Tuesday, July 21, 2020

The Rifleman (1962)

In our post on the 1961 episodes of The Rifleman we discussed Professor Christopher Sharrett's monograph about the series and his affinity for its combining what he defines as the two styles of westerns--the gunfighter motif and the settler motif. But sometimes trying to do too many things at once or appealing to everyone creates a jumbled mess that pleases no one. Which is not to say that The Rifleman was a jumbled mess, but after tasting earlier ratings success during the heyday of American TV westerns, the producers and its star continued to tinker with the formula in an attempt to hold onto and eventually reclaim that early success. While they may have seen small improvements in the ratings early in Season 5 with a new timeslot and a new co-star in Patricia Blair, they were battling a declining interest in the western in general amongst television audiences, and no manner of adjustments could stem the changes coming to the television landscape through the remainder of the decade.

After two seasons of nothing but father-and-son stories, the series brought in Joan Taylor as general store proprietor Milly Scott to provide widower Lucas McCain with a love interest. But as indicated in an April 21, 1962 TV Guide feature story about Taylor, she made it clear from the start that she would not be riding any horses, and she had little patience for young actors who didn't take their job seriously. After two seasons of having her hover around the town-based episodes and have her socially accompany McCain, she was dispatched, though not before the producers tried to get a little more mileage out of the character. The fact that they got a feature story published in TV Guide shows they were seriously trying to promote her in setting up the late Season 4 episode about her and her relationship with McCain in "Milly's Brother" (April 23, 1962). In this episode Milly is romanced by a newcomer in town, Harry Chase, a man whom Lucas had trained when they both served in the Union Army during the Civil War. But Lucas eventually hears about tall tales Chase has been telling Mark and Milly about his military service which do not jibe with Lucas' memory of Chase as a coward. When he sees Milly being swayed by Chase's attentions and claim that he went to lengths to make sure her dead brother received a proper burial, Lucas is forced to do something we have not seen before--grab Milly and kiss her--and eventually show her the documentation that disproves the story Chase has been telling her. Once exposed, Chase agrees to leave peacefully, but on his way out of town gives Lucas a bit of advice not to take a woman like Milly for granted. Andy yet early in Season 5 she has moved away (the press articles announcing her replacement Blair say that she had to go back east, but this is never explained on screen) and Lucas has moved on. It's curious what the backstage maneuverings may have been in this last-ditch attempt to promote the Milly Scott character before discarding her. In a January 20, 1962 TV Guide cover article about the show, three months before the "Milly's Brother" episode, Connors talked about Season Four episodes containing more romance between Lucas and Milly but no marriage because 80 percent of viewer fan mail was against the idea.

According to a September 27, 1962 article by Joseph Finnigan in the Star News, Chuck Connors "never cottoned to his supposed love interest," referring to Taylor. It's probable that Connors and/or the producers felt that Taylor was too demure because from the outset they imbued her replacement, Patricia Blair as Irish lass Lou Mallory, with much more fire and sass. She tangles with Lucas and the rest of North Fork in her debut performance, "Lou Mallory" (October 15, 1962), by buying up land and properties around town with the inside knowledge that the railroad will be coming soon to their town. They also decided to make her more of an action hero than a dainty accessory in the next episode "Quiet Night, Deadly Night" (October 22, 1962) because it is Lou who tricks desperate outlaw Lee Coyle after he outwits Lucas to get his gun back and threatens to break out of quarantine and endanger the entire community with a possible case of small pox. She is front and center again in "I Take This Woman" (November 5, 1962) when she is almost forced into marriage with an Irish immigrant to whom her dying father had offered her as thanks for saving his farm in his hour of need. Lucas doesn't come off very well as a man of action as he is willing to stand by and let her enter a forced marriage until his son Mark goads him into being a "doin' friend" as opposed to a "talkin' friend." But she reverts to more passive roles in "Squeeze Play" (December 3, 1962) when she urges him to sell out his ranch to land speculator Willard Prescott to avoid antagonizing his neighbors who also want to sell, and in "Conflict" (December 24, 1962) when she is the catalyst for Lucas flying off the handle at a former admirer of hers. As for romance, Lucas seems just as nonchalant in his relationship with Lou as he was with Milly after the initial excitement wears off.

A new continuity element added in Season 5 is the coming of the railroad to North Fork, most explicitly in the aforementioned episodes "Lou Mallory" and "Squeeze Play." As we have covered in numerous posts on a variety of programs, continuing story arcs were extremely rare in early 1960s TV, and while the Season 5 episodes of The Rifleman can scarcely be called a proper story arc, there are increasing references to past episodes to give more of a feel  of an advancing story. "Quiet Night, Deadly Night" begins with Lou telling Lucas that people are still angry with her for buying their land with advance knowledge of the coming railroad, an event we saw in just the previous episode, "Lou Mallory." The very next episode, "Death Never Rides Alone" (October 29, 1962) is largely about a renowned gunman wanting to settle down in North Fork to get some peace, but before we meet him we see bartender Frank Sweeney and blacksmith Nils Swenson arguing in the saloon about whether the railroad will be a good thing or not for North Fork. In "The Assailants" (November 12, 1962), Lucas leads a meeting of the Cattlemen's Association in which he mentions the impending changes to the town with the coming of the railroad and asks their help in support of the soon-to-arrive Senator Jim Borden, who is lobbying for New Mexico statehood. And in "Squeeze Play" not only is Lucas pressured to sell his property to a dirty-dealing land speculator, but Lou admits that while she originally came to North Fork looking to make a profit off a business venture (pointing again back to her debut episode), she has warmed to the place and considers it her home. Granted, this isn't much in terms of connecting episodes sequentially, but compared to what was standard practice at the time, it is as much progress as the railroad promised to be for the citizens of North Fork.

Other attempts to goose the show's fading ratings were more clumsy. The producers trot out the tired evil or mischievous doppelganger motif, which is always painfully phony, twice in Season 4. "Deadly Image" (February 26, 1962) has Lucas face his evil twin in the person of ruthless killer Earl Bantry, who not only steals a neighbor rancher's cattle but also shoots one of his ranch hands dead. The rancher mistakenly thinks it was Lucas who killed his man, even though Bantry has a notable facial scar and moustache. Five episodes later it is Micah who suffers from a case of mistaken identity when an abandoned wife and her teenage son get off the stage in North Fork, and she claims that Micah is her profligate husband. Due to Micah's alcoholic past and poor memory, he can't confidently deny that the woman is not his wife, but he decides to make the best of the situation and has her move in with him, thereby teasing the audience with the promise of a marital union that they had thus far rejected in the case of Lucas and Milly. However, to no one's surprise (except the gullible citizens of North Fork), it turns out the woman's husband is a dead ringer for Micah and just happens to be practicing his trade as a card shark in a town near enough that Lucas can ride over and bring the man back to face up to his responsibilities. In the end Micah is a little disappointed that his brief "marriage" couldn't last, but then wedded bliss is rarely in the cards for the principal characters, who seem doomed to remain unchanging archetypes for the duration of the series.

The other gambit to resurrect the show's ratings was a return emphasis on gun culture, which Connors also mentioned in the January 20, 1962 TV Guide article: "We got away from the gun last season, ...and viewers complained. Kids especially like to see that Winchester work." In the world of The Rifleman, a man is defined by his gun, hence the show's title. In the first 1962 episode, "Skull" (January 2, 1962), Lucas is forced to play along with Skull Gang leader Hoyt Coyle's plan to have him execute the sheriff of neighboring Lawrenceburg. Coyle makes a point of kidnapping Mark to use as leverage because he has heard of Lucas' reputation with his rifle. That reputation is what also draws English gunsmith Jeremy Pennebroke to North Fork with the intention of squaring off against Lucas to prove that his custom-made rifle is better than Lucas' Winchester. Pennebroke even refers to Lucas as the famed Rifleman, meaning that Lucas' identity is based solely on his rifle and his ability to use it. While Lucas refuses to face off against Pennebroke even when the latter hangs a poster announcing his challenge on the main street of North Fork, thereby subjecting Lucas to accusations of cowardice, he eventually shows off his prowess when Pennebroke is nearly killed by notorious gunslinger Chuley Carr after Pennebroke tries to face off against Carr, whom he considers a suitable replacement for Lucas.

But the bluntest statement of gun identity is the episode "Outlaw's Shoes" (April 30, 1962) in which Lucas is knocked unconscious and left for dead outside of Red Creek, where he is not known, and wanted outlaw George Vale decides to make people believe that Lucas is him by leaving his gunbelt and signature pistol at his side so that when they discover his body, they will think Vale is dead and stop looking for him. He also takes Lucas' horse and rifle in the switch. Lucas awakens with amnesia and when he goes to Red Creek for treatment, the doctor and the rest of the townspeople think he is George Vale because of the gun he is carrying. Even when Mark, who along with Lucas had been staying at the ranch of their friend Stevens outside of Red Creek, goes into town and finds his father, Lucas does not recognize him. Likewise when Stevens is brought to town to stop an angry mob from lynching Lucas, whom they believe is Vale and thus guilty of gunning down one of their citizens, Lucas is not sure who he is. He only reclaims his identity after Mark prods him into remembering that he was on his way to Red Creek to buy a new pin for his rifle, and when Vale and his cohorts ride into town Mark points out Lucas' rifle stashed in his horse's saddle across the street. Only when he is reunited with his Winchester can Lucas recognize who he is. The last episode of 1962, "Conflict," also has Lucas question his identity after he fails to hit a cougar perched above Mark in a tree outside town. Even though the cougar runs off and Mark is unharmed, Lucas cannot shake the thought that his missing the shot could have resulted in Mark being mauled to death. At first he blames gunsmith Angus Evans who worked on his gun a few days before, but when Evans asserts that the gun is fine, he doubts his eyesight, until Doc Burrage tests his eyes and claims there is nothing wrong. Realizing that he has failed as a rifleman makes him behave with uncharacteristic rudeness to Micah, Mark, and Lou, and leads him to overreact when Lou's Denver acquaintance Ben Todd tries to force his attentions on her. The only way Lucas can find peace with himself is to return to where the cougar appeared and kill it with a single shot, just before it is about to pounce on Todd. Thus, Lucas and his rifle have a merged identity--without his gun or his ability to use it flawlessly, he is no one.

As Mark matures, his identity also becomes entwined by his relationship with guns. In "Mark's Rifle" (November 19, 1962) Mark persuades Lucas to buy him his first rifle from Evans' shop, but after he errs in befriending and refusing to disbelieve fast-talking  and sharp-shooting con man Marty Blair, he feels he has not matured enough to deserve the rifle and tries to give it back to Evans, telling him he is not ready for it yet. However, his father thinks he has learned a valuable enough lesson that he has grown up enough to deserve the gun and encourages him to take it home rather than return it to Evans. And in "Gun Shy" (December 10, 1962) Mark again makes an immature decision in being goaded into letting his friend Charley's friend Fred handle his father's rifle with disastrous results--Fred accidentally fires the gun and kills Charley. Mark is naturally scarred by the accident, but his father is more worried that he has become frightened of handling his father's gun, and the rest of the episode curves the narrative around so that Mark is forced to touch the gun to save his father's life from a violent outlaw. We never see the suffering of Charley's family over the senseless loss of their son; rather, the greater tragedy, according to this episode, would be if Mark were afraid to handle guns.

Finally, "The Anvil Chorus" (December 17, 1962) attempts to shoot down the idea of gun control by having good-natured but not highly respected blacksmith Nils Swenson step in as deputy while Micah is out of town and Lucas is too busy branding his cattle. When Ed Bundy comes into town slightly inebriated and fires his gun in the air to celebrate the birth of his son, Nils decides to take his gun away and hold it for him until he leaves town. He then decides to extend his no-guns-in-town policy to everyone, which prompts Lucas to say he won't come into town while Nils is deputy because he refuses to give up his gun. Meanwhile a band of outlaws plans to pass through town peacefully because their leader knows that North Fork citizens are armed to the teeth. He still fails to cause any trouble and even hands over his guns and those of his men until Mark spies a wanted poster of him, at which point the outlaw grabs his guns and holds Nils and Mark hostage until they can get out of town safely. When Mark fails to come home for dinner and another citizen tells Lucas that Nils was acting strangely in town (because he had an outlaw's gun at his back), Lucas decides to go into town and finds the hostage situation. After the outlaws are all captured, Mark speculates to his father that perhaps one day North Fork will be peaceful enough where people won't have to carry guns, but Lucas says it will be hard to convince people to give up their guns. Nearly 60 years later, truer words were perhaps never spoken.

As of this writing, all five seasons of The Rifleman have been released on DVD by the original production company of Levy-Gardner-Laven. The program can also be viewed for free at imdb.com.

The Actors

For the biographies for Chuck Connors, Johnny Crawford, and Paul Fix, see the 1960 post for The Rifleman. For the biographies of Joan Taylor, Ralph Moody, Bill Quinn, and Joe Higgins, see the 1961 post for The Rifleman.

Patricia Blair

Born Patsy Lou Blake on January 15, 1933 in Fort Worth, Texas, Blair's family moved to Dallas, where her father worked as a printer. She began modeling at age 13 but really wanted to work as an actress, though her family opposed it, according to an article in the November 10, 1962 edition of TV Guide. At age 17 she was chosen one of the five prettiest college girls in America while attending Southern Methodist University and was given a modeling scholarship with the Conover Agency in New York. But while trying to make herself unnaturally thin to meet the demands of the modeling industry, she became ill and returned to live with her parents to recover, though by this time they had relocated to Hollywood. She broke into television under the name Patricia Blake hosting a children's TV show called Princess Pat in San Francisco in 1953 on which she read a story to a group of children in the studio. She was then signed by Warner Brothers in 1954 after she was spotted in a cheesecake photo on the cover of a pocket magazine. She made her feature film debut as Pat Blake in the 1955 French Foreign Legion adventure Jump Into Hell in 1955. After three more features over the next couple of years, including supporting Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney, Jr. in Black Sheep in 1956, she began getting TV guest spots on shows such as Telephone Time, The Bob Cummings Show, and Mike Hammer. In 1959 she had her first recurring role as Goldy on Yancy Derringer as well as guesting on several other programs and appearing in the feature City of Fear with Vince Edwards. By 1960 she was being billed as Pat Blair when she co-starred in the B exploitation feature Cage of Evil and appeared on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. The following year she co-starred in the pilot of Tramp Ship opposite Neville Brand, but the series was never picked up for production. Early 1962 saw her appearing on Follow the Sun, The Joey Bishop Show, and Surfside 6 before being selected to play Lucas McCain's love interest Lou Mallory on the final season of The Rifleman.

After The Rifleman was canceled TV work was sparse and she considered moving to New York before screenwriter Gordon Chase helped her get the part of Daniel Boone's wife Rebecca on Daniel Boone, which ran for 6 seasons from 1964-70. During this time she married land developer Martin S. Colbert and for a time the couple lived aboard a yacht anchored in Playa Del Rey Marina. But after Daniel Boone left the air her acting career dwindled to only a few TV appearances and two feature films, the last being The Electric Horseman in 1979. Her last acting credit came in an episode of the British sit-com Me and My Girl in 1988. She divorced Colbert in 1993 and later found a second career as a producer of industrial trades shows in the New York and New Jersey area. She died from breast cancer on September 9, 2013 in North Wildwood, New Jersey at the age of 80.

Notable Guest Stars

Season 4, Episode 14, "Skull": Lyle Bettger (shown on the left, starred in The Vanquished, Destry, and The Fastest Guitar Alive and played Sam Larsen on The Court of Last Resort and Harry Driscoll on The Grand Jury) plays Skull Gang leader Hoyt Coyle. Lewis Charles (Lou on The Feather and Father Gang) plays henchman Pascal. Don Drysdale (Hall-of-Fame Dodgers pitcher and announcer who appeared in several other TV roles, including playing himself on episodes of Leave It to Beaver, The Donna Reed Show, and The Brady Bunch) plays henchman Warren. Tom Brown (see the biography section for the 1960 post on Mr. Lucky) plays the Lawrenceburg sheriff.

Season 4, Episode 15, "The Princess": Annie Fargue (shown on the right, played Angel Smith on Angel) plays runaway princess Jennifer Morrison. 

Season 4, Episode 16, "Gunfire": Lon Chaney, Jr. (starred in The Wolfman, Of Mice and Men, High Noon, The Ghost of Frankenstein, The Curse of Dracula, Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman, and many others, and played Chief Eagle Shadow on Pistols 'n' Petticoats and Chingachgook on Hawkeye and the Last of the Mohicans) plays notorious outlaw Charlie Gordo. William Bryant (McCall on Combat!, President Ulysses S. Grant on Branded, Col. Crook on Hondo, Lt. Shilton on Switch, and the Director on The Fall Guy) plays his gang member Karl Hollis. Ross Elliott (Freddie the director on The Jack Benny Program and Sheriff Abbott on The Virginian) plays Micah's deputy Ben Johnson.

Season 4, Episode 17, "The Quiet Fear": Patrick McVey (Steve Wilson on Big Town, Lt. Col. Wesley Hayes on Boots and Saddles, Ben Andrews on Manhunt, and Dr. Hansen on The Doctors) plays Lucas' old friend Jake Striker. Enid Jaynes (wife of The Rifleman producer Jules V. Levy) plays his deaf-mute daughter Abby. Richard Rust (shown on the left, played Hank Tabor on Sam Benedict and Jason Vining on General Hospital) plays dispossessed farmer Brice Hornsby. Dennis Cross (see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Blue Angels) plays gambler Bud Martin.

Season 4, Episode 18, "Sporting Chance": Arthur Mallet (appeared in Mary Poppins, In the Heat of the Night, and Heaven Can Wait and played Carl on Casablanca, Bobby on Easy Street, and Ryan on Dallas) plays British gunsmith Jeremy Pennebroke. James Luisi (shown on the right, appeared in The Tiger Makes Out, Ben, and Norma Rae and played Philip Wainwright on Another World, Lt. Doug Chapman on The Rockford Files, Lt. Marciano on The Renegades, Ben Clark on Santa Barbara, and Duke Johnson on Days of Our Lives) plays renowned gunman Chuley Carr.
Season 4, Episode 19, "A Young Man's Fancy": Cheryl Holdridge (shown on the left, see the biography section for the 1961 post on Leave It to Beaver) plays Milly's niece Sally Walker. Richard Evans (Paul Hanley on Peyton Place) plays her Denver friend Bruce Henry.

Season 4, Episode 20, "The Man From Salinas": Robert Culp (shown on the right, starred in Sunday in New York, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, and Breaking Point and played Hoby Gilman on Trackdown, Kelly Robinson on I Spy, Bill Maxwell on The Greatest American Hero, and Warren on Everybody Loves Raymond) plays bounty hunter Dave Foley. Jack Hogan (starred in The Bonnie Parker Story, Paratroop Command, and The Cat Burglar and played Kirby on Combat!, Sgt. Jerry Miller on Adam-12, Chief Ranger Jack Moore on Sierra, and Judge Smithwood on Jake and the Fatman) plays bank robber Rudy Gray. Harlan Warde (Sheriff John Brannan on The Virginian) plays banker John Hamilton. 

Season 4, Episode 21, "Two Ounces of Tin": Sammy Davis, Jr. (shown on the left, "The Greatest Living Entertainer" starred in Porgy and Bess, Ocean's 11, Robin and the 7 Hoods, A Man Called Adam, Sweet Charity, Salt and Pepper, The Cannonball Run, and Cannonball Run II and played Chip Warren on One Life to Live and Eddie Phillips on General Hospital) plays notorious gunman Tip Corey. Johnny Ginger (hosted The Johnny Ginger Show and Captain Detroit) plays swamper Ted.

Season 4, Episode 22, "Deadly Image": Robert Bice (appeared in  Thirty Seconds over Tokyo, The Snow Creature, and It! The Terror From Beyond Space and played Police Capt. Jim Johnson on The Untouchables) plays rancher Len Richards. Leonard Stone (shown on the right, appeared in The Mugger, The Big Mouth, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, and Soylent Green and played Doc Joslyn on Camp Runamuck, Packy Moore on General Hospital, and Judge Paul Hansen on L.A. Law) plays outlaw partner K.C. Peters. 

Season 4, Episode 23, "The Debt": Keith Andes (starred in Project X, Clash by Night, and The Girl Most Likely and played Col. Frank Dawson on This Man Dawson, Keith Granville on Glynis, and voiced Birdman on Birdman) plays Micah's prisoner Reynolds. Hank Patterson (shown on the left, played Fred Ziffel on Green Acres and Petticoat Junction and Hank Miller on Gunsmoke) plays farmer Abe Merar. 

Season 4, Episode 24, "Tinhorn": Larry Thor (Capt. Adams on West Point and Jim Hendricks on Mr. Novak) plays Lucas' friend Jesse Phillips. Barbara Eiler (Barbara on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet) plays his wife Mary. Grace Lee Whitney (shown on the right, played Janice Rand on Star Trek, the Star Trek feature films, Star Trek: Voyager, and Star Trek New Voyages) plays gambler's girlfriend Rose. Stephen Wootton (Soapie Weaver on This Is Alice) plays Mark's fight opponent Willie.

Season 4, Episode 25, "None So Blind": Cliff Osmond (appeared in The Raiders, Kiss Me, Stupid, The Fortune Cookie, and The Front Page) plays blind vagabond Lafayette Blye. Jeff York (appeared in The Postman Always Rings Twice, The Lady Says No, Johnny Tremain, and Old Yeller and played Reno McKee on The Alaskans) plays veterinary pharmacist John J. Mack. 

Season 4, Episode 26, "Jealous Man": Mort Mills (shown on the left, played Marshal Frank Tallman on Man Without a Gun, Sgt. Ben Landro on Perry Mason, and Sheriff Fred Madden on The Big Valley) plays jealous husband Jake Owen. Diane Brewster (starred in Courage of Black Beauty, The Invisible Boy, Torpedo Run, and The Young Philadelphians and played Miss Canfield on Leave It to Beaver and The New Leave It to Beaver, Samantha Crawford on Maverick, and Wilhelmina Vanderveer on The Islanders) plays his wife Fay. Richard Garland (starred in Attack of the Crab Monsters, Panic in Year Zero, and Mutiny in Outer Space and played Clay Horton on Lassie) plays Jake's rival Andy Travis. 

Season 4, Episode 27, "Guilty Conscience": Lee Patrick (shown on the right, starred in Saturday's Children, The Maltese Falcon, Mildred Pierce, and Pillow Talk and played Aggie on Boss Lady and Henrietta Topper on Topper) plays abandoned wife Leota Carraway. Tom Nolan (Jody O'Connell on Buckskin, Officer Hubbell on Jessie, and Mick on Out of This World) plays her son Hab. Argentina Brunetti (Filomena on General Hospital) plays sympathetic woman Mrs. Ramirez. Chubby Johnson (Concho on Temple Houston) plays an old man.

Season 4, Episode 28, "Day of Reckoning": Royal Dano (shown on the left, appeared in The Far Country, Moby Dick, and The Outlaw Josey Wales) plays former land grabber Rev. Jamison. Warren Oates (starred in In the Heat of the Night, The Wild Bunch, and Stripes and played Ves Painter on Stoney Burke) plays troublemaker Willie Breen. L.Q. Jones (Beldon on The Virginian, Sheriff Lew Wallace on The Yellow Rose, and Nathan Wayne on Renegade) plays his brother Charley. 

Season 4, Episode 29, "The Day a Town Slept": Lawrence Dobkin (shown on the right, played Dutch Schultz on The Untouchables, the narrator on Naked City, Judge Saul Edelstein on L.A. Law, and Judge Stanley Pittman on Melrose Place) plays new marshal Ben Judson. James Best (Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane on The Dukes of Hazzard) plays stagecoach robber Bob Barrett. 

Season 4, Episode 30, "Milly's Brother": Richard Anderson (shown on the left, appeared in Forbidden Planet, Paths of Glory, and Seven Days in May and played D.A. Glenn Wagner on Bus Stop; Lt. Steve Drumm on Perry Mason; Chief George Untermeyer on Dan August; Oscar Goldman on The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman; and Buck Fallmont on Dynasty) plays former Union soldier Harry Chase. 

Season 4, Episode 31, "Outlaw's Shoes: Michael Greene (Deputy Vance Porter on The Dakotas) plays wanted outlaw George Vale. Stanley Adams (Lt. Morse on Not for Hire and Gurrah on The Lawless Years) plays Red Creek physician Dr. Jay Carter. William Woodson (shown on the right, the narrator on Dick Tracy, The Invaders, and Centurions, voiced J. Jonah Jameson on Spider-Man and Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends,  and played Sgt. Ed Blankey on This Man Dawson) plays the Red Creek sheriff. Roy Barcroft (Col. Logan on The Adventures of Spin and Marty and Roy on Gunsmoke) plays Lucas's rancher friend Stevens.

Season 4, Episode 32, "The Executioner": Adam Williams (shown on the left, appeared in Flying Leathernecks, The Big Heat, Fear Strikes Out, and North by Northwest) plays ex-con Russell Ganaway. Michael Pate (starred in Face to Face, Julius Caesar, Hondo, and Tower of London and played Chief Vittoro on Hondo and Det. Sgt. Vic Maddern on Matlock) plays his former partner Sanchez. John Davis Chandler (appeared in Mad Dog Coll, The Young Savages, Ride the High Country, and The Good Guys and the Bad Guys) plays former partner Brooks.

Season 5, Episode 1, "Waste, Part 1" and Season 5, Episode 2, "Waste, Part 2": Vito Scotti (shown on the right, played Jose on The Deputy, Capt. Gaspar Fomento on The Flying Nun, Gino on To Rome With Love, and Mr. Velasquez on Barefoot in the Park) plays Mexican revolutionary Alphonso. Enid Jaynes (see "The Quiet Fear" above) plays his pregnant wife. Sara Taft (Aunt Alex on The Young Marrieds) plays the wife's caretaker. Alex Montoya (Miguel Morales on The High Chaparral) plays a member of Alphonso's gang. 

Season 5, Episode 3, "Lou Mallory": Peter Whitney (Sergeant Buck Sinclair on The Rough Riders and Lafe Crick on The Beverly Hillbillies) plays farmer Neb Jackman. Conlan Carter (shown on the left, played C.E. Caruthers on The Law and Mr. Jones and Doc on Combat!) plays his son Haslim.

Season 5, Episode 4, "Quiet Night, Deadly Night": Ed Ames (shown on the right, popular singer, member of The Ames Brothers vocal group, and played Mingo on Daniel Boone) plays wanted outlaw Lee Coyle. 

Season 5, Episode 5, "Death Never Rides Alone": Lee Van Cleef (starred in High Noon, The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, The Bad and the Ugly) plays renowned gunman Johnny Drako. 

Season 5, Episode 6, "I Take This Woman": Sean McClory (shown on the left, played Jack McGivern on The Californians and Myles Delaney on Bring 'Em Back Alive) plays Lou's betrothed Dennis O'Flaherty. Charles Cooper (starred in The Wrong Man and played the sheriff on Father Murphy and Judge Robert Boucher on The Practice) plays Lou's bartender Larsen. 

Season 5, Episode 7, "The Assailants": John Milford (shown on the right, see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays assassination conspirator Lt. Price. William Bryant (see "Gunfire" above) plays co-conspirator Coley. Noam Pitlik (Bentley on I'm Dickens, He's Fenster, the pathologist on Ben Casey, Officer Swanhauser on Sanford and Son, and Victor Gianelli on The Bob Newhart Show, and directed multiple episodes of The Practice, Barney Miller, Taxi, Mr. Belvedere, and Wings) plays co-conspirator Dalt. Edward Platt (appeared in Rebel Without a Cause, Written on the Wind, Designing Woman, and North by Northwest and played the Chief on Get Smart) plays assassination target Sen. Jim Borden.

Season 5, Episode 8, "Mark's Rifle": Mark Goddard (shown on the left, played Cully on Johnny Ringo, Det. Sgt. Chris Ballard on The Detectives, Bob Randall on Many Happy Returns, Maj. Don West on Lost in Space, and Derek Barrington on General Hospital) plays circus hawker Marty Blair. Eddie Quillan (starred in The Grapes of Wrath, Mandarin Mystery, Mutiny on the Bounty, and Hi, Good Lookin'! and played Eddie Edson on Julia and Poco Loco on Hell Town) plays gunsmith Angus Evans. 

Season 5, Episode 9, "The Most Amazing Man": Sammy Davis, Jr. (see "Two Ounces of Tin" above) plays tall-talking gunman Wade Randall. Richard Devon (Jody Barker on Yancy Derringer) plays his challenger Lovett. 

Season 5, Episode 10, "Squeeze Play": Gerald Mohr (shown on the right, the narrator on 19 episodes of The Lone Ranger, Christopher Storm on Foreign Intrigue, voice of Mr. Fantastic and Reed Richards on Fantastic 4) plays land speculator Willard Prescott. Dean Fredericks (Kaseem in Jungle Jim, Komawi in The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, and Lt. Col. Steve Canyon in Steve Canyon) plays his henchman Phil Carver. 

Season 5, Episode 11, "Gun Shy": Peter Whitney (shown on the left, see "Lou Mallory" above) plays wanted killer Vantine. Darryl Richard (Smitty on The Donna Reed Show) plays Fred, a friend of Mark's friend. 

Season 5, Episode 12, "The Anvil Chorus": Adam Williams (see "The Executioner" above) plays wanted outlaw Cory Platt. Norman Alden (Lucius Grundy on Not for Hire, Johnny Ringo on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, Captain Horton on Rango, Tom Williams on My Three Sons, Coach Leroy Fedders on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, Al Cassidy on Fay, and Frank Heflin on Electra Woman and Dyna Girl and voiced Aquaman on Super Friends and The All-New Super Friends Hour and Hank McSummers on Devlin) plays his henchman Duff. 

Season 5, Episode 13, "Conflict": Rhodes Reason (shown on the right, played John A. Hunter on White Hunter and Sheriff Will Mayberry on Bus Stop) plays Lou's Denver acquaintance Ben Todd. Eddie Quillan (see "Mark's Rifle" above) returns as gunsmith Angus Evans.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

My Three Sons (1962)

Though it continued to change directors during its first three seasons, from Peter Tewksbury in Season 1, to Richard Whorf in Season 2, to Gene Reynolds in Season 3, My Three Sons had pretty much settled into a formula by the second half of Season 2, alternating between attempted madcap comedic episodes and sentimental melodramatic episodes, both emphasizing the theme that the Douglas family, with its many shortcomings, was as good or better than any other. While its varied formula vaulted it to #11 in the Nielsen ratings for 1961-62, the highest ranking of the show's 12 seasons, it had already started wearing thin by Season 3, when it fell to #28.

The series begins to repeat itself from the outset of 1962 with the episode "Chip Leaves Home" (January 4, 1962) mirroring "Bub Leaves Home" (January 12, 1961) a year prior. Both Chip and Bub feel unappreciated, which is why they seek a better life elsewhere but then come to realize a la Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz that there is no place like home. However, in Chip's case, he doesn't even last a single night on the lam, getting frightened by an alley cat and a pair of police patrolmen so that he sneaks back home and sleeps overnight in the attic. But when Robbie finds his goodbye note stuffed in Tramp's collar and his bed empty, the rest of the family, particularly Steve, manically try to get the police to find him, only to eventually realize he never left. Thus this episode begins with the series' melodramatic mold and switches to its madcap comedy theme. But the series keeps coming back to Chip and Bub feeling unappreciated in future episodes such as "Le Petit Stowaway" (February 15, 1962) in which Chip sneaks on to an airplane Steve is taking on a top-secret business trip to France after their original plans to travel to Chicago together get canceled; "Chip's Party" (March 22, 1962) in which no one shows up for Chip's birthday party because parents are worried about Steve having contracted German measles; "Chip's Last Fight" (November 15, 1962) in which Chip is insulted that he has to have a babysitter on a night when everyone else is going out, so he tries to join a secret boys' club that requires him to fight a bigger boy as a rite of initiation; and "Mother Bub" (December 27, 1962) in which Chip is disappointed that Steve is going to be out of town on his birthday, so he follows Sudsy's advice to fake being sick to nudge Steve into buying him an expensive toy car. 

This last episode also reprises the sentimental trope that Bub is as good if not better than any mother already covered in the Season 2 episode "Chip's Composition" (November 30, 1961): Sudsy tries to convince Chip that he has it made since he doesn't have a mother to say "no" when he wants something after his father has approved it. When is caught Chip faking his illness and tells his father about Sudsy's philosophy of the role mothers and fathers play in a child's life, Steve pulls out photos of Bub baking a cake for Chip's first birthday and escorting him on his first day of school to remind him that Bub has fulfilled all the duties of a typical mother. And when Steve agrees to buy Chip the toy car despite his attempt to trick him into it, Bub puts his foot down because he doesn't want Chip to think he can manipulate his father into getting anything he wants, and Chip willingly lets the toy car go because he says he already has everything he needs, meaning Bub. The idea that Bub is more than a match for any biological mother is reinforced in "What's Cooking?" (November 8, 1962) in which Bub wins a PTA-sponsored cook-off against two female competitors. But like many a housewife, Bub decides to break the monotony of housework to seek employment outside the household in "Bub Gets a Job" (February 8, 1962) only to find out that his "salty" temperament is a poor match for working in retail when he can't restrain himself from telling off demanding customers. The rest of the family, however, comes to appreciate Bub's contributions once again as the boys' cooking efforts while he is busy with his new job are scarcely edible.

Despite the series' efforts to depict the Douglas household as humble but better than any other, again reinforced for Mike and Robbie in "Innocents Abroad" (April 12, 1962) when they sneak off to a nearby town to get jobs during a school break to earn extra money just like Steve's college friend tells them their father did in his youth, the Douglas boys and their father still have many warts that can't be washed away. We've already touched on Chip's underhanded tactics in trying to get a toy car and stowing away on an international flight to France, in addition to passing off a drawing of Bub's as his own work in "The Masterpiece" (March 1, 1962). Robbie intentionally tries to catch Chip's illness to avoid taking a math test that could disqualify him from an important football game in "The Big Game" (March 15, 1962), tries to get rich quick so he can impress girls in "Robbie's Employment Service" (September 27, 1962), fakes a photo with a pretty girl at school to make others thinks he is going out with her in "Pretty as a Picture" (November 1, 1962), turns in an old assignment of his father's as his own so that he can spend a weekend at the lake with another pretty girl in "Steve Gets an A" (November 22, 1962), and cheats on his steady girlfriend forcing her to break up with him in "Going Steady" (December 20, 1962). This last episode paints Steve in an unflattering light as well as he uses the girlfriend's mother's concern about the children being too young to go steady as a way to romance the mother and then tries to excuse Robbie's bad behavior by saying it produced the result the mother wanted in the first place--the ends justify the means, in other words.

And Mike is no angel in "Too Much in Common" (May 10, 1962) when he dumps in Steve's lap a fictitious excuse about why Mike isn't coming home from college one weekend to be with his steady girlfriend when he is really going to a play with a college girl he suddenly finds more interesting. Steve again comes off rather badly by covering for Mike and then can't even apologize when he is called out by the hometown girlfriend's father who is trying to provide a similar fictitious excuse for his daughter who is going out with another guy. Mike is also intimidated into participating in a dangerous prank initiated by his college fraternity superiors in "The Hippopotamus Foot" (May 31, 1962). His fickleness with girls is exposed again in "Weekend in Tokyo" (September 20, 1962) when he complains about going with his family to Japan because he claims to be so serious with his current girlfriend that they are talking about marriage, only once in Tokyo he soon forgets about his American girlfriend when he meets a pretty Japanese woman his own age. His snobbishness almost wins out in "Moment of Truth" (October 11, 1962) when he nearly stiffs a waitress he invited to his fraternity dance after listening to his fraternity brothers tell him how out of her element she would be amongst the uppercrust. In "Heat Wave" (November 29, 1962) he is embarrassed at his own family's simple ways when he invites yet another current girlfriend to dinner, then complains that things aren't fancy enough like what she is used to at her house, a virtual repeat of Robbie's embarrassment in "The Musician" (May 11, 1961). Finally, Mike alternates in "The Beauty Contest" (December 6, 1962) between the ethical choice of not choosing his own girlfriend as a finalist in the beauty contest and then using his position as judge to get dates with the other contestants. Sure, these are all teachable moments, and usually the boys learn what the correct choice should have been from the start, but why, if theirs is an ideal family, do they keep making bad choices each week, seemingly unable to distinguish between right and wrong? Of course, if they did actually grow and learn over time there wouldn't be much of a TV series--who wants to watch a family consistently behaving well? But cycling through the same pattern of mistakes and poor judgment doesn't make for much of one either.

However, Mike's penchant for being accused of dating underage girls is something you might expect to see on Curb Your Enthusiasm, not My Three Sons. And yet, in "Blind Date" (January 18, 1962) Mike and Robbie both have blind dates that wind up getting mixed up when Sudsy takes down the address of Robbie's date but Chip thinks it is for Mike so that college student Mike takes out a 15-year-old. Things get even edgier in "Casanova Trouble" (March 29, 1962) when Steve's secretary is worried about her 13-year-old daughter going out with an older boy. Steve volunteers to help her identify the boy but winds up believing that Mike is the guilty party when the secretary produces Mike's fraternity pin, saying she found it amongst her daughter's things. Of course it turns out that Robbie had borrowed the pin from Mike and had been riding home with the 13-year-old in a friend's car, not actually dating her, so Mike is cleared of any impropriety. On My Three Sons the whole affair is played as a dead serious drama, missing out on the chance for cringe-worthy comedy gold. But then My Three Sons will never be mistaken for a series that was ahead of its time.

And yet in an ironic twist, the show that glorified the all-male household employed a remarkable number of female scriptwriters. Of the 38 episodes aired in 1962, 11 were written or co-written by women. Two were written by Joanna Lee ("Chip Leaves Home" and "Chip's Last Fight"), who also wrote 22 episodes for The Flintstones and multiple episodes for Gilligan's Island, Nanny and the Professor, Room 222, The Courtship of Eddie's Father, and The Waltons after a brief career as an actress in which she appeared in such cult classics as Plan 9 From Outer Space and The Brain Eaters. Kitty Buhler wrote "Second Time Around" (January 25, 1962) which brings back Patricia Barry as Steve's former girlfriend Pamela MacLish from the very first episode; though Buhler's scriptwriting career was not extensive, she would later marry decorated Army general Omar N. Bradley. The story for "Bub Gets a Job" was co-written by series casting director Judith Adkins Specht. Dorothy Cooper contributed four episodes in 1962 ("Le Petit Stowaway," "A Holiday for Tramp," "Coincidence," and "Mother Bub") and 23 overall during the series' 12-year run; Cooper worked on many other series in her career, most notably Father Knows Best under the tutelage of original My Three Sons director Peter Tewksbury. Gail Ingram wrote a pair of 1962 episodes ("The Masterpiece" and "The Big Game") and contributed 17 other scripts for the series through 1967; she also worked on earlier TV series Mama, The Big Story, The Millionaire, and Deadline. Muriel Roy Bolton penned the episode "Casanova Trouble" as the last script in a long career that included 38 episodes of The Millionaire and five Henry Aldrich feature films. Shirley Gordon wrote "Daughter for a Day" (October 18, 1962), one of three scripts and stories she provided for My Three Sons between 1961-63; Gordon contributed to 55 scripts for The Bob Cummings Show and later worked on Bewitched and The Courtship of Eddie's Father. Notably, when a story dealt with warmth and emotion, such as in "Daughter for a Day" and "Mother Bub," it was often written by a woman. While on-screen the series suggested that a woman's touch wasn't needed to knit a family close together, behind the scenes was a different story.

As of this post, the first five seasons have been released on DVD by CBS Home Entertainment. However, beginning with Season 3, the releases are manufacture-on-demand (MOD) DVD-Rs, and the film elements used are often truncated syndicated episodes that run 22 or 23 minutes and have not been remastered, so the video quality is considerably below that of the first two seasons. At some point, probably during editing for syndication, the episode "Tramp's First Bite" mistakenly had the credits for "Daughter for a Day" tacked on the end, which is carried forth in the DVD version. The backs of these later DVD sets also note that "Music has been changed for this home entertainment version," meaning it is not the original broadcast music. Even the graphics on these later DVD sets is low-resolution and pixelated, indicating that CBS cut corners and costs at every turn.

The Actors

For the biographies of Fred MacMurray, William Frawley, Tim Considine, Don Grady, and Stanley Livingston, see the 1960 post of My Three Sons. As mentioned in the post on the 1961 episodes, recurring supporting actors--Ricky Allen as Chip's friend Sudsy Pfeiffer, Olive Dunbar as his mother Mrs. Pfeiffer, Peter Brooks as Robbie's friend Hank Ferguson, and Andrew Colmar as Mike's friend Tim Weede--have too little information published online to provide a true biography.

Notable Guest Stars

Season 2, Episode 14, "Chip Leaves Home": Howard Caine (Schaab on The Californians and Maj. Wolfgang Hochstetter on Hogan's Heroes) plays a police desk sergeant.

Season 2, Episode 15, "The Romance of Silver Pines": Ed Begley, Sr. (shown on the near left, starred in Sorry, Wrong Number, The Great Gatsby (1949), Deadline U.S.A., The Turning Point, 12 Angry Men, Sweet Bird of Youth, and Hang 'Em High and played Mr. Koppel on Leave It to Larry) plays vacationer Ed Wallace. Irene Ryan (shown on the far left, appeared in The Woman on the Beach, Bonzo Goes to College, and Desire in the Dust and played Granny Daisy Moses on The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction) plays his wife Rusty. Jan Clayton (starred in Sunset Trail, The Wolf Hunters, and This Man's Navy and played Ellen Miller on Lassie) plays vacationing widow Fran Borden. Dal McKennon (see the biography section for the 1961 post on 87th Precinct) plays resort clerk Mr. MacIvers.
Season 2, Episode 16, "Blind Date": Trudi Ames (appeared in Bye Bye Birdie, Gidget Goes to Rome, and The Impossible Years) plays Robbie's blind date Janie Miller. Carole Costello (daughter of Lou Costello) plays Mike's blind date Bonnie Walters.

Season 2, Episode 17, "Second Time Around": Patricia Barry (shown on the right, played Kate Harris on Harris Against the World, Lydia McGuire on Dr. Kildare, Adelaide Horton Williams on Days of Our Lives, Peg English on All My Children, and Sally Gleason on Guiding Light) plays Steve's former girlfriend Pamela MacLish. George Cisar (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Dennis the Menace) plays Steve's work colleague Giles. Wally Brown (appeared in Notorious, The Left Handed Gun, and The Absent-Minded Professor and played Jed Fame on Cimarron City and Chauncey Kowalski on The Roaring '20's) plays Bub's pinochle partner Max. Richard Reeves (Mr. Murphy on Date With the Angels) plays pinochle partner Smitty.

Season 2, Episode 18, "The Girls Next Door": Jody Fair (appeared in High School Confidential, Hot Rod Gang, The Brain Eaters, and Sex Kittens Go to College) plays stewardess Dodo. Marlyn Mason (Sally Welden on Ben Casey and Nikki Bell on Longstreet) plays stewardess Ellen. Barbara Lyon (daughter of Ben Lyon and Bebe Daniels, popular singer, and played herself on Life With the Lyons and Dream Time With Barbara) plays stewardess Georgia.

Season 2, Episode 19, "Bub Gets a Job": Raymond Bailey (shown on the left, see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis) plays department store customer Mr. Dennis. Peggy Mondo (Mama Vitale on To Rome With Love) plays customer Mrs. Bleeker. Rusty Stevens (see the biography section for the 1960 post on Leave It to Beaver) plays her son Cletus. Jonathan Hole (Orville Monroe on The Andy Griffith Show) plays floorwalker Mr. Tully. Bryan O'Byrne (Man in the Middle on Occasional Wife) plays an employment service interviewer.

Season 2, Episode 20, "Le Petit Stowaway": Bill Erwin (Glenn Diamond on Struck by Lightning) plays Steve's boss Joe Walters. Bert Remsen (Detective Lawrence on Peyton Place, Mr. Pell on Gibbsville, Mario on It's a Living, and Jack Crager on Dynasty) plays Steve's business contact Capt. Maynard. Beatrice Richter (shown on the right, was the host of Sketch-Up and played Franziska Velten on Salto Postale and Gerti Schofeld on Storm of Love) plays young French girl Marie.

Season 2, Episode 21, "Robbie Valentino": Nancy Kulp (Pamela Livingstone on The Bob Cummings Show, Jane Hathaway on The Beverly Hillbillies, Mrs. Gruber on The Brian Keith Show, and Mrs. Hopkins on Sanford and Son) plays Robbie's physics teacher Miss Fisher. Judee Morton (appeared in Zotz! and The Slime People and played Dr. Smithson on General Hospital) plays Robbie's classmate Marilyn Turnthurston. 

Season 2, Episode 22, "The Masterpiece": Natalie Masters (shown on the left, played Wilma Clemson on Date With the Angels) plays Chip's teacher Miss Bergen. John Gallaudet (appeared in Pennies From Heaven, Girls Can Play, and In Cold Blood and played Chamberlain on Mayor of the Town, Lt. Dan Harmon on Johnny Midnight, Judge Penner on Perry Mason, and later played Bob Anderson on My Three Sons) plays Sudsy's father Mr. Pfeiffer. Gilman Rankin (Deputy Charlie Riggs on Tombstone Territory) plays Chip's principal Mr. Shutley.

Season 2, Episode 23, "A Holiday for Tramp": Eve Arden (shown on the right, starred in Stage Door, No, No, Nanette, Sing for Your Supper, Mildred Pierce, Tea for Two, Our Miss Brooks, and Anatomy of a Murder and played Connie Brooks on Our Miss Brooks, Liza Hammond on The Eve Arden Show, and Eve Hubbard on The Mothers-in-Law) plays former actress Marisa Montaine. Maudie Prickett (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Hazel) plays her assistant Brownie. Johnny Silver (Ludicrous Lion and Dr. Blinkey on H.R. Pufnstuf) plays Montaine's chauffeur. Reta Shaw (Flora McCauley on The Ann Sothern Show, Thelma on The Tab Hunter Show, Mrs. Stanfield on Oh, Those Bells, and Martha Grant on The Ghost and Mrs. Muir) plays Bryant Park Mother of the Year Mrs. Bradshaw. Charles Seel (Otis the Bartender on Tombstone Territory, Mr. Krinkie on Dennis the Menace, and Tom Pride on The Road West) plays a train conductor.

Season 2, Episode 24, "The Big Game": Nancy Kulp (shown on the left, see "Robbie Valentino" above)  plays Robbie's math teacher Miss Fisher. 

Season 2, Episode 25, "Chip's Party": Olive Dunbar (Heather Ruth Jensen on My World and Welcome To It and Bertha Bottomly on Big John, Little John) plays Sudsy's mother Mrs. Pfeiffer. Natalie Masters (see "The Masterpiece" above) returns as Chip's teacher Miss Bergen.

Season 2, Episode 26, "Casanova Trouble": Brenda Scott (shown on the right, married and divorced actor Andrew Prine three times, now married to producer Dean Hargrove, played Midge Pride on The Road West and Dr. Gina Dante Lansing on General Hospital) plays Steve's secretary's daughter Linda Evans. 

Season 2, Episode 27, "The Pencil Pusher": William Tannen (Deputy Hal Norton on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays an Air Force colonel. Sydney Mason (Insp. J.J. Burke on Craig Kennedy, Criminologist and Sheriff Walt Downey on My Friend Flicka) plays Air Force base Fire Chief Miller. William Sargent (Jerry Carter on Peyton Place) plays Air Force pilot Lt. Smith.

Season 2, Episode 28, "Innocents Abroad": Roy Engel (shown on the left, played Doc Martin on Bonanza, the police chief on My Favorite Martian, and President Ulysses S. Grant on The Wild, Wild West) plays Steve's college friend Wally Osborne. 

Season 2, Episode 29, "Robbie the Caddy": Robert J. Wilke (appeared in Best of the Badmen, High Noon, The Far Country, Night Passage, and Stripes and played Capt. Mendoza on Zorro) plays professional golfer Danny Donnigan. Louis Nicoletti (assistant director on The Lucy Show and Here's Lucy) plays caddy master Louie. Jimmy Cross (Jesse on How to Marry a Millionaire) plays the golf course steward.

Season 2, Episode 30, "Coincidence": Billy Barty (shown on the right, see the biography section for the 1961 post on Peter Gunn) plays stranded bus passenger Billy Longfellow. Mary Jackson (Emily Baldwin on The Waltons, Sarah Wicks on Hardcastle and McCormick, and Great Grandma Greenwell on Parenthood) plays widowed mother Irene Anderson. Barbara Parkins (starred in Valley of the Dolls, The Mephisto Waltz, and Puppet on a Chain and played Betty Anderson Harrington on Peyton Place) plays her daughter Bobbie. Susan Gordon (appeared in Attack of the Puppet People, Tormented, The Five Pennies, and Picture Mommy Dead) plays her daughter Kit. Verna Felton (Mrs. Day on The Ezio Pinza Show and The Jack Benny Program, Hilda Crocker on December Bride and Pete and Gladys, and voiced Pearl Slaghoople on The Flintstones) plays grandmother Mub.

Season 2, Episode 31, "Air Derby": Wallace Rooney (Andrew Winters on The Doctors and Tim Butterfield on Lou Grant) plays hobby shop owner Pop Johnson. Joey D. Vieira (Hollis Bridwell on The Pride of the Family, Porky Brockway on Lassie, and Norman Zelinko on Hank) plays high-school student Roly-Poly Bates. Ed Prentiss (the narrator on Trackdown and played Carl Jensen on The Virginian) plays his father. Chick Hearn (shown on the left, legendary Los Angeles Lakers play-by-play announcer) plays the air derby announcer. Butch Patrick (Greg Howard on The Real McCoys, Eddie Munster on The Munsters, Gordon Dearing later on My Three Sons, and Mark on Lidsville) plays a hobby shop customer.

Season 2, Episode 32, "Too Much in Common": Carolyn Craig (appeared in Giant, House on Haunted Hill, and Studs Lonigan) plays Mike's girlfriend June Barker. Bill Zuckert (shown on the right, played Arthur Bradwell on Mr. Novak and Chief Segal on Captain Nice) plays her father Harry. Richard Clair (see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis) plays June's date Ken Everetts. Don Edmonds (appeared in Gidget Goes Hawaiian, Beach Ball, and Wild Wild Winter and played Nicky D'Angelo on Broadside) plays a school librarian. Josie Lloyd (Nurse Roth on Dr. Kildare) plays Mike's date's friend Linda Prentiss.

Season 2, Episode 33, "Chug and Robbie": Ryan O'Neal (shown on the left, starred in Love Story, What's Up, Doc?, Barry Lyndon, Paper Moon, A Bridge Too Far, and The Main Event and played Tal Garrett on Empire, Rodney Harrington on Peyton Place, Bobby Tannen on Good Sports, Robert Roberts, Jr. on Bull, Jerry Fox on Miss Match, and Max Keenen on Bones) plays high school football hero Chug Williams. Del Moore (Alvin on Life With Elizabeth and Cal Mitchell on Bachelor Father) plays his father. 

Season 2, Episode 34, "Good Influence": George Wallace (shown on the right, see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays Chip's friend's father Mr. Selby. Mary Anderson (starred in Bahama Passage, The Song of Bernadette, and Lifeboat and played Catherine Harrington on Peyton Place) plays his wife Claire.

Season 2, Episode 35, "The Hippopotamus Foot": Douglas Lambert (Eddie Weeks on General Hospital and Walter Schiff on Inside Story) plays fraternity brother Buzz Talbot. Mike Minor (Steve Elliott on Petticoat Junction and The Beverly Hillbillies and Brandon Kingsley on All My Children) plays fraternity brother Ray. Alexander Lockwood (Judge Owen Baker on Sam Benedict) plays college Dean Talbot. Hank Patterson (shown on the left, played Fred Ziffel on Green Acres and Petticoat Junction and Hank Miller on Gunsmoke) plays college caretaker Quinby Lewis.

Season 2, Episode 36, "The Kibitzers": Lloyd Corrigan (starred in A Girl, a Guy, and a Gob, Hitler's Children, Captive Wild Woman, The Bandit of Sherwood Forest, and Son of Paleface and played Papa Dodger on Willy, Wally Dipple on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, Ned Buntline on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, Uncle Charlie on Happy, and Professor McKillup on Hank) plays Bub's pinochle partner Mr. Smithfield. Burt Mustin (shown on the right, see the biography section for the 1961 post on Leave It to Beaver) plays pinochle partner Max. Natalie Masters (see "The Masterpiece" above) returns as Chip's teacher Mrs. Bergen. Eddie Quillan (starred in The Grapes of Wrath, Mandarin Mystery, Mutiny on the Bounty, and Hi, Good Lookin'! and played Eddie Edson on Julia and Poco Loco on Hell Town) plays air-conditioning contractor Handley Hewlitt. Bill Erwin (see "Le Petit Stowaway" above) returns as Steve's boss Joe Walters.

Season 3, Episode 1, "Weekend in Tokyo": James Yagi (shown on the left, appeared in The Gallant Hours, Bridge to the Sun, and King Kong vs. Godzilla and played Charlie Wong on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis) plays Steve's Japanese contact Mr. Tanaka. Caroline Kido (appeared in The Nun and the Sergeant and Confessions of an Opium Eater) plays the Douglas' host's granddaughter Kimiko. Buck Young (Deputy Buck Johnson on U.S. Marshal and Sgt. Whipple on Gomer Pyle: USMC) plays Robbie's wrestling coach.

Season 3, Episode 2, "Robbie's Employment Service": Booth Colman (shown on the right, played Zaius on Planet of the Apes, Prof. Hector Jerrold on General Hospital, and Dr. Felix Burke on The Young and the Restless) plays banker Enoch Lieb. Anne Loos (Mrs. Danfield on Mr. Novak) plays Robbie's client Mrs. Edgerton. Barbara Collentine (Charlotte on Nichols) plays client Mrs. Randall. Richard Bull (played the Seaview doctor on Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Thatcher on Nichols, and Nels Oleson on Little House on the Prairie) plays city licensor J.C. Dobbins. Patricia Lyon (wife of Robert Fuller) plays Robbie's girlfriend Betty Stone.

Season 2, Episode 3, "Tramp's First Bite": Tim Matheson (shown on the left, played Roddy Miller on Window on Main Street, Jim Horn on The Virginian, Griff King on Bonanza, Quentin Beaudine on The Quest, Rick Tucker on Tucker's Witch, Harry Stadlin on Just in Time, Charlie Hoover on Charlie Hoover, Sheriff Matthew Donner on Wolf Lake, Bill Dunne on Breaking News, John Hoynes on The West Wing, Larry Sizemore on Burn Notice, Dr. Brick Breeland on Hart of Dixie, and Doc Mullins on Virgin River, and voiced Jonny Quest on Jonny Quest, Sinbad, Jr. on Sinbad, Jr. and His Magic Belt, Samson on Young Samson & Goliath, Jace on Space Ghost, Capt. John O'Rourke on The Legend of Calamity Jane, and Brad Chiles on Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated) plays bite victim Alan Edgerton. Anne Loos (see "Robbie's Employment Service" above) plays his mother. Dennis McCarthy (Dr. Sam Hodges on Cimarron City) plays policeman John. Tyler McVey (Maj. Norgrath on Men Into Space) plays a judge.

Season 3, Episode 4, "Moment of Truth": Penney Parker (shown on the right, played Terry Williams on The Danny Thomas Show and Maybelle Jackson on Margie) plays waitress Jackie Acton. Robert Foulk (Ed Davis on Father Knows Best, Sheriff Miller on Lassie, Joe Kingston on Wichita Town, Mr. Wheeler on Green Acres, and Phillip Toomey on The Rifleman) plays her father Pop. Mike Minor (see "The Hippopotamus Foot" above) plays Mike's fraternity brother Duke.

Season 3, Episode 5, "Daughter for a Day": Stanja Lowe (Mrs. Thomas on Peyton Place) plays Steve's old friend Elizabeth Hill. Morgan Brittany (shown on the left, played Kate Simpson on Glitter and Katherine Wentworth on Dallas) plays her young daughter Jeannie. Barbara Lyon (see "The Girls Next Door" above) plays an airline stewardess. 

Season 3, Episode 6, "The Ghost Next Door": Loie Bridge (Chloe Skinridge on Life With Elizabeth) plays next door neighbor Abbe Pearson. 

Season 3, Episode 7, "Pretty as a Picture": Hope Sansberry (shown on the right, played Mrs. Nell Hall on The Phil Silvers Show) plays elderly neighbor Clara Gilbert. 

Season 3, Episode 8, "What's Cooking?": Olive Dunbar (see "Chip's Party" above) returns as Mrs. Pfeiffer. Patsy Garrett (Mrs. Fowler on Nanny and the Professor and Miss Hogarth on Room 222) plays Dorine Peters' mother Agnes. Molly Dodd (Miss Scott on Hazel) plays lifestyle reporter Flora McAvoy.

Season 3, Episode 9, "Chip's Last Fight": Tim Matheson (see "Tramp's First Bite" above) plays secret boys club president Gibbs. Barbara Collentine (shown on the left, see "Robbie's Employment Service" above) plays the mother of another club member Mrs. Aldrich. Celeste Yarnell (Miss Rheingold 1964, starred in Eve, Live a Little, Love a Little, and Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice) plays Mike's girlfriend Ginny Stewart. Bill Quinn (see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Rifleman) plays the Douglas family doctor.

Season 3, Episode 10, "Steve Gets an A": Mimsy Farmer (shown on the right, starred in Hot Rods to Hell, Riot on Sunset Strip, Devil's Angels, The Wild Racers, and More) plays Robbie's girlfriend Janee Holmes. William Sargent (see "The Pencil Pusher" above) plays Robbie's history teacher Mr. Armstrong.

Season 3, Episode 11, "Heat Wave": Anjanette Comer (starred in The Loved One, The Appaloosa, Guns for San Sebastian, and Rabbit, Run) plays Mike's girlfriend Janie Stempel. Bartlett Robinson (Willard Norton on Wendy and Me and Frank Caldwell on Mona McCluskey) plays Steve's business client Milton Gibson. Olive Dunbar (see "Chip's Party" above) returns as Mrs. Pfeiffer. Templeton Fox (mother of musician Bob Welch) plays paper drive collector Mrs. Fletcher. Billy Beck (Lt. Trask on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, the photo editor on Lou Grant, Charles on Falcon Crest, and Nick Pappasmearos on Son of the Beach) plays a grocery store janitor.

Season 3, Episode 12, "The Beauty Contest": Jeannine Riley (shown on the left, appeared in Strike Me Deadly, The Big Mouth, and Electra Glide in Blue and played Billie Jo Bradley on Petticoat Junction, Lulu McQueen on Dusty's Trail, and was a regular on Hee Haw) plays beauty contestant Kim Franklin. Nancy McCarthy (Bunny [later recast as Mary Ann] in the original unaired pilot of Gilligan's Island) plays Mike's girlfriend Laurie. Les Brown, Jr. (son of bandleader Les Brown, played Jim Bailey on The Baileys of Balboa and Buzz Coleman on The Young Marrieds) plays college newspaper assistant editor Arch.

Season 3, Episode 13, "Doctor in the House": Oliver McGowan (shown on the right, played Harvey Welk on Empire) plays Steve's former physician Dr. Stasser. Russ Conway (Fenton Hardy on The Hardy Boys: The Mystery of the Applegate Treasure, Gen. Devon on Men Into Space, and Lt. Pete Kile on Richard Diamond, Private Detective) plays Steve's boss Joe Walters. Dorothy Konrad (Mrs. Trilling on The Last Resort) plays neighbor Mrs. Gilbert. Sidney Clute (Sgt. Same Gerke on Steve Canyon, Det. Simms on McCloud, the National Editor on Lou Grant, and Det. Paul La Guardia on Cagney & Lacey) plays a sign painter. Shirley O'Hara (Debbie Flett on The Bob Newhart Show) plays Stasser's nurse.

Season 3, Episode 14, "Going Steady": Marta Kristen (Judy Robinson on Lost in Space) plays Robbie's girlfriend Linda Davis. Lola Albright (shown on the left, see the biography section for the 1960 post on Peter Gunn) plays her mother Paulette. Madge Kennedy (Aunt Martha Branson on Leave It to Beaver) plays Paulette's mother Mrs. Lindsay. Buck Young (see "Weekend in Tokyo" above) returns as Robbie's wrestling coach.