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Woodrow Lewis Chambliss
October 14, 1914
Bowie, Texas, U.S.
|Died||January 8, 1981 (aged 66)|
Ojai, California, U.S.
Woodrow "Woody" Lewis Chambliss (October 14, 1914 in Bowie, Texas – January 8, 1981 in Ojai, California) was an American character actor who appeared in both feature films and television. He is probably best known for his appearances as several characters in the TV hit Gunsmoke, where he eventually settled into the recurring role of storekeeper Mr. Lathrop. He was sometimes credited as Woody Chambliss.
Originally from Bowie, Texas, Chambliss was the son of Mr. and Mrs. L. B. Chambliss, who had a farm outside Brownfield, Texas. He attended public schools in Brownsville and Baylor University, where his first contact with drama occurred as a prompter with the Baylor Little Theater. In 1938 traveled to Dartington Hall, Dartington, England as a drama exchange student. He remained in England to act in Michael Chekhov's theatre company, which led to his Broadway debut in a 1939 Chekhov production of The Possessed. The cast also included his wife, Erika Kapralik, and actor Ford Rainey, but the play only ran for fourteen performances on Broadway.
During World War II, he worked at the Naval Construction Battalion Center Port Hueneme naval base in Port Hueneme, California. After the war, he, Rainey and others from the Chekhov company established the High Valley Players, a touring repertory troupe that for four years performed in and around Ojai, California. Chambliss went on to become the manager of the Senior Canyon Mutual Water Company prior to resuming his theater career.
In addition to his work on Gunsmoke, where he eventually settled into the recurring role of storekeeper Mr. Lathrop, he also had a recurring roles as riverboat Captain Tom of the "Sultana" on the TV show Yancy Derringer.
He also appeared in two 1958 episodes of Perry Mason: as Phil Reese in "The Case of the Fugitive Nurse," and Fred Haley in "The Case of the Lucky Loser." In 1960 he appeared in Gene Barry's TV Western series Bat Masterson as town undertaker Mr. O’Malley (S2E20). In 1965, he appeared on The Andy Griffith Show in the episode, "Aunt Bee's Invisible Beau", as their butter-and-egg-man. He and wife Erika also appeared together as grandparents in the 1978 TV movie Forever. He also played the role of Zadok Walton, cousin to grandpa Walton, on a Season 8 episode of "The Waltons."
He died on January 8, 1981, in Ojai of colon cancer.
He was married to actress Erika Kapralik (September 6, 1911 – May 14, 1992 in Ojai, California).
- Three Strangers (1946) - man in pub (uncredited)
- 3:10 to Yuma (1957) - blacksmith (uncredited)
- Zero Hour! Wilmont's drinking buddy (uncredited)
- Invitation to a Gunfighter (1964) (uncredited)
- The Andy Griffith Show (1965) - Mr. Hendricks, egg man/Mr. Robinson, piano owner (2 episodes)
- Wild Seed (1965) - Mr. Simms
- The Circle of Time (1969) - Abner, the pie pirate.
- The Wild Country (1971) - Dakota
- Glen and Randa (1971) - Sidney Miller
- Greaser's Palace (1972) - father
- Gargoyles (1972) Uncle Willie
- Cry for Me, Billy (1972) - prospector
- Scorpio (1973) - uncredited
- The Six Million Dollar Man The Midas Touch episode (1974) - Pop
- The Devil's Rain (1975) - John
- Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978) - old Sgt. Pepper
- Cloud Dancer (1980) - Curtis Pitts
- Second-Hand Hearts (1981) deaf attendant
- "Brownfield Boy Has Leading Role In Broadway Play To Be Presented In October". Lubbock Morning Avalanche. Texas, Lubbock. October 5, 1939. p. 1. Retrieved June 17, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Woodrow Chambliss". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on June 17, 2020. Retrieved June 17, 2020.