Richard Basehart (August 31, 1914 - September 17, 1984) was an American actor. He starred in the 1960s television science fiction drama Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, as the character of Admiral Harriman Nelson.
One of his most notable film roles was the acrobat known as "the Fool" in the acclaimed Italian film La Strada directed by Federico Fellini. He also appeared as the killer in the 1948 film noir classic He Walked by Night. He was once married to Academy Award-nominated actress Valentina Cortese with whom he had one son before divorcing in 1960.
Richard Basehart's greatest role was playing Ishmael (to Gregory Peck's Captain Ahab) in the finest film version of Moby Dick, his unforgettable opening line in the movie, from the Melville book, still gives pause to many fans, "Call me Ishmael!"
Richard Basehart appeared in the pilot episode of the television series Knight Rider as millionaire Wilton Knight, you can hear his narration in the beginning of the show's credits. Basehart had a noticiable fan in the character of Gypsy from the cult cable television program Mystery Science Theater 3000.