Jerry Fogel, Actor on 'The Mothers-in-Law,' Dies at 83

NBC/Photofest
Jerry Fogel with Deborah Walley on 'The Mothers-in-Law'

He played the newlywed husband of Deborah Walley's Suzie on the 1960s NBC comedy.

Jerry Fogel, who portrayed one-half of the newlywed couple hounded by the meddling Kaye Ballard and Eve Arden on the 1960s NBC comedy The Mothers-in-Law, has died. He was 83.

Fogel died Monday at a hospice facility in Kansas City, Missouri, his family announced. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2008.

The lanky 6-foot-3 actor also played Lt. Commander William Outerbridge in Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) and was Ken Howard's brother-in-law, Bill Donahue, on the CBS high-school basketball drama The White Shadow.

Fogel quit his job as a popular rock 'n' roll DJ in his native Rochester, New York, signed with William Morris and came to Hollywood before landing the role of Jerry Buell on The Mothers-in-Law, created by I Love Lucy writers Bob Carroll and Madelyn Pugh Davis and produced by Desi Arnaz.

On the 1967-69 show, Jerry and Suzie Hubbard (Deborah Walley) elope and move in with her parents (Arden and Herbert Rudley) in their garage apartment. Right next door are Buell's folks, portrayed by Ballard and Roger C. Carmel. (When Carmel quit the show after seeking a raise, Richard Deacon stepped in for the second season.) The two sets of parents can't help but muck things up, especially when the young couple have twins.

Born on Jan. 17, 1936, Jerome Fogel was the son of a theater owner in Rochester. He attended Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, and West Point, then spun records on radio station WBBF before deciding to try acting.

"I remember telling my wife, 'This is something I am just going to have to do,'" he recalled in 2016. "I was very naive. She was willing to go along with it. … If I hadn't done that, I would have lived the rest of my life saying, 'What if?'" They had two young sons at the time.

In 1966, Fogel made his onscreen debut on an installment of The Big Valley and appeared in the first episode of That Girl.

After The Mothers-in-Law, Fogel showed up on such shows as Ironside; Love, American Style; Room 222; Here's Lucy; Barnaby Jones; Marcus Welby, M.D.; The Mary Tyler Moore Show; and The Bob Newhart Show and in the 1975 movie The Day of the Locust. He recurred on The White Shadow starting in 1978.

When his acting career ended, the Leawood, Kansas, resident returned to his roots, co-hosting a radio talk show in Kansas City.

Survivors include his wife, Sandy; sons David, Mark and Ross; and grandchildren Madeline, Derek, Max and Mila.