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William Bronder, a veteran character actor who stood out in the classic Rob Reiner film Stand by Me, died May 6 at Northridge Hospital Medical Center, his family announced. He was 84.
Bronder played Milo Pressman, the junkyard owner whose dog Chopper chases Gordie (Wil Wheaton) off his property as the boys embark on their adventure looking for the dead body of a man struck by a train.
Later, Pressman gets under the skin of Corey Feldman’s character, Teddy, by insulting his dad: “He’s crazier than a shithouse rat,” he says. “No wonder you’re acting the way you are, with a loony for a father.”
In the Bonnie Hunt-directed romantic comedy Return to Me (2000), starring Minnie Driver and David Duchovny, Bronder played Wally, an old crony of restaurant owner Marty O’Reilly (Carroll O’Connor in his final onscreen appearance).
Bronder also appeared in such films as Flush (1977), Yes, Giorgio (1982), Cannery Row (1982) and Best Seller (1987) and on TV shows including Marcus Welby, M.D., Switch, Baretta, The Streets of San Francisco, Police Story, CHiPs, The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo, Hill Street Blues, Hunter and Knots Landing.
A native of New York City, Bronder served in the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and in the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division. In the 1960s, he moved to Hollywood to pursue an acting career.
Bronder raced pigeons for more than 50 years and was a Hall of Fame member of the FVC San Fernando Valley Pigeon Club.
Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Tona; siblings Charles Sr. and Patricia; daughters Colleen and Joan; stepchildren Gary, Crystal and Rhonda; grandchildren Charles, Christopher, Michael, Jerilee, Richard, Gary, Laura, Melissa and Jennifer; and 15 great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will take place at 11 a.m. on June 26 at Eternal Valley Memorial Park in Newhall, Calif.
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