William Windom, Emmy-Winning TV Actor, Dead at 88

by | August 20, 2012 at 2:03 PM | Celebrity Deaths

William Windom, "Murder She Wrote" star Angela Lansbury, center, and former first lady Nancy Reagan in 1996 (AP Photo/Frank Wiese)

By Todd Cunningham

LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) – William Windom, a 1970 Emmy Award winner for his show “My World and Welcome to It,” died on Thursday at home in Woodacre, Calif. He was 88.

The cause of death was congestive heart failure, his wife Patricia told the New York Times.

NBC’s “My World and Welcome to It” was based on James Thurber’s humorous essays and cartoons, and Windom later toured with a one-man show drawn from the program.

He may have been at least as well known for his numerous guest appearances on several TV shows, including “Star Trek,” “The Twilight Zone” and “Night Gallery.” He co-starred with Inger Stevens from 1963-1966 on “The Farmer’s Daughter.”

But it was a recurring role that began in 1998 and lasted for a decade on the CBS mystery “Murder, She Wrote” that may have brought him the most fame.

He played a doctor, Seth Hazlitt, in the imaginary town of Cabot Cove, Me., who was best friends with Jessica Fletcher, the show’s star played by Angela Lansbury.

While Windom made his mark in TV, he played the prosecutor in 1962′s Academy Award-winning film “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and in 1968 starred in “The Detective” with Frank Sinatra.Sci-fi fans would remember Windom as Commodore Decker in the “Star Trek” TV episode “The Doomsday Machine.” He reprised the role four decades later for “Star Trek New Voyages.”

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