher to Dwayne Hickman and his pals in ‘The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis’ (1959-’63) and as the harried father alongside Patty Duke in ‘The Patty Duke Show’ (1963-’66),” The Times reports.
Schallert’s death comes not long after the death of Patty Duke in March at age 69.
Schallert became president of the Screen Actors Guild in 1979, and proved to be an activist leader. He led the union’s 13-week strike in 1980 over issues including actors’ pay for work in films made for the new cable TV industry.
“Among his later TV roles were guest shots on ‘Desperate Housewives’ and ‘True Blood.’ In 2008, he played Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens in ‘Recount,’ HBO’s Emmy-winning dramatization of the 2000 presidential election,” The Times reports.
Here’s a short clip of Schallert talking about his role on “The Patty Duke Show” for the Archive of American Television …