Kay E. Kuter, 78, a character actor and director best remembered for his long-running role as farmer Newt Kiley on the intertwined CBS sitcoms "Green Acres" and "Petticoat Junction," died of pulmonary complications Wednesday at Providence St. Joseph Hospital in Burbank.
Kuter played farmer Newt throughout the entire run of "Petticoat Junction" from 1964 to 1970 and, after Eddie Albert's and Eva Gabor's "Green Acres" began in 1965, became one of the most frequent visitors between the two Hooterville-based shows.
Born to show business, Kuter was the son of pioneer motion picture art director Leo "K" Kuter and wrote a biography about him, "Picture Perfect World." His mother was silent-screen actress Evelyn Edler, who died in July at age 103. He studied at Pomona College and UCLA, and graduated from what is now Carnegie Mellon University.
During his 55-year career, Kuter directed more than 50 plays and appeared in about 200 stage productions, 50 films and 435 TV shows. He voiced Hershey's Kisses commercials for the last 14 years.