5/9/2016 by Mike Barnes, The Hollywood Reporter
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The prolific character actor also was memorable on ‘Star Trek’ and ‘In the Heat of the Night.’
William Schallert, an amazingly busy “everyman” character actor for nearly seven decades who had trouble on television with Tribbles, Dobie Gillis and those identical two-of-a-kind cousins played by Patty Duke, has died. He was 93.
Schallert, who has nearly 400 credits on IMDb stretching from 1947 to 2014, died Sunday at his home in Pacific Palisades, his son Edwin said.
Schallert in 2004 made the list of TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Dads (he placed No. 39) for playing the constantly bedeviled Martin Lane — the warm-hearted father of reckless teenager Patty Lane (Duke) and the uncle of her level-headed twin cousin Cathy (also Duke) — on The Patty Duke Show, which aired from 1963-66 on ABC.
On CBS’ hip sitcom The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, which ran from 1959-63, Schallert recurred as Leander Pomfritt, an English teacher often flummoxed by two students in particular: Dobie (Dwayne Hickman) and his beatnik buddy Maynard G. Krebs (John Denver). (Herbert Anderson was the first choice for the role of Pomfritt, but he chose to play the dad on Dennis the Menace.)
But for all his work — Schallert also played small-town Mississippi mayor Webb Schubert in the Oscar-winning best picture In the Heat of the Night (1967) — the actor often said that the character for which he was most recognized was Federation Undersecretary of Agricultural Affairs Nilz Baris. He’s the guy who discovered the batch of furry grain-devouring aliens in “The Trouble With Tribbles,” the classic December 1967 episode of NBC’s Star Trek.
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