Veteran actor Booth Colman – a character actor who appeared on seemingly countless TV shows and in more than 50 films over five decades – has died at the age of 91. He died in his sleep on Dec. 15.

An expert on Shakespeare who typically portrayed authority figures, Colman made frequent appearances on shows such as Gunsmoke, Hogan’s Heroes, Perry MasonChicago Hope, Lou Grant, Star Trek, The Waltons, Frasier, The Rifleman, Bonanza, Mannix and Marcus Welby, among much else.

Booth Colman Dr ZaiusHe had long runs on the soap operas The Young and The Restless and General Hospital. He also appeared in several episodes of the Planet of the Apes 1974 TV series as Dr. Zaius, a role that brought him invites to fan conventions for years after.

His big-screen roles included a 1952 debut in The Big Sky and a role in Norma Rae and later in roles in Intolerable Cruelty and The Man Who Wasn’t There. 

He also appeared hundreds of times on stage as Ebenezer Scrooge each year with a theater group in Rochester, Mich.

Colman was born March 8, 1923 in Portland, Ore., and attended college at the University of Washington and the University of Michigan. During WWII, he served in military intelligence, where his facility with foreign languages was useful.