Dick Gautier, the actor best known as Hymie the Robot in the 60’s spy spoof Get Smart has passed. Hautier, who started out as a stand-up comedian, died at an assisted living facility Friday after a prolonged illness, his daughter told New York Daily News. He was 85.
Gautier only appeared in the first six episodes of the spy spoof which ran for 4 seasons. However, Hymie proved to be a popular character with viewers and left an indelible impression. Gautier played the role of the supercomputer man perfectly alongside undercover agent Max, portrayed by Don Adams. Dick Gautier appeared in the TV reprise in 1989, Get Smart Again. Hymie had superhuman strength and extraordinary intelligence, but a seeming flaw which was that he interpreted commands literally.
— The Tony Awards (@TheTonyAwards) January 14, 2017
Hymie was originally built for bad guys, KAOS. However, he switched sides to the good guys, CONTROL, because Max was the first person to treat him like a real person. Hymie ended up being the best man at Max’s wedding to Agent 86 played by Barbara Feldon. A handsome and dark-haired young man with a steel glint in his eye, the Hymie the Robot role was tailor-made for Dick Gautier.
According to the LA Times, Gautier was also the voice of Rodimus Prime on the 1980’s animated TV show, The Transformers. He also voiced for G.I. Joe, Duck Tales, Cow and Chicken, The Addams Family, The New Yogi Bear Show and dozens more.
The 85-year-old, who was married to his third wife when he passed, appeared in several movies, including Ensign Pulver, Divorce American Style, Billy Jack Goes to Washington and Fun With Dick and Jane. The actor continued to make appearances in TV shows as well. He guest-starred in Charlie’s Angels, The Patty Duke Show, The Love Boat, The Mary Tyler Show, Matlock, Here We Go Again, Mr. Terrific, Murder She Wrote, Knight Rider and Nip/Tuck.
RIP Dick Gautier who played many roles including Hymie the Robot in Get Smart, and Conrad in Bye Bye Birdie https://t.co/BMzfiajDl1
— RiotWomenn (@riotwomennn) January 15, 2017
Gautier was born in Culver City, California, but bumped up his career after he was spotted doing comedy in a New York club by famous dancer and choreographer, Gower Champion. Gower was the one who urged the comic to audition for the 1960 Broadway production Bye Bye Birdie. Gautier got the part of Conrad Birdie, an Elvis Presley type singer. He earned a Tony nomination for his performance. The original Broadway production also starred Dick Van Dyke.
Bye Bye Birdie was a production that dealt with the massive changes that rock and roll brought to mainstream music, which had previously been influenced by musicals from Tin Pan Alley and Times Square. Gautier, also an established saloon singer, was not initially keen on the role because he was not a fan of new music. However, he changed his mind when the director and Champion told him the show was a satire of music.
Vale Dick Gautier. The genius who played Hymie in "Get Smart".https://t.co/r12XkMyLB9
— Nick правдаSocialist (@NickSchwanck) January 15, 2017
The actor and comedian also starred as Robin Hood in the unsuccessful Mel Brook series, When Things Were Rotten. He appeared in the anthology comedy series, Love, American Style as well. The father-of-three was a recurring fixture in the talk and game show circuit in the 1970s, appearing on Hollywood Squares, Tattletales, Dinah! Password and Match Game.
The talented actor enjoyed a lengthy career. Besides playing a stand-up comic and actor for Broadway, TV, film and voice over. Gautier was also an accomplished writer and illustrator. He wrote several books, one of which was The Creative Cartoonist, a how-to book of how to become a good cartoonist. He also wrote a children’s book, entitled A Child Garden of Weirdness.
— TFW2005 (@tfw2005) January 14, 2017
Dick Gautier is survived by this third wife and children Rand, Denise and Chris. He lived to see his four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
[Featured Image by CBS]