Roger C. Carmel

The husky, boisterous character actor Roger C. Carmel helped bring flamboyant life to the increasingly colorful prime-time landscape of 1960s television. He garnered cult status with his mincing, handlebar-mustached villain persona, first playing an eccentric, pink-costumed, stamp-collecting baddie on the iconically campy "Batman" series before delivering his signature role as the mischievous Harry Mudd on two particularly treasured episodes of the seminal sci-fi phenomenon "Star Trek" ('66-'67). His depiction of that intergalactic con-man inspired famed comedy mogul Desi Arnaz to cast him in his first regular role as a fun-loving screenwriter on the spunky, short-lived, but highly celebrated sitcom "The Mothers-In-Law." Due to salary disputes, however, Carmel left the show after just one season, relegating him to dozens more TV guest spots throughout the '70s. Despite an early film role in the poorly received gender-bending comedy "Myra Breckenridge," he experienced a brief surge on the big screen and made affable appearances in films such as Clint Eastwood's tender relationship study "Breezy" ('73) and the latter-day Jerry Lewis lark "Hardly Working" ('80). In the final stages of his career, he gravitated toward voice acting, lending his powerful pipes to the frothily followed toy-based cartoon series "The Transformers" as well as the famous Smokey Bear campaign for forest-fire prevention. Fans were delighted to see he kept his trademark mustache when he appeared as an elderly bandido in several live-action commercials for Naugles, a Mexican restaurant chain, in the mid-'80s. Shortly thereafter, he died from an enlarged heart at age 54.