Saturday, February 7, 2015

Dr. Kildare (1961)

TV medical dramas were nothing new in 1961--there had been at least four such series in the 1950s (City Hospital, The Doctor, Medic, and Dr. Hudson's Secret Journal)--but the year would mark the debut of two extremely popular series about young doctors that would each run for five seasons and spawn a plethora of copycat dramas and soap operas for decades to come. However, the story of Dr. Kildare dates back to the 1930s, created by author Frederick Schiller Faust, who wrote under the pseudonym Max Brand. Kildare was first brought to the screen in 1937's Internes Can't Take Money with Joel McCrea playing young intern Dr. James Kildare and Lionel Barrymore playing his mentor Dr. Leonard Gillespie. Nine more feature films were made over the next five years with Barrymore playing Gillespie in each but with McCrea being replaced by Lew Ayres in the role of Kildare. In 1942 the character of Kildare was jettisoned and six more films were made focusing on Gillespie with other interns, with Van Johnson appearing in four of them and Keye Luke in five. In 1949 Barrymore and Ayres were brought back together on radio in The Story of Dr. Kildare, which was syndicated throughout the 1950s. When MGM decided to bring the drama to the small screen, Richard Chamberlain beat out some 35 other actors, including, according to producer Herbert Hirschman, a well-known but unnamed actor wanted by the network, for the title role. Veteran feature film actor Raymond Massey was signed on to play the caustic role of Gillespie made famous by Barrymore. The show was an instant hit, climbing to #9 on the ratings chart in its debut season, but long-term it proved to be a shooting star, falling to #11 in its second season, #19 for Season 3, and out of the top 30 during its final two seasons.

Though it has been sometimes labeled a "soap opera," TV's Dr. Kildare lacks the betrayal and dirty deeds that are the stock and trade of daytime television. What's most striking, other than the fact that all the doctors smoke like chimneys, is the mean-spirited attitude of many of the characters towards our hero, particularly the resident doctors, who appear to see their role as being akin to drill sergeants in the military. In the series' debut "Twenty-Four Hours" (September 28, 1961) Kildare the intern is currently serving in the ward of Dr. Justin Muntag, who first criticizes Kildare for not getting his lab work done faster and then is only too happy to let Kildare hang himself when the intern learns that Dr. Gillespie will be overseeing that day's rounds and begs to let him present the cases. Muntag receives satisfaction when Gillespie objects to Kildare's attempt to steer him toward the more "interesting" cases and then gets raked over the coals by a difficult alcoholic patient, Julia Dressard, on her way out the door after Kildare had examined her earlier in the day. But Kildare wins the day after Dressard is readmitted after a suicide attempt and he is able to connect with her by sharing stories his father told him about fishing in the town where she is from. Gillespie sees the scene from the hallway and compliments Kildare, telling him that he is on his way to being a real doctor. 

This exchange sets the pattern for the relationship between Gillespie and Kildare, with the chief of staff initially lecturing the intern for his unscientific approach to a particular case and how a doctor must follow medical evidence, not hunches, only to have Kildare's hunches confirmed and Gillespie instruct him to continue to listen to them. Another case in point that involves another resident is "Admitting Service" (November 2, 1961) in which Kildare watches resident Dr. Toby Cunningham examine a middle-aged man who passed out in a taxi and then send the man home with orders to rest for a day and come back three days later. Kildare feels that more tests were warranted and confronts Cunningham before escalating the matter to Gillespie. Gillespie takes Cunningham's side, even when the patient dies in his apartment later that day, saying that the resident had administered average care expected in such a case. And even when the pathological report comes back and confirms that Kildare's suspicion of the man suffering from a leaking aneurysm was correct, Gillespie points out that the additional tests Kildare wanted would not have detected it. Even so, Gillespie leaves Kildare with the admonishment to continue listening to his hunches.

As with the residents, the fair-haired Kildare is not liked by the hospital's older nurse Beatrice Fain, who makes snide remarks about young residents and in "Immunity" (October 5, 1961) rolls her eyes and expresses annoyance at the number of tests and amount of time he requires in examining an elderly Polish immigrant named Wolski, who, as it turns out, has small pox. The younger nurses, on the other hand, are the subject of much flirtation by Kildare and fellow interns Dr. John Kapish, Dr. Thomas Gerson, and particularly Dr. Simon Agurski. But other than a little playful banter, nothing much seems to happen between them. Even when doe-eyed nurse Miss Anna Lee Novotny pines for Kildare in ”The Patient" (November 23, 1961) because he is "so dedicated" and he actually asks her out on a date, her interest proves to be temporary when he trips over her dressing cart and is laid up as a patient for a week, giving her time to get over him and redirect her admiration on Gerson. Speaking of Kildare's fellow interns, their role on the program is mostly to accentuate just how dedicated Kildare is because when they are not lusting after young nurses, they are complaining about the workload, or in the case of Kapish, donning a trench-coat and fedora to avoid the gaze of a resident who might put him to work.

Another unusual element of the series is Kildare's intrusion into his patients' lives outside the hospital. He is chastised by Gillespie in "Twenty-Four Hours" for trying to tell Dressard how to live rather than just treating her medical condition, but he ignores the advice when he sees her drunk at a bar near the hospital and then volunteers to go with her to pick up her son from private school, only to learn from her ex-husband that she has no custody of the boy and is forbidden from taking him home. He again dispenses advice to terminally ill Julie Lawler in "Shining Image" (October 12, 1961), visiting her at her apartment to encourage her to finish at least one of her many abandoned projects. Gillespie gets in on the fraternization bandwagon in "A Million Dollar Property" (October 26, 1961), practically assigning Kildare to go on a weekend at the beach house of troubled movie star Kathy Stebbins to help persuade her to drop her sycophantic entourage and pursue a legitimate stage career under the tutelage of Gillespie's thespian muse Cathleen Nesbitt. And even after the father of a paranoid schizophrenic teen in "Johnny Temple" (December 28, 1961) refuses to have his dangerous son committed, Kildare goes to his house to press the matter further but gets thrown out of the house for his troubles. In short, Kildare's meddling outside of Blair General Hospital rarely succeed. However, when he shows remarkable restraint in not telling his old friend Harry Benton that he is engaged to a heroin addict, Martha, the fiance, is finally able to work up the courage to tell Harry herself in "The Lonely Ones" (November 9, 1961).

Though Dr. Kildare is an easy target for criticism due its sermonizing--and not without justification in episodes such as the National Safety Council public service announcement that comprises the episode "Holiday Weekend" (November 16, 1961) or the defense of theology by Gillespie in "Season to Be Jolly" (December 21, 1961)--it also sometimes takes an honest look at controversial topics, such as the aforementioned episode on drug addiction in "The Lonely Ones." Not only are we shown a close-up of Martha's needle tracks on her arm, no doubt shocking for the time, but Martha is depicted as a sympathetic character maintaining a normal appearance while struggling with her dependence and its shame. Nor does the episode end with a sugar-coated resolution: Gillespie tells Martha that there is no cure for addiction, but if she willingly follows their treatment plan there is a good chance for recovery, an upbeat message but without a guarantee. The series also takes a stark look at mercy-killing in "For the Living" (November 30, 1961) in which a friend of Kildare's father goes into a coma after falling in a poolside accident and the victim's brother takes it upon himself to let his brother die by withholding critical medication because he feels his brother's vegetative state is ruining the lives of his wife and son. Gillespie gives another one of his lectures to the surviving brother that the role of the doctor is to always preserve life and cites a case of an acquaintance struck down by a debilitating condition for which a cure was discovered a few years later. Who is to say that a similar cure for this man's brother might not have been found in the future? The episode hardly wraps up cheerily with the surviving brother agreeing to turn himself in to the district attorney, while the widow and her son hardly have a carefree life ahead of them knowing that their husband and father was killed by his brother. In episodes such as these, Dr. Kildare takes an unflinching look at the difficult medical issues of the time, many of which still trouble us today. The show may have been a hit originally because its star became a teen idol, but it retains its relevance with subject matter that doesn't fade with the seasons.

The theme music and individual scores for early episodes of Dr. Kildare were composed by Jerry Goldsmith (then credited as Jerrald Goldsmith). Goldsmith, who would go on to become one of the most acclaimed soundtrack composers, was born in Los Angeles, the son of a structural engineer and a schoolteacher. He began studying piano at age 6, though only became serious about it five years later. At 13 he studied with Jakob Gimpel and at 16 he studied with Mario Castelnuevo-Tedesco, who also tutored Henry Mancini, Nelson Riddle, Andre Previn, and John Williams, to name a few. Also at age 16 he saw the film Spellbound and was so impressed by the score composed by Miklos Rozsa that he decided to become a soundtrack composer himself. He enrolled at USC to study under Rozsa but later left the university for what he considered a more practical education at Los Angeles City College. In 1950 he got a friend to fake a typing test to get him a job as a clerk typist with CBS Radio because he knew that the employees were regularly allowed to show their talents in producing a radio show. Soon thereafter he was producing scores for radio programs such as Romance and eventually moved over to live TV shows such as Climax! and Playhouse 90. In 1954 he composed his first TV show theme for The Lineup, and his first feature film score came in 1957 for Black Patch. He remained at CBS until 1960, working on TV shows such as Perry Mason, Have Gun--Will Travel, The Twilight Zone, and Thriller, for which he received his first Emmy nomination. He also scored additional feature films such as City of Fear and Face of a Fugitive. After leaving CBS, he worked for Revue Studios before moving on to MGM to work for Norman Felton on Dr. Kildare in 1961. The series produced the only top 10 hit of Goldsmith's career in a vocal version of the main theme, "Three Stars Will Shine Tonight," sung by Chamberlain. Film Score Monthly has issued a limited edition 3-disc box set containing themes, scores, and cues by Goldsmith and many other composers such as Lalo Schifrin, Harry Sukman, and Morton Stevens, who worked on the series over the years. 

The following year he received his first Oscar nomination for the score to the biopic Freud and from there his career exploded. In 1963 he composed the score for Lillies of the Field, The Stripper, The List of Adrian Messenger, A Gathering of Eagles, Take Her, She's Mine, and The Prize. In 1964 he composed the theme for The Man From U.N.C.L.E., earning both Emmy and Grammy nominations, earned a Golden Globe nomination for Seven Days in May, and composed scores for four more feature films. He received an Oscar nomination in 1965 for A Patch of Blue, in 1966 for The Sand Pebbles, and in 1968 for The Planet of the Apes. The 1970s continued the string of Oscar nominations for Patton in 1970, Papillon in 1973, and Chinatown in 1974, the same year he won an Emmy for the mini-series QBVII. After being nominated for another Oscar in 1975 for The Wind and the Lion and winning another Emmy for Babe, he won his first and only Oscar for the eerie soundtrack to The Omen in 1976. The 1970s would close out with two more Oscar nominations for The Boys From Brazil in 1978 and Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1979, the same year he composed the score for Alien. The 1980s brought three more Oscar nominations for Poltergeist, Under Fire, and Hoosiers, as well as another mini-series Emmy for Masada. In the 1990s he received three more Oscar nominations for Basic Instinct, L.A. Confidential, and Mulan. He continued scoring for subsequent Star Trek feature films and all three Rambo features, as well as Poltergeist II, both Gremlins features, The Mummy, and Along Came a Spider. In the 200s he began to turn down work because of failing health, with his last feature assignment being the animated Looney Tunes: Back in Action released in 2003. He died from colon cancer on July 21, 2004 at the age of 75.

The first three seasons have been released on DVD by Warner Archives.

The Actors

Richard Chamberlain

Born in Los Angeles, George Richard Chamberlain's family moved to Beverly Hills soon after his birth. His father was a salesman and an alcoholic, making Chamberlain's childhood a difficult one, though he was close to his mother and grandmother. He starred in track at Beverly Hills High School, then went on to study art (a pursuit he would return to after finding success as an actor) at Pomona College before discovering a love for the theater. After college he served in the Army during the Korean War, rising to the rank of sergeant before an honorable discharge after 16 months of service. Returning home, Chamberlain studied acting under Jeff Corey and helped found the Los Angeles theater group Company of Angels while also studying singing and dancing. His first television appearance was a guest spot on Alfred Hitchcock Presents in 1959, and the following year he made appearances on Thriller, Gunsmoke, Mr. Lucky, Riverboat, Rescue 8, and Bourbon Street Beat as well as appearing in his first feature film The Secret of the Purple Reef. But being cast as intern Dr. James Kildare in the 1961 dramatic series vaulted him to fame and quickly earned him teen idol status. He also found success with his singing, scoring a top 10 hit with a vocal version of the Dr. Kildare theme "Three Stars Will Shine Tonight" and reaching #21 with a cover of "Love Me Tender" and #14 with "All I Have to Do Is Dream." In 1963 he won a Golden Globe for Best TV Star - Male, but after the series ended in 1966 he turned his attention away from television and toward feature films and the theater to establish himself as a serious actor.

When the films he made during the latter years of Dr. Kildare--A Thunder of Drums, Twilight of Honor, and Joy in the Morning-- and a disastrous Broadway production of Breakfast at Tiffany's with Mary Tyler Moore failed to win him accolades, he moved to England in the late 1960s and starred in a TV miniseries adaptation of Henry James' Portrait of a Lady and then starred opposite Julie Christie in Petulia. In 1969 he took on the challenging role of playing Hamlet with the Birmingham Repertory Company, which earned him favorable reviews, even from London critics who made the journey to see him. After 5 years in England he returned to the States and continued his work in feature films, playing the composer Tchaikovsky in The Music Lovers and Lord Byron in Lady Caroline Lamb before striking great commercial success playing Aramis in The Three Musketeers and its sequel The Four Musketeers: Milady's Revenge as well as disaster epics The Towering Inferno and The Swarm. Besides continuing his work on the stage, he also appeared in several TV movies and was  nominated for an Emmy for his role as Edmond Dantes in 1975's The Count of Monte Cristo. The 1980s, however, would crown him the King of the Miniseries for his work in Centennial, Shogun, and The Thorn Birds, the last two of which would earn him his second and third Golden Globes. In 1988 he also starred as Jason Bourne in the TV movie version of The Bourne Identity long before Matt Damon played the character on the big screen. In 1986 Chamberlain and partner Martin Rabbett moved to Hawaii, where they celebrated a civil union ceremony. His new residence would provide the setting for his return to TV series with 1989's Island Son, though the show lasted for only 19 episodes. TV movies, feature films, and theatrical productions kept him busy throughout the 1990s and in the new millennium he began making more TV appearances on shows such as The Drew Carey Show, Will & Grace, Nip/Tuck, and Chuck. In 2010 he left Rabbett, who had served as his agent for over 30 years, in Hawaii and returned to Los Angeles, where he felt he would have more acting opportunities. He has since then made 5 appearances as Jonathon Byrold on Brothers & Sisters and 2 appearances on Leverage as well as appearing in the independent feature We Are the Hartmans. His next appearance will be in Igor Sunara's feature The Haunted Secret due out later this year. At the age of 80 Chamberlain shows no signs of slowing down.

Raymond Massey

Raymond Hart Massey was born in Toronto, Ontario. His father was the grandson of the founder of the Massey-Harris Tractor Company, makers of the largest-selling farm tractor in the world. He attended two smaller colleges in Canada, took some courses at the University of Toronto, and eventually graduated from Balliol College, Oxford. He joined the Canadian Army during World War I and served with the artillery on the Western Front before being sent home with shell-shock. But in 1918 he was sent to Siberia, then occupied by American forces, where he made his first theater appearance while entertaining the troops. He was later sent to France, where he was seriously wounded and sent home for good. Though he originally worked in the family business, he decided to pursue an acting career and by 1922 was appearing on the London stage in In the Zone. He had worked his way into feature films with a pair of uncredited roles in 1929 before securing his breakout part as Sherlock Holmes in the 1931 feature The Speckled Band, the first Sherlock Holmes film made with sound. From there Massey's career in feature films was prolific and acclaimed, starring in The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Prisoner of Zenda, Abe Lincoln in Illinois (for which he received an Oscar nomination), Santa Fe Trail, Reap the Wild Wind, Arsenic and Old Lace, God Is My Co-Pilot, Stairway to Heaven, Possessed, The Fountainhead, East of Eden, Seven Angry Men, The Naked and the Dead, and a brief appearance as President Abraham Lincoln in How the West Was Won. Massey began his television career in 1948 with an appearance on The Ford Theatre Hour, playing Lincoln again on Pulitzer Prize Playhouse and Lux Video Theatre, and making several more appearances on other drama anthology shows. From 1955-57 he appeared 25 times as Anton the Spymaster on the original version of I Spy, but his other TV spots were more sporadic until he was cast at age 64 as chief surgeon Dr. Leonard Gillespie on Dr. Kildare

He stayed with the series through its entire 5-year run, appearing in 191 episodes. After the show ended, he racked up only 10 more credits in the last 7 years of his career, including a spot on The Girl From U.N.C.L.E., two appearances each on Insight and Night Gallery, playing a preacher in the feature Mackenna's Gold, and a trio of TV movies. He was awarded two stars, one for television and one for movies, on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and had a cocktail named after him. His divorce from his second wife, Adrianne Allen, provided the idea for the Katherine Hepburn/Spencer Tracy feature Adam's Rib. Massey and Allen were represented in the divorce case by the husband/wife legal team of Dorothy Whitney and William Dwight Whitney. After the Masseys divorce was settled, the Whitneys divorced each other, and Massey then married Dorothy Whitney while Allen married William Dwight Whitney. Massey remained married to Dorothy Whitney for the remainder of his life, until July 29, 1983 when he died at the age of 86 from pneumonia.

Ken Berry

Kenneth Ronald Berry of Moline, Illinois got the entertainer bug after seeing a children's dance performance at the age of 12. Berry also loved the dancing films of Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire and after taking tap dance classes for a few years won a talent contest sponsored by big band leader Horace Heidt, which led to Berry touring with Heidt around the world for the next 15 months. After graduating from high school he joined the Army and soon began winning talent contests there, too, first winning a trip to New York to perform on Arlene Francis' Soldier Parade and later placing third in a contest that won him an appearance on Ed Sullivan's Toast of the Town. When he left the Army, his commanding sergeant, Leonard Nimoy, put in a good word for him with Hollywood agents and scouts, and Berry was soon signed to Universal Studios. While with Universal, Berry didn't rack up any film credits (he was supposed to take over for Donald O'Connor in the Francis the talking mule films, but Mickey Rooney was hired instead), but he spent his time wisely taking more dance, voice, and acting classes. When his contract with Universal expired in 1956, he went to Las Vegas and worked in both Abbott & Costello's and Ken Murray's stage acts. In 1957 he appeared on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts, won that week's competition, and was signed to tour the country with Godfrey for the next 6 weeks. In 1958 he joined the Billy Barnes Revue, where he was spotted by Lucille Ball, who signed him to Desilu, though he continued performing with the Billy Barnes Revue. Back with Desilu in 1960, he was cast in his first recurring TV role as Woody the bellhop on The Ann Sothern Show for the 1960-61 season. He got a few bit parts on other series, then the following year he was cast as Dr. John Kapish, one of several interns on Dr. Kildare whose purpose was to provide comic counterpoint to Kildare's more serious endeavors. Though he appeared in 25 episodes over the course of the series' first three seasons, Berry describes his role as a "day player," rather than a regular cast member, in an interview he gave to the Archive of American Television in 2012. While still on Kildare, Berry also appeared four times as Lt. Melton on Ensign O'Toole and appeared twice as Tony Daniels, in addition to providing choreography, on The Dick Van Dyke Show.

After leaving Kildare, Berry had a few appearances on the TV version of No Time for Sergeants before landing his first big starring role as accident-prone Capt. Wilton Parmenter on F Troop, which ran for only two seasons before being canceled but enjoyed a long life thereafter in syndication. Berry would not wait long for his next television role, however, appearing in four episodes as Sam Jones in the final season of The Andy Griffith Show, then having his character spun off into his own show Mayberry R.F.D., which ran for another three seasons. During this time Berry also began appearing as a frequent guest on The Carol Burnett Show. Burnett had first seen Berry back in his days with the Billy Barnes Revue, and besides featuring him on her variety show, she chose him to also appear in her revival of the Broadway hit Once Upon a Mattress when it was made into a TV movie in 1972. During the 1970s Berry also appeared in a few Disney feature films, most notably Herbie Ride Again and The Cat From Outer Space. In 1973 he appeared on an episode of The Brady Bunch as Ken Kelly, the adoptive father of three children from diverse ethnic backgrounds which was intended to be spun off into its own series but was never picked up. He appeared in seven episodes of Fantasy Island in the late 1970s and early 1980s before being cast as Vinton Harper in the Carol Burnett Show spinoff Mama's Family, which ran from 1983-90. During this time Berry also appeared in many touring musical productions, but in the 1990s his performing career slowed down considerably, his last TV appearance being a 1999 episode of Maggie Winters. Berry has said he was stunned when Mama's Family was canceled and that he was only offered bit parts from then on. He finally decided that it didn't pay enough for the amount of work involved and retired from acting. Ironically, given his history on Kildare, Berry says that he spends a lot of his time these days visiting doctors.

Jud Taylor

Born in New York City, Judson Taylor attended the University of California at Berkeley and broke into television acting at the age of 23 in a 1955 episode of I Led 3 Lives. The following year he made his feature film debut in the military ensemble piece Attack, which also featured Jack Palance, Eddie Albert, Lee Marvin, and Buddy Ebsen. He continued to get bit parts on TV series such as Gunsmoke, Men of Annapolis, and Harbormaster through the late 1950s until he was cast as Richard Chamberlain's fellow intern Dr. Thomas Gerson for the first season of Dr. Kildare. He would make 16 appearances in the role over the next four years, but the series proved to be a launching pad for Taylor's ultimate career as a director, as he would direct 10 episodes of the show in 1965, the same year as his last appearance as an actor. But while still acting on Kildare he also made his most notable feature film appearance, playing the character Goff in The Great Escape in 1963. Also concurrent with his career on Kildare, he appeared in five episodes of The Fugitive and three episodes of 12 O'Clock High.

But these would prove to be the final credits in his acting career. In late 1965 he directed episodes of Man From U.N.C.L.E. and A Man Called Shenandoah, followed by four more episodes of the latter in 1966 along with single episodes of The Girl From U.N.C.L.E., The Fugitive, Shane, and Felony Squad. In 1968 he directed the first of what would be over 40 TV movies as well as the first two of five episodes of Star Trek. In 1969-70 it was eight episodes of Then Came Bronson, and by the mid 1970s his work consisted almost entirely of TV movies. In 1977 he was nominated for an Emmy for directing Tail Gunner Joe, a biopic about the life of Communist-hunter Sen. Joe McCarthy. In 1977 he was elected Vice President of the Directors Guild of America. He held the position for four years and was then elected President, serving from 1981-83. He helped improve the organization's health and pension systems, won improved pay and creative rights for directors, and made affirmative action improvements for women and minorities. In 1988 he won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Specials for the TV movie Foxfire. He continued working almost exclusively in the genre until the very end of his career, when he directed five episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit between 2000 and 2004. It was reported that his death came after a long illness on August 6, 2008 at the age of 76.

Eddie Ryder

Edward Reider was born in New York City and spent most of his career playing minor comic roles, many of them with generic character names or entirely uncredited. His television career began in 1953 at the age of 29 with appearances on Adventures of Superman and Space Patrol. The following year marked his debut in feature films with two uncredited appearances and a credited part in The Country Girl with Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly. He mixed TV and feature film appearances throughout the 1950s, most notably as the character Two Tanks in the teen exploitation feature Hot Rod Girl and as Dr. Cravens in three episodes of Dr. Hudson's Secret Journal. In 1959 he landed his first recurring role as Elliott on all 32 episodes of The Dennis O'Keefe Show, which ran for only a single season. This role no doubt paved the way for his next recurring role as Dr. Simon Agurski on Dr. Kildare, appearing in 21 episodes between 1961-65. During this time he also appeared in feature films such as Son of Flubber, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, The Patsy, and in another doctor role in The New Interns

After Dr. Kildare he continued getting minor parts in films such as The Oscar, Not With My Wife You Don't, and The Big Mouth, as well as occasional TV parts. In 1968 he made the first of four appearances on Get Smart, which led to further work with Mel Brooks, directing an episode of the show in 1969 and later appearing in two Brooks' features--Silent Movie and High Anxiety. He appeared in six episodes of Mannix, four of Bonanza, and two each of Barnaby Jones and The Streets of San Francisco along with single episodes of many others. His career slowed down considerably in the 1980s with his last appearance being a 1989 episode of Hunter. He died March 29, 1997 at the age of 74 in El Paso, Texas.

Jean Inness

Actress Jean Inness was born in Cleveland in 1900 and broke into feature films at the age of 41 with four uncredited roles, a short, and playing Miss Morton in Not a Ladies' Man. She was the wife of actor Victor Jory, to whom she was married 50 years from 1928 until her death in 1978. In her acting career she racked up 73 credits, usually in supporting roles in B movies like The Green-Eyed Blonde and The Night Runner (though she did make uncredited appearances in Yankee Doodle Dandy and  Rosemary's Baby). Her TV appearances were usually one-off minor roles, though she appeared three times on Wagon Train and four times on The Virginian. Her only recurring part was the usually ill-tempered Nurse Beatrice Fain on Dr. Kildare, with 22 appearances between 1961 and 1965. She continued making TV appearances until 1971, her last playing a nurse again on Love American Style. Her daughter Jean appeared on three TV shows in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and her son Jon led the Actors Theatre of Louisville, Kentucky for 31 years. Inness died from cancer at the age of 78 on December 27, 1978.

Joan Patrick

Not much biographical information is available about actress Joan Patrick. She was born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada and won the title of Miss Canada. Her first screen credits were in 1961, the same year she appeared in six episodes of Dr. Kildare playing Dr. Gillespie's receptionist Susan Deigh. That same year she also appeared in an episode of Sea Hunt and the Rock Hudson/Doris Day comedy Lover Come Back. She did not appear in any more episodes of Kildare after its first season but was cast in supporting parts on shows such as Perry Mason, Burke's Law, and Hazel through the mid-1960s. In 1966 she appeared on an episode of The Dating Game and was chosen as the date for writer Richard Warren Lewis, who appeared on the show as part of a writing assignment for an article about the program. The two hit it off immediately and within two weeks he had proposed and she accepted, with the wedding scheduled for August 27, 1966, as reported by the Reading, PA Reading Eagle. She continued her acting career through the 1960s, appearing in a 1966 TV movie of Death of a Salesman, episodes of I Dream of Jeannie, Get Smart, and It Takes a Thief, and had a supporting role in the science fiction kitsch classic The Astro-Zombies, her last credit from 1968. She later had a 25-year career as an executive with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and in the early 1990s converted to Mormonism. In 1994 she was named the producer of a new program called For All Seasons which would bring Mormon programming to TV cable subscribers throughout Canada. 

Notable Guest Stars

Season 1, Episode 1, "Twenty-Four Hours": Beverly Garland  (shown on the left, played Casey Jones on Decoy, Ellis Collins on The Bing Crosby Show, Barbara Harper Douglas on My Three Sons, Dorothy "Dotty" West on Scarecrow and Mrs. King, Ellen Lane on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, and Ginger on 7th Heaven) plays alcoholic patient Julia Dressard. Robert Karnes (Max Fields on The Lawless Years and Deputy D.A. Victor Chamberlin on Perry Mason) plays her ex-husband Ben. Jack Weston (Wilbur "Wormsey" Wormser on Red Brown of the Rocket Rangers, Chick Adams on My Sister Eileen, Walter Hathaway on The Hathaways, and Danny Zimmer on The Four Seasons) plays resident Dr. Justin Muntag. Gina Gillespie (Tess on Law of the Plainsman and Mimi Scott on Karen) plays a young girl patient.

Season 1, Episode 2, "Immunity": Ted Knight (shown on the right, played Ted Baxter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Roger Dennis on The Ted Knight Show, and Henry Rush on Too Close for Comfort) plays Polish immigrant Henryk. Gail Kobe (Penny Adams on Trackdown and Doris Schuster on Peyton Place and producer of over 200 episodes of The Bold and the Beautiful) plays Polish-American Dr. Anne Warner. Naomi Stevens (Juanita on The Doris Day Show, Mama Rossini on My Three Sons, Rose Montefusco on The Montefuscos, and Sgt. Bella Archer on Vega$) plays her Aunt Kasia. William Fawcett (Clayton on Duffy's Tavern, Marshal George Higgins on The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, and Pete Wilkey on Fury) plays wino Cox. Paul Trinka (Patterson on Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea) plays a Polish-American bridgegroom.

Season 1, Episode 3, "Shining Image": Suzanne Pleshette (shown on the left, starred in The Geisha Boy, The Birds, A Rage to Live, The Ugly Dachshund, Nevada Smith, and Support Your Local Gunfighter and played Emily Hartley on The Bob Newhart Show, Maggie Briggs on Suzanne Pleshette Is Maggie Briggs¸ Christine Broderick on Nightingales, Jackie Hansen on The Boys Are Back, and Claire Arnold on Good Morning Miami) plays terminally ill patient Julie Lawler. Edward Andrews (appeared in The Harder They Fall, Elmer Gantry, The Absent-Minded Professor, Son of Flubber, Advise and Consent, and The Glass Bottom Boat and played Cmdr. Rogers Adrian on Broadside and Col. Fairburn on The Doris Day Show) plays her half-brother Arthur Penmore. Harvey Korman (played various characters on The Carol Burnett Show, the voice of The Great Gazoo on The Flintstones, Harvey A. Kavanuagh on The Harvey Korman Show, Leo Green on Leo & Liz in Beverly Hills, and Reginald J. Tarkington on The Nutt House) plays resident Dr. B.R. Liebman. John Fiedler (appeared in 12 Angry Men, That Touch of Mink, The World of Henry Orient, Kiss Me, Stupid, Girl Happy, The Odd Couple, and True Grit and played Emil Peterson on The Bob Newhart Show and Woody on Buffalo Bill) plays priest Father Hughes.

Season 1, Episode 4, "Winter Harvest": Charles Bickford (starred in Of Mice and Men, The Song of Bernadette, Four Faces West, Johnny Belinda, and  A Star Is Born and played John Grainger on The Virginian) plays aging surgeon Dr. Charles Dubro. Sandy Kenyon (Des Smith on Crunch and Des, Shep Baggott on The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters, and Reverend Kathrun on Knots Landing) plays junior surgeon Dr. William Galdi. Herschel Bernardi (shown on the right, see the biography section for the 1960 post on Peter Gunn) plays parking attendant Pico. Gavin MacLeod (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 rich hypochondriac Lorenzo Lawson. Hayden Rorke (starred in Father's Little Dividend, When Worlds Collide, and Pillow Talk and played Steve on Mr. Adams and Eve, Col. Farnsworth on No Time for Sergeants, Dr. Alfred Bellows on I Dream of Jeannie and later played Bishop on Dr. Kildare) plays head of surgery Dr. Norman Hackett. 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) plays a surgical anesthesiologist.

Season 1, Episode 5, "A Million Dollar Property": Anne Francis (shown on the left, starred in Bad Day at Black Rock, Forbidden Planet, Don't Go Near the Water, and The Love God? and played Honey West on Honey West and Arliss Cooper on Dallas) plays movie star Kathy Stebbins. Louisa Humber (starred in Three Coins in the Fountain, An Affair to Remember, The Parent Trap, and Family Plot and played Agatha Morley on The Farmer's Daughter) plays her mentor Cathleen Nesbitt. Joby Baker (David Lewis on Good Morning, World) plays her agent Jerry House. Jan Murray (Borscht Belt comedian appeared in The Busy Body, Who Killed Teddy Bear, Which Way to the Front, and Tarzan and the Great River and hosted game shows Sing It Again, Dollar a Second, and Treasure Hunt) plays Vegas entertainer Kenny Hallerton.

Season 1, Episode 6, "Admitting Service": William Shatner (shown on the right, starred in The Brothers Karamazov, Judgment at Nuremberg, Kingdom of the Spiders, and The Kidnapping of the President and played David Koster on For the People, Dr. Carl Noyes on Dr. Kildare, Capt. James T. Kirk on Star Trek, Jeff Cable on Barbary Coast, Sgt. T.J. Hooker on T.J. Hooker, Walter H. Bascom on TekWar, Denny Crane on The Practice and Boston Legal, and Dr. Edison Milford Goodson III on $#*! My Dad Says) plays resident Dr. Toby Cunningham. Gloria Talbott (starred in The Cyclops, Daughter of Dr. Jekyll,  and I Married a Monster From Outer Space and played Moneta on Zorro) plays his wife Jerry. Robert Williams (postman Mr. Dorfman on Dennis the Menace  and Barney on Hazel) plays patient Louis Parker. John Hart (appeared in The Buccaneer, Jack Armstrong, and The Ten Commandments and played Nat "Hawkeye" Cutler on Hawkeye and the Last of the Mohicans and was Clayton Moore's replacement on The Lone Ranger from 1950-53 when Moore was in the midst of a contract dispute) plays a policeman. Amy Fields (Jean on The F.B.I.) plays nurse Jane Cavanaugh.

Season 1, Episode 7, "The Lonely Ones": Dick York (shown on the left, played Tom Colwell on Going My Way and Darrin Stephens on Bewitched) plays Kildare's old friend Harry Benton. Robert P. Lieb (Harry Thompson on Hazel) plays Kildare's father Dr. Stephen Kildare. Ford Rainey (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Window on Main Street) plays the elder Kildare's medical practice partner Dr. Andy Meadows. Linda Watkins (Robin Crosley on One Life to Live) plays Benton's fiance's mother Mrs. Keeler. Howard Caine (Schaab on The Californians and Maj. Wolfgang Hochstetter on Hogan's Heroes) plays a short-order cook. Harold Gould (Bowman Chamberlain on The Long Hot Summer, Harry Danton on The Feather and Father Gang, Martin Morgenstern on Rhoda, Jonah Foot on Foot in the Door, Ben Sprague on Spencer, and Miles Webber on The Golden Girls) plays a policeman. Harry Swoger (Harry the bartender on The Big Valley) plays a motel manager.

Season 1, Episode 8, "Holiday Weekend": Dick Sargent (shown on the right, starred in Bernardine, Operation Petticoat, and The Ghost and Mr. Chicken and played Dick Cooper on One Happy Family, Lt. Maxwell Trotter on Broadside, Terrance Ward on The Tammy Grimes Show, the second Darrin Stephens on Bewitched, and Richard Preston on Down to Earth) plays intern Dr. Paul Willis. Dabbs Greer (see the biography section for the 1960 post on Gunsmoke) plays his father. Edward Binns (starred in 12 Angry Men, North by Northwest, Heller in Pink Tights, and Judgment at Nuremberg and played Roy Brenner on Brenner and Wally Powers on It Takes a Thief) plays traffic accident patient Ben Laney. Henry Beckman (Commander Paul Richards on Flash Gordon, Mulligan on I'm Dickens, He's Fenster, George Anderson on Peyton Place, Colonel Harrigan on McHale's Navy, Capt. Roland Frances Clancey on Here Come the Brides, Pat Harwell on Funny Face, Harry Mark on Bronk, and Alf Scully on Check It Out) plays the Blair Hospital security officer.  John Marley (starred in Cat Ballou, Love Story, and The Godfather) plays surgeon Dr. Xavier Miller. Lew Gallo (Major Joseph Cobb on 12 O'Clock High and directed multiple episodes of That Girl, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Love American Style, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, and The New Mike Hammer) plays assistant surgeon Dr. Ned Rand. 

Season 1, Episode 9, "The Patient": Jean Stapleton (shown on the left, starred in Damn Yankees, Bells Are Ringing, and Up the Down Staircase and played Edith Bunker on All in the Family and Archie Bunker's Place and Jasmine Sweibel on Bagdad Cafe) plays head nurse Mrs. Whitney. Guy Raymond (appeared in Gypsy, The Reluctant Astronaut, Bandolero!, and It Happened at the World's Fair and played Cliff Murdock on Tom, Dick, and Mary, Karen, and Harris Against the World and Mr. Peevey on The Ghost and Mrs. Muir) plays distrustful patient Mr. Kelsey. Nora Marlowe (Martha Commager on Law of the Plainsman, Sara Andrews on The Governor and J.J., and Mrs. Flossie Brimmer on The Waltons) plays his wife. Vaughn Taylor (starred in Jailhouse Rock, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Psycho, and In Cold Blood and played Ernest P. Duckweather on Johnny Jupiter) plays realtor patient Mr. McAllister. Adrienne Marden (Mary Breckenridge on The Waltons) plays his wife. Mark Allen (Matt Kissel on The Travels of Jamie McPheeters and Sam Evans on Dark Shadows) plays patient requiring surgery Mr. Stedman. George Selk (see the biography section for the 1960 post on Gunsmoke) plays an elderly patient.

Season 1, Episode 10, "For the Living": Tom Greenway (Sheriff Jack Bronson on State Trooper) plays head trauma patient Ben Rainey. Beatrice Straight (starred in Network, Endless Love, and Poltergeist and played Louisa Beauchamp on King's Crossing) plays his wife Pam. Charles McGraw (appeared in The Killers, Blood on the Moon, The Narrow Margin, and Spartacus and played Mike Waring on The Adventures of Falcon) plays his brother Fred. Ed Prentiss (Carl Jensen on The Virginian) plays surgeon Dr. Quentin Mason.

Season 1, Episode 11, "Second Chance": Ross Martin (shown on the right, see the biography section for the 1960 post on Mr. Lucky) plays intern Dr. Bill Mitchell. Ellen Burstyn (shown on the left, starred in For Those Who Think Young, The Last Picture Show, The Exorcist, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, and Same Time, Next Year and played Julie Parsons on Iron Horse, Ellen Brewer on The Ellen Burstyn Show, Dolly DeLucca on That's Life, Bishop Beatrice Congreve on The Book of Daniel, Nancy Davis Dutton on Big Love, and Evanka on Louie) plays his fiance Anne Garner. Rita Lynn (Ella Russo on The Detectives and Miss Kelly on Mr. Smith Goes to Washington) plays the mother of an asthmatic girl Mrs. Ashton. Justice Watson (J.W. Harrington on Holiday Lodge) plays the girl's physician Dr. Zachary Hardy. Donna Douglas (Barbara Simmons on Checkmate and Elly Mae Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies) plays switchboard operator Jenny. Barry Gordon (Dennis Whitehead on The New Dick Van Dyke Show, Charlie Harrison on Fish, Gary Rabinowitz on Archie Bunker's Place, Roger Hightower on A Family for Joe, and was the voice of Donatello on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) medically inquisitive boy Billy. Harvey Korman (see "Shining Image" above) returns as resident B.R. Liebman.

Season 1, Episode 12, "Hit and Run": Richard Kiley (Joe Gardner on A Year in the Life and Jason DeWitt on The Great Defender) plays hospital-averse father Fred Carroll. Roger Mobley (Homer Lambert on Fury) plays his injured son Jamie. Dick Foran (Fire Chief Ed Washburne on Lassie and Slim on O.K., Crackerby!) plays his neighbor Paul Adams. Michael McGreevey (see the biography section for the 1960 post on Riverboat) plays Adams' son Tommy. Joey Scott (Donald Brown on National Velvet and producer of more than 20 episodes each of Growing Pains, Sister, Sister, and All of Us) plays an ambulance attendant. 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 orthopedic surgeon Tom Paulson. Stuart Nisbet (the bartender on The Virginian) plays consulting physician Dr. Arthur Foster. Eileen Chesis (Sissie Potter on The Tom Ewell Show) plays young patient Wendy. Paul Bryar (Sheriff Harve Anders on The Long, Hot Summer) plays hospital security chief Benton. George Cisar (Sgt. Mooney on Dennis the Menace and Cyrus Tankersley on The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry R.F.D.) plays a security guard.

Season 1, Episode 13, "Season to Be Jolly": Dan O'Herlihy (played "Doc" Sardius McPheeters on The Travels of Jamie McPheeters, "Boss" Will Varner #2 on The Long, Hot Summer, Lt. Col. Max Dodd on Colditz, The Director on A Man Called Sloane, and Andrew Packard on Twin Peaks) plays drunk Santa Mark Addison. Dan Tobin (shown on the left, played Terrance Clay on Perry Mason) plays Blair Hospital p.r. writer Jonesy. Bert Remsen (Detective Lawrence on Peyton Place, Mr. Pell on Gibbsville, Mario on It's a Living, and Jack Crager on Dynasty) plays head resident Dr. Oscar Hoag. Kenneth MacKenna (starred in Man Trouble, Temple Tower, and Judgment at Nuremberg) plays Addison's former boss Bishop Fanning. Meg Wyllie (Mrs. Kissell on The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters and Aunt Lolly Stemple on Mad About You) plays expectant mother Mrs. Kelly. Hayden Rorke (see "Winter Harvest" above) returns as head surgeon Dr. Hackett. William Fawcett (see "Immunity" above) plays lonely hypochondriac Charlie.

Season 1, Episode 14, "Johnny Temple": Douglas Lambert (Walter Schiff on Inside Story) plays troubled teenager Johnny Temple. Peter Whitney (Sergeant Buck Sinclair on The Rough Riders and Lafe Crick on The Beverly Hillbillies) plays his father Carl. Virginia Gregg (starred in Dragnet, Crime in the Streets, Operation Petticoat and was the voice of Norma Bates in Psycho and the voice of Maggie Belle Klaxon on Calvin and the Colonel) plays his mother Grace. Lawrence Haddon (Mr. Brady on Dennis the Menace, Ed McCullough on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, the foreign editor on Lou Grant, Dr. Mitch Ackerman on Knots Landing, and Franklin Horner on Dallas) plays emergency room chief Dr. Charles Galmeir. Sam Flint (Mr. Armstead on Father Knows Best and Judge Jewett on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays a Blair Hospital board member. Tom Palmer (Doc Stewart on Lawman) plays the hospital's attorney.

1 comment:

  1. A wonderful write-up of one of my favorite shows when I was a little kid. I distinctly remember one Halloween which fell on the night Kildare was on (Thursday) which probably made it 1963 when I was nine, and we turned off the porch light so that no more trick-or-treaters would come when we were watching "Dr. Kildare". (Older kids & teens would go out later than the little kids!). Such a great show!