Ronnie Schell

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Ronnie Schell
Joby Baker Ronnie Schell Lewis and Clarke Good Morning World 1967.JPG
Schell (right) as Larry Clarke,
Joby Baker as Dave Lewis,
Good Morning, World, 1967
Born Ronald Ralph Schell
(1931-12-23) December 23, 1931 (age 85)
Richmond, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor, comedian and voice actor
Years active 1958–present
Spouse(s) Janet Rodeberg (since 1968)
Children 2
Ronnie Schell and Goldie Hawn on Good Morning, World (1967)

Ronald Ralph "Ronnie" Schell (born December 23, 1931) is an American actor, stand-up comedian, and voice actor. He appeared on May 28, 1959, episode of the TV quiz program 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 world-famous hungry-i nightclub in San Francisco, California. Schell is probably best known in his 1960s television role as Duke Slater in Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.

Life and career[edit]

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 his Duke Slater character as an urban, streetwise, compared to Pyle's rural, bucolic character, as portrayed by Jim Nabors. Returning as a corporal, Slater acted as more as a mediator, between Pyle and Sgt. Carter, portrayed by Frank Sutton, than as a buddy, to Pyle.

His 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 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, M*A*S*H, 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 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.

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 those baby boomers everywhere who are about to enter into the golden age of senior citizenship.


  1. ^ Groucho Marx - You Bet Your Life (April 21, 2014). "You Bet Your Life #58-36 Creators of Honey West (Secret word 'Table', May 28, 1959)". Retrieved July 4, 2017 – via YouTube. 
  2. ^ "Comedy Veterans Reunite / Annual gig recalls North Beach days". SFGate. 2001-03-01. Retrieved 2017-01-08. 
  3. ^ "The impresario of North Beach". Retrieved July 4, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Acres of backyard diamonds". Retrieved July 4, 2017. 
  5. ^ "The PSA History Page". Retrieved 2017-01-08. 

External links[edit]