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