Stuart Nisbet, Character Actor Who Was in (Almost) Everything, Dies at 82

Courtesy of Nancy Nisbet
Stuart Nisbet with 'Golden Girls' stars (from left) Bea Arthur, Betty White and Rue McClanahan

He has 172 credits listed on IMDb, with roles on 'Dennis the Menace,' 'The Virginian,' 'In the Heat of the Night,' 'Casino' and much, much more.

Stuart Nisbet, the character actor with the very familiar face who seemingly appeared on every television series from Dennis the Menace to The Practice, has died. He was 82.

Nisbet, who has an astronomic 172 acting credits listed on IMDb, died June 23 at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital in Glendale, Calif., his wife, Nancy, told The Hollywood Reporter.

Nisbet played the bartender Bart on the 1960s NBC series The Virginian and also doled out drinks on such shows as Route 66, Two Faces West, Hogan's Heroes, The Monkees and The Rockford Files.

In the first season of ABC's Happy Days, he was the principal who allowed the Fonz (Henry Winkler) to return (albeit briefly) to high school.

Nisbet showed up as a member of the Southern town mayor's council in the Oscar best picture winner In the Heat of the Night (1967), was a veterinarian in The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989) and portrayed a banker in Martin Scorsese's Casino (1995).

If you look closely, he can be spotted in the "One word: plastics" scene in The Graduate (1967), and his film résumé includes The Quick and the Dead (1963), Games (1967), Angel in My Pocket (1969), Slither (1973) and Hearts of the West (1975).

He was a co-founder and owner of the Hollywood casting agency Baker-Nisbet Inc.

Born in Los Angeles, Nisbet spent his childhood in Bakersfield, Calif., then studied acting at Los Angeles City College and Cal State L.A. One of his first professional acting jobs came when he played Mr. Wade, whose daughter Margaret (Jeannie Russell) had a crush on Dennis (Jay North), on the 1960s CBS sitcom Dennis the Menace.

Nisbet appeared multiple times on such series as Get Smart, Dragnet, Barnaby Jones, The Fugitive, The Name of the Game, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Marcus Welby, M.D. and Mannix, playing a different character each time. He also worked on The Munsters, My Mother the Car, The Green Hornet, My Three Sons, Mission: Impossible, Fantasy Island, The Dukes of Hazzard, T.J. Hooker, L.A. Law, The Golden Girls and Baywatch (the list goes on and on).

In addition to his wife of 55 years, survivors include their children Bill, Linda and Scott and grandchildren Shane, Shilo, Brandy and Hope.

 

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