(Jeremy Gerard’s article appeared on Deadline Hollywood, 1/14; via Pam Green.)
As a swivel-hipped rock and roller, Conrad Birdie had a lot of living to do, the unknown actor Dick Gautier sang in the 1960 Broadway smash Bye Bye Birdie. At first a reluctant leading man, Gautier played many roles, including cabaret singer, stand-up comic, character actor and caricaturist. He was best known to TV audiences as Hymie The Robot on six episodes of the Mel Brooks/Buck Henry-created spy spoof Get Smart, culminating in Hymie’s role as best man at the wedding of Don Adam’s bumbling spy to Barbara Feldon’s Agent 99. Gautier died “quietly” Friday in Arcadia, California, his wife, psychologist Tess Thompson, posted in a brief Facebook announcement.