LOS ANGELES–Actor, writer and producer Bill Idelson died here Dec. 31 of complications from a June hip injury. He was 88. He is perhaps best remembered as Herman Glimsher, Sally’s longtime boyfriend on TV’s “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” MSTies may recall that he cowrote the screemplay to the movie in episode 106- THE CRAWLING HAND.
Idelson appeared in episodes of dozens of television series, including “Dragnet,” “Perry Mason,” “The Twilight Zone,” “My Favorite Martian,” “The Odd Couple,” “Happy Days” and “Will & Grace.” But he was also a successful television writer, penning episodes of “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.,” “The Andy Griffith Show,” “Get Smart,” “The Odd Couple,” “The Bob Newhart Show,” “MASH” and “Happy Days.”
Idelson twice won the Writers Guild Award for best episodic comedy.
He also worked as a producer on series including “The Bob Newhart Show,” and “Love, American Style,” for which he shared an Emmy nomination in 1971.
The was the son of Russian immigrants launched his acting career on radio in the early 1930s. Oldtime radio buffs will remember him as Rush on the long-running soap opera “Vic and Sade.” Idelson wrote a book about the series, “The Story of Vic and Sade.”
During World War II the Illinois native joined the Navy; he flew night fighter missions over Japan and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and four Air Medals.
In recent years Idelson taught a popular script-writing class and was considered a mentor by many writers in Hollywood. He also wrote “Writing for Dough,” “Gibby” (an autobiographical novel about a World War II fighter pilot) and “Bill Idelson’s Writing Class.”
His daughter, TV writer and actress Ellen Idelson, died in 2003.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, actress Seemah Wilder, his three sons, Paul, Howie and Jonathan; and three grandchildren.