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William Schallert (1922 - 2016)

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William Schallert (1922 - 2016)

William Schallert, the ubiquitous character actor who portrayed Patty Duke’s father on her eponymous hit 1960s sitcom, died May 8 at his home in Pacific Palisades, California, according to multiple news sources, including The Associated Press. He was 93.

The actor’s death was announced by his son, Edwin. He did not specify the cause of death.

Schallert’s best-known role was Martin Lane, the father and uncle of Patty Duke, who also played the role of her look-alike teenage cousin Cathy, Lane’s daughter on “The Patty Duke Show,” which ran from 1963 to 1966. Duke preceded Schallert in death March 29, 2016.

Schallert also played the old-fashioned high school English teacher on “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis,” which ran from 1959 to 1963.

The actor also appeared in films including “The Man From Planet X” (1951), “Pillow Talk” (1959) with Doris Day and Rock Hudson, “Speedway” (1968) with Elvis Presley, and “The Jerk” (1979) with Steve Martin.


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He was born July 6, 1922, in Los Angeles, California. His father, Edwin Francis Schallert, was a longtime drama critic for the Los Angeles Times, and his mother, Elza Schallert, was a magazine writer and radio host.

He studied acting at the University of California at Los Angeles and began acting professionally in the 1940s.

Schallert reflected on his career in a 2009 interview with the pop culture writer Sam Tweedle.

“In terms of acting, I don’t think I was a great actor,” Schallert told the writer, “but I was a very versatile actor. I fit into a variety of things. I was what you called a ‘straight character’ actor. That turned out to be less of an advantage when you get old. It would be better if I was more gnarly looking.”


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