PASSINGS: Sid Melton, Leonard Stone, Liz Anderson, Thomas McNeeley Jr., George Rountree
Sid Melton

Character actor in dozens of TV, film projects

Sid Melton, 94, a character actor perhaps best known for his roles in the hit television shows "Green Acres" and "The Danny Thomas Show," died of pneumonia Wednesday at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, his family said.

During a career that spanned nearly 60 years, Melton appeared in about 140 television and film projects. They included two 1951 movies, "Lost Continent" with Cesar Romero and the Samuel Fuller-directed "The Steel Helmet," and 1972's "Lady Sings the Blues" with Diana Ross.

On the 1950s TV show "Captain Midnight," Melton co-starred as the hero's sidekick, Ichabod Mudd. Decades later, he recalled that fans still greeted him with the character's signature line: "Mudd with two Ds."

A regular on "The Danny Thomas Show" from 1959 to 1971, Melton played club owner Uncle Charley Halper. Melton also had a recurring role in the late 1960s on the sitcom "Green Acres" as Alf Monroe, half of an inept brother-sister carpenter team. He also appeared in flashback sequences as the husband of Estelle Getty's widowed character on "The Golden Girls" sitcom, which originally aired from 1985 to 1992.

He was born Sidney Meltzer on May 22, 1917, in New York City. His father, Isidor Meltzer, was a comedian in Yiddish theater.

On the stage, Melton debuted in 1939 in a touring production of "See My Lawyer" and appeared in 1947 on Broadway in "The Magic Touch," using his stage name, Sid Melton.

Melton broke in to Hollywood with the help of his older brother, Lewis Meltzer, a screenwriter who adapted "Golden Boy" and "Man With the Golden Arm." After interviewing at MGM, the actor soon had a small part in the 1941 film "Shadow of a Thin Man" with William Powell and Myrna Loy.

Leonard Stone

Veteran television, film and stage actor

Leonard Stone, 87, a veteran character actor best known for his role as the indulgent father of gum-smacking Violet Beauregarde in the 1971 film "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory," died of cancer Wednesday at his home in San Diego, his family said. His death came one day before his 88th birthday.

A native of Salem, Ore., born on Nov. 3, 1923, Stone studied acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. He began performing professionally before World War II, when he served in the Pacific with the Navy.

He was nominated for a Tony Award as best featured actor in a musical for his performance as George Poppett in the 1959 Bob Fosse musical "Redhead," which starred Richard Kiley and Gwen Verdon.

Stone appeared on at least 119 television programs, including many of the top-rated shows of the last six decades, such as "McHale's Navy," "Perry Mason," "Gomer Pyle," "Dragnet," "Mission: Impossible," "Hawaii Five-O," "Gunsmoke," "All in the Family" and "Falcon Crest."

His movie credits include the 1973 science fiction thriller "Soylent Green," in which he played the manager of an apartment building where a murder occurs.

His last acting role was in the 2006 TV movie "Dorothy," starring Diane Keaton.

Liz Anderson

Country music songwriter and singer