Veteran American actor Richard Herd died on Tuesday. He was 87.
The entertainer was best known for playing Mr. Wilhelm — George Costanza’s (Jason Alexander) supervisor at his job with the New York Yankees — on the late 1980s and ’90s sitcom Seinfeld. He also played the Klingon L’Kor on Star Trek: The Next Generation as well as Admiral Owen Paris on Star Trek‘s Voyager and Renegades series.
On top of that, Herd was featured in classic films like All the President’s Men (1976), The China Syndrome (1979), Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987) and 2017’s critically acclaimed Get Out as Armitage.
Herd’s death was confirmed by his wife of 40 years, actor Patricia Crowder Herd, on Tuesday. She told the Hollywood Reporter (THR) that he died in their shared Los Angeles, Calif., home as a result of “cancer-related causes.”
In the wake of Herd’s passing, an influx of fans and friends took to Twitter to express their grief while also sharing fond memories of him and their favourite roles he portrayed.
Here’s what some people had to say on Twitter:
I'm sitting here & tears are streaming down my face. Dear Richard Herd has passed. He was a wonderful person & a lovely actor. I will always remember him as Capt. Galaxy in "Future Boy" on QL although we worked together several times. He loved that part. What a sad day!!💔 pic.twitter.com/P4miQkgHOp
— Jean-Pierre Dorléac (@spclsmthin) May 26, 2020
— Susan Crawford (@envisione) May 27, 2020
Remembering actor Richard Herd, who played George's boss Mr. Wilhelm on "Seinfeld". pic.twitter.com/HNboHDQXaf
— Norman Charles (@NBCNewsFan) May 26, 2020
So sad to hear of Richard Herd’s passing. I am proud to have played his television son. He had enormous talent and was an even more amazing human being. He will be missed. pic.twitter.com/IHxufUhnhW
— robert duncan mcneill (@robertdmcneill) May 27, 2020
RIP Richard Herd
"My name…is Tania." pic.twitter.com/9MPOeDYj7E
— Brian Knotts (@brianknotts) May 26, 2020
“Mr. Herd exemplifies the very best souls drawn to our calling,” tweeted actor Robert Picardo. “He had a wide and varied career.”
Herd’s career kicked off in the 1960s when he worked as a stage actor in New York City before making his big film debut on 1970’s Hercules in New York before going on to feature in dozens of films until the end of his life.
Adding to his lengthy TV career, Herd even appeared in two 1979 episodes of Starsky & Hutch as an FBI agent before starring in the NBC sci-fi mini-series V (1983) and its 1984 sequel V: The Final Battle. He also played Rose’s (Betty White) boyfriend Ernie in a 1989 episode of The Golden Girls.
Of his 11 appearances on Seinfeld, Herd appeared in fan-favourite episodes like The Bottle Deposit, in which Mr. Wilhelm accidentally lands George in a mental institution, and The Millennium, in which he takes a new position as head of New York Mets scouting — a job Costanza wanted and was offered earlier on in the episode.
In the episode The Checks, Costanza gets offended when he finds out that Yankee Stadium’s cleaning company — which doubles as a cult — doesn’t want to recruit him. Mr. Wilhelm, on the other hand, is enlisted and changes his name (unofficially) to “Tania.”
Like many other characters, Mr. Wilhelm made his final, and brief, appearance in Seinfeld’s two-part 1998 finale.
Besides acting, Herd was an avid painter in his lifetime. He also co-founded a blues rock band comprised of various cast members from different Star Trek series called the Enterprise Blues Band.
Herd left the band sometime before his death, with three of the other members continuing to play at Star Trek conventions, however while he was in the band, he recorded on their two studio albums: Enterprise Blues (2004) and Intergalactic Roots Music (2005).
The actor was born on Sept. 26, 1932 in Boston, Mass.
Herd is survived by his wife Patricia, son Rick, daughter Erica and stepdaughter Alicia, according to THR.
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