Robert Rockwell, who played Philip Boynton, the shy biology teacher and love interest for Eve Arden in the 1950s television sitcom “Our Miss Brooks,” died of cancer in Malibu on Saturday, the same day memorial services were held for fellow “Brooks” co-star Richard Crenna. Rockwell was 82 and had resided in Malibu the past few years after 45 years in Pacific Palisades, Calif., where he had served as honorary mayor.
Besides the long-running “Brooks” stint, Rockwell appeared in more than 350 TV shows in his 50-year career, including “Growing Pains,” “Diff’rent Strokes,” “Search for Tomorrow,” “Days of our Lives” and Westerns including his own series, “Man From Blackhawk.”
Guest appearances included ones on “The Lone Ranger,” “The Loretta Young Show,” “Perry Mason,” “Lassie,” “Newhart” and “Beverly Hills 90210.”
His career began at the Pasadena Playhouse and earned master’s degree as well as several student awards for his work. He became a film contract player at Republic Pictures and appeared in more than 30 films, including “War of the Worlds.”
He also appeared in the Broadway production of “Cyrano de Bergerac” with Jose Ferrer and at the La Jolla Playhouse in “A More Perfect Union,” co-starring Ginger Rodgers. He most recently appeared onstage opposite Charlton Heston in “The Caine Mutiny Court Martial.”
His did voiceover work for more than 200 projects including commercials including the well-known Werthers Original Candy one in which he portrayed an armchair grandfather treating his grandson to a piece of candy.
He was also a founding member of the CART Radio Theater
He and wife Elizabeth celebrated their 60th anniversary in September. Besides her, he is survived by five children, at least two of whom are in showbiz: singer-actress daughter Alison Rockwell and composer-singer-actor son Jeffrey Rockwell; eight grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Matthews Church, 1031 Bienvenida Ave., Pacific Palisades.
Donations in his memory can be made to the National Alliance for Autism Research; 99 Wall St., Research Park, Princeton, NJ 08540.