Dick Gautier, ‘Get Smart’ Robot, Dies at 85

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Adams and Gautier in Get Smart

The actor well known for his portrayal of a sensitive robot on the ’60s TV spy comedy, Get Smart, has passed. Dick Gautier, who played Hymie the Robot on the satirical sitcom which starred Don Adams as bumbling secret agent Maxwell Smart for its five seasons, died yesterday (Jan. 13) at 85 in Arcadia, CA, after a long illness.

Gautier came to prominence playing Conrad Birdie in the original 1960 Broadway production of Bye, Bye Birdie, earning a Tony nomination.

But it was his role in Get Smart that brought him to prominence among baby boomers. Though he appeared in just six episodes, Hymie the Robot’s character stood out from among the series’ many memorable guest stars. When given a command from Agent Smart, Gautier’s character would take it literally. Thus, when asked to “kill the lights,” Hymie would pull out his handgun and shoot the light switch, leading Smart to constantly explain, “It’s just an expression, Hymie.”

The robot was originally on the side of evil: namely, the organization known by KAOS. Hymie switched sides to CONTROL due to the kindness showed to him by Smart. And in a robotic voice, Hymie delivered his lines often with more humanity than his human counterparts.

Get Smart was created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry and from 1965 to 1970, its snappy writing was evident in each of its 138 episodes. (The complete series is available on DVD here.)

Watch this scene from Get Smart and enjoy the cleverness of the dialog and the brilliant timing of Adams and Gautier…

Adams died in 2005 at age 82. The ruggedly handsome Gautier was born on October 30, 1931 in Culver City, CA. Following Get Smart, Gautier was a game show regular on such programs as Match GamePassword Plus and Win, Lose or Draw.

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