Tuesday, January 8, 2008


Bill Idelson, who is best remembered here at Toobworld Central for playing Herman Glimscher on 'The Dick Van Dyke Show', has passed away. He was 88 years old and had been hospitalized since June after breaking his hip.

Here is an excerpt from his obituary by Dennis McLellan in the L.A. Times:

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 may be best remembered by TV fans for his role as Herman Glimscher, the mama's-boy boyfriend of Rose Marie's Sally Rogers character on several episodes of "The Dick Van Dyke Show."

At the time Idelson was appearing on "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and other TV programs, he was also carving out a successful career as a television writer.

In addition to writing a couple of episodes of "The Dick Van Dyke Show," he wrote for other TV series, including "The Twilight Zone," "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 -- for an episode of "Get Smart" and for an episode of "The Andy Griffith Show."

Among his credits as a television producer are "The Bob Newhart Show," "Anna and the King," "The McLean Stevenson Show" and "Love, American Style."

For the latter show, he shared an Emmy nomination in 1971 for outstanding comedy series.

Writing and Producing Credits

Anna and the King - Writer
Anna and the King - Producer
Barefoot In The Park - Writer
Bewitched - Writer
Get Smart - Writer
Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - Writer
Happy Days - Writer
Love, American Style - Writer
M*A*S*H - Writer
That Girl - Story
The Andy Griffith Show - Writer
The Bob Newhart Show - Writer
The Bob Newhart Show - Producer
The Dick Van Dyke Show - Writer
The Flintstones - Writer
The Hero - Writer
The Mothers-In-Law - Writer
The Odd Couple - Writer

Acting Appearances
Guest Starring Roles
Will & Grace - Ben - Mad Dogs and Average Men (2001)
Happy Days - Doctor - A Mind of His Own (1976)
The Dick Van Dyke Show - Herman Glimsher - Dear Sally Rogers (1966)
Gomer Pyle - Harold Kanobly - A Groom for Carter's Sister (1965)
My Favorite Martian - Mr. Brown - I'd Rather Fight Than Switch (1965)
The Dick Van Dyke Show - Bruce - Never Bathe on Saturday (1965)
The Dick Van Dyke Show - Herman Glimsher - Stacey Petrie (1) (1965)
The Dick Van Dyke Show - Herman Glimsher - Uncle George (1963)
The Jack Benny Program - - Riverboat Sketch (1963)
My Three Sons - Mr. Higgins - Didya Ever Have One of Those Days? '63
My Three Sons - Walter - Chip's World (1963)
The Dick Van Dyke Show - Herman Glimsher - My Husband Is a Check-Grabber (1963)
Checkmate - The Bellhop - A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Game (1962)
My Three Sons - Pete - Unite or Sink (1961)
Thriller - - The Twisted Image (1960)
The Twilight Zone - Stagehand - A World of Difference (1960)
Hennesey - Marine - Hennesey and the Ancient Vehicle (1960)
Hennesey - Mac - Hennesey Joins the Marines (1960)
Leave It to Beaver - Newstand Worker - The Bus Ride (1959)

[Toobworld note: I think his role as Bruce the Bellhop on 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' would be the same as the bellhop he played in the episode from 'Checkmate'. After that 'Checkmate' episode, Bruce moved back East to New York City and found employ at a swank hotel there. This way, he could be closer to his twin brother, Herman... and of course, to Mother.....]

Mr. Idelson is the second death of note this new year for Toobworld. James Costigan also passed away - he wrote "Love Among The Ruins", which starred Laurence Olivier and Katherine Hepburn.

I've always liked to think that Herman and Sally eventually married - but it would have had to happen after his mother finally passed away. He appeared as Herman in the reunion special for 'The Dick Van Dyke Show', but I can't remember if that came up....

Rest in peace, sir.

Toby OB

1 comment:

Mercurie said...

Bill Idelson was one of those multi-talented individuals who simply don't get enough credit for their work. He was a great writer--he wrote one of my favourite Andy Griffith episodes ("Barney and Thelma Lou, Phfftt"). And he was a great actor. I remember him well as Herman on The Dick Van Dyke Show. Sad to know he's gone.