October 25, 1918
October 21, 2006
Avid television viewers of the 1950s, '60s, and '70s (i.e., the Baby Boomers and early Gen-Xers) will undoubtedly have no trouble recognizing the mug of character actor Milton Selzer, who, according to the book "Television Guest Stars: An Illustrated Chronicle for Performers of the Sixties and Seventies," may hold the record for most guest appearances of any actor of television's golden era. Upon his return home from serving in World War II (the Italian campaign), he studied acting at both the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and the New School. In the late '40s, he landed some minor roles in Broadway productions of Shakespearean classics ("Richard III" and "Julius Caesar") and George Bernard Shaw's "Arms and the Man." He parlayed his stage success into an acting career that spanned five decades, including appearances on over 160 TV shows and roles in 21 feature films. His idiosyncratic looks, diffidence, and put-upon, defeated manner lent a pathetic, almost endearing quality to most of his characters, and a large portion of his career was spent playing loners, losers, and neglected outsiders in shows like "The Untouchables" and "The Fugitive." Selzer retired from show business in 1995 and died 11 years later at the age of 87.