After a few seasons of stage work, Don Porter signed a Universal Pictures contract in 1939. Porter spent most of his screen time at Universal as a general-purpose actor: he was most interestingly cast in Abbott and Costello's Who Done It? (1942), energetically participating in the film's slapstick climax. In the postwar years, Porter played many a stuffed-shirt businessman, often with a few illegal irons in the fire. On television, he played Ann Sothern's eternally flummoxed boss, theatrical agent Peter Sands, in the long-running (1953-57) sitcom Private Secretary (aka Susie). When Sothern decided to make a few alterations in her subsequent Ann Sothern Show(1958-61), she brought in her old friend and colleague Porter to play another boss, hotelier James Devery. In 1963, Porter was cast as Gidget's dad Mr. Lawrence in the theatrical feature Gidget Goes to Rome (1963); this led to his being recast in the same role on the 1965 TV version of Gidget starring Sally Field. One of Porter's more rewarding post-Gidget assignments was the part of the teflon-coated Republican incumbent in Robert Redford's The Candidate. Don Porter was married to actress Peggy Converse. Porter passed away in Los Angeles at age 84.
by Hal Erickson biography