Beloved actor Bill Macy, best known for his run as Maude’s husband Walter Findlay on the Norman Lear sitcom Maude, which starred the late Bea Arthur in the title role, has passed away at the age of 97.
“My buddy Bill Macy passed away at 7:13pm tonight,” posted Matt Beckoff on Facebook, according to Variety. “He was a spitfire right up to the end. My condolences to his beautiful wife Samantha Harper Macy.”
Born in Revere, Mass. and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Macy’s big break came when he landed a job as Walter Matthau’s understudy in the play Once More, With Feeling. Like many New York actors, Macy appeared on soaps while pursuing stage work. In 1966, he played a cab driver on The Edge of Night.
After working for Lear on an episode of All in the Family as a police officer, Macy was cast in the pivotal role of Walter in the spinoff about Edith’s liberal cousin. Maude ran from 1972 to 1978. In the show’s finale episode, titled Maude’s Big Move, Maude relocated to Washington, D.C. to serve in Congress.
Had the series continued, it appeared as if Macy’s Walter would have been the only cast member in addition to Arthur, of course, who would have continued on in the series.
After Walter would provide Maude with some new information that might affect her point of view in a way she disliked, Arthur would say to her co-star, in deadpan character, “God’ll get you for that, Walter.” Check out Days of Our Lives head writer Ron Carlivati’s tweet below as he pays tribute to Macy and that iconic line.
After Maude wrapped, Macy appeared in the films The Jerk, My Favorite Year, Analyze This, and The Holiday. TV credits include The Facts of Life, Seinfeld, NYPD Blue, St. Elsewhere, and My Name Is Earl.
Macy is survived by his wife, Samantha Harper Macy, an actress. Entertainment Hub shares sincere condolences to her and Macy’s family, friends, and loved ones at this time.
— Ron Carlivati (@carlivatiron) October 18, 2019