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Entertainment Earth

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Entertainment Earth

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"They say there's no devil, Jim, but there is, right out of Hell. I saw it!"

- as Commodore Matt Decker, Star Trek: The Doomsday Machine (1967)

WILLIAM WINDOM

Five-year-old William Windom was a pupil of kindergarten teacher Margaret Hamilton (who would later play the witch in The Wizard of OZ) until she threw him out for rambunctious behavior.

William Windom, a man of all mediums, this veteran, Manhattan-born character actor was named after his great-grandfather, Lincolnesque Congressman William Windom. Born September 28th 1923, the son of Paul Windom, an architect, and the former Isobel Wells Peckham, Windom attended Williams College and the University of Kentucky, among others, before serving in the Army during WWII. After the war, he studied at both Fordham and Columbia universities in New York City before settling on an acting career. Trained at the American Repertory Theatre (1946-1961), he made his minor Broadway debut with the company in November of 1946 with revolving productions of "Henry VIII", "What Every Woman Knows", "John Gabriel Borkman" and "Androcles and the Lion". The following year, he continued building up his Broadway resume with roles in "Yellow Jack" and as the "White Rabbit" in a production of "Alice in Wonderland".

The native New Yorker went on to essay a number of loungy Southerners and down-home types with incredible ease--both heroes and villains. He offered strong support in his film debut as Gregory Peck's opposing counsel in the Alabama-based To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), and went on to play prelate Norman Vincent Peale's father in One Man's Way (1964) starring Don Murray. Windom demonstrated the maturity to carry off the character even though he was only 5 years older than Murray. He also delivered a variety of pungent roles in such films as The Detective (1968) (as a closeted gay married man), Robert Altman's Brewster McCloud (1970) (as a mayor facing a series of murders) and The Man (1972) (as a racist politician).

But Windom was perhaps best known for his work on television. In addition to hundreds of guest appearances on the most popular shows of the day (Combat! (1962), The Fugitive (1963), All in the Family (1971), Dallas (1978), Highway to Heaven (1984)), his standout work included a co-starring role opposite the luminous Inger Stevens in the popular light comedy series The Farmer's Daughter (1963). On the show, Windom portrayed widower "Glenn Morley", a decent congressman from Minnesota who eventually falls in love with his pert and pretty Swedish governess "Katy Holstrum" (played by Stevens).

Windom's drew inspriation for the role of congressman Morley from his great grandfather, politician William Windom (1827-1891), who served in both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate as a Republican from Minnesota and later became Secretary of the Treasury under James Garfield and Benjamin Harrison.

Prior to the success of The Farmer's Daughter, both he and Stevens had been singularly recognized for their sterling performances on various episodes of The Twilight Zone (1959).

After the run was completed, Windom 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 rerun in the summer of 1971, it was not picked up for a series.

Windom also achieved fame as the character of cartoonist John Monroe on the sitcom My World and Welcome to It, for which he won an Emmy Award for Best Actor in a Comedy Series. Despite the show's critical merit and Windom's "Best Actor" Emmy win, the show, years ahead of its time, lasted only one season. Decades later, Windom would play James Thurber on stage in one-man shows.

To fans of science fiction television, Windom was best known as the tortured Commodore of the USS Constellation Matt Decker in the Star Trek episode "The Doomsday Machine," a role he reprised nearly 40 years later for Star Trek New Voyages. Windom said that he patterned his portrayal of the character after Humphrey Bogart's Captain Queeg from The Caine Mutiny, particularly the obsessive-compulsive habit of toying with objects in his hands.

In an excerpt from the writer's guide to Star Trek: The Motion Picture featured in The Making of Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Susan Sackett and Gene Roddenberry's book about the movie) Matt Decker is established as the father of Willard Decker (as played by Stephen Collins). Several other members of the Decker family are featured in the Starfleet Academy comic book series.

Windom was a regular for a decade on the series Murder, She Wrote with Angela Lansbury as mystery writer Jessica Fletcher. His initial appearance in the role 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. He briefly left the show to work on another series in 1990, but the show was short-lived and he returned to Murder, She Wrote as a semi-regular for the remainder of the run of that series.

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

    Selected William Windom TVography

12 O'Clock High
- Gauntlet of Fire (1966)

77 Sunset Strip
- The Checkmate Caper (1963)
- Mr. Bailey's Honeymoon (1962)

The A-Team
- Mexican Slayride (1983)

Airwolf
- Eagles (1985)

Alias Smith and Jones
- Wrong Train to Brimstone (1971)

All in the Family
- Success Story (1971)

Ally McBeal
- The Man with the Bag (2000)

Amen
- Miracle on 134th Street: Part 1 and 2 (1990)

Armstrong Circle Theatre
- Black Market Babies (1961)

Automan
- Staying Alive While Running a High Flashdance Fever (1983)

Babes
- All Bummed Out (1991)

Banacek
- Project Phoenix (1972)

Barney Miller
- Contempt (1981)
- Doomsday (1975)

Batman: The Animated Series
- Prophecy of Doom (1992)

Ben Casey
- The Sweet Kiss of Madness (1961)

The Bionic Woman
- Black Magic (1976)

Blind Ambition
- TV miniseries (1979)

Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre
- Wipeout (1967)

Bonanza
- Star Crossed (1968)

Boy Meets World
- Ain't College Great? (1998)

Brothers and Sisters
- 12 episodes (1979)

Burke's Law
- Who Killed the Tennis Ace? (1995)

Bus Stop
- The Ordeal of Kevin Brooke (1962)

CBS Playhouse
- Shadow Game (1969)

Cade's County
- Violent Echo (1971)

Camp Candy
- When It Rains... It Snows (1992)

Cannon
- Death Chain (1971)

Checkmate
- Through a Dark Glass (1961)

Cheyenne
- Legacy of the Lost (1961)

Chicken Soup for the Soul
- Rescued (1999)

Chopper One
- The Drop (1974)

Cheyenne
- Legacy of the Lost (1961)

Columbo
- Short Fuse (1972)

Comedy Factory
- Moscow Bureau (1986)

Combat!
- Off Limits (1963)

Custer
- Under Fire (1967)

Dallas
- The Fourth Son (1980)
- The Venezuelan Connection (1980)

The Delphi Bureau
- The Terror Broker Project (1973)

The Detectives
- Tobey's Place (1961)

Dinosaurs
- (TV series, voice, 1991-1994)

Disneyland
- The Bluegrass Special (1977)

The District
- Bulldog's Ghost (2001)

Doc
- Come Scrub with Me (1976)

Doctors' Hospital
- Surgeon, Heal Thyself (1975)

The Donna Reed Show
- The Wide Open Spaces (1962)
- All Is Forgiven (1961)

Dr. Simon Locke
- Losers, Weepers (1971)

Dundee and the Culhane
- The Thy Brother's Keeper Brief (1967)

Empire
- Hidden Asset (1963)

The F.B.I.
- The Nightmare (1968)
- By Force and Violence: Part 1 and 2 (1967)
- The Assassin (1966)

The Facts of Life
- Store Games (1983)

Family
- An Endangered Species (1977)

The Fanelli Boys
- The Wedding: Part 1 and 2 (1991)

Fantasy Island
- Daddy's Little Girl/The Whistle (1982)

The Farmer's Daughter
- ABC series with Inger Stevens, 101 episodes (1963–1966)

The Feather and Father Gang
- The Two-Star Killer (1976)

Flamingo Road
- The Stranger (1981)

Follow the Sun
- A Ghost in Her Gazebo (1962)

For Love or Money
(1963)

Foul Play
- Play It Again Tuck (1981)

The Fugitive
- The Ivy Maze (1967)

The Gallant Men
- Pilot (1962)

Gentle Ben
- Jennifer (1967)

Ghost Story
- The Summer House (1972)

Gibbsville
- Saturday Night (1976)

The Girl with Something Extra
- The Sour Grapevine (1974)
- The Greening of Aunt Fran (1974)
- No Benefit of Doubt (1973)

Goof Troop
- Major Goof (1992)

The Greatest American Hero
- Live at Eleven (1983)

The Gertrude Berg Show
- Good-bye Mr. Howell (1962)

Griff
- The Last Ballad (1973)

Guestward, Ho!
- The Christmas Spirit (1960)

Gunsmoke
- The Judgement (1972)
- False Front (1962)
- Nina's Revenge (1961)

Hardcastle and McCormick
- Surprise on Seagull Beach (1985)

Hart to Hart
- With this Hart I thee Wed (1982)

Have Faith
- Letters from Home (1989)

Hawaii Five-O
- Bomb, Bomb, Who's Got the Bomb? (1974)
- Which Way Did They Go? (1969)

Hawkins
- A Life for a Life (1973)

Highway to Heaven
- - A Child of God (1985)

His & Hers
- Just Plain Bill (1990)

Hot Pursuit
- Twilight Home (1984)

Hotel
- Anniversary (1985)

Hunter
- The Hot Grounder (1984)
- The Lysenko Syndrome (1977)

The Incredible Hulk
- East Winds (1981)

Insight
- Jesus B.C. (1976)
- When You See Arcturus (1974)
- The Dangerous Airs of Amy Clark (1970)

The Invaders
- Summit Meeting: Part 1 and 2 (1967)
- Doomsday Minus One (1967)

Iron Horse
- Town Full of Fear (1966)

Ironside
- Achilles' Heel (1972)
- Trip to Hashbury (1968)

Is there a Doctor in the House?
- TV series pilot (1971)

JAG
- Need to Know (2002)

The Jetsons
- Elroy in Wonderland (1985)

The Jimmy Stewart Show
- Old School Ties (1972)

Judd for the Defense
- Commitment (1967)

Judging Amy
- Witch Hunt (1999)

Knight Rider
- Knight Racer (1985)

Kojak
- Once More from Birdland (1977)

Kraft Mystery Theater
- In Close Pursuit (1962)

L.A. Law
- Diet, Diet My Darling (1992)

Lancer
- The Great Humbug (1969)

Landon Landon & Landon
 - Ben Landon (1980)

Lights Out
- The Heart of Jonathan O'Rourke (1950)

Lottery!
- Boston: False Illusion (1983)

Love, American Style
- Love and the Ghost (1972)
- Love and the Television Weekend (1971)
- Love and the Visitor (1970)

The Love Boat
- Comes the Bride - Maybe (1983)
- Take My Boy Friend, Please (1979)

Lucas Tanner
- Shattered (1975)

The Lucy Show
- Lucy Digs up a Date (1962)

Magnum, P.I.
- All Thieves on Deck (1986)

Mama's Family
- Mama's Boyfriend (1983)

The Man and the City
- The Deadly Fountain (1971)

Mannix
- Hardball (1975)
- Shadow of a Man (1969)
- The Girl in the Frame (1968)

Marcus Welby, M.D.
- Ask Me Again Tomorrow (1971)

Masterpiece Playhouse
- Richard III (1950)

Mathnet
- The Trial of George Frankly (1987)

Matt Houston
- Heritage (1983)
- The Good Doctor (1982)

McMillan & Wife
- Philip's Game (1977)
- The Game of Survival (1974)

Medical Center
- If Wishes Were Horses (1976)
- Broken Image (1973)
- Vision of Doom (1972)
- Blood Line (1971)
- U.M.C. (1969)

Mission: Impossible
- The Fighter (1973)
- Blues (1971)
- The Widow (1967)
- The Train (1967)

The Mod Squad
- Hello Mother, My Name Is Julie (1969)

Murder, She Wrote
- 53 episodes (1985–1996)

Murphy Brown
- Be Careful What You Wish For (1994)

My Friend Tony
- The Shortest Courtship (1969)

My World and Welcome to It
- 26 episodes (1969)

The Name of the Game
- The Time Is Now (1970)
- Lola in Lipstick (1968)

The New Breed
- The Compulsion to Confess (1961)

Newhart
- Good Bye and Good Riddance, Mr. Chips (1987)

Night Gallery
- Little Girl Lost (1972)
- They're Tearing Down Tim Riley's Bar (1971)

Omnibus
- The Lives of Henry Adams and Charles Frances Adams Jr. (1955)

Once an Eagle
- TV miniseries (1976)

One Day at a Time
- Caveat Emptor (1981)

The Oregon Trail
- The Last Game (1977)
- Hard Ride Home (1977)

The Outcasts
- The Stalking Devil (1969)

The Outsider
- Service for One (1969)

Parenthood
- 12 episodes (1990-1991)

The Partridge Family
- Bedknobs and Drumsticks (1973)

Petrocelli
- Shadow of Fear (1975)
- The Golden Cage (1974)

The Philco Television Playhouse
- Pretty Little Parlor (1949)
- Romeo and Juliet (1949)

Play of the Week
- Seven Times Monday (1960)

Police Woman
- Silky Chamberlain (1977)
- The Beautiful Die Young (1974)

Providence
- The Invisible Man (2001)

Quincy, M.E.
- The Hot Dog Murders (1977)

Robert Montgomery Presents
- The Grand Prize (1957)
- Tomorrow Is Forever (1955)
- The Drifter (1955)
- Kiss and Tell (1951)

The Rookies
- Time Is the Fire (1972)

Run for Your Life
- The List of Alice McKenna (1967)

S.W.A.T.
- A Coven of Killers (1975)

Seventh Avenue
- TV miniseries (1977)

Simon & Simon
- Under the Knife (1984)

Sky Commanders
-  'Cutter' Kling (voice)

St. Elsewhere
- In Sickness and in Health (1984)

Storefront Lawyers
- Let the Dier Beware (1971)

Sonic the Hedgehog
- 25 episodes, voice (1994–1995)

Square One TV
- Episode #1.20 (1987)
- Episode #1.19 (1987)
- Episode #1.18 (1987)

Star Trek
- The Doomsday Machine (1967)

Star Trek New Voyages: Phase II
- Web TV series (2004)

Stoney Burke
- A Matter of Pride (1962)

The Streets of San Francisco
- Letters from the Grave (1975)
- 45 Minutes from Home (1972)

Surfside 6
- Anniversary Special (1962)
- The Affairs at Hotel Delight (1961)

Super Password
- guest (1986)

Tenafly
- The Cash and Carry Caper (1973)

That Girl
- That Script (1971)

Thriller
- Man of Mystery (1962)

The Tony Randall Show
- Money vs. Stature (1976)

Trapper John, M.D.
- You Pays Your Money (1982)
- Taxi in the Rain (1979)

Twelve O'Clock High
- Gauntlet of Fire (1966)

The Twilight Zone
- Miniature (1963)
- Five Characters in Search of an Exit (1961)

The Virginian
- The Politician (1971)
- Halfway Back from Hell (1969)
- The Orchard (1968)
- To Bear Witness (1967)

Walking Tall
- The Protectors of the People (1981)

The Waltons
- The Homecoming: A Christmas Story (1971)

W.E.B.
- Walk a Velvet Tightrope (1978)

The Wild Wild West
- The Night of the Flying Pie Plate (1966)

The Wonderful World of Disney
- The Bluegrass Special (1977)

The Yellow Rose
- The Far Side of Fear (1984)
- Villa's Gold (1984)

    Selected William Windom Filmography

1958

Dial M for Murder (TV Movie)

1962

To Kill a Mockingbird

Seven Times Monday (TV Movie)

1963

Cattle King

For Love or Money

1964

One Man's Way

The Americanization of Emily

1967

Hour of the Gun

1968

The Detective

The Angry Breed

Columbo: Prescription: Murder (TV movie)

1969

The Gypsy Moths

1970

Brewster McCloud

The Forty-Eight Hour Mile (TV Movie)

House on Greenapple Road (TV Movie)

1971

Escape from the Planet of the Apes

Assault on the Wayne (TV Movie)

Fools' Parade

Marriage: Year One (TV Movie)

A Taste of Evil (TV Movie)

The Mephisto Waltz

Big Fish, Little Fish (TV Movie)

Escape (TV Movie)

Is There a Doctor in the House (TV Movie)

1972

Now You See Him, Now You Don't

The Man

The New Healers (TV Movie)

A Great American Tragedy (TV Movie)

Second Chance (TV Movie)

Pursuit (TV Movie)

1973

The Girls of Huntington House

Winesburg, Ohio (TV Movie)

The Girls of Huntington House (TV Movie)

1974

The Day the Earth Moved (TV Movie)

Murder in the First Person Singular (TV Movie)

1975

Guilty or Innocent: The Sam Sheppard Murder Case (TV Movie)

Stevie, Samson and Delilah (Narrator)

Journey from Darkness (TV Movie)

The Abduction of Saint Anne (TV Movie)

1976

Echoes of a Summer

Bridger (TV Movie)

Richie Brockelman: The Missing 24 Hours (TV Movie)

1978

Goodbye, Franklin High

Mean Dog Blues

Hunters of the Reef (TV Movie)

1980

Portrait of a Rebel: The Remarkable Mrs. Sanger (TV Movie)

1981

Separate Ways

Side Show (TV Movie)

Leave 'Em Laughing (TV Movie)

1982

Desperate Lives (TV movie)

The Rules of Marriage (TV Movie)

1983

Last Plane Out

The Tom Swift and Linda Craig Mystery Hour (TV Movie)

1984

Grandview, U.S.A.

Velvet (TV Movie)

Pigs vs. Freaks (TV Movie)

Prince Jack

Why Me? (TV Movie)

1985

Surviving: A Family in Crisis (TV movie)

Space Rage

Prince Jack

Dirty Work (TV Movie)

Means and Ends

1986

Welcome Home

There Must Be a Pony (TV Movie)

1987

Planes, Trains and Automobiles (uncredited)

Dennis the Menace: Dinosaur Hunter (TV movie)

Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night (voice)

Dead Aim

Funland

Street Justice

1988

She's Having a Baby

1989

Uncle Buck (voice)

1990

Back to Hannibal: The Return of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn (TV Movie)

1991

Chance of a Lifetime (TV Movie)

Committed

1993

Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman

Sommersby

1994

Miracle on 34th Street

1996

Children of the Corn: The Gathering (Video)

Fugitive X: Innocent Target (TV Movie)

1999

True Crime

2000

The Thundering 8th

2001

Early Bird Special

2002

Raising Dead

2003

Dismembered

Dopamine

2005

Yesterday's Dreams

2006

Just (short)

    Wiliam Windom links

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