Sydney Walker

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Sydney Walker
Born (1921-05-05)May 5, 1921
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died September 30, 1994(1994-09-30) (aged 73) (cancer)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Occupation Stage Actor, Screen Actor, Voice Actor
Years active 1952–1994

Sydney Walker (May 5, 1921 – September 30, 1994) was an American character actor of stage and screen and voice artist, with a career that spanned over five decades

Early life[edit]

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Sydney Walker was primarily a stage actor, who had studied mime in Paris, his professional debut was in 1960 and he featured in twenty-eight Broadway plays between 1961 and 1973. In 1967, he was nominated for a Tony Award as "Best Featured Actor in a Play" for his performance The Wild Duck.


Between 1966 and 1969 Sydney Walker was a principal player in Ellis Rabb's APA-Phoenix Repertory Company in New York City working with an extraordinary group including Rosemary Harris, Donald Moffet, Keene Curtis, Paul Sparer, Nancy Marchand, all of whom were to have significant careers in movies, television and theatre.

As a character actor in motion pictures, he appeared as Dr. Shapely in the 1970 blockbuster film Love Story, and also appeared in The Way We Live Now and Puzzle of a Downfall Child the same year. His most prominent film role came in the 1992 movie Prelude to a Kiss, in which he was featured as a dying elderly man who switches bodies with a newlywed portrayed by Meg Ryan. He had a small role in the 1993 hit Mrs. Doubtfire as the Muni bus driver who finds a small attraction to Mrs. Doubtfire, and played Mr. Wankmueller in the 1994 Macaulay Culkin comedy Getting Even with Dad. He also acted in the television soap opera The Guiding Light for the 1970–71 season.

Walker also provided the voice for the children's toy "Grampa Time" (a toy that had a nightlight and told bedtime stories). His many television appearances included The Phil Silvers Show For a good part of his career (late 1970s through the 1980s), Walker was a teacher and principal actor at the Geary Theatre in San Francisco. He taught acting at the American Conservatory Theatre (A.C.T.) there. He also immortalized roles such as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, Lord Porteus in Somerset Maugham's The Circle, and Ash in The National Health by Peter Nichols, among many others.


Walker died of cancer in San Francisco, California, in 1994. He never married and was survived by two sisters. [1]


Year Title Role Notes
1968 A Lovely Way to Die
1970 The Way We Live Now Lincoln
1970 Puzzle of a Downfall Child Psychiatrist
1970 Love Story Dr. Shapeley
1990 Best Shots Uncle Jack
1992 Prelude to a Kiss Old Man
1993 Mrs. Doubtfire Bus Driver
1994 Getting Even with Dad Mr. Wankmueller (final film role)


  1. ^ Wolfgang Saxon. "Sydney Walker, 73, A Character Actor of Stage and Film". New York Times.

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