Holy Crap–It’s William Schallert

OK–maybe you don’t know who he is. William Schallert might be the most cast TV character actor of the 50s-60s-70s-80s.

William_Schallert.jpgI don’t watch Desperate Housewives, but I’m sometimes on the sofa while Helaine is watching.

Nicolette Sheridan walked into an office and an older, white haired gentlemen walked to the counter to serve her. It was only a brief glimpse, but I knew who it was instantly–William Schallert.

Well, I thought it was William Schallert.

I turned to Helaine. “Is that William Schallert?”

Too late. He turned full face to the camera and there he was.

OK–maybe you don’t know who he is. William Schallert might be the most cast TV character actor of the 50s-60s-70s-80s. He has 340 credits in IMDB (and multiple episodes of the same show only count once)!

To many people my age he is best known as Martin Lane, Brooklyn Heights newspaper editor and father/uncle to Patty Duke on the Patty Duke Show.

Anyway he looked great and sounded great. He will be 87 this summer. It’s good to see he’s working.

It has to be for the love of performing. He can’t need the cash.

Photo From My Past

My friend Steve was in New York City this weekend. He’s got grandkids in Morningside Heights and another grandchild in Brooklyn Heights. This was his first time seeing the grandchildren since he got his Canon Digital Rebel XT.

Along with the nearly 300 shots he took of the kids, he also managed to capture a bit of my past – Brooklyn’s Hotel St. George. Steve did a good job making this shot look vintage, though it was taken yesterday.

When I was a little kid, growing up in a small apartment in a 2-fare&#185 zone in Queens, there were few places nearby for recreation – especially during the winter. If you wanted to go swimming, there was no place to go except the Hotel St. George in Brooklyn Heights.

Even then, sometime back in the early 60s, the St. George was an old hotel, past its prime… if there ever was a prime for this hotel in pre-gentrified Brooklyn Heights.

It was a very long trip, usually taken with my Cousin Ira (who later became my Cousin Gary). We’d take the subway from Queens, through much of Manhattan and into Brooklyn. The subway exited directly into the hotel! We’d go 10, or more, hours without seeing the real world outside.

I don’t remember much, except the pool was immense with a few very high diving boards. I could swim the width, but not length, of the pool underwater with one breath. There were screaming, running, unsupervised kids everywhere.

You’d wear the key to your locker on a band around your wrist. The locker room and showers were communal areas with loads of kids, along with older men. I didn’t think about it then. I’m not totally sure this would be allowed today. Nothing untoward ever happened to me.

Cousin Ira and I would go a few times a winter. It’s so long ago I remember few details, except the memory of going one winter’s day and not realizing we had been there through a snow storm until I was almost home and walked up the snow covered subway stairs at Continental Avenue in Queens.

It was incredible fun for a young kid from a tiny apartment. It was worth the trek, which was probably close to two hours each way.

&#185 – Two fare zone, a now anachronistic term, refers to a place that is so distant and poorly served, it took two full fares to get to Manhattan. In my case it was the Q65A bus and the IND subway.