(written from a Production point of view)
David Huddleston (17 September 1930 – 2 August 2016; age 85) was a character actor who appeared as the holographic train conductor in the Star Trek: The Next Generation seventh season episode "Emergence".
A veteran of film and television, Huddleston made his film debut with an uncredited bit part in the 1963 classic All the Way Home, which starred fellow TNG guest performer Jean Simmons. Later, he probably became best known for playing Mayor Olson Johnson in the 1974 Mel Brooks comedy classic Blazing Saddles and as the eponymous title character in The Big Lebowski (1998, with Jack Kehler and Leon Russom). He was also known for his Emmy-nominated recurring role as Grandpa Arnold on The Wonder Years. Star Trek: Voyager star Robert Picardo also had a recurring role in this series, and even appeared in one episode featuring Huddleston, while TNG guest star Olivia d'Abo was a regular on the series portraying Huddleston's character's granddaughter. Huddleston also made a few appearances as A.J. Covington on The Waltons, and also appeared (as a different character) in the 1971 Waltons TV special The Homecoming: A Christmas Story, which also featured Star Trek: The Original Series guest star William Windom.
Huddleston also played the title role in the film Santa Claus: The Movie (1985). Other film credits include Rio Lobo (1970, with John Wayne and Gregg Palmer), Bad Company (1972, with John Savage and Ed Lauter), Nightmare Honeymoon (1973, with Roy Jenson and Walter Koenig), McQ (1974, with John Wayne and Diana Muldaur), Breakhart Pass (1975, with Jill Ireland, Ed Lauter, and Roy Jenson), The Greatest (1977, with Skip Homeier, David Clennon, Lloyd Haynes, Malachi Throne, and Paul Winfield), the science fiction classic Capricorn One (1978, with James B. Sikking), and Roman Polanski's Frantic (1988). He worked in two Italian movies with Bud Spencer and Terence Hill, Crime Busters (1977) and Go For It (1983), both directed by Enzo Barboni, and the latter also starring Faith Minton.
His TV movie credits include Brian's Song (1971, with Bernie Casey), Sarge (1971, with Ricardo Montalban and Stewart Moss), Sherlock Holmes in New York (1976, with John Abbott and Paul Sorenson), The Oklahoma City Dolls (1981, with Robert Hooks and Robert Easton), Finnegan Begin Again (1985, with Bob Gunton and Avery Brooks), Columbo Cries Wolf (1990, with Mark Margolis and Jimmy Ortega), and In a Child's Name (1991, with Louise Fletcher and James Cromwell).
From 1974 through 1976, he and TOS guest star Susan Howard were regulars on the TV series Petrocelli, and in 1979, he co-starred with TOS/TNG actress Diana Muldaur on the short-lived Hizzonner (on which Huddleston also served as executive producer). He was also part of the ensemble of the 1976 mini-series Once an Eagle, as were fellow Trek alumni James Cromwell, George Murdock, Andrew Robinson, William Windom, and Anthony Zerbe. The following year, he co-starred with Paul Fix, Roy Jenson, Richard Kiley, and Anthony Zerbe in the mini-series How the West Was Won.
He has also made guest appearances on such programs as Bewitched, Gunsmoke, Mary Tyler Moore, Bonanza, The Rockford Files, Sanford and Son, Barnaby Jones (with Lee Meriwether), Benson (with Rene Auberjonois and Ethan Phillips), Trapper John, M.D. (with Madge Sinclair), Murder, She Wrote, and Walker, Texas Ranger (with Noble Willingham). Further television credits include recurring roles as a senator on The West Wing (2000 and 2002) and as a mayor on Gilmore Girls (2000-2001).
More recent film work includes the short film Reveille (2004), the musical comedy The Producers (2005, with Michael McKean, Andrea Martin, and Ruth Williamson), the short drama Old Glory (2007), the comedy Postal (2007, with Erick Avari, Seymour Cassel, and Bill Mondy), the thriller Locker 13 (2009, with Jason Marsden), and the short comedy The Benevolent Byzantine Order of the Nobles of the Enigmatic Oracle (2010), as well as guest roles in episodes of Andy Barker, P.I. (2007, with Harve Presnell), Jericho (2007-2008, with Alicia Coppola, Titus Welliver, and Daniel Benzali), and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2009, with William Morgan Sheppard and Christopher Lloyd).