Veteran character actor William Bogert has passed away at the age of 83. Variety reported that he died in his New York City home, though a cause of death wasn't given. His career began in the mid-1960s and spanned roles in movies, TV, and on the stage.
Over his career, Bogert had roles in MASH, The Greatest American Hero and Law and Order. His bespectacled, buttoned-down demeanor often led him to characters that reflected that. Back in 2003, he landed the landmark role Kent Wallace, the white newscaster on Chapelle's Show. He first appeared in the show's pilot episode, where he was doing a Frontline story on Dave Chappelle's Clayton Bigsby character, a black white supremacist.
One of Bogert's longest-running roles was on Small Wonder, the 80s-era sitcom that starred Tiffany Brissette as VICI, a highly-advanced robot created by Ted Lawson (Dick Christie) whose non-human existence was kept hidden. Bogert played Brandon Brindle, the next-door neighbor to the robot-hiding Lawson family, who eventually becomes Ted's boss after repeatedly stealing his ideas.
On the big screen, he starred in movies such as WarGames as the father to Matthew Broderick's computer-hacking David. He also played a newscaster in the Al Pacino crime classic Dog Day Afternoon, as well as an uncredited role in the first Death Wish movie in 1974.
Bogert first broke into showbiz through unconventional means: a political ad. The four-minute ad, "Confessions of a Republican," aired throughout the 1964 election and featured Bogert speaking with pride about the Republican Party's past, before classifying then-nominee Barry Goldwater as a "mistake," before stating his intent to vote for Lyndon B. Johnson. He resurrected the character back in 2016, which cast then-candidate Donald Trump in much the same light.0comments
More recently, Bogert appeared in a couple of episodes of the Hulu original series Difficult People. His last role was in the feature When the Moon Was Twice as Big. The film stars Paul Hickert as Jack, who was wide-eyed and idealistic in the historic summer of 1969, however, some 40 years later, he feels as though life has passed him by. The adventure/drama is currently in post-production and expected to hit theaters in April 2020.
Bogert is preceded in death by his wife, Eren Ozker, who worked as a puppeteer for The Muppets before passing in 1993.