Veteran actor Richard Herd, best known for his role as Matthew Wilhelm on the NBC sitcom Seinfeld, has died on Tuesday at his Los Angeles home after battling cancer. He was 87. Sadly, Herd joins the growing list of Star Trek actors that have died in recent years.
Herd appeared in 11 episodes of Seinfeld from 1995 to 1998. His character, usually addressed as Mr. Wilhelm, was the inept New York Yankees exec who supervised George Costanza (Jason Alexander) after he landed a job as an assistant to the traveling secretary. Herd’s passing comes just two weeks after the death of his Seinfeld co-star Jerry Stiller, who played George’s father, Frank, on the series.
For sci-fi fans, Herd is popularly known for his Star Trek roles. The Boston native made his debut appearance in the Star Trek franchise in the 1993 Star Trek: The Next Generation’s two-part episode, Birthright, in which he played the role of the Klingon L’Kor. Years later, he returned to the franchise as Admiral Owen Paris ― a role he portrayed in four episodes of Star Trek: Voyager from 1999 to 2001 and in the 2015 pilot of Star Trek: Renegades.
Herd’s other notable TV roles include Supreme Commander John in the NBC miniseries V and its sequel V: The Final Battle; Admiral William Noyce on NBC’s sci-fi series seaQuest DSV; and Captain Dennis Sheridan on the ABC/CBS police drama T.J. Hooker.
On the movie front, Herd made his big-screen debut in the 1970 fantasy comedy, Hercules in New York. He was then hired as Richard Long’s replacement for the part of Watergate burglar James McCord in Alan J. Pakula’s 1976 political thriller, All the President’s Men. He also appeared in the films The China Syndrome (1979), F.I.S.T. (1979), The Onion Field (1979), Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987), and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997), among many others.
Behind the scenes, Herd served as the third national vice president of Screen Actors Guild.
Herd is survived by his wife of 40 years, Patricia Crowder Herd, daughter Erica, son Rick, and stepdaughter Alicia.
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