Actor William Schallert, who played Patty Duke's father and uncle in her '60s sitcom and led a long, contentious strike for actors, has died. Schallert had played a similar role as the often pulling his hair out English teacher Leander Pomfritt on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis from 1959 to 1962 on CBS.
Schallert may have been best known for The Patty Duke Show, but he also played a big role in the Star Trek franchise.
In 1979, he was named the president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and served until 1981.
Schallert's death came just a few weeks after Duke died on March 29 at age 69. While in office, he established the committee for Performers with Disabilities.
He would go on to work steadily for the next 60 years, including guest roles on classic TV shows like "The Lone Ranger", "Get Smart", and "The Wild, Wild West". "I was not a "Star Trek" fan", he said. In terms that may feel familiar to many today, Schallert's tenure saw a 13-week strike for the actor's union over the pay they were to receive for being on cable shows.
In all, Mr. Schallert appeared in hundreds of movies, television series and specials, playing characters and walk-ons. "I am especially pleased that Bill lived long enough to see the SAG-AFTRA merger become a reality as he was one of the pioneers of that effort". He turned this knowledge and experience into service for his fellow actors. His father Edwin Schallert, was a reviewer and columnist for the Los Angeles Times. Despite leading the union during a very hard time, Bill maintained his integrity and commitment, a commitment that extended into many more years of board service.
At the start of his career, Mr. Schallert was a founding member of the Circle Theater in Hollywood.
His son, Edwin Schallert, confirmed the death but did not disclose the cause.
Schallert married actress Rosemarie Diann Waggner (known professionally as Leah Waggner) in 1949.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times in 1966, Schallert lamented being cast as "the second man through the door", or supporting player.