Actor Don Galloway dies at 71

Don Galloway, an actor best known for portraying a detective on the television series “Ironside” who later became a law enforcement officer off-screen, has died. He was 71.

Galloway died Thursday at Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno after having a stroke, said a daughter, Jennifer. He had lived in Reno for about a year.

On the NBC drama, Galloway played Det. Sgt. Ed Brown, the primary sidekick of Raymond Burr’s Ironside character, from 1967 to 1975. As research for the role, Galloway hung out with Los Angeles Police Department officers and often found himself wondering what it would be like to actually be a peace officer, he later said.

In 1993, he became a reserve deputy for the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, but he left about a year later when he retired from show business -- along with his agent -- and they embarked on a lengthy cruise on a private yacht with their families.

Of his handful of big-screen roles, Galloway once said he most enjoyed playing the unsympathetic husband of JoBeth Williams’ character in “The Big Chill” (1983). Although his screen time is brief, he delivers a pithy comment regarding how unimpressive he finds his wife’s college friends.

After debuting on TV in 1962 in the CBS soap opera “The Secret Storm,” he appeared in about 70 TV and film projects in his 30-plus-year career. He starred in the mid-1960s NBC sitcom “Tom, Dick and Mary” and also appeared in the 1966 film “The Rare Breed,” which featured James Stewart.

Donald Poe Galloway was born July 27, 1937, in Augusta, Ky., to Paul Galloway, a contractor, and his wife, the former Malee Poe.

From 1955 to 1957, Galloway served in the Army and was stationed in Germany. At the University of Kentucky, he earned a bachelor’s degree in drama in 1961 and headed for New York City. The next year, he appeared off-Broadway in “Bring Me Home a Warm Body,” which led to TV roles.

When he retired from acting, Galloway said he was tired of how tough the business had become. He eventually moved to New Hampshire, where he wrote a weekly opinion column for the Union Leader in Manchester for much of 2004.

Galloway, a Libertarian, once described “the seven best sounds on earth” in his column. On the list with a kitten purring and stew simmering was No. 7: “A politician not talking. Hasn’t happened lately, but could. Maybe. Probably not.”

Galloway is survived by his wife of 19 years, Linda Marie; his daughters from his first marriage, Tracy and Jennifer; his stepchildren, Sheila and Robert; three grandchildren; and his brother, Paul.

Services were pending.