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Boyett in a 1959 Public Safety Council video
January 3, 1927|
Akron, Ohio, U.S.
|Died||December 29, 2004
Mission Hills, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||Pneumonia and Kidney failure|
|Spouse(s)||Joan Reynolds (1957–2004) (his death) (2 children)|
|Children||One daughter, one son|
Boyett was born in Akron, Ohio, and lived there until the 1940s, when he moved with his family to Los Angeles, California. He won a Shakespeare competition in high school which led to acting jobs in radio.
Boyett served in the Navy during World War II and afterward performed on the stage in both New York City and Los Angeles.
Boyett was often cast as a law-enforcement officer, and portrayed that role in such diverse series as Gang Busters, The Man Behind the Badge, I Led 3 Lives," Highway Patrol", M Squad, The Detectives, Sea Hunt, Batman and Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.
Adam-12 executive producer Jack Webb selected him for the role of Sgt. "Mac" MacDonald after several performances (such as playing Sgt. Sam Hunter) in both iterations of Webb's Dragnet. (Boyett can also be seen uncredited as a Baliff in the 1954 movie version.) Boyett stayed with the series for its entire 1968–1975 run. Boyett also co-starred with Broderick Crawford in 64 episodes of Highway Patrol as either Officer Johnson or Sergeant Williams.
He also made eight guest appearances on CBS's Perry Mason throughout the series' nine-year run, mostly in law-enforcement roles. In 1962 he played slain police officer Otto Norden in "The Case of the Hateful Hero." The defendant was his rookie partner James Anderson played by Richard Davalos, cousin of series regular Lt. Anderson played by Wesley Lau. He also played a corporate executive, Buck Osborn, in the 1961 episode, "The Case of the Renegade Refugee."
Boyett appeared in a number of television programs, such as Official Detective, Navy Log, Laramie, Tales of the Texas Rangers, I Spy, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (uncredited; "The Secret Sceptre Affair" from 1965), Family Affair, Fantasy Island, The Rockford Files, Star Trek: The Next Generation, The A-Team. Whirlybirds, and Night Court. Boyett also appeared in numerous episodes of Emergency!, as Battalion Chief McConnikee (Battalion 14).
Boyett also acted in several motion pictures, such as The Hidden (1987) and The Rocketeer (1991). Boyett earned much praise for The Hidden as a hospital patient named Jonathan P. Miller, possessed by an alien being with a taste for red Ferraris and rock and roll music. Boyett also played Battalion Fire Chief McConnike on the 1970s series Emergency!. He also appeared in a short film entitled "Last Clear Chance" as Patrolman Hal Jackson.
Boyett died December 29, 2004 in Mission Hills, California, at the age of 77, of complications from pneumonia and kidney failure. He left behind a wife, two brothers, a son and daughter, and two granddaughters.
- Aaker, Everett (2006). Encyclopedia of Early Television Crime Fighters. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-6409-8. P. 63.
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- Internet Movie Database - William Boyette
- KESQ.com Palm Springs, Coachella Valley - Weather, News, Sports: Our Apologies Archived January 15, 2005, at the Wayback Machine.
- W. Boyett, 77; Veteran Stage, Television Actor, Los Angeles Times, January 1, 2005 (retrieved October 17, 2011)
- Associated Press (January 3, 2005). Actor William Boyett, 77, Akron native, dies in L.A. Akron Beacon Journal, p. B6.