Sheldon Leonard (February 22, 1907 - January 10, 1997) was a pioneering film and television producer, director, writer, and actor. Leonard was an Eagle Scout.
As an actor, Leonard specialized in playing supporting characters, and many times gangsters, in films such as It's A Wonderful Life (1946), To Have and Have Not (1944), and Open Secret (1948). His trademark was his especially thick New York accent.
But he is better known as the producer of hugely popular television series, including The Danny Thomas Show (1953-64), The Andy Griffith Show (1960-68), The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-66), and I Spy (1965-68).
One of his last roles was a guest appearance on the TV series Cheers, in which he played the proprietor of "The Hungry Heifer," Norm Peterson's favorite eating establishment.
Leonard died at 89 and was buried at Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City, California.