William Schallert, Character Actor and Former SAG President, Dies at 93

Veteran performer had almost 400 credits to his name, including “True Blood” and “Patty Duke Show”

William Schallert, the veteran character actor and former SAG president, died Sunday at the age of 93, TheWrap has confirmed.

Schallert’s prolific career — which included almost 400 screen credits — dates back to the 1940s, when he landed a series of small roles in films like “Mighty Joe Young,” “The Reckless Moment,” and “Perfect Strangers.”

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.”

One of Schallert’s most iconic roles came when he starred as Martin Lane on “The Patty Duke Show” from 1963-1966. He played Patty’s father, the managing editor of the New York Daily Chronicle. He would reprise the role years later in the 1999 TV movie “The Patty Duke Show: Still Rockin’ in Brooklyn Heights.”

Schallert became the head of SAG in 1979, leaving office in 1981. During that time, he had the misfortune of presiding over what the guild calls its “longest, most acrimonious strike,” in which actors went on strike for 94 days over money to be paid to them over the sales of home video units.

He also established the committee for Performers with Disabilities during his time in office. He was succeeded by Ed Asner as president of the Guild.

Most recently, Schallert appeared on shows like “True Blood,” in which he played Mayor Norris. He also appeared in episodes of “Desperate Housewives,” and had a small part as an elevator operator on the CBS series “2 Broke Girls.”

He is survived by his wife, Leah Waggner, and their four children.