William Boyett, who played a Captain at 39’s and Battalion Chief McConnike in
seven episodes and two movies died on Wednesday, December 29 at the age of
77. He died of complications from pneumonia and kidney failure.
Boyett was born in Waco, Texas before moving to Los Angeles with his parents. He
majored in radio and TV at USC and served in the US Navy.
One of his earliest acting breaks was in a recurring role in the TV series
HIGHWAY PATROL. He was a favorite of Jack Webb's and was known as part of Webb's
stock company of actors in his many TV shows.
He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Joan, as well as son Keven and daughter
Suzy. A memorial service is planned for January 4, 2005. No location was
W. Boyett, 77; Veteran Stage, Television Actor
By Dennis McLellan, Times Staff Writer
William Boyett, a veteran stage, screen and television character actor best
known for playing Sgt. "Mac" MacDonald on the TV series "Adam-12," has died. He
Boyett, a longtime resident of Studio City, died Wednesday of complications from
pneumonia and kidney failure at Holy Cross Hospital in Mission Hills, said his
daughter, Suzy Boyett.
Boyett's early television credits in the 1950s included "Playhouse 90," "Four
Star Playhouse," "Perry Mason" and "Sea Hunt." He also had two recurring roles —
as Officer Johnson and Sgt. Ken Williams — on the 1955-59 police drama "Highway
Patrol," starring Broderick Crawford.
Over the years, Boyett showed up frequently on series such as "Family Affair,"
"My Three Sons," "Emergency!" and "Knot's Landing." He also played the father of
Luke Spencer (Anthony Geary) on "General Hospital."
His work with actor-producer Jack Webb on both the 1950s and '60s versions of
"Dragnet" led Webb to cast the barrel-chested actor with the gravelly voice to
play the role of the low-key but authoritative Sgt. MacDonald on "Adam-12," the
1968-75 police drama that starred Martin Milner and Kent McCord.
"He's one of the last [members] of the Jack Webb stock company," McCord told The
Times on Friday. "Bill was one of those steady performers you could count
on. He was honest in his performance: He conveyed truthfulness, which is what
Jack required from everybody who worked for him."
And, McCord added, "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. We had our own stock company [on "Adam-12"]. It
really was a fun show to be on."
Among Boyett's other credits are the miniseries "How the West Was Won" and the
films "The Rocketeer" and "The Hidden." His distinctive voice also was heard
often in voice-over work, including national commercials for Hamm's beer and
Born in Akron, Ohio, in 1927 and raised in Waco, Texas, Boyett moved to Los
Angeles with his family in the early 1940s. While at Dorsey High School, he won
the Southern California High School Shakespeare competition, which led to acting
jobs on radio.
He attended USC, where he majored in radio and television. After serving in the
Navy in the Pacific during World War II, he appeared on stage in New York,
including a small role in "Mister Roberts."
He later appeared in numerous Los Angeles stage productions.
In addition to his daughter, Boyett is survived by his wife of 48 years, Joan;
son, Keven; two granddaughters; and his brothers, John Olafson and Wallis
A private memorial service will be held next week. Instead of flowers, the
family suggests that donations in Boyett's name be made to the Motion Picture
Television Fund or the Music Center Education Division.
Thanks to Richard Yokley & jagfiles for this info.