Bill Macy

Wolf Martin Garber (May 18, 1922 – October 17, 2019), known professionally as Bill Macy, was an American television, film and stage actor, best known for his role in the CBS television series Maude (1972–78).

Bill Macy
Bill Macy (cropped) (2).JPG
Macy in Maude (1973)
Born
Wolf Martin Garber

(1922-05-18)May 18, 1922
DiedOctober 17, 2019(2019-10-17) (aged 97)
OccupationActor
Years active1958–2011
Spouse(s)
Samantha Harper
(
m. 1975)

Early lifeEdit

Macy was born in May 1922 in Revere, Massachusetts to Mollie (née Friedopfer; 1889–1986) and Michael Garber (1884–1974), a manufacturer.[1] He was raised Jewish in Brooklyn, New York. He worked as a cab driver for a decade before being cast as Walter Matthau's understudy in Once More, with Feeling on Broadway in 1958. He portrayed a cab driver on the soap opera The Edge of Night in 1966.

Macy was an original cast member of the 1969-1972 Off-Broadway sensation Oh! Calcutta!,[2] performing in the show from 1969 to 1971.[3] He later appeared in the 1972 movie version of the musical.[4] Of appearing fully nude with the rest of the cast in the stage show, he said "The nudity didn't bother me. I'm from Brooklyn."[2]

Macy performed on the P.D.Q. Bach album The Stoned Guest (1970).

TelevisionEdit

Appreciating Macy's comedic skills Off Broadway, Norman Lear brought him to Hollywood, where he first got a small part as a police officer in All in the Family. He was cast in the role of Walter Findlay, the long-suffering husband of the title character on the 1970s television sitcom Maude, starring Bea Arthur. The show ran for six seasons from 1972 to 1978.[5]

"He was a rare and great comic actor. There was only one Bill Macy."

— Norman Lear

Strangers on the street often called him "Mr. Maude", consoling him for having such a difficult wife. "I used to tell them that people like that really existed," Macy explained.[6]

In 1977, Macy & Samantha Harper-Macy appeared on the game show Tattletales.

In 1986, Macy was a guest on the fourth episode of L.A. Law, playing an older man whose young wife wants a music career.[7] Macy appeared in the television movie Perry Mason: The Case of the Murdered Madam (1987) as banker Richard Wilson. He appeared occasionally on Seinfeld as one of the residents of the Florida retirement community where Jerry Seinfeld's parents lived. Macy made a guest appearance as a patient on Chicago Hope and as an aging gambler on the series Las Vegas. Macy's last television role occurred in a 2010 episode of Jada Pinkett Smith's series Hawthorne.[2]

FilmEdit

Macy appeared as the jury foreman in The Producers in 1967, with the memorable sole line "We find the defendants INCREDIBLY guilty". Other memorable roles include the co-inventor of the Opti-grab in the 1979 Steve Martin comedy The Jerk and as the head television writer in My Favorite Year (1982).

Other film credits included roles in Death at Love House (1976), The Late Show (1977), Serial (1980), Movers & Shakers (1985), Bad Medicine (1985), Tales from the Darkside (1986), Sibling Rivalry (1990), The Doctor (1991), Me Myself & I (1992), Analyze This (1999), Surviving Christmas (2004), The Holiday (2006), and Mr. Woodcock (2007).[2][8]

Personal lifeEdit

Macy met his future wife, Samantha Harper, on the set of Oh! Calcutta! in 1969.[5] They married in 1975.[3]

Macy died on October 17, 2019, at the age of 97; no cause was given.[9] He is survived by his wife Samantha Harper Macy.[5][6]

FilmographyEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1967 The Producers Jury Foreman Uncredited
1972 Oh! Calcutta! Monte / Mute Physician
1977 The Late Show Charlie Hatter
1979 The Jerk Stan Fox
1980 Serial Sam
1982 My Favorite Year Sy Benson
1984 The 1st TV Academy Hall of Fame Himself — Audience Uncredited
1985 Movers & Shakers Sid Spokane
1985 Bad Medicine Dr. Gerald Marx
1990 Sibling Rivalry Pat
1991 The Doctor Al Cade
1992 Me Myself & I Sydney
1999 Analyze This Dr. Isaac Sobel
2004 Surviving Christmas Doo-Dah
2006 The Holiday Ernie
2007 Mr. Woodcock Mr. Woodcock's Dad

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Bill Macy Biography (1922-)". Film Reference. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d Hegedus, Eric (October 18, 2019). "Bill Macy, Bea Arthur's 'Maude' co-star, dead at 97". New York Post. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  3. ^ a b "Bill Macy, long-suffering husband on 'Maude,' dies at 97". The Washington Post. Associated Press. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  4. ^ "'Maude' co-star, character actor Bill Macy dies at 97". NBC News. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  5. ^ a b c Nichols, Mackenzie (October 18, 2019). "'Maude' Star Bill Macy Dies at 97". Variety. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  6. ^ a b Moniuszko, Sara M. "Bill Macy, who played Bea Arthur's husband in 'Maude,' dead at 97". USA Today. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  7. ^ "LA Law Season 01 Episode 04: The House of the Rising Flan". Retrieved October 18, 2019 – via YouTube.
  8. ^ Elber, Lynn (October 18, 2019). "Actor Bill Macy, co-starred on 'Maude,' dies at 97". Chicago Sun-Times. Associated Press. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  9. ^ Barnes, Mike (October 18, 2019). "Bill Macy, Bea Arthur's Husband on 'Maude,' Dies at 97". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2019-12-18.

External linksEdit