Lawrence Wheaton Gates (September 24, 1915 – December 12, 1996) was an American actor.
His notable roles include H.B.
Lewis on daytime's Guiding Light and Doc Baugh in the film version of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958).
He played the role of Lewis from 1983 to 1996 and won the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor at the 1985 awards.
(He had previously played the role of District Attorney Eric Van Gelder on Guiding Light in 1977 and 1978.)
Gates is also remembered for his role in the film version of In the Heat of the Night (1967), where his character is part of a crucial scene involving his slapping Sidney Poitier's face, and gets slapped in return.