William Windom (actor)

William Windom (September 28, 1923  August 16, 2012) was an American actor. He played a wide variety of roles in both film and television during a near 60-year career, but is perhaps best known for his roles in two sitcoms: as Glen Morley, a fictional congressman in The Farmer's Daughter (19631966), and his Emmy Award winning role as cartoonist John Monroe in the short-lived comedy My World and Welcome to It (19691970).

William Windom
Born(1923-09-28)September 28, 1923
DiedAugust 16, 2012(2012-08-16) (aged 88)
Years active19502006
Carol Keyser
(m. 1947; div. 1955)

Barbara Joyce
(m. 1958; div. 1963)

Barbara Goetz
(m. 1963; div. 1968)

Jacqulyn Hopkins
(m. 1969; div. 1974)

Patricia Tunder (m. 1975)
Awards1970 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Feature films in which Windom appeared included the Academy Award-winning To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), The Detective (1968), and Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971) to name a few.

Early life

Windom was born in New York City, the son of Isobel Wells (née Peckham) and Paul Windom, an architect.[1][2] He was the great-grandson of the United States Secretary of the Treasury of the same name. He attended Williams College before enlisting in the U.S. Army. He participated in the Specialized Training Program and studied at The Citadel, Antioch College and the University of Kentucky.[1]

Windom then became a paratrooper with Company B, 1st Battalion 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division. While stationed in Frankfurt during the Allied occupation of Germany he enrolled in Biarritz American University in France and became involved in drama.[1][3]


During his early screen career in the 1950s, Windom appeared in TV series including Omnibus and Robert Montgomery Presents, and continued his guest-starring roles in series during the 1960s such as The Twilight Zone, The Donna Reed Show, Gunsmoke and Star Trek (playing Commodore Matt Decker, commander of the doomed USS Constellation in the popular 1967 episode "The Doomsday Machine", a role he would reprise nearly 40 years later for Star Trek: New Voyages).

His first leading role in television came in the sitcom The Farmer's Daughter (19631966) - a series about a young Minnesota woman (played by Inger Stevens) who becomes the housekeeper for a widowed congressman (Windom) - which ran for three seasons.

Windom's first role in film was alongside Gregory Peck in the Oscar-winning To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) as Horace Gilmer - the prosecutor of Tom Robinson (Brock Peters) - to Peck's defence lawyer Atticus Finch.

In 1968, Windom starred alongside Peter Falk and Gene Barry in the TV movie Prescription: Murder, the pilot for the TV series Columbo. He would guest star in another edition of the series (entitled "Short Fuse") in 1972.

Windom starred with Frank Sinatra in the film The Detective (1968), playing a homophobic killer, a role that received great reviews from The New York Times. The following year, he had the lead role as cartoonist John Monroe in the sitcom My World and Welcome to It. Although the series only aired for one season, he won the 1970 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.

After the cancellation of the series, Windom toured the country for a time in a one-man Thurber show. After the run was completed, he filmed the pilot for a new series Is There a Doctor in the House? with Rosemary Forsyth. The pilot was written with both actors in mind for the two starring roles, and while it was well received by the critics and in viewership ratings in both its first run and a re-run in the summer of 1971, it was not picked up for a series.

After a host of roles in film, TV movies and guest appearances in TV series during the 1970s and 1980s, Windom joined the series Murder, She Wrote in 1985 as Dr. Seth Hazlitt. His initial appearance was in October 1985. (He had previously appeared as a guest star playing another character in April 1985.) The producers enjoyed his work, and consequently invited him to return at the beginning of the second season to take on the role permanently. Windom briefly left the show in 1990 to work on the first television version of Parenthood (based on the 1989 film of the same name), playing the role of patriarch Frank Buckman (played by Jason Robards in the film and, later, Craig T. Nelson in the second TV version). The show was ultimately canceled after 12 episodes and Windom returned to Murder, She Wrote as a semi-regular for the remainder of the run of that series. In all, Windom appeared in 53 episodes of Murder, She Wrote, second only to the show's main star, Angela Lansbury.

Windom continued to appear in film and TV guest roles during the 1990s and 2000s, with appearances in the films Sommersby (1993), Miracle on 34th Street (1994), and Clint Eastwood's True Crime (1999), and episodes of series including Ally McBeal (2000) and The District (2001), before making his final acting appearance in the 2005 drama Yesterday's Dreams.


Windom died on August 16, 2012, at the age of 88 at his home in Woodacre, California from congestive heart failure.[1] He was survived by his wife, Patricia Tunder Windom, and four of his children – Rachel, Heather, Hope and Rebel – and four grandchildren.

Personal life

Windom was a tournament chess player, a life member of the USCF.[4]



Year Title Role Notes
1962 To Kill a Mockingbird Horace Gilmer - Prosecutor Film debut
1963 Cattle King Harry Travers
1963 For Love or Money Sam Travis
1963 One Man's Way Rev. Clifford Peale
1964 The Americanization of Emily Captain Harry Spaulding
1967 Hour of the Gun Texas Jack Vermillion
1968 The Detective Colin MacIver
1968 The Angry Breed Vance Patton
1969 The Gypsy Moths V. John Brandon
1970 Brewster McCloud Weeks
1971 The Mephisto Waltz Dr. Roger West
1971 Escape from the Planet of the Apes The President
1971 Fools' Parade Roy K. Sizemore
1972 Now You See Him, Now You Don't Lufkin
1972 The Man Arthur Eaton
1975 Stevie, Samson and Delilah Narrator
1976 Echoes of a Summer Dr. Hallet
1978 Mean Dog Blues Victor Lacey
1978 Goodbye, Franklin High Clifford Armer
1981 Separate Ways Huey Block
1983 Last Plane Out James Caldwell
1984 Prince Jack Ferguson
1984 Grandview, U.S.A. Bob Cody
1985 Space Rage Gov. Torah
1985 Means and Ends Burt
1987 Funland Angus Perry
1987 Planes, Trains and Automobiles Bryant Uncredited
1987 Dead Aim McWhorter
1988 She's Having a Baby Russ Bainbridge
1989 Uncle Buck Mr. Hatfield (voice)
1991 Committed Dr. Magnus Quilly
1993 Sommersby Reverend Powell
1993 Once Upon a Forest Birds Uncredited
1994 Miracle on 34th Street C.F. Cole
1999 True Crime Neil
2000 The Thundering 8th Old Joe
2001 Early Bird Special Fred
2002 Raising Dead Chief Silton
2003 Dopamine Tom - Rand's Father
2003 Dismembered Police Capt. Hart
2005 Yesterday's Dreams Herb Radford Final film role


Year Title Role Notes
1949 Repertory Theatre Tybalt TV series; 2 episodes
1950 Lights Out TV series; "The Heart of Jonathan O'Rourke"
1950 Masterpiece Playhouse King Richard III TV series; "Richard III"
1951-1957 Robert Montgomery Presents TV series; 4 episodes
1955 Omnibus Various TV series; 2 episodes
1958 Dial M for Murder Max Halliday TV movie
1960 Play of the Week Bob TV series; "Seven Time Monday"
1960 Guestward, Ho! TV series; "The Christmas Spirit"
1961-1962 Surfside 6 Various TV series; 2 episodes
1961-1962 The Donna Reed Show Various TV series; 2 episodes
1961 The Twilight Zone The Major TV series; "Five Characters in Search of an Exit"
1961-1972 Gunsmoke Various TV series; 3 episodes
1961 Armstrong Circle Theatre TV series; "Black Market Babies"
1961 The Detectives Sutter TV series; "Tobey's Place"
1961 The New Breed Warren Giles TV series; "The Compulsion to Confess"
1961 Checkmate Peter Morell TV series; "Through a Dark Glass"
1961 Cheyenne Dennis Carter TV series; "Legacy of the Lost"
1961 Ben Casey Dr. Owen TV series; "The Sweet Kiss of Madness"
1962-1963 77 Sunset Strip Various TV series; 2 episodes
1962 The Gertrude Berg Show Ernie TV series; "Goodbye Mr. Howell"
1962 Bus Stop Ed Henderson TV series; "The Ordeal of Kevin Brooke"
1962 Follow the Sun Meredith St. John TV series; "A Ghost in Her Gazebo"
1962 Thriller Lou Walters TV series; "Man of Mystery"
1962 Kraft Mystery Theater Fuller TV series; "In Close Pursuit"
1962 The Gallant Men Jake TV series; Pilot
1962 The Lucy Show Henry Taylor TV series; "Lucy Digs Up a Date"
1962 Seven Times Monday Bob TV movie
1962 Stoney Burke Reese Ludlow TV series; "A Matter of Pride"
1963-1966 The Farmer's Daughter Congressman Glen Morley TV series; 101 episodes
1963 Combat! Captain Lew Anders TV series; "Off Limits"
1963 The Twilight Zone Dr. Wallman TV series; "Miniature"
1963 Empire Lawrence Rowan TV series; "Hidden Asset"
1966 The F.B.I. Anton Christopher TV series; "The Assassin"
1966 The Big Valley Cyrus Deland TV series; "The River Monarch"
1966 Twelve O'Clock High Lt. Co. Bill Christy TV series; "Gauntlet of Fire"
1966 The Wild Wild West Ben Victor TV series; "The Night of the Flying Pie Plate"
1966 Iron Horse Colin McCrory TV series; "Town Full of Fear"
1967 Mission: Impossible Deputy Premier Milos Pavel TV series; "The Train"
1967 Run for Your Life Ralph Wilson TV series; "The List of Alice McKenna"
1967 The F.B.I. David Spiers TV series; "By Force and Violence"
1967 The Fugitive Professor Fritz Simpson TV series; "The Ivy Maze"
1967 Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre TV series; "Wipeout"
1967 Mission: Impossible Alex Cresnic TV series; "The Widow"
1967 Star Trek Commodore Matt Decker TV series; "The Doomsday Machine"
1967 The Invaders Maj. Rick Graves TV series; "Doomsday Minus One"
1967 Custer Clark Samson TV series; "Under Fire"
1967 Gentle Ben James Harkness TV series; "Jennifer"
1967 Dundee and the Culhane Robert Campbell TV series; "The Thy Brother's Keeper Brief"
1967 The Invaders Michael Tressider TV series; "Summit Meeting"
1967 Judd, for the Defense Ira Creighton TV series; "Commitment"
1968-1970 The Name of the Game Various TV series; 2 episodes
1968-1972 Ironside Various TV series; 2 episodes
1968 Mannix Calvin Norris TV series; "The Girl in the Frame"
1968 The F.B.I. Howard Converse TV series; "The Nightmare"
1968 Prescription: Murder Burt Gordon TV movie; first Pilot film for the TV series Columbo
1968 Bonanza Marshal Passmore TV series; "Star Crossed"
1969 The Virginian Joss Cardine TV series; "Halfway Back from Hell"
1969-1970 My World and Welcome to It John Monroe TV series; 26 episodes
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (1970)
1969 Mannix Nils Sanderson TV series; "Shadow of a Man"
1969-1974 Hawaii Five-O Various TV series; 2 episodes
1969-1976 Medical Center Various TV series; 5 episodes
1969 The Mod Squad Fred Williams TV series; "Hello Mother, My Name Is Julie"
1969 Lancer Claude Buttermere TV series; "The Great Humbug"
1969 The Outcasts Lafe Partman TV series; "The Stalking Devil"
1969 The Outsider Bernard Christie TV series; "Service for One"
1969 CBS Playhouse Art Richardson TV series; "Shadow Game"
1969 My Friend Tony TV series; "The Shortest Courtship"
1970-1972 Love, American Style Various TV series; 3 episodes
1970-1976 Insight Various TV series; 3 episodes
1970 House on Greenapple Road Paul Durstine TV movie
1970 The Forty-Eight Hour Mile Bernard Christie TV movie
1971 The Men From Shiloh (rebranded name for The Virginian) Foster Bonham TV series; "The Politician"
1971 That Girl Joseph Nelson TV series; "That Script"
1971 Mission: Impossible Stu Gorman TV series; "Blues"
1971 Big Fish, Little Fish William Baker TV movie
1971 Assault on the Wayne Captain Frank Reardon TV movie
1971 Alias Smith and Jones Jeremiah Daley TV series; "Wrong Train to Brimstone"
1971 Men at Law Dr. Simon Branby TV series; "Let the Dier Beware"
1971 Is There a Doctor in the House? Dr. Tim Newly TV movie
1971 All in the Family Eddie Frazier TV series; "Success Story"
1971 Escape Dr. Henry Walding TV movie
1971 Cannon Harry Kendrix TV series; "Death Chain"
1971 A Taste of Evil Harold Jennings TV movie
1971 Marriage: Year One Warren Duden TV movie
1971 Cade's County Frank Leonard TV series; "Violent Echo"
1971 Marcus Welby, M.D. TV series; "Ask Me Again Tomorrow"
1971 Night Gallery Randy Lane TV series; "They're Tearing Down Tim Riley's Bar"
1971 The Man and the City TV series; "The Deadly Fountain"
1971 The Waltons Charlie Snead TV series; "The Homecoming: A Christmas Story"
1972-1976 The Streets of San Francisco Various TV series; 3 episodes
1972 Columbo Everett Logan TV series; "Short Fuse"
1972 Second Chance Stan Petryk TV movie
1972 The Jimmy Stewart Show Carruthers TV series; "Old School Ties"
1972 The New Healers Mr. Farrigan TV movie
1972 Banacek Harry Wexler TV series; "Projet Phoenix"
1972 Ghost Story Charlie Pender TV series; "The Summer House"
1972 The Rookies Frank Queenlin TV series; "Time Is the Fire"
1972 A Great American Tragedy Rob Stewart TV movie
1972 Pursuit Robert Phillips TV movie
1973-1974 The Girl with Something Extra Stuart Kline TV series; 3 episodes
1973 The Partridge Family Uncle Erwin TV series; "Bedknobs and Drumsticks"
1973 Mission: Impossible Paul Mitchell TV series; "The Fighter"
1973 The Girls of Huntington House Sam Duton TV movie
1973 Winesburg, Ohio Dr. Reefy TV movie
1973 The Delphi Bureau Broker TV series; "The Terror Broker Project"
1973 Dr. Simon Locke Woodward TV series; "Losers, Weepers"
1973 Tenafly Weyburn TV series; "The Cash and Carry Caper"
1973 Griff Christopher Woods TV series; "The Last Ballad"
1973 Hawkins Joe Hamilton TV series; "A Life for a Life"
1974-1975 Petrocelli Various TV series; 2 episodes
1974-1977 McMillan & Wife Various TV series; 2 episodes
1974-1977 Police Woman Various TV series; 2 episodes
1974 Chopper One Marklund TV series; "The Drop"
1974 Murder in the First Person Singular Alfred Emerson TV movie
1974 The Day the Earth Moved Judge Tom Backsler TV movie
1975-1981 Barney Miller Various TV series; 3 episodes
1975 The Abduction of Saint Anne Ted Morrisey TV movie
1975 Lucas Tanner Ed Michaelson TV series; "Shattered"
1975 Journey from Darkness Dr. Cavaliere TV movie
1975 Mannix George Kane TV series; "Hardball"
1975 S.W.A.T. Ross Collins TV series; "A Coven of Killers"
1975 Guilty or Innocent: The Sam Sheppard Murder Case Walt Adamson TV movie
1975 Doctors' Hospital Dr. Ralph Keyes TV series; "Surgeon, Heal Thyself"
1976 Bridger Daniel Webster TV movie
1976 Doc Dr. Pike TV series; "Come Scrub with Me"
1976 Richie Brockelman: The Missing 24 Hours Arthur Springfield TV movie
1976 The Bionic Woman Warfield TV series; "Black Magic"
1976 Gibbsville Charley Paxton TV series; "Saturday Night"
1976 The Feather and Father Gang General Northrup TV series; "Two-Star Killer"
1976 Once an Eagle Gen. Duke K Pulleyne Miniseries
1976 The Tony Randall Show Kiss TV series; "Case: Money vs. Stature"
1977 Seventh Avenue John Meyers Miniseries
1977 Hunter Josef Pate TV series; "The Lysenko Syndrome"
1977 Quincy, M.E. Arthur Brandeis TV series; "The Hot Dog Murder"
1977 Family Howard Stone TV series; "An Endangered Species"
1977 The Magic World of Disney Phil Wainwright TV series; "The Bluegrass Special"
1977 The Oregon Trail Packy TV series; 2 episodes
1977 Kojak K.C. Milano TV series; "Once More from Birdland"
1978 Hunters of the Reef Panama Cassidy TV movie
1978 W.E.B. TV series; "Walk a Velvet Tightrope"
1979-1982 Trapper John, M.D. Various TV series; 2 episodes
1979-1983 The Love Boat Various TV series; 3 episodes
1979 Brothers and Sisters Larry Krandall Miniseries
1979 Blind Ambition Richard Kleindienst Miniseries
1980 Portrait of a Rebel: The Remarkable Mrs. Sanger Soldini TV movie
1980 Landon Landon & Landon Ben Landon TV series
1980 Dallas Amos Krebbs TV series; 2 episodes
1981 Walking Tall Matthew Whittaker TV series; "The Protectors of the People"
1981 The Incredible Hulk Sgt. Jack Keeler TV series; "East Winds"
1981 Foul Play TV series; "Play It Again Tuck"
1981 One Day at a Time Mr. Tiller TV series; "Caveat Emptor"
1981 Leave 'em Laughing Smiley Jenkins TV movie
1981 Side Show Byron Gage TV movie
1981 Flamingo Road Charlie Banks TV series; "The Stranger"
1982-1983 Matt Houston Dr. Walter Belkamp TV series; 2 episodes
1982 Fantasy Island Bill Ackland TV series; "Daddy's Little Girl/The Whistle"
1982 Desperate Lives Dr. Jarvis TV movie
1982 The Rules of Marriage George Olsen TV movie
1982 Hart to Hart Charles Baines TV series; "With This Hart, I Thee Wed"
1983 The Greatest American Hero Henry Williams TV series; "Live at Eleven"
1983 The A-Team Al Massey TV series; "Mexican Slayride"
1983 Mama's Family Woody Miller TV series; "Mama's Boyfriend"
1983 The Tom Swift and Linda Craig Mystery Hour Bronco Mallory TV movie
1983 The Facts of Life Pete Dawson TV series; "Store Games"
1983 Lottery! Arthur TV series; "Boston: False Illusion"
1983 Automan Judge Alexander Farnsworth TV series; "Staying Alive While Running a High Flashdance Fever"
1984 St. Elsewhere Charlie Halloran TV series; "In Sickness and in Health"
1984 Simon & Simon Dr. Lloyd - Chief of Surgery TV series; "Under the Knife"
1984 Why Me? General TV movie
1984 The Yellow Rose Mayor Virgil Mapes TV series; 2 episodes
1984 Off Sides Mayor Malcolm Wallwood TV movie
1984 Velvet TV movie
1984 Hot Pursuit TV series; "Twilight Home"
1984 Hunter Commissioner Larry Crenshaw TV series; "The Hot Grounder"
1985-1996 Murder, She Wrote Attorney Sam Breen/Dr. Seth Hazlitt TV series; 53 episodes
1985 Highway to Heaven Rev. David Stevens TV series; "A Child of God"
1985 Surviving: A Family in Crisis Dr. Madsen TV movie
1985 Hotel Uncle Ray TV series; "Anniversary"
1985 Hardcastle and McCormick James Maxwell TV series; "Surprise on Seagull Beach"
1985 Dirty Work Cmdr. Leevanhoek TV movie
1985 The Jetsons voice TV series; "Elroy in Wonderland"
1985 Airwolf Lou Stappleford TV series; "Eagles"
1985 Knight Rider Wayne Altfield TV series; "Knight Racer"
1986 Magnum, P.I. Captain James T. Lyle TV series; "All Thieves on Deck"
1986 Comedy Factory Herb Medlock TV series; "Moscow Bureau"
1986 There Must Be a Pony Lee Hertzig TV movie
1987 Mathnet Judge Herman Hoffman TV series; "The Trial of George Frankly"
1987 Square One Television Judge Hoffman TV series; 3 episodes
1987 Newhart Lew Brooney TV series; "Good-Bye & Good Riddance, Mr. Chips"
1987 Sky Commanders 'Cutter' Kling (voice) TV series; 2 episodes
1987 Dennis the Menace Mr. George Wilson TV movie
1989 Have Faith Alex TV series; "Letters from Home"
1990-1991 Parenthood Frank Buckman TV series; 12 episodes
1990 His & Hers TV series; "Just Plain Bill"
1990 Back to Hannibal: The Return of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn Judge Thatcher TV movie
1990 Amen Various TV series; 2 episodes
1991 Babes TV series; "All Bumbed Out"
1991 The Fanelli Boys Ernie TV series; 2 episodes
1991 Chance of a Lifetime Dr. Edelman TV movie
1992 L.A. Law Charles Flanagan TV series; "Diet, Diet My Darling"
1992 Batman: The Animated Series Ethan Clark (voice) TV series; "Prophecy of Doom"
1992 Goof Troop Uncle Bob TV series; "Major Goof"
1992 Camp Candy voice TV series; "When It Rains...It Snows"
1993-1994 Sonic the Hedgehog Uncle Chuck (voice) TV series; 25 episodes
1993 Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman Hamilton Cobb TV movie
1994 Murphy Brown Ross Bowen TV series; "Be Carfeul What You Wish For"
1995 Burke's Law Dale Montrose TV series; "Who Killed the Tennis Ace?"
1996 Fugitive X: Innocent Target Uncle Billy TV movie
1998 Boy Meets World Ned TV series; "Ain't College Great?"
1999 Judging Amy Prof. Barnett TV series; "Prof. Barnett"
1999 Chicken Soup for the Soul Judge TV series; "Rescued"
2000 Ally McBeal Henderson Porter TV series; "The Man with the Bag"
2001 Providence Harold Joyce TV series; "The Invisible Man"
2001 The District Harlan Kirby Sr. TV series; "Bulldog's Ghost"
2002 JAG Former Chief of Naval Operations TV series; "Need to Know"
2004 Star Trek: New Voyages Commodore Matt Decker TV series; "In Harm's Way"


  1. Grode, Eric (August 19, 2012). "William Windom, Emmy Winner and TV Everyman, Dies at 88". The New York Times. Retrieved August 19, 2012. William Windom, who won an Emmy Award playing an Everyman drawn from the pages of James Thurber but who may be best remembered for his roles on “Star Trek” and “Murder, She Wrote,” died on Thursday at his home in Woodacre, Calif., north of San Francisco. He was 88. The cause was congestive heart failure, said his wife, Patricia. ...
  2. William Windom Biography (1923-)
  3. The 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) Trooper Pictures during World War II
  4. Smith, Phillip R (21 August 2012). "William Windom (1923-2012)". uschess.org. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.