Last night’s episode of Young Sheldon introduced Dr. Linkletter, played by veteran actor Ed Begley Jr.
The episode opened with Sheldon’s teacher taking the class roll call, but Sheldon’s seat was empty. The teacher asked Georgie (Montana Jordan) where his brother was, but he had no idea.
Sheldon (Iain Armitage) snuck into the school library, carrying a suitcase. He pushed aside a rolling cart and revealed the door to a broom closet. He unlocked the door with a key, entered, and locked himself in the closet.
He spent the day alone in his private “citadel of higher learning.” He read Tolstoy’s War and Peace to learn about the impact of the French invasion on Imperial Russian society.
He also privately studied the applications of gravitational lensing, Faraday’s law of magnetic induction, and learned how to whistle.
According to the older version of Sheldon (Jim Parsons), who narrates the opening scene, young Sheldon’s mentor and genius friend Dr. John Sturgis (Wallace Shawn), suffered a nervous breakdown that landed him in a mental institution. He urgently needs to find a replacement for Sturgis.
“Since I no longer have a college class with Dr. Sturgis to stoke my intellectual fire, I needed to find someone else who was up to the task of being my mentor, a great mind, a once-in-a-generation thinker.”
Meanwhile, he doesn’t want to attend high school classes because he doesn’t think he learns anything there. So he locks himself up alone in the broom closet, learning what he thinks is worthwhile.
Sheldon’s dad George (Lance Barber) learned from Coach Wilkins (Doc Farrow) that his son hadn’t been in P.E. class in the past few days. George looked for Sheldon and found him in his broom closet hideout. He tried to get Sheldon to return to class, but he refused.
George later told Sheldon’s mom Mary (Zoe Perry) to handle the situation, but she refused to intervene. This decision lead to an argument between Mary and George.
But Meemaw (Annie Potts) came to the rescue. She suggested that Sheldon was probably missing Sturgis’s college class. She said she could ask another college professor friend, Dr. Linkletter (Ed Begley Jr.), if Sheldon could attend his class.
Meemaw took Sheldon to Dr. Linkletter’s class and introduced the two.
Dr. Linkletter warned Sheldon that the class was somewhat advanced, but the self-assured young genius told the professor, “Don’t worry, if you get confused, I’d be right here in the front row.”
Who is Ed Begley Jr., who plays Dr. Linkletter?
Ed Begley Jr. is a veteran actor born on September 16, 1949, in Los Angeles, California. He is 70 years old. His mother was Allene Jeanne Sanders, and his father was film actor Ed Begley (1901-1970), who won an Academy Award for his role as Boss Finley in Sweet Bird of Youth (1962).
Ed Begley Jr. is of Irish ancestry. He was raised in Buffalo, New York, where he attended Stella Niagara Education Park. His family moved back to Los Angeles in 1962, where Begley graduated from Notre Dame High School, Sherman Oaks. He also attended Los Angeles Valley College.
He is probably best known for playing the awkward and clumsy surgeon Dr. Victor Ehrlich on the TV series St. Elsewhere (1982–1988), alongside William Daniels, Denzel Washington, and Howie Mandel.
He received a Golden Globe Award nomination and multiple Primetime Emmy Award nominations for his role as Dr. Ehrlich.
He appeared on the CBS sitcom Maude in the ’70s. He played Dr. Hank Hastings on The WB’s 7th Heaven (1996-2006), Hiram Gunderson in Six Feet Under (2001-2005), Stan Sitwell in Arrested Development (2005-2018), Cyrus O’Dell in Veronica Mars (2006-2007), and Jerry on Modern Family (2018).
He most recently played Rudy Longfellow in Bless This Mess (2019).
He has appeared in scores of films during the decades of his acting career. His film credits include the role of Lester in Stay Hungry (1976), John “Stumpy” Pepys in This Is Spinal Tap (1984), and Ed Mulgrave in Ghostbusters (2016).
He married Ingrid Taylor in 1976, but they divorced in 1989. He is currently married to Rachelle Carson. He has three children from both marriages.