William Schallert



Also Known As
Willliam Joseph Schallert, Bill Schallert, William J. Schallert
Birth Place
Los Angeles, California, USA
July 06, 1922
May 08, 2016


An astonishingly prolific character actor on television and in films for over six decades, William Schallert was an ideal Everyman and in particular, a much-loved father on shows like "The Patty Duke Show" (ABC, 1963-66) and "The Nancy Drew Mysteries" (ABC, 1977-78), as well as countless episodic television stints and features ranging from "The Man from Planet X" (1951) to "In the Heat o...

Photos & Videos

Gog - Lobby Cards
Speedway - Color Scene Stills
The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes - Pressbook

Family & Companions

Rosemarie Diann Schallert
Married on February 26, 1949.


An astonishingly prolific character actor on television and in films for over six decades, William Schallert was an ideal Everyman and in particular, a much-loved father on shows like "The Patty Duke Show" (ABC, 1963-66) and "The Nancy Drew Mysteries" (ABC, 1977-78), as well as countless episodic television stints and features ranging from "The Man from Planet X" (1951) to "In the Heat of the Night" (1967) and "Innerspace" (1987). Like all great supporting performers, Schallert essentially disappeared into his roles, which allowed him to lend shades and variations of characters, whether kindly or cold of heart, while buffeting his leading men and women. On occasion, he would step into the spotlight for memorable parts, like his short-tempered teacher on "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis" (CBS, 1959-1963), a sly government agent on "The Wild, Wild West" (NBC, 1965-69) or a futuristic government official in the "Trouble with Tribbles" episode of the original "Star Trek" (NBC, 1966-69). For the most part, Schallert brought honesty and heart to his hundreds of screen appearances, which continued to multiply as late as 2011 with a recurring turn on HBO's "True Blood" (2008-2014). His ability to provide subtle conviction to his performances remained untouched as he entered his ninth decade, which made Schallert something of a legend in the acting community, if never quite a star. William Schallert died May 8, 2016 in Pacific Palisades, California at the age of 93.

Born William Joseph Schallert on July 6, 1922 in Los Angeles, he was the son of esteemed film critic and Los Angeles Times drama editor Edwin Schallert and his wife, Elza Baumgarten, a prolific magazine writer and radio host. As a child, Schallert was privy to an insider's view of the entertainment industry, which included attending Shirley Temple's birthday parties at 20th Century Fox, among other rare opportunities. He became interested in acting as a student at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and in 1946, helped to found the Circle Theatre with Sydney Chaplin and several fellow students, including Kathleen Freeman. Chaplin's father, the legendary Charlie Chaplin, allowed the troupe to use his props for productions and eventually directed Schallert in a 1948 staging of Somerset Maugham's "Rain."

Schallert began his onscreen career in 1947 in an uncredited turn as a banker in the drama "The Foxes of Harrow," with Rex Harrison, and soon settled into a prolific run of minor and supporting roles in Hollywood and independent features. Many of these early turns were in forgettable efforts like "Holiday for Sinners" (1952) and "Captive Women" (1952), but between 1948 and 1954, Schallert also landed bit parts in "Mighty Joe Young" (1949), John Huston's "The Red Badge of Courage" (1951) and "Singin' in the Rain" (1952). Tall and angular of feature, Schallert was not cut from conventional leading man material, but his reedy and remarkably adaptive voice and authoritative bearing allowed him to disappear into a wide variety of character roles, with law officials, teachers and in particular, sympathetic fathers - often decades older than his real age - among his specialties. During this period, he also became a familiar face to science fiction fans, who appreciated his ability to bring believability to genre classics like Edgar G. Ulmer's "The Man from Planet X" (1951), "Them!" (1954), "Gog" (1954) and "The Incredible Shrinking Man" (1957).

Eventually, Schallert's diligence paid off, as bit roles in major features like "The High and Mighty" (1954), "Written on the Wind" (1956) and "Friendly Persuasion" (1956) led to more substantive parts on television. He was a staple of live television dramas, from "Lux Video Theatre" (NBC, 1950-59) and "Playhouse 90" (CBS, 1956-1961), and appeared regularly on all manner of episodic series, from Westerns like "Death Valley Days" (syndicated, 1952-1975) and "The Adventures of Jim Bowie" (ABC, 1956-58), legal dramas like "Perry Mason" (CBS, 1957-1974), and even fantasy and science fiction shows like "The Twilight Zone" (CBS, 1959-1965). Schallert's dependability eventually graduated him to series regular on several shows, including "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis," as the easily exasperated English teacher Leander Pomfritt. His best-known series was undoubtedly "The Patty Duke Show" as Martin Lane, father to freewheeling teen Patty Lane and uncle to her more conservative, identical twin cousin Cathy (both played by Patty Duke). Schallert's saint-like patience in the face of Patty and Cathy's weekly shenanigans made him a beloved television patriarch, and in 2004, TV Guide enshrined Martin Lane at No. 39 on its list of "50 Greatest TV Dads."

The 1960s saw Schallert balance his steady television work with increased exposure in features, including "Lonely Are the Brave" (1962) as a thoughtful radio operator aiding in the pursuit of Kirk Douglas' determined cowboy, the mayor of a small Southern town in the Oscar-winning "In the Heat of the Night" (1967), and a turn opposite Elvis Presley in "Speedway" (1968). Television would again provide him with his most substantive work, most notably as Agent Frank Harper, a master of disguise who stood in for Ross Martin on "The Wild, Wild West," when the actor suffered a heart attack. Schallert also enjoyed a multiple episode run on "Get Smart" (NBC/CBS, 1965-1970) as the ancient Admiral Harmon, founder of CONTROL, but his best-known '60s performance, and unquestionably his most enduring TV appearance, was as Nilz Baris, an officious agriculture undersecretary who discovered that the furry aliens known as Tribbles had devoured a shipment of precious grain in "The Trouble with Tribbles," a second season, classic episode of "Star Trek."

In the 1970s, Schallert returned to duty as a series regular on two divergent television shows. He was an unctuous TV executive who courted talent agent Nancy Walker's clients on Norman Lear's short-lived "Nancy Walker Show" (ABC, 1976), then shifted gears to play the upstanding criminal lawyer Carson Drew, whose cases were frequently aided by his amateur sleuth daughter (Pamela Sue Martin) on "The Nancy Drew Mysteries" (ABC, 1977-78), which alternated on Sunday evening broadcasts with the equally popular "Hardy Boys Mysteries." Schallert was also a frequent guest star on countless television series and made-for-TV movies, including a turn as General Matt Clark opposite Robert Duvall as Dwight Eisenhower in "Ike" (ABC, 1979) and defense attorney Herbert Kalmbach, who was sent to prison for his involvement in the Watergate Scandal in "Blind Ambition" (CBS, 1979). Schallert also enjoyed a plum role as Judge Rozel C. Thomson, who presided over the trail of Catholic activists who burned draft information in the free verse play "The Trial of the Catonsville Nine" (1971), and reprised the role in the 1972 film version, produced by Gregory Peck. He was perhaps most widely known during this period for his voice, which he lent to numerous animated series, radio spots and commercials, including a long-running stint as Milton the Toaster, the ebullient spokesman for Kellogg's Pop-Tarts.

Schallert continued to log an astonishing number of film and television appearances as he entered his sixth decade in the 1980s. He was once again a beloved TV father to a young Jim Carrey on the short-lived sitcom "The Duck Factory" (NBC, 1984) and later on "The New Gidget" (syndicated, 1985-86) as the grown-up Gidget's caring dad, Russ. He was also General Robert E. Lee in the epic miniseries "North and South, Book II" (ABC, 1986) and Harry Hopkins, a key adviser to Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Ralph Bellamy) in "War and Remembrance" (ABC, 1988-89). Schallert's career also began to reap the occasional tribute, most notably via director Joe Dante, who cast him in several film projects, including a desperate father in his re-imagination of the chilling "It's a Wonderful Life" for the "Twilight Zone" feature anthology (1983) and "Innerspace" (1987) as a bewildered doctor examining Martin Short, who has accidentally ingested a miniature vehicle and its occupant (Dennis Quaid). In 1988, he reprised his turn as Leander Pomfritt in the TV movie "Bring Me the Head of Dobie Gillis" and revisited his "Leave it to Beaver" (ABC/CBS, 1957-1963) character, librarian Mr. Bloomgarden, on several episodes of "The New Leave it to Beaver" (Disney Channel/TBS, 1985-89).

In 1991, Schallert was again a weekly series regular on "The Torkelsons" (NBC, 1991), an offbeat family comedy about a working class family trying to stay ahead of creditors. Schallert was a kindly, elderly boarder in the family's basement. Patty Duke played Schallert's granddaughter in an episode, and the actors would later reprise their "Patty Duke Show" characters in the 1999 TV movie "The Patty Duke Show: Still Rockin' in Brooklyn Heights" (CBS), and later, for a series of public service announcements for the Social Security Administration. Incredibly, Schallert still worked on numerous projects per year as he entered his eighties in the new millennium. He appeared as Supreme Court Associate Justice John Paul Stevens in the HBO film "Recount" (2008) and enjoyed guest turns on series ranging from "How I Met Your Mother" (CBS, 2005-2014) as a iron-fisted legal partner and "Desperate Housewives" (ABC, 2004-2012) as a small town newspaper editor. Schallert enjoyed a substantial guest role as an aging CEO with Alzheimer's disease in the short-lived "Deep End" (ABC, 2010) before taking on a recurring turn on "True Blood" as the mayor of the monster-plagued Louisiana town of Bon Temps. His final credited role came in the Stephen King-adapted miniseries "Bag of Bones" (A&E 2011), although he made a cameo in a 2014 episode of the sitcom "2 Broke Girls" (CBS 2011- ). William Schallert died at his home in Pacific Palisades, California on May 8, 2016. He was 93 years old.



Cast (Feature Film)

Green Lantern: First Flight (2009)
Appa Ali Apsa
Recount (2008)
The Patty Duke Show: Still Rockin' in Brooklyn Heights (1999)
Harvey (1999)
The Second Civil War (1997)
To Dance With Olivia (1997)
Judge Shelton
Shake, Rattle and Rock (1994)
Held Hostage: The Sis and Jerry Levin Story (1991)
House Party 2 (1991)
Mrs. Lambert Remembers Love (1991)
The Incident (1990)
Bring Me the Head of Dobie Gillis (1988)
Mr Pomfritt
Innerspace (1987)
Under the Influence (1986)
Gone to Texas (1986)
Teachers (1984)
Amazons (1984)
Twilight Zone--The Movie (1983)
Grace Kelly (1983)
Through Naked Eyes (1983)
Hangar 18 (1980)
Tail Gunner Joe (1977)
Dawn: Portrait of a Teenage Runaway (1976)
The Strongest Man in the World (1975)
Promise Him Anything... (1975)
Death Sentence (1974)
Remember When (1974)
Dick Hodges
Charley Varrick (1973)
Hijack! (1973)
Partners in Crime (1973)
The Trial of the Catonsville Nine (1972)
The judge
Man on a String (1972)
Escape (1971)
Lewis Harrison
The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes (1970)
Professor Quigley
The Forbin Project (1970)
Sam Whiskey (1969)
Mint Superintendent Perkins
Speedway (1968)
Abel Esterlake
Will Penny (1968)
Dr. Fraker
In the Heat of the Night (1967)
Webb Schubert
Hour of the Gun (1967)
Herman Spicer
Lonely Are the Brave (1962)
Paradise Alley (1962)
The Gallant Hours (1960)
Capt. Tom Lamphier
Blue Denim (1959)
Vice president
Day of the Outlaw (1959)
Some Came Running (1959)
The Beat Generation (1959)
Father Dinelli
Pillow Talk (1959)
Hotel clerk
Cry Terror! (1958)
Torpedo Run (1958)
Capt. Vandercook
The Tarnished Angels (1958)
Ted Baker
Band of Angels (1957)
Man in the Shadow (1957)
Jim Shaney
The Tattered Dress (1957)
Court clerk
The Monolith Monsters (1957)
The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)
Doctor Arthur Bramson
Written on the Wind (1957)
The Girl in the Kremlin (1957)
Jacob Stalin
The Story of Mankind (1957)
Earl of Warwick
Man on Fire (1957)
Raw Edge (1956)
Glory (1956)
English dinner guest
Gunslinger (1956)
Marshal Scott Hood
Friendly Persuasion (1956)
Young husband
The Lone Ranger (1956)
Mr. Clive, the governor's secretary
Hell's Horizon (1955)
Capt. Morgan
Top of the World (1955)
Capt. Harding
Black Tuesday (1955)
Smoke Signal (1955)
Private Livingston
An Annapolis Story (1955)
Tony's instructor
Bobby Ware Is Missing (1955)
Down Three Dark Streets (1954)
Gas station attendant
Gog (1954)
Captain Kidd and the Slave Girl (1954)
Tobor the Great (1954)
Them! (1954)
The High and the Mighty (1954)
The Raid (1954)
Confederate soldier guarding banker
Riot in Cell Block 11 (1954)
Shield for Murder (1954)
Assistant D.A.
Sword of Venus (1953)
Port Sinister (1953)
The Jazz Singer (1953)
Assistant stage manager
The Girls of Pleasure Island (1953)
Singin' in the Rain (1952)
Messenger on screen
Rose of Cimarron (1952)
Express clerk
Paula (1952)
Hoodlum Empire (1952)
Inquiry clerk
Captive Women (1952)
Invasion U.S.A. (1952)
News broadcaster
Storm over Tibet (1952)
[Mike] Aylen
Flat Top (1952)
Holiday for Sinners (1952)
Just This Once (1952)
The Red Badge of Courage (1951)
The People Against O'Hara (1951)
Intern with ambulance
Bannerline (1951)
Belle Le Grand (1951)
Anne of the Indies (1951)
The Man from Planet X (1951)
Dr. Mears
Lonely Hearts Bandits (1950)
Dave Clark
The Reckless Moment (1949)
Mighty Joe Young (1949)
Gas station attendant
The Foxes of Harrow (1947)

Cast (Special)

Intimate Portrait: Patty Duke (2001)
Christmas Miracles (1997)
The Writing on the Wall (1994)
Bishop Rodimer
Sex, Shock and Censorship in the 90's (1993)
The Television Academy Hall of Fame (1990)
Buckshot (1980)
Mr. Bevis (1960)
The Man From Denver (1959)
Arroyo (1955)
The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1955)
Alfred Barrett

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

Cross of Fire (1989)
War and Remembrance (1988)
'Tis the Season to Be Smurfy (1987)
North and South: Book II (1986)
Gidget's Summer Reunion (1985)
Blind Ambition (1979)
Ike: The War Years (1979)
Little Women (1978)

Life Events


Co-founder and owner, Circle Theatre, Hollywood, CA


Feature film debut "Lonely Hearts Bandits"


Appeared as regular on "Commando Cody" (NBC)


Played Alfred Barrett in CBS' "The Barretts of Wimpole Street"


Appeared in the off-Broadway production, "The Trial of the Catonsville Nine"


Played Rev. March in "Little Women" (NBC miniseries)


Reprised Rev. March for "Little Women" series


Played Jim Carrey's father in short-lived NBC sitcom "The Duck Factory"


Cast as Robert E. Lee in "North and South: Book II"


Reprised role of Mr. Pomfritt in "Bring Me the Head of Dobie Gillis" (CBS TV-movie)


Co-starred, "House Party 2"


Acted in the New Jersey stage production of "The Special Prisoner"

Photo Collections

Gog - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from Gog (1954). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Speedway - Color Scene Stills
Here are some color scene stills from Speedway (1968), starring Elvis Presley and Nancy Sinatra.
The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes - Pressbook
Here is the original campaign book (pressbook) for Disney's The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes (1970). Pressbooks were sent to exhibitors and theater owners to aid them in publicizing the film's run in their theater.


Movie Clip


Glory (1956) - (Original Trailer) Margaret O'Brien stars in her first film as an adult, Glory (1956), playing a young woman devoted to a racing horse.
Down Three Dark Streets - (Original Trailer) An FBI Agent takes on the three unrelated cases of his dead partner to track down his killer in Down Three Dark Streets (1954).
In The Heat Of The Night - (Original Trailer) A black police detective from the North forces a bigoted Southern sheriff to accept his help with a murder investigation In The Heat Of The Night (1967).
Pillow Talk - (Original Trailer) Doris Day and Rock Hudson give each other interference on their shared telephone line in Pillow Talk (1959).
Bannerline - (Original Trailer) An idealistic small-town reporter (Keefe Brasselle) tries to fight corruption in Bannerline (1951).
Tarnished Angels, The - (Original Trailer) A newsman falls for the wife of a barnstorming pilot whose work he's covering in Douglas Sirk's The Tarnished Angels (1958) starring Rock Hudson.
Charley Varrick - (Original Trailer) A band of small-time crooks accidentally steals the mob's money in Don Siegel's action-filled Charley Varrick (1973) starring Walter Matthau.
High and the Mighty, The -- (Original Trailer) The passengers and crew of an imperiled airliner reflect on their lives in William Wellman's The High and the Mighty (1954), Starring John Wayne.
Incredible Shrinking Man, The - (Original Trailer) Orson Welles narrates this teaser trailer for Jack Arnold's science-fiction classic The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957).
Speedway -- (Original Trailer) A race car driver (Elvis Presley) tries to seduce a beautiful tax accountant who is investigating his financial records in Speedway (1968).
Will Penny - (Original Trailer) Charlton Heston, an outlaw betrayed by his gang, takes refuge with a frontiers woman in Will Penny (1968).
Written On The Wind - (Original Trailer) A family of Texas oil millionaires explodes into melodrama in director Douglas Sirk's Written On The Wind (1956).


Edwin Francis Schallert
Elza Emily Schallert
William Joseph Schallert Jr
Edwin G Schallert
Mark M Schallert
Brendan C Schallert


Rosemarie Diann Schallert
Married on February 26, 1949.