William Boyett

William Boyett

MISSION HILLS, CA--Stage, screen, radio and television actor William Boyett, who spent much of his career playing policemen and other authority figures, died here December 29 of complications from pneumonia and kidney failure. He was 77. Best remembered as Sgt. "Mac" MacDonald on the TV police drama "Adam-12," MSTies will never forget his stern portrayal of highway patrolman Hal Jackson in the short LAST CLEAR CHANCE, shown in episode 520- RADAR SECRET SERVICE.

An Akron, Ohio, native, he was raised in Waco, Texas. His family moved to Los Angeles in early 1940s. While at Dorsey High School, he won the Southern California High School Shakespeare competition, which led to acting jobs on radio.

He served in the Navy during World War II, and then became a full-time actor, appearing on stage in New York, including a role in "Mister Roberts." He then returned to Los Angeles, appearing in more stage productions.

From there he moved into television; Boyett was seldom out of work. Fans of the 1955-59 police-drama "Highway Patrol" will recall his recurring role as Sgt. Ken Williams. His guest-starring credits included appearances on "Playhouse 90," "Perry Mason," "Sea Hunt," "The Cisco Kid," Dragnet," Death Valley Days," "You Are There," "Sergeant Preston of the Yukon," "Wagon Train," Perry Mason," "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," "Maverick," "Have Gun - Will Travel," "Zane Grey Theater," "Mister Ed," "My Three Sons," "Gunsmoke," "The Virginian," "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea," "The Outer Limits," "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.," "I Spy," "Batman," "Get Smart," "The F.B.I.," "Family Affair," "The Invaders," "Run for Your Life," "Ironside," "Mission: Impossible," "Mannix," "Marcus Welby, M.D.," "The Rockford Files," "The Rookies," "Gemini Man," "Emergency!," "The Bionic Woman," "Lou Grant," "The Love Boat," "CHiPs," "Dallas," "The Incredible Hulk," "Simon & Simon," "Archie Bunker's Place," "The A-Team," "Knight Rider," "Family Ties," "Scarecrow and Mrs. King," "T.J. Hooker" and "Star Trek: The Next Generation." Daytime drama fans will remember his stint as Luke's father on "General Hospital." He also did voice-over work, including national commercials for Hamm's beer and Soft Scrub.

His film work included "Sam Whiskey" (1969), "Sam's Son" (1984), "The Hidden" (1987), "The Rocketeer" (1991) and "Newsies" (1992).

"Bill was a delight to work with and made it one of the greatest pleasures of being on a series for seven years where you had such compatibility among all of us," actor Kent McCord, Boyett's "Adam-12" co-star told the Los Angeles Times. "We had our own stock company (on Adam-12). It really was a fun show to be on."

Boyett is survived by his wife, son, daughter two granddaughters, and two brothers. The family suggests fans make donations in Boyett's name to the Motion Picture and Television Fund or the Music Center Education Division.