Gautier died January 13, 2017 at an assisted living facility in Arcadia, California following a long illness according to his daughter Denise.
Richard “Dick” Gautier was an actor, comedian, singer, and caricaturist. Known for his television roles as Hymie the Robot in the television series Get Smart, and Robin Hood in the short-lived TV comedy series When Things Were Rotten, a Mel Brooks send-up of the classic legend.
Gautier also has a cult following for his role as Hal, the partner of Stanley Beamish in the short-lived sitcom series Mister Terrific (1967); and for his various voice roles in the 1986 animated Transformers series (including the voice of Rodimus Prime).
Gautier started his career as a night-club comic and a singer; he joined ASCAP in 1959 after serving in the United States Navy. In 1960, he portrayed fictional rock ‘n roll star Conrad Birdie in the original Broadway theatre production of Bye Bye Birdie, receiving a Tony Award nomination for his performance.
He would later appear with two of his “Birdie” stars in two films – with Kay Medford in Ensign Pulver in 1964, and with Dick Van Dyke in Divorce American Style in 1967. In both films, he was billed as Richard Gautier.
He appeared in an episode of The Patty Duke Show, “Anywhere I Hang My Horn Is Home”. He portrayed the clumsy robot “Hymie” on TV’s Get Smart. He portrayed a dance instructor in the original TV series Gidget and a French dress designer in the episode “Samantha, the Dressmaker” from the second season of the TV situation comedy Bewitched.
In 1978, he appeared as Harriman in the episode “The Intimate Friends of Janet Wilde” in the NBC crime drama series The Eddie Capra Mysteries. He also portrayed a magician, Cagliostro, in the Wonder Woman TV series episode “Diana’s Disappearing Act” starring Lynda Carter.
During the 1970s and 1980s, Gautier was a frequent game show panelist, appearing on Match Game, Family Feud Tattletales, Showoffs, You Don’t Say!, Liar’s Club, Password Plus, Body Language, Super Password, Win, Lose or Draw, and the TV version of Can You Top This?.
In 1974, when Burt Ward and Yvonne Craig reprised their Batman roles (as Robin and Batgirl respectively) for a TV public service announcement about equal pay for women, Adam West, who was trying to distance himself from the Batman role at the time, declined to participate. Gautier filled in for West as Batman on this occasion.
Gautier performed several voice-over roles in animation, including Rodimus Prime in the third season of the Transformers animated series from 1986–1987 (taking over for Judd Nelson, who previously performed the role in the 1986 Transformers movie), as well as Serpentor in the G.I. Joe series, Louis from the 1986 Cartoon, Foofur, Spike the Dog in Tom and Jerry Kids, and he was also narrator for Discovery Channel’s Search for Adventure.
Gautier is known for his caricatures of celebrities, and has written several instructional books on caricature, drawing, and cartooning, including Drawing and Cartooning 1001 Caricatures, Drawing and Cartooning 1001 Figures in Action and Creating Comic Characters.