William Windom (born on September 28, 1923– August 16, 2012) was an American actor. He is perhaps best known for his work on television, including guest appearences on The Twilight Zone; playing the character on Glen Morley, a congressman for Minnesota like his own great-grandfather and namesake in the Farmer's Daughter.
Windom was born on September 28, 1923, in New York City. He was the son of Isobel Wells (née Peckham) and Paul Windom, an architect. He was the great-grandson of the United States Secretary of the Treasury of the same name. He served in the United States Army in the European Theater of Operations in World War II, as a paratrooper with Company B, 1st Battalion 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division.
Windom's first motion picture role was as Mr. Gilmer, the prosecutor of Tom Robinson in 1962's Academy Award-winning To Kill a Mockingbird. In 1968 he also starred with Frank Sinatra in The Detective, playing a homophobic killer, and received great reviews from The New York Times.
From September 1963 to April 1966 he co-starred on television with Inger Stevens in The Farmer's Daughter, a series about a young Minnesota woman who becomes the housekeeper for a widowed Congressman. In the 1969–1970 NBC-TV series My World and Welcome to It, Windom played the James Thurberesque lead and received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series. After the show's cancellation he toured the country in a one-man show of Thurber's works.
He was a regular for a decade on the series Murder, She Wrote, playing Dr. Seth Hazlitt. 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 series' run.
To fans of science fiction television, Windom was best known as the tortured Commodore Matt Decker in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Doomsday Machine", a role he reprised nearly 40 years later for Star Trek New Voyages.
According to his widow, Patricia Tunder Windom, the actor died on August 16, 2012, aged 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.
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|Murder, She Wrote|
|Main Cast:||Angela Lansbury | William Windom | Tom Bosley | Ron Masak|
|Recurring Cast:||Michael Horton | Claude Akins | Jerry Orbach | Len Cariou | Keith Michell | Richard Paul | Wayne Rogers|