In The News

Character actor William Windom passes away

Character actor William Windom passes away

THE character William Windom, who was a familiar face on both television and the big screen, has passed away. He was 88.

He will be best remembered by many television viewers as the crusty doctor in the long-running series Murder, She Wrote, alongside Angela Lansbury.

It was in television that the young Windom had established his career, but when he did turn to movies he soon made his mark. His film debut was in To Kill A Mockingbird (1962), in which he played the smirking prosecutor in the case of a black man charged with rape and who was defended by Gregory Peck.

He went on to produce fine performances in a number of movies including The Detective (1968) and The Gypsy Moths (1969).

During the 1960s he also starred in the television series, The Farmer’s Daughter, in which he played a congressman — a role which was particularly close to his heart as his great-grandfather, after whom he was named, had served as a congressman in Minnesota in the 19th. century.

In 1967, he appeared in Star Strek in what is still regarded by fans of the TV show as one of the finest chapters in the series. In The Doomsday Machine (see below), Mr. Windom produced a powerful performance as the unbalanced Commodore Matt Decker. He was to recreate the role in an episode of Star Trek: New Voyages in 2004.

He won an Emmy award for performances in the TV series, My World and Welcome to it (1969-1970), which was based on writings and cartoons of the American humourist James Thurber. Mr. Windom went on to tour for many years in a one-man show based on Thurber.

Over his career, which spanned seven decades, Mr. Windom appeared as a guest star in many TV shows — leading some to believe he may have made more appearances than anyone else in the history of the medium.

To see William Windom in an excerpt from Star Trek in 1967, click here.


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