Woodrow Chambliss

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Woodrow Chambliss
Woodrow Lewis Chambliss

(1914-10-14)October 14, 1914
DiedJanuary 8, 1981(1981-01-08) (aged 66)
Years active1946-1981
Spouse(s)Erika Kapralik

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.[1]


Originally from Bowie, Texas, he attended Baylor University and 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." 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).

Selected filmography[edit]



  1. ^ Woody Chambliss at IMDb

External links[edit]