Friday, October 18, 2019

Bill Macy Passes On

Bill Macy, best known for playing the title character's husband Walter on the sitcom Maude, died on October 17 2019 at the age of 97.

Bill Macy was born Wolf Martin Garber in Revere, Massachusetts on May 18 1922. He was an understudy for the part of Maxwell Archer in the production Once More, With Feeling on Broadway in 1959. He appeared in the off-Broadway play American Hurrah in 1966. In 1969 he appeared off-Broadway in Oh! Calcutta and appeared in it when it moved to Broadway that same year. Mr. Macy appeared in the off-Broadway play Awake and Sing! in 1970. He made his television debut in 1966 in a small role on an episode of The Edge of Night. He also guest starred on N.Y.P.D. He made his film debut in an uncredited role as the jury foreman in The Producers (1967).

It was in 1972 that he began played Walter Findlay, Maude's long-suffering husband, on the sitcom Maude. The show proved to be a hit and ran for six seasons. He played the lead role in the short-lived sitcom Hanging In. He guest starred on the shows All in the Family and Big Shamus, Little Shamus. He appeared in the TV movies All Together NowDeath at Love House, Diary of a Young Comic, The Fantastic Seven, and The Scarlett O'Hara War. He appeared in the movies Oh! Calcutta! (1972), The Late Show (1977), The Jerk (1979), and Serial (1980).  Hew appeared on Broadway in The Roast and I Ought to Be in Pictures.

In the Eighties Bill Macy was the lead on the short-lived sitcom Nothing in Common. He guest starred on the shows Hotel, Oh Madeline, Masquerade, St. Elsewhere, Riptide, Tales from the Darkside, Hardcastle and McCormick, Tall Tales & Legends, The Love Boat, L. A. Law, You Are the Jury, Mike Hammer, Starman, One Big Family, The Facts of Life, Highway to Heaven, CBS Summer Playhouse, Murder She Wrote, The Famous Teddy Z, and Father Dowling Mysteries. He appeared in the films My Favorite Year (1982), Movers & Shakers (1985), Bad Medicine (1985), and Sibling Rivalry (1990).

In the Nineties Mr. Macy guest starred on the shows Matlock; Middle Ages; Columbo; Dave's World; Diagnosis Murder; NYPD Blue; Can't Hurry Love; Hudson Street; Chicago Hope;  Seinfeld; Ned and Stacey; The John Laroquette Show; Something So Right; Promised Land; Millennium; Viper; Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place; The Norm Show; Jack & Jill; Providence; and Touched by an Angel. He appeared in the films The Doctor (1991), Me, Myself & I (1992), and Analyze This (1999).

In the Naughts Bill Macy guest starred on The Lone Gunmen, My Wife and Kids, ER, LAX, Stacked, Las Vegas, How I Met Your Mother, My Name is Earl, Back to You, True Jackson VP, and Hawthorne. He appeared in the films Surviving Christmas (2004), The Holiday (2006), and Mr. Woodcock (2007).

Chances are good that Bill Macy will always be remembered as Maude's long suffering fourth husband Walter Findlay on Maude. That having been said, throughout his career he played a wide variety of roles. He played eccentric inventor Stan Fox in The Jerk. He played the demon Blurk in the Millennium episode "Somehow, Satan Got Behind Me." He played an ageing gambler in the Las Vegas episode "Meatball Montecito." Over the years Bill Macy played many different roles in both television and motion pictures, and he always gave a good performance.

1 comment:

Mike Doran said...

True Story:

When William H. Macy first started getting noticed, one of his first talk show appearances was with Rosie O'Donnell (her "nice" period).
At one point Rosie asked William H. if he ever was mixed up with Bill Macy/Maude's husband, and if so, did he mind it.
William H. answered that he didn't mind at all, because "Bill Macy is a terrific actor … Have you ever seen a movie called The Late Show? Rent it some time - Bill Macy is really good in that."

Class always tells.