Sid Melton; character actor in dozens of TV, film projects
Sid Melton, 94, a character actor perhaps best known for his roles in the hit television shows “Green Acres” and “The Danny Thomas Show,” died of pneumonia Wednesday at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, his family said.
During a career that spanned nearly 60 years, Melton appeared in about 140 television and film projects. They included two 1951 movies, “Lost Continent” with Cesar Romero and the Samuel Fuller-directed “The Steel Helmet,” and 1972′s “Lady Sings the Blues” with Diana Ross.
On the 1950s TV show “Captain Midnight,” Melton co-starred as the hero’s sidekick, Ichabod Mudd. Decades later, he recalled that fans still greeted him with the character’s signature line: “Mudd with two Ds.”
A regular on “The Danny Thomas Show” from 1959 to 1971, Melton played club owner Uncle Charley Halper. Melton also had a recurring role in the late 1960s on the sitcom “Green Acres” as Alf Monroe, half of an inept brother-sister carpenter team. He also appeared in flashback sequences as the husband of Estelle Getty’s widowed character on “The Golden Girls” sitcom, which originally aired from 1985 to 1992.
He was born Sidney Meltzer on May 22, 1917, in New York City. His father, Isidor Meltzer, was a comedian in Yiddish theater.
On the stage, Melton debuted in 1939 in a touring production of “See My Lawyer” and appeared in 1947 on Broadway in “The Magic Touch,” using his stage name, Sid Melton.
Melton broke in to Hollywood with the help of his older brother, Lewis Meltzer, a screenwriter who adapted “Golden Boy” and “Man With the Golden Arm.” After interviewing at MGM, the actor soon had a small part in the 1941 film “Shadow of a Thin Man” with William Powell and Myrna Loy.