Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961)

Today The Dick Van Dyke Show is considered one of the best situation comedies in television history, but it had a shaky beginning, required many risks in getting off the ground, and ultimately had a premise that undermined the whole idea of television entertainment--that everyday situations are more interesting than what you see on TV. Carl Reiner, the show's creator, producer, and, in its early days chief writer, originally conceived the show as a slightly fictionalized version of his own experience in the television industry and at home. And as the show evolved he encouraged the actors and writers to bring situations in their personal lives into writing sessions as possible material for scripts. But despite the fact that the main characters on The Dick Van Dyke Show are television writers, the focus is not on the fruit of their labors; it's on their personal lives. In fact, during the show's first 14 episodes that aired in the year 1961, we never see a glimpse of the show they write for, nor do we ever see the show's star, Alan Brady. The closest we get is in the episode "Jealousy!" (November 7, 1961) when Rob Petrie has to help that week's guest, movie star Valerie Blake, rehearse a scene she will be doing with Brady, and even that scene is shown in the broadest, vaguest way before Rob's wife Laura interrupts the proceedings by bursting into Blake's hotel room expecting to find her husband and the movie star having an affair. The scenes we see of Rob and fellow writers Sally Rogers and Buddy Sorrell at work in their studio office most often show them sitting around talking about other things or rejecting ideas that never make it into their show. In other words, the last thing Reiner wanted his viewers to see was what made it onto television. This concept took TV's critique of itself to a level beyond The Jack Benny Program, which depicted its star as a self-absorbed cheapskate but allowed us to see him bumble through his own program. 

But The Dick Van Dyke Show, despite its later success, would never have happened had not Reiner's agent and wife prodded him. As reported by Vince Waldron in The Official Dick Van Dyke Show Book, Reiner began his career as an actor, first on the stage and then as a supporting actor on Your Show of Shows and subsequent Sid Caesar programs. Not completely satisfied with his role as a second-tier star, Reiner began hanging out with the show's writers, which included such legends as Mel Brooks and Neil Simon, contributing his own ideas to each week's script, though he never received credit because of the writers' protectiveness of their own turf and the fact that he was already being credited for his acting contributions. Finding that he wanted a larger voice, he went off on his own to write story ideas, character vignettes, and eventually a semi-autobiographical novel Enter Laughing in 1957, which depicted his early beginnings in show business. In 1958 Reiner intended to write another novel covering his more recent experiences, but his agent Harry Kalcheim suggested that there was more opportunity starring in a TV situation comedy than in writing novels. So Kalcheim began sending him show treatments for his consideration, but Reiner found them awful. When he showed them to his wife she concurred and told him he could write a better series himself. And so at the family's summer home on Fire Island in the summer of 1958 he pounded out 13 scripts for a series titled Head of the Family. Kalcheim then connected him with actor Peter Lawford, who had access to the Kennedy family fortune since he was then married to Patricia Kennedy, to finance the filming of a pilot with Reiner in the lead role of Rob Petrie. But the pilot failed to find a network willing to make it into a series, and Reiner figured his chance at his own sit-com was gone, so he returned to acting as a supporting player on The Dinah Shore Show and in feature films, as well as writing the script for the feature film The Thrill of It All.

However, Kalcheim was not ready to throw in the towel. He kept urging Reiner to retool the series but to no avail. So he set up a meeting between Reiner and producer Sheldon E. Leonard, then producing The Danny Thomas Show and in the process of launching The Andy Griffith Show, to give him advice. Only after Leonard viewed the pilot for Head of the Family and looked through Reiner's 13 scripts, he said he would be interested in developing the series himself, provided that Reiner agreed to recast the show without him in the lead. He was able to persuade Reiner that he was a better producer, even though he had never produced a television show, than he was an actor by pointing to his detailed instructions in his scripts about how each scene was to be arranged, filmed, and acted. And he sealed the deal by showing Reiner how he, a one-time actor who most notably played the bartender Nick in It's a Wonderful Life, had became a very rich man as a producer.

Once Leonard got Reiner's agreement on how the series would be developed, he set out to find a cast that would make The Dick Van Dyke Show a hit. Leonard started by securing Dick Van Dyke, who was then starring in the Broadway production of Bye Bye Birdie, even though Van Dyke was little known outside theater circles. He had notched a few TV appearances at that point but was more noted for having been a part of two failed TV pilots. Mary Tyler Moore was recommended by Leonard client Danny Thomas, for whom Moore had auditioned and been turned down for a regular role on his show. Leonard selected Rose Marie, with whom he had co-starred on radio, to play man-chasing writer Sally Rogers, and she in turn recommended her long-time friend Morey Amsterdam to play Buddy Sorrell, even though the part was initially meant for a young writer just starting out in the business as it was cast in the Head of the Family pilot. Jerry Paris, who would be cast as Petrie neighbor Jerry Helper, was another old friend of Leonard, and Paris' on-screen wife Ann Morgan Guilbert was recommended to him by an old friend who happened to be her husband, George Eckstein. Even with a talented cast assembled, the show was not a guaranteed success and struggled early on in the ratings. As the show was being launched, one headline in the press asked the question, "What's a Dick Van Dyke?"

Knowing that he was at a huge disadvantage with such an unknown star, Reiner, as Waldron again discusses in his book, selected the episode "The Sick Boy and the Sitter" (October 3, 1961) as the pilot because it was the script that best introduced the characters. It also provided a great introduction to the talents of its actors in the party scene at Alan Brady's house where Rob, Sally, and Buddy are asked to entertain the guests while the host is busy with a telephone call in another room. Van Dyke reprises a sketch he used to do in his stand-up act depicting a drunk man returning home late one night trying not to let his wife know he has been drinking. Rose Marie gets to perform a song in her old vaudeville style, and Morey Amsterdam displays his talents as The Human Joke Machine by inventing jokes on the spot based on suggested topics from the guests. This scheme is used again in the episode "To Tell or Not to Tell" (November 14, 1961) when Rob and Laura are hosting a party and Rob performs a few more of his impressions and Mary Tyler Moore is given the chance to show off her background in dance, which leads to Laura being offered a regular spot as a dancer on The Alan Brady Show. "Oh How We Met the Night We Danced" (October 31, 1961) is yet another episode that uses this device, this time in a flashback sequence from when Rob and Laura met during World War II and ended up dancing a routine together in a show for the troops at Rob's army base. Besides showing off the talents of the cast, these episodes are also a chance for Reiner to revisit his variety show days by interjecting comedy and song and dance routines that often are only tangentially related to story development.

As for the show's actual story line, they typically involve the usual subjects for comic payoff--miscommunication and its off-shoots jealousy and forgetfulness. In "Empress Carlotta's Necklace" (December 12, 1961) Rob fails to see that Laura does not like a gaudy knockoff necklace he bought for her and she doesn't have the heart to tell him the truth.  In "My Blonde-Haired Brunette" (October 10, 1961) Laura misinterprets Rob's slovenly dress and ho-hum response to their settled household routine to mean that he has lost interest in her, prompting her, at neighbor Millie's suggestion, to dye her hair. And in "Sally Is a Girl" (December 19, 1961) Laura's request for Rob to treat Sally like a lady rather than one of the guys causes Buddy and producer Mel Cooley to think that Rob and Sally are having an affair. Jealousy rears its ugly and comic head both in both the aforementioned episode "Jealousy!" and in "The Meerschatz Pipe" (November 28, 1961) in which Buddy goads Rob into thinking that he is Alan Brady's favorite writer because of a pipe he claims Brady gave him when in fact it is a cheap replica that can be found anywhere. Rob's faulty memory is the source of hilarity in both "Harrison B. Harding of Camp Crowder, Mo." (November 6, 1961) when Rob doesn't remember an old army buddy who comes to visit and in "Forty-Four Tickets" (December 5, 1961) when he forgets to request enough tickets to the Brady show for the members of Ritchie's school PTA. But while these storylines may sound similar to scores of other less successful situation comedies, when executed by the talented cast assembled by Sheldon Leonard and with Carl Reiner's keen eye for comic detail, they are pure TV magic that even real life can't measure up to.

The theme music and individual scores for The Dick Van Dyke Show were composed by longtime Sheldon Leonard house composer Earle Hagen, who was profiled in the 1960 post for The Barbara Stanwyck Show. Oddly, the theme for the show remembered by everyone was not the one used in the series' first 14 episodes. The original theme used the same melodic sequence but with numerous time-signature breaks with bongos that many years later Hagen says he hated and couldn't even remember composing.

The complete series has been released on DVD and Blu-ray by Image Entertainment.

The Actors

Dick Van Dyke

Richard Wayne Van Dyke was born in West Plains, Missouri and grew up in Danville, Illinois, the son of a salesman who also played minor league baseball and a stenographer with his family roots going back to an original passenger who came to America on the Mayflower. In Danville Van Dyke was classmates with Donald O'Connor and Bobby Short and was good friends with a cousin of Gene Hackman. He originally planned to be a Presbyterian minister but a high school drama class convinced him of his true calling, though he eventually became a church elder and taught Sunday school after launching his entertainment career. His younger brother Jerry also became a successful actor on TV series such as My Mother the Car and Coach. He became a radio announcer in Danville at age 16 and after joining the Air Force during World War II served as a radio announcer and then as an entertainer for the troops stateside. After the war he formed a mime duo called the Merry Mutes with Danville friend Phil Erickson, which West Coast nightclubs before relocating to Atlanta, where they appeared on local TV. He married first wife Marjory Willett in Los Angeles in 1948 on a radio show called Bride and Groom because it paid for their wedding and honeymoon. After 7 years Van Dyke broke up the group and moved to New Orleans where he was a TV weatherman, performed his own comedy, and hosted a comedy show. He made his first network TV appearance in 1954 on the Dennis James program Chance of a Lifetime. The next year a friend from the military, Byron Paul, offered him a 7-year contract with CBS. He made a couple of appearances on The Phil Silvers Show in the late 1950's as well as The United States Steel Hour and a couple of pilots that were not picked up--a variety show called The Dick Van Dyke Show and a situation comedy titled Poor Richard, which eventually aired on the anthology series of failed pilots New Comedy Showcase under the title The Trouble With Richard. But he found more success on the stage, starring in 1959's The Girls Against the Boys and then being selected to play the lead of Albert Peterson in Bye Bye Birdie by famed choreographer Gower Champion even though he had no dance training. It was while performing Bye Bye Birdie, for which he won a Tony in 1961, that he was spotted by Sheldon Leonard, who convinced Carl Reiner that he would be perfect for the lead in their new situation comedy, eventually named The Dick Van Dyke Show.

While still working on The Dick Van Dyke Show Van Dyke was cast in the Disney musical Mary Poppins because Walt Disney approved of comments he made in the press about the need for wholesome entertainment. He has been lambasted for years about his fake Cockney accent in the film, though he explains that his dialect coach was Irish and therefore no better at the accent than he was. But besides the film's immense popularity, he and co-star Julie Andrews won Grammy Awards for the soundtrack album. Other films he starred in after The Dick Van Dyke Show ended its run proved less successful with the exception of another Disney musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. In 1971 he and Reiner teamed up again to create The New Dick Van Dyke Show in which he played a TV talk show host, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe, but he canceled the show after 3 seasons when it moved to Hollywood from Phoenix, where he then lived. In 1974 he was nominated for an Emmy for the TV movie The Morning After in which he played an alcoholic, which Van Dyke later admitted that he had was, too, though he overcame the addiction in the 1980s. In 1976 he hosted a comedy variety show called Van Dyke and Company, which also included Andy Kaufman and Super Dave Osborne, but it was canceled after 3 months and later won an Emmy. In 1977 he became a regular cast member on The Carol Burnett Show's final season. Van Dyke spent the rest of the 1970s and most of the 1980s appearing in TV movies with an occasional TV series guest spot or feature film. In 1988 he starred in The Van Dyke Show playing a retired Broadway performer living with his son, who was played by Van Dyke's real-life son Barry. The show lasted only 10 episodes before being canceled. But an appearance as the character Dr. Mark Sloan on a 1991 episode of Jake and the Fatman eventually led to his next successful series, Diagnosis Murder, which began as a series of TV movies before being made into a regular series that aired from 1993-2002.An attempt at a Dick Van Dyke Show  reunion called The Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited in 2004 was not well-received. But Van Dyke has continued to remain active up to the present, first in a series of Murder 101 TV movies and more recently in the Ben Stiller feature films Night at the Museum. He divorced his wife of over 30 years in 1984, then lived with an unmarried partner Michelle Triola for another 30 years until her death in 2009. In 2012 he married again to 40-year-old Arlene Silver, whom he met while attending the SAG awards.

Mary Tyler Moore

Born in Brooklyn, the daughter of a clerk and an alcoholic mother, Moore's family moved to California when she was 8 years old. Her great-grandfather had been a lieutenant for the North in the Civil War who had loaned his house to Gen. Stonewall Jackson to use as his headquarters, and Moore had the house restored in honor of her father, a Civil War enthusiast. She started out as a dancer and her first prominent job was playing Happy Hotpoint, the Hotpoint Appliance elf in danced on commercials that ran during The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, but when she married Richard Carleton Meeker at age 18 and became pregnant with her only child, Richie, born the following year, she lost the job when her pregnancy became noticeable. She next became an album cover model before turning to acting and began getting a few minor roles in the late 1950s. She auditioned for but was turned down to play Danny Thomas' daughter because he felt no one would believe she was related to him given the difference in their nose sizes. Her first regular role was as Richard Diamond's secretary Sam on Richard Diamond, Private Detective, though only her legs ever appeared on camera. Besides 7 appearances on this show, she appeared on other programs 8 times in 1959 and 10 times in 1960 on shows such as 77 Sunset Strip, Riverboat, Bachelor Father, and Hawaiian Eye. She had a few more such appearances in 1961 and 1962 before landing the role of Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show, thanks to a recommendation from one executive producer, Danny Thomas (who remembered her from her audition for his show), to the other, Sheldon Leonard.

After the show's 5-year run, she turned her attention to feature films, having appeared only in 1961's X-15 at that point. She starred alongside Julie Andrews in Thoroughly Modern Millie, opposite George Peppard in What's So Bad About Feeling Good? and as a nun/Elvis Presley love interest in the widely panned Change of Habit. The reaction to this last picture was so negative that she didn't appear in another feature film (other than TV movies) for another 11 years. In the meantime, she divorced her first husband and married TV executive Grant Tinker in 1961. In 1970 the couple formed MTM Enterprises and launched The Mary Tyler Moore Show, the first program centered around a successful single woman with her own career. She won four Emmys and a Golden Globe for her work on the show, and the show produced three spinoffs--Rhoda, Phyllis, and Lou Grant. But when ratings started to slip in its seventh season, it was canceled. Though MTM Enterprises continued to produce successful programs, such as The Bob Newhart Show, WKRP in Cincinnati, St. Elsewhere, and Hill Street Blues, Moore never found the same success in her future projects. Her next two efforts were musical/variety programs--Mary in 1978, which included cast members Michael Keaton and David Letterman amongst others, and The Mary Tyler Moore Hour in 1979, which also included Keaton. In 1980 she returned to feature films and received an Oscar nomination for playing Beth in Ordinary People. That same year she received a Tony Award for her performance in the Broadway production of Whose Life Is It Anyway? But she only appeared in two more feature films and two TV movies before returning to her own TV series, this time as Mary Brenner in Mary, which ran for only 13 episodes in 1985-86 after Moore asked that it be canceled when she didn't like the direction it was heading. Two years later she was back as the title character in Annie McGuire, but this show lasted only 10 episodes. After a few more TV movies, including 1993's Stolen Babies for which she won an Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Mini-Series or Special, she headlines New York News as newspaper editor Louise Felcott, but again only 13 episodes were produced before cancellation. Since then, she has remained active doing more TV movies, such as The Gin Game with Dick Van Dyke in 2003, feature films, such as Flirting With Disaster (1996), Keys to Tulsa (1997), and Cheats (2002), and a few limited recurring TV parts on The Naked Truth (1997), That 70's Show (206), and Hot in Cleveland (2011 & 2013). She reportedly will appear in the feature Big Finish along with elder celebrities Bob Newhart, Debbie Reynolds, and Jerry Lewis, though there have been recent reports of her failing eyesight as a result of her Type 1 diabetes, diagnosed in 1970 when she was 33 years old and about which she has written extensively in her second autobiography Growing Up Again: Life, Loves, and Oh Yeah, Diabetes. She is the International Chairman of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and has done work for Farm Sanctuary and with Bernadette Peters has helped make New York a no-kill city. In 1980 her son Richie was killed when he shot himself with his own sawed-off shotgun, a gun that was later taken off the market for having a hair-trigger. She divorced Grant Tinker in 1981 and since 1983 has been married to Dr. Richard Levine. The couple currently have residences in upstate New York and Manhattan.

Rose Marie

Rose Marie Mazetta was born in New York City, the daughter of Broadway and vaudeville performer Frank Mazetta, who performed under the name Frank Curley. Blessed with a remarkably adult-sounding singing voice, her entertainment career started at age 3 when she was discovered by a talent scout singing on the beach in Atlantic City. In 1927 she appeared in a Vitaphone musical short that was run before the feature film The Jazz Singer. When she approached Al Jolson at the premiere and complimented his performance, he reportedly replied, "Get away, you little brat!" At age 5 she was given her own radio show on NBC radio and had her first credited film appearance in the short Baby Rose Marie, the Child Wonder. She continued making musical shorts into the 1930s and appeared in the feature film International House with W.C Fields in 1933. She appeared in vaudeville alongside stars such as Dick Powell, Rudy Vallee, and Jimmy Durante and met her future Dick Van Dyke Show co-star Morey Amsterdam when she was 9 years old. She was invited to appear at the White House by request of Presidents Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt. She also appeared on at least 17 records between 1930 and 1938. As a teenager, she dropped the "Baby" from her stage name and began performing at top night clubs along the east coast as well as being one of the performers on the bill the night that mobster Bugsy Siegel opened the first luxury hotel/casino in Las Vegas, the Flamingo. In her autobiography Hold the Roses, she admitted that during her career she had been helped by mobsters such as Siegel and Al Capone, who called her "The Kid" and protected her. She retired from show business for a time during her teens but then staged a comeback in the 1940s adding Broadway to her repertoire in shows such as Spring in Brazil with Milton Berle, Lunatics and Lovers with Zero Mostel, and Top Banana with Phil Silvers, with whom she also appeared in the film adaptation in 1954. Around this time she also had a supporting role on the radio program The Phil Harris - Alice Faye Show, playing the sister of Sheldon E. Leonard, who would later hire her to play Sally Rogers on The Dick Van Dyke Show. In the mid-1950s she began also appearing in television guest spots on shows such as The Red Skelton Hour, Gunsmoke, and M Squad. In 1959 she had her first recurring role as Martha Randolph on The Bob Cummings Show and the following year was cast as Bertha on My Sister Eileen, which ran during the 1960-61 season.

Being cast as the aging man-hunter Sally Rogers on The Dick Van Dyke Show was a bit ironic for Marie because she had married trumpeter Bobby Guy, then with Kay Kyser's orchestra, in 1946. When Guy, who had become the lead trumpeter in The Tonight Show orchestra, died from a blood infection in 1964, Marie planned to leave The Dick Van Dyke Show, believing that she had lost half her life, but was talked out of it by director John Rich and stayed with the program till it ended in 1966. In 1965 she became a regular on the popular game show Hollywood Squares, sitting in a square next to Morey Amsterdam, and stayed with the program during its many incarnations. She also appeared on other celebrity-themed game shows such as Password and I've Got a Secret. Besides her game show appearances, she had occasional guest spots in the late 1960s on shows such as The Monkees, The Virginian, and My Three Sons before landing her next regular role plays Doris Day's friend and work colleague Myrna Gibbons on The Doris Day Show from 1969-71. In 1972 she headlined her own short-lived TV series Honeymoon Suite, which also included Richard Deacon as a hotel manager and Morey Amsterdam. In 1975 she had a recurring role as Hilda on S.W.A.T. She continued to make occasional TV guest appearances and get feature film roles through the 1970s and 1980s, including 4 appearances on The Love Boat, and toured the country as part of the revue 4 Girls 4 with Rosemary Clooney, Helen O'Connell, and Margaret Whiting from 1977-81. Her next recurring role was playing Frank Fontana's mother Rose on Murphy Brown in 1990-91. In 1994 she had her last regular TV role playing Mitzi Balzer on Hardball but has continued making appearances up to the present, including the 2004 Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited reunion. She remains active on Facebook and still  lives in the same house she shared with her late husband in San Fernando Valley, California.

Morey Amsterdam

Moritz Amsterdam was born in Chicago and by age 14 was performing in vaudeville as the straight man for his older brother's jokes and playing the cello. Two years later he was working in a speakeasy run by Al  Capone when he got caught in the middle of a shoot-out, which convinced him to get out and move to California. There he became a joke writer for performers such as Fanny Brice, Jimmy Durante, and Will Rogers, earning the nickname "The Human Joke Machine," which he incorporated into his own act by offering to tell jokes by request on any subject. This ability was worked into the debut episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show years later. He then began performing on radio in the 1930s, becoming a regular on The Al Pearce Show in 1937, and wrote songs such as "Why, Oh Why Did I Ever Leave Wyoming?" and screenplay dialogue for the East Side Kids. By the late 1940s he was all over radio on programs such as Stop Me If You've Heard This One and his own The Morey Amsterdam Show, which made the transition to TV in 1949. In 1950 he was one of two hosts when NBC launched Broadway Open House, a forerunner to The Tonight Show, but he left the show not long after its debut. His first TV acting role was in 1952 on Not for Publication, but steady work did not materialize until 5 years later when he logged appearances on How to Marry a Millionaire, December Bride, and The Gale Storm Show. In 1958 he appeared in the feature film Machine-Gun Kelly and two years later in Murder, Inc., in between he found a few more TV appearances until Rose Marie recommended him for the part of Buddy Sorrell on The Dick Van Dyke Show, a part originally intended for a much younger actor, as on the precursor pilot Head of the Family.

Like Rose Marie, he became a regular on Hollywood Squares beginning in 1965 and continued to get occasional parts in feature films and TV series for the rest of his career, perhaps most notably as the character Cappy in two mid-1960s beach-themed films Beach Party and Muscle Beach Party. In 1966 he co-wrote, co-produced, and starred in the feature Don't Worry, We'll Think of a Title, which also included Rose Marie and Richard Deacon in the cast. In the 1990s he had a regular role on the soap opera The Young and the Restless, and his last TV appearance came in 1996 with Rose Marie on an episode of Caroline in the City. He died of a heart attack at the age of 87 on October 28, 1996.

Richard Deacon

Born in Philadelphia, Deacon was stricken with polio at age 11 and took dancing lessons to strengthen his legs. He studied drama at Ithaca College for two years before becoming the actor in residence at Bennington College for a semester. He began his acting career on the stage, where he was reportedly advised by Helen Hayes to give up the idea of being a leading man, given his looks and personality, and strive for a career as a character actor, which served him well for over 3 decades. His first appearance on film was an uncredited part in the features Invaders From Mars in 1953. He also had uncredited appearances in Them!, The Blackboard Jungle, This Island Earth, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and Carousel.  In 1954 he also started getting bit parts on TV shows such as Public Defender, The Man Behind the Badge, and The Life of Riley. His first shot at a recurring role was playing Sherman Hall on The Charles Farrell Show in 1956, leading to a steady stream such roles for the next 15 years. In 1957 he began playing Roger Finley on Date With the Angels, and the next year saw him playing Uncle Archie on Walt Disney Presents: Annette.  In 1957 he began appearing on Leave It to Beaver as Fred Rutherford, father to Lumpy and business colleague of Ward Cleaver, a role he continued to play throughout the series' duration even after he was cast as Mel Cooley on The Dick Van Dyke Show. He also continued to make numerous appearances on other shows during this time including The Danny Thomas Show, The Jack Benny Program, The Donna Reed Show, The Red Skelton Hour, and Mister Ed. He also over this period appeared in feature films running the gamut from Hitchcock's The Birds to Jerry Lewis' The Patsy

After The Dick Van Dyke Show terminated, he spent a season playing the character Baldwin on The Phyllis Diller Show, then replaced Roger C. Carmel as Kaye Ballard's husband in the second season of The Mothers-in-Law. He would star opposite Diller again on Broadway during the 1969-70 season production of Hello, Dolly! In 1970 he appeared as Dr. Klingner in 4 episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies and nearly a decade later played Sheriff Masters in 4 episodes of B.J. and the Bear and 1 episode of The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo. He had plenty of other one-off guest TV guest spots in between these and more work in feature films up until his death from heart failure at the age of 63 on August 8, 1984. Besides being a prolific actor, Deacon was an accomplished cook who published several cookbooks. The most successful of them, selling over 1.7 million copies, was connected to a Canadian TV program he hosted in the 1970s and '80s on cooking with a microwave.

Larry Mathews

Larry Mazzeo was born in Burbank, California to a large Italian-American family. When he auditioned for the role of Richie Petrie, he had never done any professional acting and had only been enrolled in a children's drama workshop a few months earlier where he was noticed by a talent agent who recommended him to Carl Reiner. Reiner wanted the actor playing Ritchie to appear natural, so he explicitly stated that he wanted someone who hadn't done anything. The audition required Mathews to act sick, as he would have to in the pilot episode, and based on that audition, Reiner knew he would be perfect for the part. Unlike many other child actors of the time, Mathews said his experience on The Dick Van Dyke Show was a positive one. He grew to be great friends with Morey Amsterdam and also showed an interest in the production side of the business, watching editor Bud Molin at work and asking him questions and getting director John Rich to let him see how things look from behind the camera. During the show's 5-year run, he appeared on only one other program, a 1962 episode of Dick Powell Theater.

When The Dick Van Dyke Show ended in 1966, Mathews wanted just to go to school like a regular kid, though he later said that at first the transition was a bit difficult because he was not used to being around other children. He then attended UCLA as a theater major and was involved in school theater productions, but on the few occasions where he went to auditions for professional acting parts, he did not find the going easy, so he gradually moved into the productions side of the business. He began at the bottom with Danny Thomas Productions, working as an errand boy and gofer and worked his way up to production and post-production sales, which he has done since 1983. He participated in the 2004 reunion show The Dick Van Dyke Show revisited and surprised Reiner with the fact that he really hadn't done any acting since 1966 except for a 1993 TV movie titled Chairman's Choice. In 2011 he appeared in a 25-minute short titled A Day in the Life of Plain Jen but otherwise continues to work in sales for CCI Digital in Burbank. He has been married to his wife Jennifer since 1987.

Ann Morgan Guilbert

Guilbert was born in Minneapolis, but her family moved frequently because her father was a physician working for the VA who specialized in tuberculosis patients and was shipped around the country wherever he was needed. She attended Stanford University, originally intending to study nursing, but after flunking chemistry, she turned her attention to the theater. At Stanford she also met and married her first husband George Eckstein, and the couple moved to Los Angeles while Eckstein attended law school. Eckstein was friends from his high school days with Jerry Paris, and when Paris was cast to play Jerry Helper on The Dick Van Dyke Show, Eckstein nudged Paris to get Guilbert an audition. Carl Reiner was already aware of Guilbert's comic abilities, having seen her performing in the Billy Barnes Revue, so after a short audition with Paris, she was given the part, even though at the time Guilbert had only a single television credit on an April 1961 episode of My Three Sons

Guilbert continued playing Minnie Helper through the series' five-year run, but the same year the show ended she also divorced Eckstein. Though she found occasional TV appearances and a rare feature film role through the latter 1960s, she concentrated more on theatre roles, first around the Los Angeles area and later in Denver. She remarried to actor Guy Raymond, who joined her on stage in some of the Denver productions. In 1971 she landed her second recurring TV role as Nora on The New Andy Griffith Show, but the series lasted only 10 episodes. TV and film work took a back seat through most of the 1970s and '80s, though she did appear on 5 episodes of Emergency!, but in the 1990s she began to get more frequent TV roles, first as Theresa Fanelli on The Fanelli Boys, then as Myriam Wambaugh on Picket Fences, and most notably as Fran Drescher's grandmother Yetta Rosenberg in 56 episodes of The Nanny. More recently she has appeared on Curb Your Enthusiasm, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, and Modern Family. She had a scene-stealing role as Andra in the 2010 independent feature Please Give, and in 2013-14 she appeared as Birdy Lamb in 11 episodes of Getting On. Guilbert still lives in Los Angeles to be near her two daughters, actress Hallie Todd (who played Hillary Duff's mother on Lizzie McGuire) and acting teacher Nora Eckstein, as well as her two grand-daughters.

Jerry Paris

See the biography section for the 1960 post on The Untouchables.







Notable Guest Stars

Season 1, Episode 1, "The Sick Boy and the Baby Sitter": Stacy Keach, Sr.  (Carlson on Get Smart) plays the Petrie's physician Dr. Miller. Eleanor Audley (Mother Eunice Douglas on Green Acres and Mrs. Vincent on My Three Sons) plays a guest at Alan Brady's party.

Season 1, Episode 2, "My Blonde-Haired Brunette": Benny Rubin (appeared in Here Comes Mr. Jordan, Citizen Kane, and The Errand Boy, provided the voices for Pruneface, Joe Jitsu, and Sketch Paree on The Dick Tracy Show, and appeared in various roles in 53 episodes of The Jack Benny Program) plays a druggist.

Season 1, Episode 3, "Sally and the Lab Technician": Jamie Farr (shown on the left, played Maxwell Klinger on M*A*S*H and After MASH) plays the Snappy Service delivery boy.

Season 1, Episode 4, "Washington Versus the Bunny": Jesse White (appeared in Harvey, Bedtime for Bonzo, Million Dollar Mermaid, The Bad Seed, and The Reluctant Astronaut and played Mickey "Cagey" Calhoun on Private Secretary, Jesse Leeds on Make Room for Daddy, and Oscar Pudney on The Ann Sothern Show) plays an airline passenger named Bill. Jamie Farr (see "Sally and the Lab Technician" above) returns as the Speedy Service delivery boy.

Season 1, Episode 5, "Oh How We Met the Night We Danced": Marty Ingels (shown on the right, played Arch Fenster on I'm Dickens, He's Fenster and Norman Krump on The Phyllis Diller Show) plays Rob's army stage manager Sol Pomeroy. Nancy Ames (folk singer who was the That Was the Week That Was girl and co-wrote the theme song for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour) plays Laura's dancer colleague Marcia Rochelle.

Season 1, Episode 6, "Harrison B. Harding of Camp Crowder, Mo.": Allan Melvin (shown on the left, played Cpl. Steve Henshaw on The Phil Silvers Show, Sgt. Snorkle on Beetle Bailey, Sgt. Charley Hacker on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., Sam Franklin on The Brady Bunch, and Barney Hefner on All in the Family and Archie Bunker's Place and was the voice of Magilla Gorilla on Magilla Gorilla, Drooper on The Banana Splits Adventure Hour, and Thun and King Vultan on Flash Gordon) plays Rob's old army buddy Harrison B. Harding. Peter Leeds (Tenner Smith on Trackdown) plays a policeman.

Season 1, Episode 7, "Jealousy!": Joan Staley (shown on the right, Playboy Playmate who appeared in Cape Fear, Roustabout, Valley of the Dragons, Johnny Cool, and The Ghost and Mr. Chicken and played Hannah on 77 Sunset Strip and Roberta Love on Broadside) plays movie star Valerie Blake.

Season 1, Episode 8, "To Tell or Not to Tell": Jamie Farr (see "Sally and the Lab Technician" above) returns as the Speedy Service delivery boy.

Season 1, Episode 11, "Forty-Four Tickets": Eleanor Audley (see "The Sick Boy and the Baby Sitter" above) plays PTA chairwoman Mrs. Billings. Joe Devlin (Sam Catchem on Dick Tracy) plays a ticket scalper. Paul Bryar (Sheriff Harve Anders on The Long, Hot Summer) plays a policeman.

Season 1, Episode 12, "Empress Carlotta's Necklace": Gavin MacLeod (shown on the left, starred in Operation Petticoat, The Sand Pebbles, and Kelly's Heroes and played Joseph Haines on McHale's Navy, Murray Slaughter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda, and Capt. Merrill Stubing on The Love Boat) plays Mel's cousing Maxwell Cooley. Carol Veazie (starred in The Catered Affair, Designing Woman, and Baby the Rain Must Fall and played Mrs. Maude Endles on Norby) plays Rob's mother Clara. Will Wright (Ben Weaver on The Andy Griffith Show and Mr. Merrivale on Dennis the Menace) plays Rob's father Sam.

Season 1, Episode 14, "Buddy, Can You Spare a Job?": Lennie Weinrib (the voice of H.R. Pufinstuf, Seymour Spider, and Ludicrous Lion on H.R. Pufinstuf, voice of Sam Curvy on Doctor Doolittle, and voice of Moonrock on The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show) plays nightclub comic Jackie Brewster.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Lawman (1961)

As actor James Garner observed in his memoir The Garner Files, Jack Warner didn't run his television studio in order to make great art; he did it to make money as cheaply as possible. And since westerns were the most popular genre of the day, his studio produced a stable of shows to capitalize on the cowboy craze. But perhaps the best of the lot was the generically titled Lawman, which, as pointed out in the previous post for its 1960 episodes, certainly had its share of cardboard characters and recycled plots, but it also was the one show that closest approached the bar set by Gunsmoke as the grand daddy of adult westerns. Unlike the other Warners westerns that featured various drifters finding adventure wherever they roamed, Lawman was firmly planted in the town of Laramie, Wyoming, as Gunsmoke was rooted in Dodge City, and recounted the exploits of its Marshal Dan Troop who kept time with his saloon-owning lady friend Lily Merrill (just lake Matt Dillon hung out with Miss Kitty), who is continually thwarted in her attempts to get her man to propose. But after these parallels, the comparison begins to break down: Lawman deputy Johnny McKay is fairly one-dimensional compared with Dennis Weaver's Chester Goode, and there is no equivalent to Milburn Stone's feisty Doc Adams.

But despite the sometimes shop-worn plots and the unfortunate attempts at humor (the continued return of Joel Grey as pint-sized Owny O'Reilly is like a bothersome gnat), Lawman hit its stride in Season 3 with some surprisingly uncompromising storylines. In "The Robbery" (January 1, 1961), an episode directed by Robert Altman, Troop is visited by an old friend and former lawman Sam Deever who has fallen on hard times due to an injury and gotten mixed up with outlaws who have just robbed an army payroll and murdered the paymaster. When the army sends officious Lt. Davidson to investigate the murder, the outlaws feel they need to eliminate Troop, who has met them and now knows them, and have Deever lead him out into the woods under the pretext of investigating apparently stolen railroad equipment so that they can ambush him. But as they go deeper into the woods, Troop begins to suspect something is off and gets Deever to confess and then agree to help him capture the killers, which he does. However, Davidson shows up late, not realizing that Deever has turned against the outlaws and fatally shoots him. McKay is angry at Davidson for killing someone who was on their side, but Troop sums up that perhaps things worked out the best for everyone because his old friend will not have to face a hanging and he won't have to bear the guilt of doing the hanging. It's a grim conclusion to a situation that could never have produced the happy ending that most TV programs delivered at the time.

Another example is "The Marked Man" (January 22, 1961)in which Tod Larson, the estranged brother of saloon girl Muriel Hanley, comes to town and visits her at the Bird Cage, but she is none too pleased because he has a tarnished past that she wants nothing to do with. His real reason for the visit is to pick up a letter sent to her that identifies Troop as his assassination target, paid for by the owner of a saloon that Troop shut down. But when Larson meets and then shares a meal with Troop, he tries to back out of the hit. The saloon owner threatens Muriel, so Larson is stuck between the proverbial rock and hard place. With his sister being what he describes as the only thing he's got despite her rejection of him, Larson chooses to sacrifice himself rather than lead Troop to slaughter, knocking him out and stealing his hat and coat, then riding to the spot where Troop was to be ambushed. When Troop wakes up, he and McKay rush to where he knows the ambush will take place but arrives too late. Troop returns to town and tries to console Muriel by focusing on the good her brother did, but Lily remarks that once he has consoled her he will have to console himself.

And in "The Persecuted" (April 9, 1961) Troop has to face an aging gunslinger Burley Keller, who pretends that he wants to turn his back on his past and settle peacefully in Laramie but is actually a sadistic killer who goads men into drawing on him so that he can shoot them down. He is also cruel to his wife of 10 years, saying that she is old and worn out while he tries to talk Lily to leaving town with him. Troop ultimately has to lure Keller into making the same mistake as his victims by insulting him horribly until he is forced to draw and Troop has the justification he needs to gun him down. In the end Troop invites Keller's widow to stay in town as she boards a stagecoach, but she can only reply that she knew what kind of man her husband was and loved him anyway, though she doesn't know why. The story refuses to wrap things up in a tidy sense of closure, instead leaving the wound open. Though Lawman had its share of misguided youths and misfits who manage to turn their lives around, it also took an unflinching look at lives ruined by greed and desperation. In "Trojan Horse" (December 31, 1961) Troop tells government road agent Duncan Clooney that he was right in calling nitroglycerine "the work of the devil," but Clooney counters that men do more of the devil's work than any explosive, to which Troop replies, "I'll drink to that."

And yet despite this unusual realism in depicting the evil that men do, Troop's character is larger than life. He may not be able to save everyone who needs saving, but he is shown to have superior knowledge and judgment over any other authority figures who visit Laramie. Besides the officious Lt. Davidson cited above, he runs afoul of U.S. Marshals inspector Orville Luster in "By the Book" (December 24, 1961), who thinks that Troop runs his town too wide open in allowing citizens to carry guns, gamble, and drink. He forces McKay to lock up two benign drunks since they are technically in violation of disturbing the peace, but Troop then sets them free, angering Luster until the two bumblers foil a plot by a pair of hardened outlaws to kill Luster. 

He also locks horns with New York police Lt. Foster in "The Man From New York" (March 19, 1961), who comes to Laramie looking for a man who committed larceny three years before, even though the culprit has begun repaying the money anonymously. Troop quickly figures out that the man Foster is hunting is harness maker Fred Stiles, a solid citizen since he moved to Laramie, and he refuses to arrest him. Stiles feels that he has no choice but to flee, and Foster chases after him in a buggy that overturns, pinning him. Stiles has the opportunity to shoot Foster but instead uses his rifle to fire a warning shot to help Troop find Foster and take him back to town for medical attention. Foster eventually comes around to agree with Troop that a man can change and salvage his past, and he decides to leave Laramie without Stiles.

Both of the preceding episodes make the point that the law can be applied unfairly and that it takes a person of superior judgment to know when it needs to be held firm and when it can be bent. Marshal Dan Troop is shown to be such a person. As the show entered its fourth season, however, the story lines became more conventional, much like the theme music, which was toned down from the bolder arrangement used during the first three seasons. However, two exceptional episodes maintain the edgier flavor of the Season 3 episodes mentioned above. In "The Four" (October 1, 1961), a posse led by Herm Forrest comes to town looking for a man named Lee Darragh. Troop and Lily at first suspect that they are in town to cause some kind of mischief, such as a robbery, but Forrest eventually explains that they are looking to capture Darragh, a cold-blooded killer who can deceive people because of his boyish youth. When Darragh finally shows up and Troop is forced to gun him down, Forrest approaches Troop and asks if he can take home the body of his brother, a twist that the viewer doesn't see coming but makes Forrest's earlier depiction of Darragh all the more poignant. And in "The Catalog Woman" (November 5, 1961) Troop is hunting a black widow figure who lures lonely men with money into marriage through advertisements in a magazine, then killing them. Troop even agrees to pose as a decoy suitor himself only to find out that the widow is a man. Perhaps even more daring for the time, when the first suitor, Walter Perkins, meets the stage bearing his future bride with a bouquet of flowers, another man gets off before the widow and says to Perkins in an effeminate tone, "Are those for me?" Certainly cross-dressing and homosexuality were strictly taboo on the 1961 television landscape, but Lawman wasn't above bending the rules on many fronts.

Though it has not been released on DVD as of this writing, the series is currently showing weekdays on the Encore West cable TV channel.

The Actors

For the biographies for John Russell, Peter Brown, Peggie Castle, Dan Sheridan, and Harry Cheshire, see the post for Lawman 1960.

Grady Sutton

Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee and raised in Florida, Grady Harwell Sutton enjoyed a long and prolific career playing primarily befuddled country bumpkins and southerners. Sutton got his start in films while on a summer vacation in Hollywood with his roommate, the younger brother of director William A. Seiter. Sutton was invited on to the set and allowed to serve as an extra in The Mad Whirl, released in 1925. That same year he appeared in the Harold Lloyd masterpiece The Freshman and thereafter appeared in a number of other college-themed films. In 1933 he appeared alongside W.C. Fields in the short  The Pharmacist and thereby became a favorite of Fields, who threatened to back out of The Bank Dick if Sutton were not included in the cast. He also appeared with Fields in The Man on the Flying Trapeze and You Can't Cheat an Honest Man, danced with Katherine Hepburn and stepped on her toes in Alice Adams, and was the bridegroom-to-be for Carole Lombard in My Man Godfrey. He also appeared in classics such as Stage Door, Anchors Aweigh, A Star Is Born, and White Christmas, often in uncredited roles. His television appearances began in the early 1950s, starting with The Egg and I, but his role as hotel clerk Ben Toomey on Lawman was his first recurring role.
After Lawman was canceled in 1962, he continued to mix feature film and TV work, the former including appearances in the Doris Day musical Billy Rose's Jumbo, the Rat Pack western farce 4 for Texas, My Fair Lady, a pair of Elvis Presley vehicles--Tickle Me and Paradise Hawaiian Style--the Peter Sellers comedy I Love You Alice B. Toklas, and the Raquel Welch sex-change farce Myra Breckenridge. He found his second recurring TV role playing the character Sturgis on The Phyllis Diller Show, and made his last appearance on film in the Ramones musical Rock 'n' Roll High School in 1979. He moved into the Motion Picture and Television Home and Hospital in 1994 and died there of natural causes on September 17, 1995 at the age of 89.

Vinton Hayworth

Vinton Haworth was born in Washington, D.C., son of a printer and publisher and grandson of a Shakespearean actor. He began his own acting career in his late teens and had a long and successful career in radio drama, most notably playing Jack Arnold (which was also his stage name) in Myrt and Marge, which ran from 1932-46. He made his film debut in the 1934 romantic drama Enlighten Thy Daughter  and had steady work throughout the 1930s and early 1940s, many times in uncredited roles. His television career began in the mid-1940s and from that point forward he made very few feature film appearances. He was a founding member of what is today the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the union for radio and TV performers, and served as its president from 1951-54. By the late 1950s he began getting multiple appearances on shows such as Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, and Whirlybirds. In 1958 he had his first recurring role as the villainous Magistrado Carlos Galindo on the Walt Disney series Zorro. His role as Laramie bank president Oren Slauson stretched for 10 episodes of Lawman from 1959-62.

He continued appearances  on a number of series thereafter, including Laramie, Perry Mason, and Gunsmoke but also had a number of small recurring roles on other series, playing Mr. Sutherland 5 times on Hazel between 1961-65, Dr. Faber 4 times on Green Acres between 1965-67, and as a judge 3 times on Dragnet between 1967-69. When Barton McLane passed away while playing Gen. Peterson on I Dream of Jeannie in 1969, Hayworth's  Gen. Winfield Schaeffer, who started appearing on the show the previous year, replaced him. Uncle to both Ginger Rogers and Rita Hayworth (his wife Jean Rogers was the sister of Ginger's mother; his sister Volga Hayworth was Rita's mother), Hayworth suffered a heart attack and died 5 days before the air date of his final Jeannie appearance on May 21, 1970 at the age of 63.

Notable Guest Stars

Season 3, Episode 17, "Fireshouse Lil": Sheldon Allman (Norm Miller on Harris Against the World) plays bank robber Edward Dirckes. 

Season 3, Episode 18, "The Frame-Up": Dabbs Greer (shown on the left, see the biography section of the 1960 post on Gunsmoke) plays shady lawyer Les Courtney. Randy Stuart (see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays his client Jessica Kindle. William Mims (see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays troublemaker Rich Matthews.

Season 3, Episode 19, "The Marked Man": Andrew Duggan (Cal Calhoun on Bourbon Street Beat, George Rose on Room for One More, Major Gen. Ed Britt on 12 O'Clock High, and Murdoch Lancer on Lancer) plays hired assassin Tod Larson. Larry J. Blake (the unnamed jailer on Yancy Derringer and Tom Parnell on Saints and Sinners) plays barfly Chuck Slade.

Season 3, Episode 20, "The Squatters": DeForest Kelley (show on the right, played Dr. McCoy on Star Trek) plays ranch foreman Bent Carr. King Calder (Lt. Gray on Martin Kane) plays squatter Ad Prentice.

Season 3, Episode 21, "Homecoming": Marc Lawrence (appeared in The Ox-Bow Incident, Tampico, Key Largo, The Asphalt Jungle, and The Man With the Golden Gun and directed 16 episodes of Lawman) plays escaped convict Frank Walker. Adrienne Marden (Mary Breckenridge on The Waltons) plays his wife Mary. Ray Stricklyn (Dr. James Parris on The Colbys and Senator Pickering on Wiseguy) plays his son Eddy. 

Season 3, Episode 22, "Hassayampa": John Anderson (shown on the left, see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays temperance crusader Hassayampa Edwards. Donald "Red" Barry (played Red Ryder in the movie serial The Adventures of Red Ryder, and played Lt. Snedigar on Surfside 6, The Grand Vizier and Tarantula on Batman, Capt. Red Barnes on Police Woman, and Jud Larabee on Little House on the Prairie) plays shyster bar owner Dusty McCade. George Wallace (starred in Radar Men From the Moon, Destry, and Forbidden Planet and played Judge Milton Cole on Hill Street Blues and Grandpa Hank Hammersmith on Sons and Daughters) plays his partner Clyde Morton. 

Season 3, Episode 23, "The Promoter": John Van Dreelen (starred in The Leech Woman, 13 Ghosts, and Topaz) plays whiskey promoter Malcolm Tyler DeVries. Frank Gerstle (Dick Gird on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays saloon owner David Farris. 

Season 3, Episode 24, "Detweiler's Kid": Chad Everett (shown on the right, starred in Get Yourself a College Girl, Made in Paris, The Singing Nun, and Airplane II and played Deputy Del Stark on The Dakotas, Dr. Joe Gannon on Medical Center, Paul Hagen on Hagen, Wyatt Earp III on The Rousters, Jack McKenna on McKenna, Jack Manhattan on Manhattan, AZ, and Vic on Chemistry) plays cattle herder Jim Austin. Joyce Meadows (Lynn Allen on The Man and the Challenge and Stacy on Two Faces West) plays rancher's daughter Elfreida Detweiler. 

Season 3, Episode 25, "The Inheritance": Will Wright (Ben Weaver on The Andy Griffith Show) plays miser Tecumsah Pruitt. Lurene Tuttle (appeared in Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, Ma Barker's Killer Brood, Psycho, The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, and The Fortune Cookie and played Doris Dunston on Father of the Bride and Hannah Yarby on Julia) plays his wife. Fuzzy Knight (appeared in She Done Him Wrong, The Lat Round-Up, The Trail of the Lonesome Pine, and The Oregon Trail and played Pvt. Fuzzy Knight on Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion) plays store owner Mr. Morris. Guy Wilkerson (Panhandle Perkins in 22 westerns) plays his customer Slim.

Season 3, Episode 26, "Blue Boss and Willie Shay": Sammy Davis, Jr. (shown on the left, "The Greatest Living Entertainer" starred in Porgy and Bess, Ocean's 11, Robin and the 7 Hoods, Sweet Charity, The Cannonball Run, and Cannonball Run II) plays cattle drover Willie Shay. Richard Jaeckel (Tony Gentry on Frontier Circus, Lt. Martin Quick on Spenser: For Hire, and Capt. Ben Edwards on Baywatch) plays drover Al Janaker. 

Season 3, Episode 27, "The Man From New York": Mike Road (Marshal Tom Sellers on Buckskin, Lt. Joe Switolski on The Roaring 20's, and who provided the voice for Race Bannon on Johnny Quest and Ugh on Space Ghost) plays New York police Lt. Foster. Richard Arlen (Lionel starred in The Virginian, Dangerous Paradise, Gun Smoke, Island of Lost Souls, and Alice in Wonderland) plays harness maker Fred Stiles. 

Season 3, Episode 28, "Mark of Cain": John Kellogg (shown on the right, played Jack Chandler on Peyton Place) plays returning acquitted killer Chad Kennedy. Coleen Gray (starred in Kiss of Death, Nightmare Alley, The Killing, The Vampire, The Leech Woman, and The Phantom Planet and played Muriel Clifford on McCloud) plays his brother's widow Rena. Carolyn Komant (Dixie on The Roaring 20's) plays saloon girl Dolores.

Season 3, Episode 29, "Fugitive": Catherine McLeod (Claire Larkin on Days of Our Lives) plays fugitive's wife Meg Cormack. Dorothy Konrad (Mrs. Trilling on The Last Resort) plays store owner Mrs. Fields. 

Season 3, Episode 30, "The Persecuted": Adam Williams (appeared in Flying Leathernecks, The Big Heat, Fear Strikes Out, and North by Northwest) plays gunslinger Burley Keller. Jean Willes (appeared in Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Ocean's 11, and Gypsy) plays his wife Annie. Joseph Gallison (Dr. Neil Curtis on Days of Our Lives) plays his victim Roy Barnes. Sandy McPeak (Pvt. Saunders on The Gallant Men, Capt. Braddock on Blue Thunder, J. Wendell Summerhayes on Wildside, and Chief Bradley on Nasty Boys) plays trailhand Ted Turner. 

Season 3, Episode 31, "The Grubstake": Frank Ferguson (Gus Broeberg on My Friend Flicka, Eli Carson on Peyton Place, and Dr. Barton Stuart on Petticoat Junction) plays prospector Rainbow Jack. Heather Angel (shown on the left, starred in The Hound of the Baskervilles, Orient Express, The Three Musketeers(1935), Pride and Prejudice, Lifeboat, and 5 Bulldog Drummond features and played Mrs. Dowell on Peyton Place and Miss Faversham on Family Affair) plays aging saloon girl Stephanie Collins. Robert Cornthwaite (Professor Windish on Get Smart) plays lawyer Edward Coughill. 

Season 3, Episode 32, "Whiphand": Leo Gordon (shown on the right, played Big Mike McComb on Maverick) plays rancher Bull Nickerson. Peggy McCay (Anna Rose on Room for One More, Iris Fairchild on General Hospital, Mrs. Malloy on Gibbsville, Marian Hume on Lou Grant, and Caroline Brady on Days of Our Lives) plays his wife Cassie. Jack Beutel (starred in The Outlaw, Best of the Badmen, and Jesse James' Women and played Deputy Jeff Taggart on Judge Roy Bean) plays his ranch-hand Ryder. Med Flory (played clarinet in the Ray Anthony orchestra and founded and plays alto sax in the group Super Sax, appeared in Gun Street, The Nutty Professor (1963), and The Gumball Rally, and played Sheriff Mike McBride on High Mountain Rangers) plays traveling peddler Jed Pennyman. 

Season 3, Episode 33, "The Threat": 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 land-grabber Herm Villiers. Whit Bissell (starred in He Walked by Night, Creature From the Black Lagoon, I Was a Teenage Werewolf, I Was a Teenage Frankenstein, and Hud and who played Bert Loomis on Bachelor Father, Calvin Hanley on Peyton Place, and Lt. Gen. Heywood Kirk on The Time Tunnel) plays Laramie visitor Edgar Chase. 

Season 3, Episode 34, "The Trial": Shirley Knight (shown on the left, starred in Ice Palace, The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, Sweet Bird of Youth, Dutchman, and As Good as It Gets and played Mrs. Newcomb on Buckskin, Estelle Winters on Maggie Winters, and Phyllis Van De Kamp on Desperate Housewives) plays orphan Tendis Weston. Tim Graham (Homer Ede on National Velvet) plays her uncle Charlie. Ray Teal (see Jim Teal on Lassie and Sheriff Roy Coffee on Bonanza) plays Kansas Judge Leonard Whitehall. Slim Pickens (starred in The Story of Will Rogers, Dr. Strangelove, Blazing Saddles, The Apple Dumpling Gang, Beyond the Poseidon Adventure, and The Howling and played Slim on Outlaws, Slim Walker on The Wide Country, California Joe Milner on Custer, and Sgt. Beauregard Wiley on B.J. & the Bear) plays stagecoach driver Barney.

Season 3, Episode 35, "Blind Hate": Jason Evers (starred in The Brain That Wouldn't Die, House of Women, The Green Berets, and Escape From the Planet of the Apes and played Pitcairn on Wrangler, Prof. Joseph Howe on Channing, and Jim Sonnett on The Guns of Will Sonnett) plays ranch-hand Shag Warner. Ted de Corsia (Police Chief Hagedorn on Steve Canyon) plays his boss Lem Pastor. Mala Powers (starred in Cyrano de Bergerac, Rose of Cimarron, and Tammy and the Bachelor and played Rebecca Boone on Walt Disney's Daniel Boone and Mona on Hazel) player Pastor's daughter Lucy. John Qualen (starred in The Three Musketeers(1935), His Girl Friday, The Grapes of Wrath, Angels Over Broadway, Casablanca, Anatomy of a Murder, and A Patch of Blue) plays physician Doc Shea.

Season 3, Episode 36, "The Break-In": Sheldon Allman (see "Firehouse Lil" above) plays wanted outlaw in disguise Walt Hudson. Chubby Johnson (shown on the right, played Concho on Temple Houston) plays drunkard Cactus Gates. 

Season 3, Episode 37, "Conditional Surrender": Robert F. Simon (Dave Tabak on Saints and Sinners, Gen. Alfred Terry on Custer, Frank Stephens on Bewitched, Uncle Everett McPherson on Nancy, Capt. Rudy Olsen on The Streets of San Francisco, and J. Jonah Jameson on The Amazing Spiderman) plays outlaw patriarch Pa Beason. Hampton Fancher (Deputy Lon Gillis on Black Saddle and co-wrote the screenplay and was executive producer on Blade Runner) plays his son Lester. Claire Griswold (wife and former student of Sydney Pollack) plays his daughter Iona.

Season 3, Episode 38, "Cold Fear": Frank Overton (shown on the left, starred in Desire Under the Elms, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Fail-Safe and played Major Harvey Stovall on 12 O'Clock High) plays former Arizona marshal incognito Brad Turner. Margaret Field (mother of actress Sally Field) plays his wife Ann. 

Season 3, Episode 39, "The Promise": Stuart Randall (Sheriff Art Sampson on Cimarron City, Al Livermore on Lassie, and Sheriff Mort Corey on Laramie) plays Fort Laramie commander Col. Strappin. Ken Lynch (appeared in I Married a Monster From Outer Space, Anatomy of a Murder, and Dead Ringer and played Lt. Thomas Brand on Checkmate, Det. Lt. Tom Handley on Arrest and Trial, Lt. Barney Keller on Honey West, and Police Sgt. Grover on McCloud) plays condemned criminal Jed Barrister. Don Haggerty (Jeffrey Jones on The Files of Jeffrey Jones, Eddie Drake on The Cases of Eddie Drake, Sheriff Dan Elder on State Trooper, and Marsh Murdock on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays gambler Simm Bracque. Carolyn Komant (see "Mark of Cain" above) plays eloper Nancy Fuller.

Season 4, Episode 1, "Trapped": Peter Breck (shown on the right, played Clay Culhane on Black Saddle, Doc Holliday on later seasons of Maverick, and Nick Barkley on The Big Valley) plays extorter Hale Connors. House Peters, Jr. (Sheriff Jim Billings on Lassie) plays telegrapher Joe Poole. 

Season 4, Episode 2, "The Juror": 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 accused train robber Ben Cawley. Larry J. Blake (see "The Marked Man" above) plays storekeeper Mr. Parker. 

Season 4, Episode 3, "The Four": Jack Elam (shown on the left, played Deputy J.D. Smith on The Dakotas, George Taggart on Temple Houston, Zack Wheeler on The Texas Wheelers, and Uncle Alvin Stevenson on Easy Street) plays posse leader Herm Forrest. Norman Alden (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, and Coach Leroy Fedders on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman) plays posse member Charley. Johnny Weissmuller, Jr. (son of swimmer and actor Johnny Weissmuller) plays posse member Willy. Joseph Gallison (see "The Persecuted" above) plays their quarry Lee Darragh. Dorothy Konrad (see "Fugutive" above) plays storekeeper Mrs. Bangle. 

Season 4, Episode 4, "The Son": James Westerfield (shown on the right, appeared in The Shaggy Dog, The Absent-Minded Professor, and The Love God? and played John Murrel on The Travels of Jamie McPheeters) plays vengeful father Zachariah Herod. Chad Everett (see "Detweiler's Kid" above) plays his blind son Cole. Tom Reese (starred in Taggart, The Money Trap, and Murderers' Row and played Sgt. Thomas Velie on Ellery Queen) plays cowboy Bob Mengis. Charles Irving (Judge Blanchard on Perry Mason) plays traveling salesman Eugene Thomas.

Season 4, Episode 5, "Owny O'Reilly, Esquire": Joel Grey (shown on the left, starred in Cabaret, Man on a Swing, The Seven Percent Solution, and Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins and played Lemuel Idzik on Oz) returns as diminutive youngster Owny O'Reilly. Mort Mills (Marshal Frank Tallman on Man Without a Gun, Sgt. Ben Landro on Perry Mason, and Sheriff Fred Madden on The Big Valley) plays incarcerated killer Jack Saunders. Barry Kelley (starred in The Asphalt Jungle, The Manchurian Candidate, and The Love Bug and played Mr. Slocum on Pete and Gladys and Mr. Hergesheimer on Mister Ed) plays Wyoming Governor Johnson. Roberta Shore (Laura Rogan on Walt Disney Presents: Annette, Henrietta Gogerty on The Bob Cummings Show, and Betsy Garth on The Virginian) plays his daughter Millie.

Season 4, Episode 6, "The Substitute": Kathleen Freeman (Katie on Topper, Marilly on Mayor of the Town, Bertha Krause on The Bob Cummings Show, Flo Shafer on The Beverly Hillbillies, Kate Harwell on Funny Face, and Iris Belmont on Lotsa Luck) plays Laramie matron Mavis Martingale. Jan Arvan (Nacho Torres on Zorro and Paw Kadiddlehopper on The Red Skelton Hour) plays her husband Homer. Whit Bissell (see "The Threat" above) plays educated drunk Al Skinner. 

Season 4, Episode 7, "The Stalker": Peter Whitney (shown on the right, played Sergeant Buck Sinclair on The Rough Riders and Lafe Crick on The Beverly Hillbillies) plays fur trapper Alteeka McClintoch. Donald "Red" Barry (see "Hassayampa" above) plays his antagonist Jess Schaeffer. Harry Lauter (Ranger Clay Morgan on Tales of the Texas Rangers, Atlasande on Rocky Jones, Space Ranger, and Jim Herrick on Waterfront) plays Schaeffer's brother Compton. 

Season 4, Episode 8, "The Catalog Woman": Herb Vigran (Brooker on Gunsmoke) plays frugal rancher Walter Perkins. William Fawcett (Clayton on Duffy's Tavern, Marshal George Higgins on The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, and Pete Wilkey on Fury) plays Laramie townsman John. Richard Carlyle (Casey on Crime Photographer) plays con man posing as Mrs. Agatha Wingate.

Season 4, Episode 9, "The Cold One": 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 escaped convict King Harris. Joyce Meadows (shown on the left, see "Detweiler's Kid" above) plays his wife Barbara. Ric Marlow (wrote the lyrics to "A Taste of Honey") plays Harris' henchman Willis. Percy Helton (Homer Cratchit on The Beverly Hillbillies) plays cowardly citizen Thatcher. Sandy McPeak (see "The Persecuted" above) plays Marshal Troop helper Ed Lane.

Season 4, Episode 10, "Porphyria's Lover": Benny Baker (appeared in Blonde Trouble, Stage Door Canteen, and Paint Your Wagon and played Pete the bartender on F Troop) plays substitute bartender Dave. 

Season 4, Episode 11, "The Appointment": Kent Smith (shown on the right, starred in Cat People, This Land Is Mine, Hitler's Children, Curse of the Cat People, Nora Prentiss, The Spiral Staircase, and The Fountainhead and played Dr. Robert Morton on Peyton Place and Edgar Scoville on The Invaders) plays Fort Laramie commander Maj. Jason A. Leeds. John Kellogg (see "Mark of Cain" above) plays court-martialed soldier Bern Lochard. Tom London (starred in Six-Shootin' Sheriff, Song of the Buckaroo, and Riders in the Sky) plays old army veteran Pete.

Season 4, Episode 12, "The Lords of Darkness": Arch Johnson (starred in Somebody Up There Likes Me, G.I. Blues, and The Cheyenne Social Club and played Cmdr. Wivenhoe on Camp Runamuck) plays Darkness patriarch Andrew Lord. Corey Allen (went on to direct multiple episodes of Dr. Kildare, Police Woman, Dallas, Hunter, and Star Trek: The Next Generation) plays his son William. Charles Maxwell (Special Agent Joe Carey on I Led 3 Lives and was the voice of the radio announcer on Gilligan's Island) plays the Darkness marshal. Damian O'Flynn (see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays bar owner Sutter. Owen Bush (Ben on Shane, John Belson on Sirota's Court, and Crimshaw on Our House) plays the Darkness bartender.

Season 4, Episode 13, "Tarot": Robert McQueeney (shown on the left, played Conley Wright on The Gallant Men) plays gambler Joe Wyatt. Bill Zuckert (Arthur Bradwell on Mr. Novak and Chief Segal on Captain Nice) plays payroll robber Luther. 

Season 4, Episode 14, "The Prodigal Mother": Catherine McLeod (see "Fugitive" above) plays prodigal mother Margaret Coleson. Billy Booth (shown on the left, see the biography section for the 1960 post on Dennis the Menace) plays her abandoned son Tad. King Calder (see "The Squatters" above) plays Tad's adoptive father Dave McCallan.

Season 4, Episode 15, "By the Book": Lyle Talbot (shown on the right, see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet) plays inspector of U.S. marshals Orville Luster. Walter Burke (starred in All the King's Men, Jack the Giant Killer, and Support Your Local Sheriff! and played Tim Potter on Black Saddle) plays carouser Ernie. Sheldon Allman (see "Firehouse Lil" above) plays his buddy Teakwood. Richard Benedict (appeared in A Walk in the Sun, Crossfire, and Ace in the Hole and directed multiple episodes of Hawaiian Eye, Run for Your Life, Ironside, Medical Center, Police Story, and Hawaii Five-O) plays outlaw Lou Silk.

Season 4, Episode 16, "Trojan Horse": Kenneth Tobey (starred in Angel Face, The Thing From Another World, and It Came From Beneath the Sea and played Chuck Martin on Whirleybirds and Russ Conway on I Spy) plays government road agent Duncan Clooney. Richard Bakalyan (starred in The Delicate Delinquent, The Cool and the Crazy, Juvenile Jungle, Hot Car Girl, Paratroop Command, and The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes) plays his worker Eggers.