William Joseph Schallert (born July 6, 1922, died May 8, 2016) was an American actor who has appeared in many films and in such television series as The Smurfs, The Rat Patrol, Gunsmoke, The Patty Duke Show, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Bonanza, Leave It to Beaver, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and Get Smart.
Life and career
Schallert was born in Los Angeles, California, the son of Elza Emily (née Baumgarten) and Edwin Francis Schallert, a drama editor. Schallert appeared in supporting roles on numerous television programs since the early 1950s. He also appeared in several movies, including The Man from Planet X (1951) with Robert Clarke, The Tarnished Angels (1958) with Robert Stack, Blue Denim (1959) with Brandon De Wilde, In the Heat of the Night (1967) with Rod Steiger, The Jerk (1979) with Steve Martin, Speedway (1968) with Elvis Presley, and Innerspace (1987), in which he played Martin Short's doctor. He also played (uncredited) an ambulance attendant in the early minutes of the 1950s sci-fi classic, Them! (1954). He appeared three times as Major Karl Richmond on NBC's Steve Canyon, starring Dean Fredericks in the title role. He was a founding member of the Circle Players at The Circle Theatre, started in 1946, now know as El Centro Theatre
Schallert was known as the editor of a newspaper (The Chronicle) and patriarch Mr. Martin Lane on The Patty Duke Show, as a wise teacher, Mr. Leander Pomfritt on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, and also as The Admiral on Get Smart. Coincidentally, on the two former shows he worked opposite the late actress Jean Byron. He is also remembered for playing the role of Nilz Baris in the Star Trek episode "The Trouble With Tribbles". He also appeared in the archive footage of that episode which was used in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Trials and Tribble-ations". Schallert appeared in DS9 himself, in the second season episode "Sanctuary", in which he played Varani, a Bajoran musician.
Schallert starred in an innovative 1964 TV pilot for ABC Philbert, which combined live action camera work and animation. Created by Friz Freleng and directed by Richard Donner, ABC backed out of the series shortly before full production was to begin, though the completed pilot was released in theaters as a short subject.
Schallert played the role of Carson Drew in the television series The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries (1977-1979), featuring Pamela Sue Martin as Nancy Drew. In 1981, he guest starred in several Waltons episodes.
In addition to his onscreen performances, Schallert did voiceover work for numerous television and radio commercials over the years. Among these were a recurring role as "Milton the Toaster" in animated commercials for Kellogg's Pop-Tarts.
Schallert was president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1979 to 1981 (his former co-star and television daughter, Patty Duke, would follow him from 1985 to 1988).
He appeared in a 2007 episode of How I Met Your Mother, the HBO television movie Recount (2008) as U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, the HBO series True Blood, and his distinctive voice continued to bring him work for commercial and animation voiceovers. 2009 appearances included a guest role on "Desperate Housewives" on March 15, 2009, in which he played the role of a small newspaper editor, and he also appeared in an episode of According to Jim. He appeared in the January 21, 2010 pilot episode of The Deep End on ABC as a retiring CEO with Alzheimer's Disease. He also made an appearance on Medium on the February 5, 2010 episode.
Personal life and death
In a 2014 interview, Schallert said that he was suffering from peripheral neuropathy, forcing him to wear leg braces while effectively "confining" him to a wheelchair. He said about his condition and the leg braces: "They help me stay balanced if I use a walker, but it’s just easier to get around in a wheelchair." While not ruling out working on stage in the future, he said: "Working in film or TV would be too difficult now. Besides, I did my share!"
Schallert was married to actress Leah Waggner (born Rosemarie Diann Waggner) from 1949 until her death in 2015. She appeared with him in various shows, including episodes of The Patty Duke Show and The Dick Van Dyke Show. They had four sons: William Joseph, Jr. (born in 1949), Edwin G. (born in 1952), Mark M. (born in 1954), and Brendan C. Schallert (born in 1961).
Schallert died on May 8, 2016, at his home in Pacific Palisades at the age of 93, six weeks after the death of his on-screen daughter Patty Duke, on March 29.
- According to Jim
- Alfred Hitchcock Presents
- The Andy Griffith Show
- Archie Bunker's Place
- Charley Varrick
- Colossus: The Forbin Project
- Coronado 9
- The Deep End - as Mr. Douglas (January 21, 2010)
- Desperate Housewives
- The Dick Van Dyke Show
- The Donna Reed Show
- The DuPont Show with June Allyson - as Lieutenant Barnes in "Slip of the Tongue" (1960)
- Father Knows Best
- Get Smart
- The Girl with Something Extra
- Gray Ghost
- Green Lantern : First Flight - as Guardian Appa Ali Apsa (2010)
- The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries (1977-79)
- Hawaii Five-O
- Have Gun — Will Travel
- Johnny Midnight
- Leave It to Beaver
- Little House on the Prairie
- Little Women
- Lonely Are the Brave
- Love American Style
- The Lucy Show
- Mission: Impossible
- My Name Is Earl
- The Dick Van Dyke Show
- The New Gidget
- The Partridge Family
- The Patty Duke Show
- Perry Mason
- Room 222
- Star Trek
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
- Suite Life of Zack and Cody
- The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes
- The Torkelsons
- The Twilight Zone
- The Waltons
- The Wild Wild West
- Zorro (1957)
- William Schallert at the Internet Movie Database
- William Schallert at Memory Alpha (a Star Trek wiki)
- William Schallert Interview at Elvis2001.net
- Hollywood Everyman: A Conversation with William Schallert 2010 Interview with William Schallert