Alan Hewitt, Actor and Director in Stage, Film and TV, Dies at Age 71

Alan Hewitt, the stage, screen and television actor and director who made his acting debut at age 10 in a school production called "The Death of Bad Grammar" and became well known on Broadway more than half a century ago appearing with Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, has died of cancer at age 71.

Hewitt, a veteran of more than 50 plays, two dozen films and countless TV appearances, died Nov. 7 at New York's Memorial Sloane-Kettering Cancer Center.

Hewitt made his New York theater debut in 1935 as Lucretia in the Theater Guild production of "The Taming of the Shrew," which starred the Lunts. He toured with them in that play, as well as "The Sea Gull," "Idiot's Delight" and "Amphitryon 38."

He scored his biggest successes on Broadway in William Saroyan's "Love's Old Sweet Song" and John Steinbeck's "Moon Is Down" and as Howard Wagner in the original cast of Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" in 1949.

His film credits include "That Touch of Mink," "Days of Wine and Roses" and "Sweet Charity."

He was also seen on many television series, including "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," "The Defenders," "Dr. Kildare," "Perry Mason," "U.S. Steel Hour" and "Omnibus." He was a regular on "My Favorite Martian," portraying Detective Bill Brennan from 1964 until the show went off the air in 1966.

He also directed such plays as "Bus Stop," "Inherit the Wind" and "Who Was That Lady I Saw You With?" in the East.

Hewitt served for many years on the Actors' Equity council and also as chairman of the Actors' Fund Executive Committee. He helped establish the employment survey for performers in the American theater and wrote numerous articles about the rights of professional actors.

Born and raised in New York, Hewitt graduated with honors from Dartmouth College in 1934 and made his professional stage debut that same year as Mose in "The Pursuit of Happiness."

Hewitt, who recorded more than 225 books for the blind, is survived by his mother and a brother.

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