William Schallert performed Nilz Baris within the fashionable “Star Trek: The Original Series” episode “The Trouble with Tribbles,” solely he did not realize it. As he informed the official “Star Trek” web site in 2011, he remembered that he’d performed the position of the no-nonsense Federation Undersecretary of Agricultural Affairs who clashed with Captain Kirk (William Shatner), however was unaware of the character’s title.
“I used to be invited to a really early ‘Star Trek’ conference that was held on the Marriott Hotel on the airport (in L.A.),” Schallert recalled in that 2011 interview. “I arrived there and went by means of the door into the primary foyer, and it was loaded with aliens, with little antennae bouncing round on their heads. As I got here by means of the door, they have been saying, ‘Nilz Baris!’ I’m trying round they usually mentioned, ‘No, that is you!’ So that is how I realized my title from that show.”
Schallert Appeared in Two ‘Star Trek’ Episodes
The conference, he continued, quickly took on a far deeper which means, revealing to him the enduring energy of “Star Trek” and its impact on followers. On hand to make a private look somewhat than signal autographs, the actor encountered a boy whom he estimated was seven or eight years old.
“This child had six months to dwell and he was in a wheelchair, and this was a very powerful factor he might do within the final six months of his life, coming to this ‘Star Trek’ conference,” Schallert mentioned. “I assumed, ‘Wow, that is wonderful. This show has an actual maintain on individuals.’ He was thrilled to be there. He was being wheeled round and shaking arms with individuals. I used to be considering, ‘He’s going to die, and that is the factor he needed to do earlier than he died.’ It tells you one thing concerning the show.”
Schallert guest-starred on ‘Star Trek’ in 1967, in accordance with the Internet Movie Database, shortly after his three-year stint as Martin Lane on “The Patty Duke Show” ended. At the time, he informed StarTrek.com, he earned most of his cash doing voiceovers for commercials, however he continued to pursue appearing alternatives. Never a “Star Trek” fan, he thought-about the “Tribbles” episode “only a job,” three days of labor, and branded Baris a “somewhat stuffy bureaucrat, not essentially the most interesting character.” Schallert did not even watch the episode when it initially aired, he famous, as an alternative ready a long time to take action – and he fairly loved the expertise.
Schallert Amassed More Than 375 Acting Credits & Worked Until His Early 90s
“It was enjoyable to observe as a result of I used to be laying into Shatner quite a bit,” Schallert mentioned. “People confused our names; Schallert-Shatner, it is fairly shut for some individuals. So, individuals would name me Shatner and I suppose every so often any person would name him Schallert. Probably not fairly often. But what occurred was after I noticed it, I simply obtained an enormous kick out of the best way I used to be chewing him out. Baris actually laced into Kirk. I obtained to be very nasty with him, and it was actually enjoyable.”
The actor used that very same phrase, “enjoyable,” to explain taking pictures the episode, which, in accordance with Memory Alpha, Joseph Pevney directed based mostly on a teleplay by David Gerrold. Schallert was already conversant in Stanley Adams, who performed Cyrano Jones. “We’d completed just a little comedy act collectively at one time, and he was a really humorous man,” he mentioned. “So, I bear in mind being on the set with him and, after all, I bear in mind working briefly with Shatner and with Leonard Nimoy. It was fascinating as a result of whenever you noticed the show, all of it appeared fairly strong, however the units have been simply made out of one thing like pasteboard. I bear in mind unusual colours. It was actually a make-believe state of affairs that you just have been in whenever you have been on the show, extra so than you’ll be at this time.”
IMDB lists 388 credit for Schallert. Beyond “The Patty Duke Show” and “Star Trek,” notable appearances included “The Incredible Shrinking Man,” “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis,” “In the Heat of the Night,” “The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes,” “Quantum Leap,” and “True Blood.” Peripheral neuropathy slowed him down late in his profession, Schallert mentioned, however he continued to work when he might. He additionally lent his voice to many commercials, most famously talking for Milton the Toaster in adverts for Pop-Parts, and he served as president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1979-1981.
Schallert Met a Dying Young Fan at a Convention, which Illustrated to Him the Show’s Effect on People
According to Memory Alpha, Schallert returned to the “Star Trek” fold in 1993 for a visitor shot within the “Deep Space Nine” episode, “Sanctuary.” He additionally sporadically attended “Star Trek” conventions and autograph exhibits. IMDB famous that his remaining appearing look was an uncredited cameo in a 2014 episode of the sitcom, “2 Broke Girls.”
Schallert died on May 8, 2016, in accordance with the Los Angeles Times, a number of weeks shy of his 94th birthday.
Summing up his longevity as an actor, Schallert informed the official “Star Trek” web site, “It’s very good to have been capable of keep alive within the enterprise. I’ve by no means completed the rest.”