It may well be that the American actor William Windom, who has died aged 88 of congestive heart failure, appeared as a guest star in more TV series than anyone else in the history of the medium. While quantity is not necessarily an adjunct of quality, Windom made it so.
The character actor's career on television spanned seven decades, from his debut as a fiery Tybalt in a Philco Television Playhouse production of Romeo and Juliet (1949) to an episode of Star Trek: New Voyages (2004) in which he recreated the role of the unbalanced Commodore Matt Decker. Decker was first seen in one of the series's best chapters, The Doomsday Machine (1967), and it was enough to sanctify Windom in the eyes of Trekkies. The role had been written for Robert Ryan, but Windom's powerful portrayal made any possible comparisons redundant.