William Lanteau


William Lanteau

Biography

While best known for his work on the popular TV sitcom "Newhart," character actor William Lanteau got his start in theater. After serving in the Army during World War II, Lanteau took to the stage, making it onto Broadway by 1949 as part of the cast of the long-running farce "At War With the Army." A few years later, his well-established theater career led to his television debut on the ...

Biography

While best known for his work on the popular TV sitcom "Newhart," character actor William Lanteau got his start in theater. After serving in the Army during World War II, Lanteau took to the stage, making it onto Broadway by 1949 as part of the cast of the long-running farce "At War With the Army." A few years later, his well-established theater career led to his television debut on the anthology series "Goodyear Playhouse," which aired theatrical productions and adaptations for home-viewing audiences. Over the years, he scored one-off roles in a number of popular shows, including the science-fiction anthology series "The Twilight Zone," the fish-out-of-water comedy show "Green Acres," and the Boston bar-set sitcom "Cheers." He joined Bob Newhart's latest TV series in 1982, and went on to appear in 35 episodes over eight seasons as Mayor Chester Wanamaker. After "Newhart" wrapped in 1990, Lanteau landed a handful of TV roles before retiring. Though most prolific in his TV work, having appeared in more than 60 television programs, he earned roles in a few noteworthy films, including the Tony Curtis/Natalie Wood romantic comedy "Sex and the Single Girl" and the Oscar-winning Henry Fonda/Katharine Hepburn drama "On Golden Pond." The well-respected character actor died in 1993 from complications after heart surgery. He was 70 years old.

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