Bill Idelson began his career as a child actor, before working as a writer, producer, and director later in his career. He first began acting on the radio drama "Uncle Walt and Skeezix" (Idelson played the latter character), before appearing in small parts on the police procedural "Dragnet" and the family comedy "Leave It to Beaver." After a short break from the industry, Idelson returned as a screenwriter after being nudged by his friend, sci-fi author Richard Matheson. His first writing credit was an auspicious one: "The Twilight Zone." Idelson co-wrote the episode "Long Distance Call," in which a young boy communicates with his dead grandmother through a toy telephone. In thoroughly creepy fashion, granny encourages the boy to kill himself. This led to other writing jobs, and Idelson continued to act while embarking on this stage of his career. His subsequent work, however, was markedly lighter than his debut: Idelson penned episodes of some of the most iconic sitcoms of the 1960s and '70s, including "The Andy Griffith Show," "Happy Days," and "M*A*S*H." In his acting career, Idelson showed up most prominently as Herman Glimscher, Sally's bumbling boyfriend, on "The Dick Van Dyke Show" but was also featured on comedy staples "My Favorite Martian" and "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.."