William Windom: 1923-2012
The world of classic science fiction lost another one. William Windom, actor of film, stage, and screen, and World War II veteran paratrooper, passed away on August 16th of congestive heart failure. He was 88 years old.
Windom’s first motion picture role was Mr. Gilmer, the prosecuting attorney of fellow Star Trek alumnus Brock Peters (in the role of Tom Robinson) in the Oscar winning film To Kill a Mockingbird. He would go on to star with Frank Sinatra in The Detective and would later receive an Emmy for Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for his turn as James Thurberesque in the NBC series My World and Welcome To It. Some might also recognize him from his recurring role on Murder, She Wrote as Dr. Seth Hazlitt. Other notable appearances include one-offs on The Twilight Zone, Escape From the Planet of the Apes, Night Gallery, Columbo, and Mission: Impossible.
But if you’re reading this here, chances are you remember Mr. Windom from his iconic performance on Star Trek’s “The Doomsday Machine” as the obsessed Commodore Matt Decker. It’s a role he would reprise 40 years later on Star Trek: Phase II, formerly known as Star Trek New Voyages.
William Windom is survived by his widow, four children, and four grandchildren. Our hearfelt sympathies go out to his family and friends in the assurance that he is remembered.