Character actor Sid Melton, best known as a regular on sitcoms “Make Room for Daddy” and “Green Acres” but also a source of comic relief in numerous B movies, died of pneumonia on Nov. 2 in Burbank, Calif. He was 94.
Melton, who made his acting debut in 1939 in the play “See My Lawyer,” was still busy with TV guest roles in the 1990s: He not only recurred on “The Golden Girls” (beginning in 1987) but appeared in “Blossom,” “Empty Nest” and “The John Laroquette Show,” among other series.
The actor appeared in a large number of small, mostly uncredited roles throughout the 1940s starting with 1941’s “New York Town” and “Shadow of the Thin Man” and also including the film noir classic “Body and Soul,” gangster pic “White Heat” and musical “On the Town.”
While entertaining U.S. soldiers overseas during WWII, he met screenwriter Aubrey Wisberg, who brought him to the attention of independent producer Robert Lippert, and Melton scored his first contract in Hollywood with Lippert Pictures in 1949. For the most part, the roles didn’t get much bigger, though he did appear in Sam Fuller’s “The Steel Helmet” and was the lead in “Leave It to the Marines” and “Sky High.” He continued in largely uncredited film roles throughout the 1950s.
Melton began appearing on TV in 1954, recurring on early kids show “Captain Midnight” as chief mechanic Ichabod “Ikky” Mudd. He also guested on numerous series including “Our Miss Brooks,” “The Jack Benny Program,” “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” “Dragnet” and “The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour.”
The actor was a series regular on Danny Thomas starrer “Make Room for Daddy,” playing Uncle Charlie Halper, proprietor of the Copa Club, and also appeared on spinoffs of the show.
During the 1960s he guested on the likes of “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Petticoat Junction,” recurred on “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.” and appeared on 25 episodes of “Green Acres” as Alf Monroe, whose “brother” was actually a woman.
Melton appeared in a number of films in the late ’60s and 1970s, including “Lady Sings the Blues” and “Sheila Levine Is Dead and Living in New York.”
On TV he guested on the likes of “Rhoda” and “Major Dad” before actually growing busier in the 1990s.
On “The Golden Girls” he appeared only in flashbacks or dream sequences as the husband of the mother of Bea Arthur’s character.
Melton also took a couple of stabs at directing, with “Bad Girls Don’t Cry” in 1965 and 1999’s “…And Call Me in the Morning,” starring Melton and Frank Sinatra Jr., the latter pic at the age of 82.
Sidney Meltzer was born in Brooklyn. His father, Isidor Meltzer, was a popular comedian in Yiddish theater. His brother, screenwriter Lewis Meltzer, whose credits included “Golden Boy” and “The Man With the Golden Arm,” helped Sidney land his first film roles.
No immediate family survives.