Robert Donner, who made more than 100 TV and film appearances over a 40-year career, died of a heart attack on June 8 in Sherman Oaks, Calif. He was 75.
Born in New York City, he grew up in New Jersey, Michigan and Texas and served in the Navy. He began his acting career after neighbor Clint Eastwood encouraged him to try drama, and starting with small roles in “Rio Bravo” and “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.”
Often cast as a sheriff, bad guy or wild-eyed preacher, he went on to appear in features including “Cool Hand Luke,” “High Plains Drifter” and most recently, “Hoot.” On TV, he had recurring roles as Exidor on “Mork and Mindy” and Yancy Tucker on “The Waltons.” He appeared on dozens of series, including “Bonanza,” “Columbo,” “Big Valley,” “Incredible Hulk,” “The Six Million Dollar Man,” Murder, She Wrote,” “Fame,” “MacGyver,” “Dharma & Greg” and “Matlock.”
He was a founding member of Harvey Lembeck’s comedy-improv group “The Crazy Quilt Comedy Company” and was active in celebrity golf tournaments.
He is survived by his wife Jill and two brothers.