Seamon Glass, Tough Guy Character Actor, Dies at 90

Courtesy of Yan Zhang
Seamon Glass

The colorful ex-boxer was seen on 'Star Trek' and in such films as 'Deliverance,' 'Sleeper' and 'The Rose.'

Seamon Glass, a rugged character actor who appeared on television on Star Trek and in such films as Deliverance, Sleeper and The Rose, has died. He was 90.

Glass, who also was a boxer, Merchant Marine, schoolteacher and a guidance counselor at Fairfax High School in Los Angeles when he wasn't in front of the camera, died peacefully July 12 in his L.A. home, his wife, Yan Zhang, confirmed.

In Deliverance, Glass played one of the Griner brothers, whom Burt Reynolds and friends encounter on the way to the river, and in Sleeper, he portrayed a guard who fights with Woody Allen right after he wakes up in the future. In Bette Midler's The Rose, he was a trucker.

A longtime resident of Santa Monica, Glass worked as a stuntman in Spartacus (1960) — in a scene in a boat filmed not far from his home — and starred as a sheriff in This Is Not a Test (1962), a low-budget film about the threat of nuclear war. He also played a miner in the first-season Star Trek episode “Mudd’s Women,” which first aired in October 1966.

Glass spent about three decades in the teaching profession, and his day job often got in the way of his acting gigs.

"Well, it did get in the way," he said in a fascinating 2014 interview with film and TV historian Stephen Bowie. "For instance, I worked on that Elvis Presley [movie], Kid Galahad. They wanted me for a week. Then it went for two weeks, and then they wanted me to go for three weeks.

"I went for three weeks, and then they said they wanted me to go for six weeks, and the principal said, 'Either get back or you’re finished.' I thought, 'Well, I’m not going to become an actor,' so I quit, and all the actors said I was crazy. Maybe I was."

Glass, though, did appear in six installments of Perry Mason and was oh so briefly in such films as For Love or Money (1963), Slither (1973), Blazing Saddles (1974), Damnation Alley (1977) and An Enemy of the People (1978).

Glass was born in New York City, and after his father died when he was 13, he and his mother moved to California. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps.

A brawny 6-foot-3, Glass won the heavyweight boxing championship at Santa Monica Junior College and had about 50 fights as an amateur and pro. Actress Anna Maria Alberghetti was his manager when he attempted a comeback in the ring in the early 1960s, and he sparred in the gym with actors Ron Ely and Don Murray.

In the interview with Bowie, Glass noted that he also spent time as a bodyguard for studio chief Darryl F. Zanuck’s daughter, Darrylin, and tended bar at Sinbad’s on the Santa Monica Pier.

In addition to his wife of 23 years — whom he met when he was teaching English in Hangzhou, China — survivors include son David and granddaughter Chelsea.

A memorial service is set for 9 a.m. on July 31 on the public viewing deck on the end of the Santa Monica Pier.

  

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