Ronnie Schell

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Ronnie Schell
Ronnie Schell.JPG
Schell in Good Morning World, 1967
Ronald Ralph Schell

(1931-12-23) December 23, 1931 (age 91)
  • Actor
  • comedian
Years active1958–present
Janet Rodeberg
(m. 1968)
Ronnie Schell and Goldie Hawn in Good Morning World (1967)

Ronald Ralph Schell (born December 23, 1931) is an American actor and stand-up comedian. He appeared on the May 28, 1959, episode of the TV quiz You Bet Your Life, hosted by Groucho Marx. Schell demonstrated a comic barrage of beatnik jive talk.[1] As a stand-up comedian, he first developed his act at the hungry i nightclub in San Francisco, California. Schell is probably best known for his 1960s television role as Duke Slater in Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.

Early life[edit]

Schell was born in Richmond, California, on December 23, 1931. Upon graduation from high school, he served four years in the United States Air Force, where he became an airman first class.


In his role as Duke Slater on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., Schell's character was cast for three seasons as a Marine private and best friend of Gomer Pyle. Schell left for a season to star as a disc jockey in his own sitcom, Good Morning World. He then returned to Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. as a corporal for its fifth and final season. Schell played Duke Slater as an urban, streetwise character, compared to Pyle's rural, bucolic character, as portrayed by Jim Nabors. Returning as a corporal, Slater acted more as a mediator between Pyle and Sgt. Carter, portrayed by Frank Sutton, than as a buddy to Pyle.

Schell lent his voice to "Jason" on the animated series Battle of the Planets and co-starred as "Mr. Brown" on The Mouseketeers at Walt Disney World.

His other television guest credits include The Andy Griffith Show, The Patty Duke Show, Phil of the Future, Yes, Dear, The Wayans Bros., Step by Step, Coach, The Golden Girls, 227, Saved by the Bell, Empty Nest, Mr. Belvedere, Santa Barbara, Trapper John, M.D., Too Close for Comfort, The Brian Keith Show, The New Temperatures Rising Show, The Love Boat, Love, American Style, Alice, Mork & Mindy, One Day at a Time, Charlie's Angels, The Dukes of Hazzard, Sanford and Son, Emergency!, Happy Days, Adam-12, The New Dick Van Dyke Show, That Girl, Black Sheep Squadron, and Jessie.

Schell's gradual ascendency into the public's attention earned him the title "America's Slowest Rising Comedian".[2][3][4]

Schell also acted in a few Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA) commercials such as "Smile Inspection" and "PSA Gives You A Lift Pageant". At the end of a Jerry Lewis PSA jingle, a voice said "That was Jerry Lewis for PSA, and this is Ronnie Schell. What did I do wrong?"[5] Schell was the voice for the hockey puck-shaped character on the Peter Puck cartoons, which aired during televised National Hockey League games in the 1970s. From the mid to late 1980s, Schell appeared in numerous television commercials for Shakey's Pizza.

In 2007, Schell was part of a touring cabaret show titled, 5 Star Revue with Gary Collins, Mary Ann Mobley, Ruta Lee, and Steve Rossi. He starred in the 2009 off-Broadway production of Don't Leave it All to Your Children!, a comedic and musical revue dedicated to aging baby boomers.[6]

Schell was the comedy advisor to Richard Dreyfuss in the 2019 Netflix film The Last Laugh.

Personal life[edit]

He married Janet Rodeberg in 1968; they have two children, Greg and Chris Schell.



Year Title Role Notes
1975 The Strongest Man in the World Referee
1976 Gus Joe Barnsdale
1976 The Shaggy D.A. TV Director
1978 The Cat from Outer Space Jake (voice) / Sgt. Duffy
1979 Love at First Bite Guy in Elevator
1980 How to Beat the High Cost of Living Bill Pike
1981 The Devil and Max Devlin Greg Weems
1986 The Check Is in the Mail... Dr. Brannigan
1987 Dutch Treat Lou Winters
1987 Ultraman: The Adventure Begins Samson (voice) Credited as Ronald Schell
1990 Jetsons: The Movie Rudy 2 (voice)
1991 Rover Dangerfield Eddie (voice)
1993 Fatal Instinct Conductor
1993 Dorf Goes Fishing DIP Host Direct-to-video
1994 Revenge of the Red Baron Lou
1997 The Good Bad Guy Chief Harrison
1997 Venus Envy Simon Sayes
2000 Family Jewels Bill Taller
2000 The View from the Swing Man in Diner
2001 Recess Christmas: Miracle on Third Street Mayor Fitzhugh (voice) Direct-to-video
2002 The Biggest Fan Mr. Wastedberg
2006 Pennies Mr. Tinker Short film
2010 Soupernatural Bob
2017 The Candle Grandpa Joe Short film


Year Title Role Notes
1964-1969 Gomer Pyle: USMC Duke Slater Main cast, 92 episodes
1967-1968 Good Morning World Larry Clarke Main cast, 26 episodes
1973 Butch Cassidy Additional voices 13 episodes
1973 Goober and the Ghost Chasers Gilly (voice) 16 episodes
1973 Peter Puck Peter Puck (voice) 9 episodes
1973-1974 Wait Till Your Father Gets Home Additional voices 3 episodes
1976 Emergency! Jasper S5Ep16
1976 Sanford and Son Mr. Wilkens Episode: "Committee Man"
1977 The Skatebirds Additional voices 16 episodes
1977 The Wonderful World of Disney Mr. Brown Episode: "The Mouseketeers at Walt Disney World"
1977–1978 Fred Flintstone and Friends Gilly (voice) 95 episodes (Goober and the Ghost Chasers segments)
1977-1980 Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels Additional voices 39 episodes
1978 Battle of the Planets Jason / Additional voices 85 episodes
1978 Yogi's Space Race Additional voices 13 episodes
1979 Casper and the Angels Additional voices Episode: "Love at First Fright/Saving Grace in Outer Space"
1982 Jokebook Additional voices 3 episodes
1982-1983 Meatballs & Spaghetti Additional voices 25 episodes
1982-1983 Shirt Tales Rick Raccoon (voice) Main Character, 23 episodes
1982-1988 The Smurfs Pushover Smurf / Reporter Smurf / Additional voices 8 episodes
1985 Snorks Additional voices Episode: "Snorkitis is Nothing to Sneeze At/The Whole Toot and Nothing But"
1986 Pound Puppies Buster / Mr. Hubert (voices) Episodes: "From Wags to Riches and Happy and Howlidays"
1986-1988 The Flintstone Kids Yuckster (voice) 4 episodes
1987 Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers Freako / Demonstrator Ghost (voices) Television movie
1987 DuckTales Additional voices Episode: "The Right Duck"
1988 Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School Colonel Calloway (voice) Television movie
1988-1989 Fantastic Max Additional voices 3 episodes
1988 Mr. Belvedere Contest Judge Episode: "Marsha's Secret"
1989 A Pup Named Scooby-Doo Additional voices 8 episodes
1989 Saved by the Bell Principal Elliot Stingwell Episode: "Save That Tiger"
1990 The Golden Girls Thomas Episode: "Triple Play"
1990 Midnight Patrol: Adventures in the Dream Zone Additional voices 13 episodes
1991 Out of This World Pinky Starr Episode: "Mayor Evie"
1991 Yo Yogi! Calvin Klunk (voice) 9 episodes
1992 The Legend of Prince Valiant Master Fezzick (voice) Episodes: "The Road Back" and "The Fist of Iron"
1992 Tom & Jerry Kids Show Additional voices Episode: "Penthouse Mouse/12 Angry Sheep/The Ant Attack"
1992 Rugrats Fish / Clerk (voices) Credited as Ronald Schell
Episode: "Visitors from Outer Space/The Case of the Missing Rugrat"
1992 Duckman Eric Duckman (voice) Pilot only
1993 I Yabba-Dabba Do! Additional voices Television movie
1993 Droopy, Master Detective Additional voices 13 episodes
1993 Hollyrock-a-Bye Baby Additional voices Television movie
1995-1996 Coach Dr. Howard / Customer Episodes: "Turtle World" and "Grimmworld"
1997 What a Cartoon! Mel (voice) Episode: "Strange Things"
1997-1999 Recess Mayor Fitzhugh (voice) 3 episodes
2002 What's New, Scooby-Doo? Additional voices Episode: "Space Ape at the Cape"
2004 Yes, Dear Cliff Marshall Episode: "Dead Aunt, Dead Aunt"
2004 Phil of the Future 75-Year-Old Phil Episode: "Age Before Beauty"
2004-2007 The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy Real Estate Agent / Toadblatt (voices) Episodes: Nigel Planter and the Order of the Peanuts and the Incredible Shrinking Mandy
2004 Megas XLR Mac (voice) Episodes: "Bad Guy" and "S-Force S.O.S."
2008 Easy to Assemble Ronnie Schell Episodes: "Actors Anonymous" and "Gotcha!"
2011 Jessie Ranger Bill Episode: "Zuri's New Old Friend"
2012 Retired at 35 Sal Episode: "Poker Face"
2014-2015 You'll Be Fine Harry 3 episodes
2017 Heaven's Waiting Room Vic Unknown episodes
2018 Kaplan's Corner Ronnie Episode: "Marvin's Ghost"


  1. ^ Presenter: Groucho Marx (April 21, 2014). "You Bet Your Life #58-36 Creators of Honey West (Secret word 'Table', May 28, 1959)". You Bet Your Life. Retrieved July 4, 2017 – via YouTube.
  2. ^ Stack, Peter (March 1, 2001). "Comedy Veterans Reunite / Annual gig recalls North Beach days". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved September 7, 2022.
  3. ^ Nolte, Carl. "The impresario of North Beach". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved September 7, 2022.
  4. ^ Elwood, Philip (February 16, 1996). "Acres of backyard diamonds". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved September 7, 2022.
  5. ^ "Commercials". PSA. Retrieved September 7, 2022.
  6. ^ Gans, Andrew (April 8, 2009). "Minkus, Rodd, Schell, Rossi Cast in Off-Broadway Revue, Don't Leave It All to Your Children!". Playbill. Retrieved September 7, 2022.

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