Robert Donner

SHERMAN OAKS, CALIF.--Actor Robert Donner, whose four-decade career included roles in the classic movies "Cool Hand Luke" and "High Plains Drifter," as well as numerous memorable TV roles, died at his home here June 8 of a heart attack. He was 75. He may be best remembered as eccentric oddball Exidor on the TV series "Mork and Mindy;" MSTies will remember him as klutzy but determined investigator Fingers O’Toole in the movie in episode 204- CATALINA CAPER. He also had a small role in the movie in episode 815- AGENT FOR H.A.R.M.

Donner was born in New York City, but his parents moved several times and his childhood was spent in New Jersey, Michigan and Texas before he ended up in California. He did a four-year stint in the Navy, and was living in a Studio City apartment, supporting himself with a series of odd jobs, when another guy who lived in his building, by the name of Clint Eastwood, encouraged him to try acting. His distinctive features led to a number of character roles. His movies included "Rio Bravo," "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance," "Bite the Bullet," "Fools Parade," "The Last Hard Men," "Damnation Alley," "Vanishing Point," "El Dorado," "The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing," "Under the Rainbow" and "Chisum." He had not worked in the last few years, but this year returned to acting with a role in the recently-released "Hoot."

He also worked steadily in television: He had a recurring role on "The Waltons," and his other TV appearances included: "Bonanza," "Columbo," "The Big Valley," "The Incredible Hulk," "The Six Million Dollar Man," "Murder, She Wrote," "Fame," "MacGyver," "Rawhide," "Adam-12," "Falcon Crest," "Dharma & Greg," "Matlock," "Charlies Angels," "McCloud," "How the West Was Won," "The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo" and "Eight is Enough."

He was a founding member of Harvey Lembeck's Crazy Quilt Comedy Company improv group, and appeared in Leslie Nielsen’s "Stupid Golf" video series.

In later years Donner became known as one of Hollywood's most enthusiastic golfers. He brought his love of the game and his formidable seven handicap to many celebrity golf tournaments, held to raise money for charity. Donner also played in charity tennis tournaments and performed in charity stand-up comedy nights.

He is survived by his wife, producer/writer Jill Sherman, and two brothers.