|William Windom in The Doomsday Machine on Star Trek|
I remember him in the Star Trek episode as the commander of a lost starship destroyed by The Doomsday Machine. His delivery of the line "Don't you think I know that?" in response to Kirk's harsh statement that Windom's crew were all killed was devastating. He also played an Army buddy of Archie Bunker's whose false bravado hides a lonely father who can't communicate with his hippie son.Of course, there was the immortal Twilight Zone segment Five Characters in Search of an Exit--a kind of existential script where a quintet of amnesia victims in outlandish costumes is trapped in a white void. If you haven't seen it, I won't reveal the ending. Windom continued his collaboration with Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling in the latter's second anthology series Night Gallery, a pale imitation of Zone in the 1970s. It was a segment called They're Tearing Down Tim Reilly's Bar in which Windom played a middle-aged salesman pining for his youth symbolized by the titular watering hole. He begins to have hallucinations of the past. The piece was actually nominated for a Drama Special Emmy.
This brings to mind other bits and pieces of the TV past with people who left us this year: Doris Singleton as the mother of an annoying opera-singing brat on The Dick Van Dyke Show; Chad Everett getting my adolescent self excited on Medical Center by lying shirtless in a hospital bed; Dick Anthony Williams on the PBS anthology series Visions as a laborer attempting to join a union; Celeste Holm radiant as the Fairy Godmother in the remake of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella which we watched every year. I met Holm in New Orleans once. She was sitting right next to my friend Diane and I at Maison Du Bourbon on Bourbon Street. Her much younger husband introduced her to the band and cited her appearing with Louis Armstrong in High Society. I mentioned to her how much I enjoyed her performance in Cinderella.