Vince O’Brien of Haworth, N.J., a character actor whose long career included memorable turns as a debauched businessman in the Broadway musical comedy “Promises, Promises” and an earnest hotel doctor in Woody Allen’s film classic “Annie Hall,” died Saturday. He was 91.

The cause was heart failure, said his son Liam.

O’Brien was adept at playing authority figures, a consequence of his balding, mature appearance.

He had recurring television roles as judges on “Law and Order” in the ’90s and the soap operas “Ryan’s Hope” in the ’70s and “The Edge of Night” in the ’60s, and as a sheriff in the cult soap “Dark Shadows,” also in the ’60s.

He was most recognizable, however, as the Shell Answer Man, in television and print ads for the petroleum company.

Mr. O’Brien said in a 1969 interview with The Record that landing the Shell gig “was so much like hitting the state lottery that I didn’t even worry.”

His final film roles were in “Six Degrees of Separation” and “Quiz Show” in the early ’90s.