In his final interview before his death on May 8 in the Pacific Palisades area of LA, William Schallert opened up to Closer Weekly and shared his fond memories of his time on The Patty Duke Show, in which he played the late Patty Duke's often befuddled dad.
“It was based on real-life situations and had some real depth to it,” the 93-year-old small-screen veteran told Closer.
And while William had four sons of his own, he always considered Patty — who died on March 29 — to be like his own child. “She was family as far as I’m concerned,” he said. “I loved her and used to say that she was the daughter of my heart.”
William on The Patty Duke Show in 1963. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
William appeared in 104 episodes of the hit comedy and preceded Patty as the Screen Actors Guild president. Most recently, he guest-starred on Desperate Housewives and 2 Broke Girls. “I believe you shouldn’t become an actor unless you need to,” William said. “Liking, even loving, acting is not enough. You have to need to act.”
“He was a tremendous leader, friend and actor,” former SAG President Melissa Gilbert said. “He will be missed.”
For this and more, pick up the latest issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now!