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Idelson in 1937
|Born||August 21, 1919|
Forest Park, Illinois, U.S.
|Died||December 31, 2007 (aged 88)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Occupation||Television, voice actor, screenwriter, producer|
Bill Idelson (August 21, 1919 – December 31, 2007) was an actor, writer, director and producer widely known for his teenage role as Rush Gook on the radio comedy Vic and Sade and his recurring television role as Herman Glimscher on The Dick Van Dyke Show in the 1960s.
Idelson was born in Forest Park, Illinois, his parents were Russian immigrants. He joined the U.S. Navy in World War II and was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross and four Air Medals as a night fighter pilot. He later married actress Seemah Wilder with whom he had three sons, Paul, Howie and Jonathan as well as a daughter, TV writer and actress Ellen Idelson, who died in 2003.
Idelson died in 2007 from complications due to a hip injury. On his death, writer-director Norman Corwin told the Los Angeles Times Idelson was "a luminary, he stood out among the radio comedians." Creator of the Dick Van Dyke Show, Carl Reiner, said Idelson was "a very subtle actor. He made no big movements, and every time you cut to him you could get a laugh."
Idelson's acting career began in 1931 on Chicago's WGN radio, when he played Skeezix on Uncle Walt and Skeezix, a radio drama based on the Gasoline Alley comic strip. One year later he landed the role of Rush on the long-running Vic and Sade, playing the role until he joined the U.S. Navy.
In The Dick Van Dyke Show Idelson played Herman Glimscher, the milquetoast boyfriend of Sally Rogers (Rose Marie). "Herman could never marry because his mother wouldn't sign off on it yet, and when he had a date with Sally Rogers he brought his mother a couple of times," show creator and co-star Carl Reiner told the Los Angeles Times. He re-created the role in the first decade of the 21st Century for a reunion show of The Dick Van Dyke Show, with Herman finally married to Sally as she joins her former colleague Rob Petrie (Van Dyke) to write a new special for their megalomaniacal former boss, Alan Brady (Reiner).
He wrote several episodes of The Dick Van Dyke Show, leading him to further writing work on The Twilight Zone, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., The Andy Griffith Show, Get Smart, The Odd Couple, M*A*S*H and Happy Days. He received two Writers Guild Awards for best episodic comedy, one for an episode of Get Smart and the other for an episode of The Andy Griffith Show.
He was the author of three books, The Story of Vic and Sade, Gibby (an autobiographical novel about a fighter pilot) and Bill Idelson's Writing Class.
- Bill McLellan (January 6, 2008). "Actor, writer on episodic TV got his start in radio". L A Times.
- DeLong, Thomas A. (1996). Radio Stars: An Illustrated Biographical Dictionary of 953 Performers, 1920 through 1960. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-2834-2. P. 136.
- Vernon, Terry (November 6, 1949). "Tele-Vues". Long Beach Independent. California, Long Beach. p. 22. Retrieved June 11, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Bill Bows in 'Blues'". Ames Daily Tribune. Iowa, Ames. August 27, 1955. p. 2. Retrieved June 12, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- Bill Idelson on IMDb
- "Bill Idelson, 88; actor, writer, producer played the son on radio's 'Vic and Sade'." McLellan, Dennis. (January 6, 2008). Los Angeles Times.