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William H. Swan, 90, of Monterey, stage and screen actor

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By Friday, Jan 25, 2019 Obituaries

It is with great sadness that our family says good-bye to a beloved brother and uncle. William (Bill) Swan, 90, of Monterey, Massachusetts, passed away on January 20, 2019 in Lee, Massachusetts.

William H. Swan

Bill was born on February 6, 1928 in Amherst, N.Y. He was preceded in death by his parents, Earl and Irene Hall Swan, and his life partner of almost 40 years, Richard D. Dunlap. Surviving are his sister, Barbara Dominski of Encinitas, Calif., neice Debra Dominski of Encinitas, Calif., and Jeffrey Dominski of Idaho.

Bill, like most of his generation, joined the Army immediately upon graduation from high school. He served the occupation troops in Italy at the conclusion of World War II. He was honorably discharged at the completion of his service.

Bill immediately headed to California and pursued an acting career. Soon after, in 1952, he became a member of the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. He remained a member for 67 years. Bill was able to continue acting and auditioning for parts into his early 80’s.

His body of work encompasses 60 years of roles on stage, film and television. He performed in four off-Broadway productions and playhouses throughout the country, too numerous to count. Bill had leading roles in over 100 productions including “The Cocktail House,” “What the Butler Saw,” “California Suite,” “Night of the Iguana,” and “Blithe Spirit.”

He performed at the Berkshire Playhouse more than any other performer. He began performing in their summer stock productions as a very young man. Bill’s beloved Berkshire Playhouse is the reason he relocated to Monterey, Massachusetts, in 1981.

Bill starred in “Lady in the Cage” with Olivia De Havilland, with whom he maintained a lifelong friendship. He was featured in the films “Winter of Frozen Dreams,” “The Parallax View,” “Hotel,” and “The Horizontal Lieutenant.” Bill guest starred in over 200 television series from the 1950s through 20009. All of the top-rated KTV shows of their time featured Bill Swan. He had roles in “The Twilight Zone,” “Streets of San Francisco,” “Quincy,” “Perry Mason,” “Rockford Files,” “Barnaby Jones,” “Men of Annapolis,” “Father Knows Best,” “12 O’Clock High,” “Cannon,” and dozens more. Bill was a continuing character in the series “All My Children,” “The Young and the Restless,” “As the World Turns,” and “Dr. Kildare.”

Bill lived the life of his dreams and he always expressed gratitude for that. He not only loved the acting, but the adventures and travels it provided and the people it brought into his life. No one could tell a story the way he did and he had plenty of them to tell. He will always be remembered as the ultimate gentleman and an icon of class and style.

Condolences may be made through Birches Roy Funeral Services.


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