Actor William Windom passed away on August 17, 2012 at the age of 88.Windom was the star of the (very) short lived sitcom “My World and Welcome To It” (1969), which I remember liking for the very brief time it was on. He was also on “The Farmer’s Daughter”, which I never saw – but, oddly, can remember seeing commercials for!
But, to me, there are four roles William Windom is best remembered for: Three for Rod Serling and one for Gene Roddenberry. (…Great credits, if you ask me!)
TWILIGHT ZONE: “Five Characters in Search of an Exit” (1961). Windom is “The Major”, a military man and one of a quintet of disparate characters – a clown, a ballet dancer, a hobo, and a Scottish bagpiper – who find themselves trapped in a large and seemingly inescapable cylinder.
NIGHT GALLERY: “Little Girl Lost” (1972). Professor Putnam (Windom) is a brilliant but unbalanced government scientist, who has tragically lost his young daughter Ginney – and is working on a doomsday project for the U.S. Military. Tom Burke (Ed Nelson) is engaged to “humor” Putnam, and perpetuate Putnam’s delusion that the little girl is still with him – in order to get him to complete the project. …Oh, what an ending!
|Brushing "Ginney's" hair!|
And, one of my most favorite things of all time…
STAR TREK (TOS): “The Doomsday Machine” (1967). Said to be “Moby Dick in Space”, Windom’s vengeful and insane Commodore Decker takes command of the Starship Enterprise in order to destroy the massive planet-killer that cost him his ship and his crew.
“The Doomsday Machine”, like certain other TREK classics such as “City on the Edge of Forever” and “Amok Time” is one of TREK’s very best, and something that everyone should see at least once – no small thanks to its brilliant guest star!
Rest in Peace, Mr. William Windom – and thank you for these and so many other great moments!