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Dick "Richard" Gautier is an actor, comedian, composer, singer and author. Among his most well-known television roles are that of Hymie the Robot in the television series Get Smart and Robin Hood in the short-lived TV comedy series When Things Were Rotten, a Mel Brooks send-up of the classic legend.
Gautier also has a cult following for his role as Hal, the partner of Stanley Beamish in the short-lived sitcom series Mister Terrific (1967); and for his various voice roles in the 1986 animated Transformers series (including the voice of Rodimus Prime.)
¬†He entered the U.S. Navy and served his peace-time stint by producing and performing in shows for Special (entertainement) Services.¬†
TV, Stage and Movie Career
Aftera honorable discharge, he to performed his brand of zany comedy at San Francisco clubs, eventually heading to New York City where he continued this path.
While peforming in 1960 at a New York Clu called The Blue Angel, he was spotted by the accomplished dancer-choreographer-director Gower Champion, who was preparing a new musical. The musical, all about the hubbub that occurs when a rock 'n roll teen idol is drafted into the Army and stops to give one last kiss to a young, small town female fan, was called Bye Bye Birdie.¬†Gautier auditioned for and won the part of the singer, Conrad Birdie, over 750 other hopefuls in "Bye, Bye, Birdie. He was ¬†a hit with audiences.He was nominated for a Tony Award for the part.¬†He played the part on Broadway until 1961. He continued briefly to enact the role on tour, then did a show in Las Vegas for several months.
Eventually he returned to California and began working on TV pilots and Movies. He had a small role in the 1964 movie "Ensign Pulver." This was a sequel to Mister Roberts (1955) had him putting his Navy background to good use, only this time in a comedic way in support of stars Robert Walker Jr, Burl Ives, Walter Matthau and Tommy Sands.
He contiimue to do comedy and singing in night clubs in California, ¬†but began to appear on a variety of popular TV series of the time including "Gidget", "The Patty Duke Show", "Bewitched" and "Love on a Rooftop", among others.
In 1966 - 1970, he began a recurring role on the hit comedy series "Get Smart," which starred Don Adams and Barbara Feldon. He portrayed a robot named Hymie ¬†He also worked on another feature film, Divorce, American Style (1967),¬†
Additionally in 1967, Gautier costarred in his own TV series. The show, called Mr. Terrific, concerned a gas station attendant played by Stephen Strimpell who occasionally works for a top-secret government bureau by taking a pill that gives him one hour of courage, strength and the ability to fly. The series ¬†made it seventeen episodes before being cancelled.¬†
As the '60s drew to a close, Gautier helped to write the screenplay for the hooty marijuana-themed flick Maryjane (1968), which starred Fabian, Diane McBain and Patty McCormack. He also popped up as a guest on series such as The Flying Nun , The Debbie Reynolds Show, The Doris Day Show and several installments of Love, American Style.¬†
He also, starting with Hollywood Squares in 1967, began to do TV games shows through out the 1970's, something that would become a prominent aspect of his career., As a lover of crossword puzzles and other mentally-challenging hobbies, Gautier found it gratifying, personally and financially, to take part in many quiz shows.¬†He was on many games shows, appearing on "Liar's Club", "Break the Bank", "Celebrity Sweepstakes", "Match Game", "Password Plus", "Super Password", "Body Language", "Tattletales" andr, later, celebrity editions of "Family Feud".¬†
In 1973, Gautier took another go at a series. This one was a sitcom called "Here We Go Again" and had larry Hagman marrying Diane Baker, but living only a stone's throw away from his ex-wife Nita Talbot and her ex-husband Gautier. The show was cancelled after thirteen episodes.
More Guest appearance followed o nTV , from "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" , "Banacek" to "The Rockford Files." and plenty of guest spots on "The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries," "The New Adventures of Wonder Woman", "Man from Atlantis" and "The Love Boat."¬†
Then in 1975, he tried once again to get a TV series of his own to stick. This time it was a send up of Robin Hood called "When Things Were Rotten", co-created by Mel Brooks. ¬†Gautier played Robin Hood opposite Maid Marian played by Misty Rowe! Merry were men were Dick Van Patten and Bernie Kopell. Typical Brooks' patented comedy, but It was up against Little House on the Prairie and Tony Orlando and Dawn, so it did poorly in the ratings and was cancelled.¬†
In the '70s he had worked very steadliy ¬†doing stage work also ¬†in which he was Luther Billis to Ruta Lee's Nellie Forbush in "South Pacific".
He was supporting cast in many feature films that came along such as the original "Fun with Dick and Jane" (1977), "Billy Jack Goes to Washington" (also 1977.) TV movies like "Sex and the Married Woman "(1977)¬†
He continued to work on TV in the in 1970's & 1980's in shows like "Charlie's Angels", "Happy Days", "Too Close for Comfort" "Trapper John, M.D." "Quincy M.E.", ¬†such as on "Zorro and Son", "Fantasy Island", "Knight Rider" and "Alice", but by the time of the mid-'80s, He still did some tv from time to time on various live-action shows such as "Charles in Charge", "The Munsters Today", "The Golden Palace" and "Nip/Tuck."
Also in the ¬†1980's he did some of the programs he worked on included the 1980s version of "Jonny Quest," "G.I. Joe", " The Transformers," "The Pirates of Dark Water", "Captain Planet and the Planeteers" and "Cow and Chicken".
Caricatures of celebrities¬†
Gautier was always very artistic as well. An accomplished painter, he also perfected the art of the caricature and created countless renditions of famous people as well as original cartoon creations. He¬†has also written several instructional books on caricature, drawing, and cartooning, including Drawing and Cartooning 1001 Caricatures, Drawing and Cartooning 1001 Figures in Action and Creating Comic Characters.¬†
Today he is married since 2003 for the third time to a psychiatrist named Dr. Tess Hightower , he is a grandfather and a great-grandfather and enjoys a quiet life in Studio City, California, about a half hour away from where he was born!¬†