Dick Gautier, an actor who played an Elvis-like singer in the early 1960s Broadway musical “Bye Bye Birdie” and later that decade portrayed Hymie the robot on TV’s “Get Smart,” died Jan. 13 at an assisted-living center in Arcadia, Calif. He was 85.
His publicist, Harlan Boll, confirmed the death. He did not cite a cause.
Mr. Gautier began his show-business career as a comedian and was spotted performing at a New York club by dancer-choreographer Gower Champion, who urged him to audition for “Bye Bye Birdie.”
He won the part of Conrad Birdie, a rock star who is being drafted. He received a Tony nomination for the 1960 musical spoof, although another actor, Jesse Pearson, was cast as Birdie in the 1963 film version.
He made only six appearances on “Get Smart,” but his character, Hymie, a robot with superhuman strength and intelligence but a tendency to interpret commands too literally, became a fan favorite. He reprised the role in the 1989 made-for-TV movie “Get Smart, Again!”
Mr. Gautier also starred as Robin Hood in the Mel Brooks series “When Things Were Rotten,” which ran on ABC in 1975, and appeared in multiple episodes of the anthology comedy series “Love, American Style,” which aired on ABC from 1969 to 1974.
He was a fixture on the talk- and game-show circuit of the 1970s, appearing on “Password,” “Tattletales,” “Match Game,” “Dinah!” and “Hollywood Squares,” among others. He also continued his guest-star work through 2010 on dozens of television shows, including “Matlock,” “Knight Rider ” and “Nip/Tuck.”
His movies included “Divorce American Style” (1967), as Dick Van Dyke’s attorney, and a small role in “Fun With Dick and Jane” (1977) with Jane Fonda and George Segal as suburbanites reduced to banditry amid hard times.
Mr. Gautier also published several books about caricature drawing and a children’s book called “A Child’s Garden of Weirdness” (1993).
Mr. Gautier was born in Culver City, Calif., on Oct. 30, 1931.
His marriages to Beverly Gerber and actress Barbara Stuart ended in divorce. Survivors include his wife, Tess Hightower, and three children from his first marriage.
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