Monday, July 3, 2017

Hazel (1961)



If The Donna Reed Show was a proto-feminist television program because it was the first to focus primarily on the woman of the house rather than the man, as argued by academic Joanne Morreale in her monograph on the show for Wayne State University Press, then what are we to make of Shirley Booth's portrayal of maid Hazel Burke in the 1961 breakout comedy Hazel? If anything, Hazel, based on a series of cartoons Ted Key drew for the Saturday Evening Post, was a ground-breaking series for multiple demographics that made a strong argument for equality regardless of sex, age, weight, or social standing, unlike anything else on the air at the time.

 
Whereas Donna Reed was an Academy-Award winning former beauty queen playing an idealized version of the suburban housewife, Shirley Booth was a veteran character actor of the New York theater playing a middle-aged service industry professional (Hazel archly calls herself a "domestic engineer") who takes a back seat to nobody. Yes, Booth had her Academy Award, too, but she did not enjoy making films and had only 5 feature film credits in her lifetime, hardly an ensconced celebrity of the Hollywood elite. Even during the height of her Hazel popularity, she maintained a residence in New York to keep a foot in the door in case she ever decided to chuck Hollywood and return to the theater. And very much unlike Reed, Booth was no beauty queen--she was a full-figured, middle-aged widow who had no hang-ups about her body image, as demonstrated with surprising candor in the Season 1 episode "Winter Wonderland" (December 7, 1961). In this episode Hazel competes with ski resort waitress Minna to see who gets to accompany dog-sled racer Johnny Manson in the annual contest at the resort. Because this is a race where weight matters, Hazel and Minna both have to step on a scale in front of Manson to determine who weighs the least and gets to ride with him. What makes the scene surprising is not that Hazel wins the weigh-in--of course she does--but she announces her weight as being 162 pounds, while Minna weighs in at 177. It's hard to imagine even today a Hollywood actress allowing her weight to be represented as 162 pounds, regardless of how much she really weighs. And within the context of the story, this little factoid is tossed off without fanfare, as if it's no big deal. Chalk this up as a win for the less-than-svelte. And Johnny Manson isn't Hazel's only boyfriend--she also has an ongoing dating relationship with mailman Barney Hatfield, showing that a woman who doesn't look like a model can have a healthy and active love life, a message completely contrary to the one broadcast by TV advertising then and now. Ironically, while Hazel seems to have no worries about her own figure, she has a running gag in watching the weight of her boss, George Baxter, a dynamic she uses as leverage in her negotiations with him by skimping on her tempting desserts when she's trying to get him to give in. Again defying convention, on Hazel it's the man who has to watch his figure, not the woman.

The other area where Hazel turns convention on its head is that despite being the servant of the household, she is really in charge and is more capable and competent than any of the other family members. Granted, this is a trope mined to great comic effect by P.G. Wodehouse in the Jeeves stories, but Hazel gives the theme a working-class flavor that even Jeeves would find beneath him. We learn in the very first episode, "Hazel and the Playground" (September 28, 1961), that she is not only an expert on football place-kicking, which she teaches to the Baxters' 8-year-old boy Harold, but she is also a champion bowler, a skill she uses to win the city championship and milks the television exposure therefrom to drum up support for constructing a neighborhood playground for the children. And in "A Matter of Principle" (October 19, 1961) she provides golf-club grip advice to Mr. Sutherland, one of George Baxter's clients, just after Sutherland says to Baxter he needs to find a way to stop slicing his drives. Her athletic expertise is played for laughs because our society believes that men are always superior to women in the world of sports. And certainly one would expect that in a contest between the haves and have-nots that those with financial advantages would be the better athletes, but not in the world of Hazel where sex, age, and social status do not guarantee anything.

The folly of social pretensions and ambition are embodied in the person of George Baxter's sister Deirdre Thompson, whom we meet in the episode "George's Niece" (November 16, 1961). When the Boston-based Thompsons decide to move to the Baxters' unnamed hometown, Deirdre asks if she and her daughter Nancy can stay with the Baxters while they look for a house. Besides being dismissive of her own daughter for being young and immature, Deirdre disapproves when Hazel introduces Nancy to her nephew Eddy simply because he comes from a less advantaged social class, despite the fact that Eddy makes excellent grades at school and has made enough from an after-school job to buy his own car, showing that he is responsible and has initiative. Given the way Deirdre treats her daughter, it is not surprising that Nancy defies her mother's order to break her date with Eddy and later wants to share all the details of her experience with Hazel rather than her mother. Deirdre upbraids Hazel for causing strife in her relationship with her daughter, but Hazel is unbowed, telling Deirdre that if she wants her daughter to share her life with her she needs to listen rather than reprimand. In this episode Hazel has not only brushed aside the false barriers imposed by social class but also those mandated by generational differences. Hazel earns Nancy's trust because she treats her as an equal, and Deirdre has to finally learn that repairing her relationship with her daughter requires her to do the same.

Demonstrating how out of step with the times Hazel's character was, the 1961 Fall Preview issue of TV Guide describes her as a "blandly insulting, bossy housemaid." It's debatable whether Hazel is insulting and bossy or merely refuses to be bound by other people's categories. She isn't intimidated by tough-talking men like George Baxter's gruff client Harvey Griffin in "Hazel Plays Nurse" (October 12, 1961), who insists that he and George work on his real estate deal even though they are both sick. Hazel brushes aside his bluster, just as she did with George earlier that morning, and has both men in bed, where Griffin has to admit with a smirk that Hazel treats him just like his mother did. And she out-negotiates George, who makes his living as a lawyer, in "What'll We Watch Tonight?" (November 2, 1961) by getting him to agree to pay $189.50 for a new TV for her room, which she uses as a deposit on a more expensive color TV, what she really wants, and then pays the balance herself from money she has saved. Some might consider her tactics sneaky; some might call them shrewd. In either case, she doesn't let strict propriety get in the way of pursuing what she wants or what she thinks is best. Many episodes center around her efforts to help others--the children's playground in the first episode, "A Dog for Harold" (November 9, 1961), a new client for Dorothy's interior decorating business in "Dorothy's New Client" (October 26, 1961), and a boyfriend for her friend Laura in "Hazel's Winning Personality" (December 14, 1961). Yes, the show ventures into the era's patented sentimentality at times, but that drawback is more than balanced by its willingness to break new ground in suggesting that everyone, regardless of where they fall on humanity's continuum, deserves equal treatment and respect.

The theme for Hazel was composed by one of the most celebrated songwriters of the American songbook, Jimmy Van Heusen, born Edward Chester Babcock in Syracuse, New York. He began writing songs in high school and adopted his stage name at age 16 in a nod to the famous shirt company. While studying at Syracuse University he befriended Jerry Arlen, younger brother of the great songbook composer Harold Arlen, who helped Van Heusen get his songs into the Cotton Club revue. From there he began working as the staff pianist at various Tin Pan Alley music publishers, providing the music for Jimmy Dorsey's 1938 song "It's the Dreamer in Me." Working with lyricist Eddie De Lange, he wrote "Heaven Can Wait," "Shake Down the Stars," and "Darn That Dream," which became a hit for Benny Goodman and prompted Bing Crosby to bring him to Hollywood to work with his favorite lyricist, Johnny Burke, in 1940. Writing for Crosby they won the Oscar for Best Song in 1944 for "Swinging on a Star" from Going My Way. The duo were nominated for two more songs the following year--"Sleighride in July" and "Aren't You Glad You're You"--and wrote many other songs that became standards: "Polka Dots and Moonbeams," "Imagination," "It Could Happen to You," "But Beautiful," "Here's That Rainy Day," and "Like Someone in Love" to name but a few. But besides being a top-flight songwriter, Van Heusen was also an accomplished pilot, testing fighter planes for Lockheed during World War II. Eventually the Van Heusen-Burke collaboration began to deteriorate, in part due to Burke's health problems, but Frank Sinatra was quick to snap Van Heusen up and pair him with lyricist Sammy Cahn in the mid-1950s. They would garner two Oscars writing for Sinatra for "All the Way" in 1957 and "High Hopes" in 1959, as well as being nominated for "(Love Is) the Tender Trap" in 1955, "To Love and Be Loved" in 1958, and "My Kind of Town" in 1964. They also won the Oscar for Best Song in 1963 for "Call Me Irresponsible" performed by Jackie Gleason in Papa's Delicate Condition and were nominated another 5 times. They provided Sinatra with such hits as "Love and Marriage," "Come Fly With Me," and "Come Dance With Me." Van Heusen became such good friends with Sinatra that the two would sometimes room together, and when Sinatra attempted suicide by slitting his wrists after his break-up with Ava Gardner, it was Van Heusen who rushed him to the hospital. When Van Heusen died from a stroke on February 6, 1990 at the age of 77, Sinatra had him buried in the Sinatra family plot in Cathedral City, California, where his headstone reads "Swinging on a Star."

Cahn also provided the lyrics for the Hazel theme, but the vocal version, performed by the Modernaires during the closing credits, was run for only the first 8 episodes. Thereafter the instrumental version was used both at the beginning and ending of each episode.

All five seasons have been released on DVD by Shout! Factory.

The Actors

Shirley Booth

Born Marjory Ford in Brooklyn in 1898, Booth was listed in the 1905 census as Thelma Booth Ford. At age seven her family moved to Philadelphia where her interest in the theater was first roused after seeing a stage performance. The family later relocated to Hartford, Connecticut, where she began appearing in summer stock productions and eventually dropped out of school to move to New York in pursuit of a theatrical career. Because her father objected to her career choice, she took the name Shirley Booth since he forbade her to use the family name. She made her Broadway debut opposite Humphrey Bogart in a 1925 production of Hell's Bells. She played opposite Katherine Hepburn in a 1939 production of The Philadelphia Story, starred in the original 1940 production of My Sister Eileen, and starred with Ralph Bellamy in a 1943 production of Tomorrow the World. In 1929 she married Ed Gardner and starred along with him in the radio comedy he created Duffy's Tavern from 1941-43 but left the program after the couple divorced. She won her first Tony in 1948 for her role in Goodbye, My Fancy and two years later won her second for her leading role in Come Back, Little Sheba. After starring in the 1951 musical A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, she won her third Tony for The Time of the Cuckoo, which opened in 1952. That same year she also starred opposite Burt Lancaster in the film adaptation of Come Back, Little Sheba, for which she won the Oscar for Best Actress. However, she preferred the stage to film and appeared in only 4 more films, the last two released in 1958. While still appearing regularly in theatrical roles, Booth made her television debut in a 1954 episode of The United States Steel Hour. She had two more drama anthology appearances before being cast in the title role of Hazel in the fall of 1961.

Booth won two Primetime Emmys in 1962 and 1963 for her role as Hazel Burke and since she owned the rights to the series, she had a hand in the show's recasting when it moved from NBC to CBS for its fifth and final season. After Hazel closed down, she gave another Emmy-nominated performance in a 1966 CBS Playhouse production of The Glass Menagerie, and appeared the following year in another CBS Playhouse production of Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night. After appearing in the 1968 TV movie The Smugglers, Booth was cast in the lead role in the 1973 comedy A Touch of Grace about a recently widowed woman who annoys her daughter and son-in-law and has a grave-digger boyfriend. The series lasted only 13 episodes, after which Booth made one last TV appearance as the voice of Mrs. Claus in the 1974 animated special The Year Without a Santa Claus. Thereafter she retired to North Chatham, Massachusetts and lived alone until her death at age 94 on October 16, 1992.


Don DeFore

The son of a railroad engineer and local politician, Donald John DeFore was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he attended Washington High School. After graduation, he matriculated to the University of Iowa, where he studied law and was a 3-sport athlete in basketball, baseball, and track. However, when his interest turned to acting, he left Iowa and decided to study at the Pasadena Community Playhouse for three years and earned a scholarship. He had his film debut in the 1936 feature Reunion, but in 1938 Oscar Hammerstein II gave DeFore the opportunity to act on Broadway when he took the play Where Do We Go From Here that DeFore and four classmates had written and opened it on Broadway with DeFore and his colleagues in the cast. While in New York DeFore also appeared on Broadway in the production of The Male Animal for 1 year and then accompanied the production when it was taken on the road, where he met his wife Marion Holmes, then singing with Art Kassel's orchestra in Chicago. He would also appear in the film version of the same drama in 1942. DeFore was quite active, appearing in 2-3 feature films per year during the 1940s, including Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, Romance on the High Seas, My Friend Irma, and Too Late for Tears. In the 1950s, his appearances in feature films declined as he became more involved in television, starting with The Silver Theatre, Hollywood Theatre Time, and The Bigelow Theatre all in 1950 before landing a recurring role as neighbor  "Thorny" Thornberry on The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet beginning in 1952. DeFore appeared in 108 episodes between 1952 and 1957, eventually replaced by Lyle Talbot as Joe Randolph. During these years, he also served as President of the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1954-55 and helped arrange the first TV broadcast of the Emmy awards in 1955. DeFore landed only a few TV guest spots, a pair of TV movies, and a few drama anthology appearances over the next four years before being cast as man of the house George Baxter on Hazel in the fall of 1961. During this time DeFore and his family also ran a Disneyland restaurant called Silver Banjo Barbecue, located in the Frontierland portion of the theme park.

When Hazel was canceled by NBC after four seasons but then picked up by CBS for a fifth and final season, DeFore and co-star Whitney Blake were written out of the series and replaced by Ray Fulmer and Lynne Borden. The year he left Hazel, he co-wrote a book with his daughter Penny about her experiences working in a Korean orphanage. DeFore's acting career on film and TV was sporadic thereafter, not appearing on another television for 3 years, when he appeared in the TV movie A Punt, a Pass, and a Prayer. After racking up appearances on My Three Sons, Mod Squad, Mannix, and The Virginian in 1969-70, he would go another 5 years before landing another guest spot on Marcus Welby, M.D. in 1975. Still, DeFore managed to string together one episode per year, with another 5-year gap in 1978-83, until his final appearance on St. Elsewhere in 1987. A friend of Ronald Reagan, DeFore served as a delegate to the 1980 Republican national convention. He died December 22, 1993 from cardiac arrest at the age of 80.

Whitney Blake

Nancy Ann Whitney was born in the Eagle Rock section of Los Angeles, but due to her father's work as a Secret Service agent (having once worked for President Woodrow Wilson) the family moved frequently, with Blake attending 16 different schools while growing up. She married her first husband Tom Baxter when she was only 18, and the couple had three children--two boys and a daughter who would become a well-known actor in her own right--Meredith Baxter.  Blake attended Pasadena City College and by 1953 was acting in productions at the Pasadena Playhouse, where she was spotted by agent Sid Gold. After divorcing Baxter in 1955, Blake would marry one of Gold's assistants, Jack Fields, two years later. But meanwhile she made her television debut in 1956 on episodes of Medic and Big Town and thereafter had frequent, regular appearances on a number of programs, including playing defendant Evelyn Bagby on the very first episode of Perry Mason in 1957. Her feature film debut came that same year in the B-movie Mike Hammer adaptation My Gun Is Quick. But Blake's future was much more promising on TV, where she continued to appear in 10-12 programs per year until being cast as Dorothy Baxter on Hazel.

Blake's character, like Don DeFore's, was jettisoned after the fourth season of Hazel, but unlike him, she continued to find steady work in TV guest spots, though not quite at the furious pace of before. Still, she appeared on Branded, The Legend of Jesse James, Laredo, and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. in 1966 alone. She divorced Fields in 1967 and married her third and last husband, Allan Manings, in 1968. However, by the end of the 1960s the roles began to trickle, and work remained steady but sporadic in the 1970s. But she found fame again in another part of the business when she and Manings created the sit-com One Day at a Time, which debuted in 1975 and ran for 9 seasons. Politically, Blake was an activist for civil rights, women's rights, and open housing as well as a frequent speaker for the ACLU. In the 1980s she produced and directed a documentary about an inspirational Daly City teacher who ran a wilderness camp for troubled teenagers. The film, Reno's Kids: 87 Days Plus 11, was honored by the International CINE Council and the Chicago International Film Festival. In 1998 she and Manings created another series Solo en America depicting the life of a Hispanic single mother and her two daughters. However, four years later after contracting esophageal cancer she passed away on September 28, 2002 at the age of 76.

Bobby Buntrock

Robert W. Buntrock was born in Denver, Colorado in 1952, but his family relocated to Whittier, California when he was 3 years old. The Buntrocks' neighbors urged Bobby's mother to send his photograph to Hollywood agents, and when she finally did so he drew the attention of agent Marcella Ball, who signed him as a client. He had his television debut in a 1959 episode of Wagon Train alongside Bette Davis, and after an appearance on Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse in 1960, he had 3 more guest spots on Mister Ed, Bus Stop, and The Donna Reed Show in 1961 before being cast as Harold Baxter on Hazel that fall.

Unlike Don DeFore and Whitney Blake, Buntrock was retained by the show for its fifth and final season. During the series' 5-year run, he also appeared in guest spots on Burke's Law, The Farmer's Daughter, and The Virginian, on which he appeared two more times in 1967 before retiring from acting. He reportedly served in the National Guard in Rapid City, South Dakota before dying in a fatal car crash on a damaged bridge in Keystone, South Dakota on April 7, 1974. He was only 21 years old at the time.

Maudie Prickett

Maude Merrie Doyle was born in Portland, Oregon in 1914. Though little has been published about her early years, she made her first appearance on film in an uncredited role in the 1938 feature Gold Mine in the Sky. It would be 3 years before her next uncredited appearance in Go West, Young Lady, but that same year, 1941, she married her first husband Charles Fillmore Prickett III, who co-founded and managed the Pasadena Playhouse. Prickett continued to get small, uncredited roles until finally landing her first two credited parts in a pair of 1947 features Time Out of Mind and Messenger of Peace. But after that it was a return to the small, uncredited roles for the next several years, though she made her television debut in a 1949 episode of Jackson and Jill. By 1952 her TV work began to pick up, appearing in episodes of Hopalong Cassidy, The Doctor, and The Adventures of Superman. Her husband passed away in 1954, the same year she first appeared as Jack Benny's secretary Miss Gordon on The Jack Benny Program, but her work in television and films remained prolific and steady until she finally landed her first recurring role as Cassie Murphy on Date With the Angels, which starred Betty White. Though her feature film work declined in volume, given her heavy TV workload, she still appeared in such notable films as North by Northwest and The Absent-Minded Professor. In 1961 she was cast as Hazel's fellow maid Rosie, a role she would appear in 36 times over the course of the series. That same year she began appearing more regularly as Miss Gordon on The Jack Benny Program. She also remarried in 1961 to physician Eakle W. Cartwright, but he died the following year.

After Hazel's cancelation, Prickett remained busy, appearing 4 times as Edna Larch on The Andy Griffith Show, then playing Myrtle on its follow-on series Mayberry R.F.D.. She also appeared 5 times on Bewitched, 3 times on Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C., played Maxwell Smart's Aunt Bertha on Get Smart, and appeared in the films The Gnome-Mobile, Sweet Charity, and The Maltese Bippy. She married a third time in 1966 to Cyril Bernard Cooper, who served as the Mayor of Pasadena from 1968-70. Prickett's last acting credits came in 1974 on shows such as Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, Marcus Welby, M.D., and McMillan and Wife. Two years later she died from uremic poisoning at the age of 61 on April 14, 1976.

Queenie Leonard

Born Pearl Walker in Manchester, UK, Leonard started in the entertainment field as a cabaret singer with pianist Edward Cooper in late 1920s London. She and Cooper starred in Charles B. Cochran's 1931 Revue, which featured music, lyrics, and sketches by Noel Coward. In 1933 she was chosen by Andre Charlot for his revue How Do You Do?, which he then took to Paris for radio performance. She would become a regular performer in Charlot's future revues as well as his regular radio program, and she appeared in Cole Porter's musical comedy Nymph Errant. Her film career began with an appearance in the 1931 short Who Killed Doc Robin? and by 1937 she had regular feature film work in addition to television work on BBC-TV. She moved to Hollywood in 1939, though she would return to native England regularly during the rest of her life, and made her first American film appearance in the 1941 feature Ladies in Retirement with Ida Lupino and Elsa Lanchester. Her work in Hollywood remained steady and frequent thereafter. Amongst the highlights were The Lodger, the Agatha Christie mystery And Then There Were None, Life With Father, and Lorna Doone. Her American TV debut came in a 1949 episode of The Life of Riley, but perhaps more significant was her first Disney voicework in Alice in Wonderland in 1951, in which she voiced a sassy flower.  In the 1950s she began getting a bit more television work in addition to her continuing feature film work, usually playing minor characters such as maids and housekeepers. In 1961 she provided the voice of Princess in the animated Disney feature 101 Dalmatians, the same year she began her stint as Hazel's fellow maid Mert, which she would play 9 times between 1961-65. Toward the end of the show's run, in 1964, she would appear, uncredited, as a bank customer in Mary Poppins and as a cockney bystander in My Fair Lady.

But by the time her work on Hazel concluded, Leonard was 60 years old and made only a few more appearances on film--one episode each of Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie and a couple more uncredited feature film roles in Doctor Doolittle and Star! By this point she had divorced her second husband, the actor Tom Conway, and she spent her later years living alone but traveling to England annually. During her 1995 trip she placed her handprints and signature on the  honorary wall at Covent Garden's Theatre Museum. She died from natural causes on January 17, 2002 at the age of 96.

 

Norma Varden

Born in London the daughter of a retired sea captain, Norma Varden Shackleton was a child prodigy on the piano, studying in Paris, before she decided to take up acting and attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Unusually tall for her age, she was cast as Mrs. Darling in her debut performance in Peter Pan despite being younger than the actors who played her children. Her first appearance in the West End theatre district was in a 1920 production of The Wandering Jew, and she eventually become ensconced as a comic foil in farces at the Aldrych Theatre from 1929-33. When the Aldrych farces moved to feature films, Varden came along as well, getting her first credited part in the 1933 comedy Turkey Time. She found steady work in British film throughout the duration of the 1930s, usually in farcical comedies but also getting an occasional dramatic role, such as in The Iron Duke. She and her mother visited California some time around 1940 and decided to move there permanently. Her first Hollywood role came in the 1940 feature The Earl of Chicago, and as in England she was soon in great demand for minor character parts, appearing in scores of films, most notably The Major and the Minor, National Velvet, Forever Amber, Strangers on a Train, and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. She got her start in television on a 1952 episode of Mr. and Mrs. North and played the Ricardos' neighbor in a 1953 episode of I Love Lucy. By the late 1950s she was finding more work on TV than in feature films, though she had a significant role in Witness for the Prosecution in 1957. Her role as the Baxters' clueless neighbor Harriet Johnson on Hazel was her only recurring TV role, in which she appeared 13 times from 1961-64.

After her stint on Hazel was finished, she played housekeeper Frau Schmidt in The Sound of Music and Lady Fetherington in Doctor Doolittle in addition to occasional TV work on programs such as Batman, Bewitched, and The Beverly Hillbillies. Her mother passed away in 1969, and Varden, who was 71 herself at the time, retired from acting, though she remained active by lobbying the Screen Actors Guild for better medical benefits for older actors. Twenty years after her last credit, Varden passed away from heart failure on January 19, 1989 at the age of 90.

Howard Smith

Howard Irving Smith was born in Attleboro, MA and originally hoped for a career as an opera singer but was advised during his military service in World War I by none other than Enrico Caruso to pursue a career in vaudeville, which he did until 1928. During this period he made his feature film debut in the 1918 silent melodrama Young America. With vaudeville's popularity waning in the late 1920s, Smith moved into radio, beginning with The Collier Hour and later appeared on Crime Doctor, The March of Time, Cavalcade of America, The Adventures of Ellery Queen, and The Aldrich Family, on which he played the father of Henry's friend Homer Brown, a role he carried over to the television adaptation in 1949. In the 1930s he became a member of Orson Welles' acting company, appearing on the radio programs The Mercury Theatre on the Air and The Campbell Playhouse as well as Welles' famous 1938 The War of the Worlds broadcast and in the once-lost 1938 silent comedy Too Much Johnson which was intended to be integrated into a live theater performance. Smith's feature film career began in earnest with the 1946 noir drama Her Kind of Man, followed by Kiss of Death, Call Northside 777, The Street With No Name, and Cry Murder. On Broadway, he created the role of Charley in the original production of Death of a Salesman, a role he also played in the 1951 feature film version. At this time he also began getting work in supporting roles on television, including series such as The Web, Treasury Men in Action, Lights Out, and Studio One in Hollywood. In the late 1950s he had supporting roles in the features A Face in the Crowd, Don't Go Near the Water, and No Time for Sergeants, allowing him to show his flair for comedy. While he continued to land dramatic roles in features such as Murder, Inc. and TV programs like Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Twilight Zone in 1960, his first recurring role was playing Horace Gibney on the single-season sit-com Peter Loves Mary. This was followed by his being cast as George Baxter's gruff client Harvey Griffin during the first season of Hazel, a role he would play a total of 27 times during the first 4 seasons.

After his stint on Hazel, Smith would have only a few more guest appearances on The John Forsythe Show, Green Acres, and Bewitched before succumbing to a heart attack on January 10, 1968 at the age of 74.

Cathy Lewis

Born in Spokane, Washington, Lewis reportedly first moved to Chicago and appeared on The First Nighter Program before relocating to Los Angeles where she was a singer on bandleader Kay Kyser's radio program. She also began acting in productions at the Pasadena Playhouse before being signed to a movie contract by MGM in 1940. Her roles in the early 1940s were often uncredited and sometimes unseen, providing the voice for Froggie's mother in Our Gang films. In 1943 she met and married radio actor/writer/director Elliott Lewis and together they created and appeared on the radio series On Stage and Suspense. In 1947 she was cast as the sensible best friend Jane Stacy of scatterbrained Irma Peterson on the radio comedy My Friend Irma and continued the role when the program was adapted to television in 1952. After 15 years of marriage, she and Elliott Lewis divorced in 1958, but she found another starring TV role the next year playing the lead in the adaptation of the radio comedy Fibber McGee & Molly, which lasted only a single season. This freed her to accept the role of George Baxter's snooty sister Deirdre Thompson on Hazel, a role she would play 17 times during the course of the series.

Like Howard Smith, she would have only a few more TV credits after Hazel's demise, appearing on F Troop, Occasional Wife, and The Medicine Men before she died from breast cancer on November 20, 1968 at the age of 51.

Notable Guest Stars

Season 1, Episode 1, "Hazel and the Playground": Francis de Sales  (Lt. Bill Weigand on Mr. & Mrs. North, Ralph Dobson on The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, Sheriff Maddox on Two Faces West, and Rusty Lincoln on Days of Our Lives) plays parks official Osborn Bailey. Hal Smith (shown on the right, see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Andy Griffith Show) plays a bowling contest TV announcer. 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 the wife of George's client Mrs. Pruett.

Season 1, Episode 2, "Hazel Makes a Will": Wright King (shown on the left, see the biography section for the 1960 post on Wanted: Dead or Alive) plays Hazel's nephew Leroy. 

Season 1, Episode 3, "Hazel Plays Nurse": Norman Leavitt (Ralph on Trackdown) plays bus driver Joe. 






Season 1, Episode 4, "A Matter of Principle": Vinton Hayworth (shown on the right, see the biography section for the 1961 post on Lawman) plays George's client Mr. Sutherland. Laurence 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, Franklin Horner on Dallas, and Charles Williams on The Bold and the Beautiful) plays the city prosecutor. John Lasell (Dr. Peter Guthrie on Dark Shadows) plays Police Officer Dietrich. 

Season 1, Episode 5, "Dorothy's New Client": Mary Jackson (shown on the left, played Emily Baldwin on The Waltons, Sarah Wicks on Hardcastle and McCormick, and Great Grandma Greenwell on Parenthood) plays new neighbor Flora Duncan. Alice Backes (Vickie on Bachelor Father) plays her maid Della. Joan Banks (Sylvia Platt on Private Secretary and Helen Hadley on National Velvet) plays rival interior decorator Francesca Edwards.

Season 1, Episode 6, "What'll We Watch Tonight?": Walter Kinsella (Happy McMann on Martin Kane) plays TV salesman Thornton. John Graham (Walter Edison Days of Our Lives) plays neighbor Jerry Burns.

Season 1, Episode 8, "George's Niece": Davey Davison (shown on the right, played Virginia Lewis on Days of Our Lives and Nurse Esther on General Hospital) plays George's niece Nancy Thompson. Johnny Washbrook (Ken McLaughlin on My Friend Flicka) plays Hazel's nephew Eddy Burke. Larry J. Blake (the unnamed jailer on Yancy Derringer and Tom Parnell on Saints and Sinners) plays garage mechanic Tom Forbes.

Season 1, Episode 9, "Everybody's Thankful But Us Turkeys": Harriet E. MacGibbon (shown on the left, played Margaret Drysdale on The Beverly Hillbillies) plays George's mother Mrs. Baxter. Beverly Tyler (starred in The Fireball, The Cimarron Kid, and Voodoo Island) plays George's sister Phyllis Burkett. Charles Cooper (starred in The Wrong Man and played the sheriff on Father Murphy and Judge Robert Boucher on The Practice) plays her husband Bob.

Season 1, Episode 10, "Winter Wonderland": Bill Zuckert (Arthur Bradwell on Mr. Novak and Chief Segal on Captain Nice) plays dog-sled racer Johnny Manson. Florence Sundstrom (Belle Dudley on The Life of Riley) plays ski resort waitress Minna. Sally Mansfield (Vena Ray on Rocky Jones, Space Ranger) plays ski instructor Pat Bergstrom.

Season 1, Episode 11, "Hazel's Winning Personality": George Mitchell (Cal Bristol on Stoney Burke) plays gardener Zeke. Dee J. Thompson (Agnes on Grindl) plays Hazel's friend Laura. 

Season 1, Episode 12, "Hazel's Christmas Shopping": Dan Tobin (Terrance Clay on Perry Mason) plays department store floorwalker Mr. Brubaker. Byron Foulger (Mr. Nash on Captain Nice and Wendell Gibbs on Petticoat Junction) plays shoplifter Larry. Eleanor Audley (shown on the right, played Mother Eunice Douglas on Green Acres and Mrs. Vincent on My Three Sons) plays a glove counter customer.

Season 1, Episode 13, "Dorothy's Obsession": Frances Helm (appeared in The Story of Mr. Hobbs, A Little Sex, and Electric Moon and played Nancy Pollock Karr on The Edge of Night) plays Dorothy's client Peggy Baldwin. Lauren Gilbert (Harry Lane on The Edge of Night and later played Harry Noll on Hazel) plays her husband Phil. Roy Wright (Callahan on The Islanders) plays mover Pete. Donnelly Rhodes (appeared in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and played Dutch Leitner on Soap, Charlie on Report to Murphy, Art Foster on Double Trouble, Dr. Grant Roberts on Danger Bay, Harry Abramowitz on The Heights, R.J. Williams on Street Legal, Det. Leo Shannon on Da Vinci's Inquest, and Dr. Sherman Cottle on Battlestar Gallactica) plays mover Joe.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Twilight Zone (1961)



In The Twilight Zone Companion, author Marc Scott Zicree includes a telling quote from Rod Serling in April 1961 about his prior font of original ideas:

"I've never felt quite so drained of ideas as I do at this moment. Stories used to bubble out of me so fast I couldn't set them down on paper quick enough--but in the last two years I've written forty-seven of the sixty-eight Twilight Zone scripts, and I've done thirteen of the first twenty-six for next season [Season 3]. I've written so much I'm woozy. It's just more than you really should do. You can't retain quality. You start borrowing from yourself, making your own clich├ęs. I notice that more and more."

An examination of the episodes aired in 1961--the latter two-thirds of Season 2 and the first one-third of Season 3--confirms Serling's assessment: many of the same themes are dealt with that had been covered in 1959 and 1960, and some of the plots or themes just didn't work very well, even some of those still fondly remembered today. But amongst the retreads are still a few poignant reminders of why The Twilight Zone is still considered one of the best dramatic series of its time.

Time travel is reworked a few more times, but not to great effect and without revealing any great observations. In "Back There" (January 13, 1961) Washington, D.C. men's club member Peter Corrigan has a discussion with fellow club members about going back in time to change history and then is transported himself after merely bumping into a waiter to the night Abraham Lincoln was shot at Ford's Theater. It's a foregone conclusion that Corrigan does not prevent Lincoln's assassination, and the entire experience merely reveals that even if time travel were possible, changing history is hard. The other side of the coin is demonstrated in "A Hundred Yards Over the Rim" (April 7, 1961) in which 1847 wagon train leader Christian Horn leaves his sick son and fellow travelers in search of water and is vaulted into 1961, where he discovers the existence of penicillin and that his son will be an important future medical researcher, making it essential that he return to his own time with the wonder drug so that he can ensure that that future takes place. And in "The Odyssey of Flight 33" (February 24, 1961) we watch as a commercial airliner hits a particularly strong jet stream and jettisons back into prehistoric times when (animatronic)  dinosaurs roamed the earth, catches the jet stream again to travel to the 1939 World's Fair, and then has to make a third attempt to get back to the present with Serling lamely narrating that if you see or hear a jet soaring above but sounding lost, it might be Flight 33 still looking for the present.

But undoubtedly the worst time-travel episode is "Once Upon a Time" (December 15, 1961) starring silent-film era comic Buster Keaton. As Zicree relates, even teleplay author Richard Matheson, who devised the story after meeting Keaton through a friend of his, was unhappy with the results. The premise is that Keaton's character is janitor Woodrow Mulligan working for an inventor who creates a time-travel helmet with a dial to choose what year you wish to visit. Unhappy with everything about his 1890 existence, from high prices to loud noises, Mulligan decides to take a trip to 1961 only to find that everything there is much worse. While in 1961 Mulligan literally runs into scientist Rollo, who for some unexplained reason has extensively studied and developed a fondness for the 1890s. Rollo steals the helmet from Mulligan, who chases after him through the city streets and finally latches on to him just as they are sent back to the 1890s, where Mulligan is now perfectly happy but which Rollo quickly becomes disenchanted with because of its lack of modern conveniences and technology. The episode ends with Mulligan sending Rollo back to his own time via the helmet and a tacked on lesson from Serling to stay in your own backyard. But the entire plot is merely an excuse to let Keaton reprise his slapstick humor from his silent-film days. In fact, all the 1890s scenes are done in silent-film style, with dialogue cards rather than spoken sound. Ironically, however, the real lesson of "Once Upon a Time" is that Keaton's brand of physical comedy doesn't play as well in 1961, or in contemporary times either.

Another star vehicle with a similar message is "The Mind and the Matter" (May 12, 1961) which portrays comic Shelley Berman as misanthropic office worker Archibald Beechcroft, who is annoyed by everyone around him. After being given a book on the power of the mind by klutzy office boy Henry, Beechcroft uses his newfound mental powers to first get rid of all the other people in his life, but this only leaves him bored. So he decides to populate his world with the only people he can stand--himself. But he soon learns that having to listen to his own constant whining and complaining is extremely unpleasant, so he reverts the world back to what it was, now completely content with all of life's little ups and downs, like having Henry spill things on him, because he has seen the alternative and found it lacking. This episode and "Once Upon a Time" offer a rather conservative argument in favor of the status quo that is surprising given Serling's normally progressive outlook on the foibles of mankind. More in line with his perspective is "The Obsolete Man" (June 2, 1961), which depicts in Kafkaesque terms the dangers of an all-powerful state over the rights of the individual and the importance of free thought.

As with the depiction of time travel, the 1961 episodes showing alien life forms are more laughable than frightening, though often the intent is to show humor rather than fear. "Mr. Dingle, the Strong" (March 3, 1961) begins with a two-headed, one-bodied Martian creature and ends with a pair of heavily made-up child actors portraying a pair of Venusians in a farce about aliens performing experiments on an unwitting human to see the effects of giving him unlimited strength or intelligence. The only lessons learned from these experiments is that humans are likely to foolishly use their increased powers for cheap parlor tricks that gain them attention rather than anything that might benefit their species or their world. In "Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up" (May 26, 1961) a witnessed UFO crash landing leads a pair of state troopers to an isolated diner where one of the customers is assumed to be the missing Martian from the ditched spacecraft. The plot plays out like the stereotypical whodunit as we try to guess which diner customer is the Martian based on what they say in response to the trooper's questions. The final scene throws in an out-of-left field curveball much like a Perry Mason courtroom confession that marks the episode as little more than a pulp mystery story. The same could be said for "The Invaders" (January 27, 1961), which takes itself much more seriously in a nearly wordless, over-wrought script that has Agnes Moorehead playing a rustic frontier woman battling a crashed UFO with what look like two tiny wind-up robots that shoot sparks and can also wield a kitchen knife to cut her on the hand. 

Though Zicree considers it too messianic, a much more effective episode dealing with UFOs is "The Shelter" (September 29, 1961), in which a reported UFO brings out the worst in earthlings much like the 1960 episode "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street." The drama in "The Shelter" opens with a birthday party for long-time physician Dr. Bill Stockton given by his appreciative neighbors. They tease him about building a bomb shelter in his basement until a radio report says that UFOs have been spotted overhead, throwing everyone into a panic. Suddenly everyone who scoffed at Stockton's shelter wants him to let them in, but he refuses because he says it was designed to only accommodate three people--himself, his wife, and his son. After Stockton shuts himself and his family inside, his neighbors become more frantic and wind up getting a long piece of pipe to use as a battering ram, breaking down the door and effectively ruining the shelter's protection just as the radio announces that the UFOs turned out to be harmless satellites. Though the neighbors apologize and promise to pay for any required repairs, the damage has been done and cannot be fixed. Stockton is appalled that the threat of alien attack ripped off the veneer of civility and turned everyone into animals. During their frenzy one of the neighbors had suggested that another neighbor, an immigrant, was less deserving of protection because immigrants come over to "our" country and try to grab everything for themselves. The real terror and the power of this episode, even if it is a retread, is that the greatest threat to humanity is humans themselves.

An equally powerful episode with an anti-war message is "A Quality of Mercy" (December 29, 1961) in which Dean Stockwell plays a green army lieutenant on the Philippine Islands at the end of World War II. Assigned to a regiment of U.S. infantry that has roughly 20 injured and worn-out Japanese trapped in a cave, Stockwell's Lt. Katell wants to mount a quick assault to wipe them out but finds that his regiment of war-weary men haven't the stomach for slaughter, they themselves also worn out by killing. In upbraiding their lack of aggression, Katell reminds them that in war you kill the enemy and keep killing them until ordered to stop, but when he accidentally drops his binoculars, an instrument meant to enhance one's vision, he gets a view of the other side of battle, transformed into a Japanese Lt. Yamuri faced with a similar cave full of injured American soldiers three years earlier. Yamuri feels empathy for the Americans, since he was so recently one of them, but is upbraided by his Japanese captain, who repeats the same arguments he just made about the necessity of killing the enemy in war. Serling's script expertly captures the fallacy of reducing another race to sub-human status in order to justify their elimination, a line of argument used by humans throughout history to exploit and abuse other living beings. But once Katell/Yamuri has "walked a mile in the other man's shoes," his bloodthirsty ambition has been replaced with the mercy alluded to in the title.

Some of the year's more popular episodes don't have quite the same depth because they offer little more than a clever twist or situation without any application beyond their fictional worlds. An example is "It's a Good Life" (November 3, 1961) in which Bill Mumy plays omnipotent yet petulant 6-year-old Anthony Fremont who keeps his parents and neighbors in constant fear with his ability to banish them or turn them into something monstrous if they do anything that displeases him or say anything bad about him. While this dynamic could be construed as reflecting any situation in which people are afraid to speak up against tyrannical behavior, whether in the political, corporate, or familial worlds, the problem with the episode is that there is no narrative development--things do not change. The climactic scene comes when the honoree of a birthday party gets drunk, loosening his tongue so that he can express how awful their existence is cow-towing to Anthony's whims, but when he urges that they gang up on Anthony and kill him to free themselves, no one makes a move, and Anthony responds by turning the man into a jack-in-the-box. Everyone then simply returns to their fawning praise of Anthony for doing a "good thing," making the episode more of a vignette than a narrative.

"Five Characters in Search of an Exit" (December 22, 1961) shows five disparate characters trapped inside some kind of tall cylinder with a light above it and an occasional ringing sound like a bell that vibrates the entire cylinder violently. An army major, the last character to arrive in the cylinder, insists on devising a method to escape, but once he does, using a human ladder and a rope tied around his broken sword serving as a kind of Bat-arang to pull himself over the top, we discover that the five characters are all toys inside a Salvation Army-style donation trash can. At some existential level perhaps there's a comment here about not knowing who we really are or understanding the world we live in (a common theme in many Twilight Zone episodes), but it seems we have expended a lot of time and mental energy for such a tepid conclusion.

Perhaps the most telling episode for 1961 is "Shadow Play" (May 5, 1961), a dystopic Groundhog Day with Dennis Weaver playing a man caught in an endlessly repeating nightmare in which he is convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to the electric chair. He tries to convince the judge, district attorney, and a newspaper editor that he has already been killed and that if he dies this time, their existence will end, too. He then reveals that each of them is someone from his past, trying to prove that they are creations of his imagination, and once the cycle makes it full circle and we start the nightmare again, characters from the previous iteration have changed roles--a former cellmate becomes the judge; the district attorney becomes his defense lawyer; and so on. As Serling emphasizes in his closing narration, this episode makes us ask what is the actual nature of our reality--are we merely a character in someone else's dream? But it also serves as a microcosm of what was happening to The Twilight Zone as a series.  

In recounting the origins of the series, Zicree describes how Serling sought a canvas where he could probe substantial human issues under the cover of the fantastic to ward off sponsor and network interference over controversial content. However, like one of his characters who doesn't anticipate the after-effects of some bold action, Serling failed to realize that the rigors of producing 30-40 TV episodes each season would tax his creative powers and force him to make compromises that are the bane of every idealistic artist. As he soldiered on into Season 3 in the fall of 1961, being forced to recycle themes and plots, Serling himself may have felt that he was lost somewhere in The Twilight Zone.

The Actors

For the biography of Rod Serling, see the 1960 post on The Twilight Zone.

Notable Guest Stars

Season 2, Episode 12, "Dust": Thomas Gomez (appeared in Ride the Pink Horse, Key Largo, The Woman on Pier 13, and Beneath the Planet of the Apes) plays traveling peddler Peter Sykes. John A. Alonso (shown on the left, cinematographer on Vanishing Point, Harold and Maude, Lady Sings the Blues, Chinatown, Scarface, Steel Magnolias, and Star Trek: Generations) plays convicted felon Luis Gallegos. Vladimir Sokoloff (appeared in The Life of Emile Zola, Road to Morocco, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Back to Bataan, and I Was a Teenage Werewolf) plays his father. John Larch (starred in The Wrecking Crew, Play Misty for Me, and Dirty Harry and played Deputy District Attorney Jerry Miller on Arrest and Trial, Gerald Wilson on Dynasty, and Arlen & Atticus Ward on Dallas) plays small-town Sheriff Koch. Paul Genge (Lt. Burns on 87th Precinct) plays grieving father John Canfield. Dorothy Adams (appeared in Laura, The Best Years of Our Lives, The Winning Team, and The Killing) plays his wife. Jon Lormer (Harry Tate on Lawman, various autopsy surgeons and medical examiners in 12 episodes of Perry Mason, and Judge Irwin A. Chester on Peyton Place) plays a man attending Luis' hanging.
Season 2, Episode 13, "Back There": Russell Johnson (shown on the right, starred in It Came From Outer Space, This Island Earth, and Johnny Dark and played Marshal Gib Scott on Black Saddle, Professor Roy Hinkley on Gilligan's Island, and Assistant D.A. Brenton Grant on Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law) plays time traveler Peter Corrigan. Raymond Bailey (Milburn Drysdale on The Beverly Hillbillies, Dean Magruder on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, D.A. John Carvell on The Untouchables, and Mr. Beaumont on My Sister Eileen) plays club member Millard. John Eldredge (starred in The Woman in Red, The Murder of Dr. Harrigan, and The Black Cat and played Harry Archer on Meet Corliss Archer) plays club member Whittaker. Bartlett Robinson (Frank Caldwell on Mona McCluskey) plays club attendant William. Jean Inness (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Dr. Kildare) plays boarding house owner Mrs. Landers. Lew Brown (SAC Allen Bennett on The F.B.I.) plays an army lieutenant. Carol Eve Rossen (Anna Kassoff on The Lawless Years) plays his date. John Lasell (Dr. Peter Guthrie on Dark Shadows) plays John Wilkes Booth. Paul Hartman (Albie Morrison on The Pride of the Family, Charlie on Our Man Higgins, Emmett Clark on The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry R.F.D., and Bert Smedley on Petticoat Junction) plays a police desk sergeant. James Gavin (Sheriff Frank Madden on The Big Valley) plays a policeman. Jimmy Lydon (starred in Tom Brown's School Days, Little Men, Joan of Arc, and 9 Henry Aldrich features and played Biff Cardoza on Rocky Jones, Space Ranger, Andy Boone on So This Is Hollywood, and Richard on Love That Jill) plays a patrolman. 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 a chambermaid.
Season 2, Episode 14, "The Whole Truth": Jack Carson (starred in Gentleman Jim, Arsenic and Old Lace, Mildred Pierce, Romance on the High Seas, Red Garters, and A Star Is Born) plays sleazy used car salesman Harvey Hunnicut. Arte Johnson (a regular performer on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In who played Bascomb Bleacher, Jr. on Sally, Cpl. Lefkowitz on Don't Call Me Charlie, and Clive Richlin on Glitter) plays his understudy Irv. George Chandler (Mac Benson on Waterfront, Uncle Petrie Martin on Lassie, and Ichabod Adams on Ichabod and Me) plays an old man with a haunted car. Jack Ging (Beau McCloud on Tales of Wells Fargo, Dr. Paul Graham on The Eleventh Hour, Lt. Dan Ives on Mannix, Lt. Ted Quinlan on Riptide, and Gen. Harlan "Bull" Fullbright on The A-Team) plays a young car buyer. Patrick Westwood (Mian Rukn Din on The Indian Tales of Rudyard Kipling) plays Nikita Krushchev's interpreter.
Season 2, Episode 15, "The Invaders": Agnes Moorehead (shown on the left, starred in Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons, Jane Eyre, Dark Passage, Show Boat, and How the West Was Won and played Endora on Bewitched) plays a woman living in a rustic farmhouse.

 

Season 2, Episode 16, "A Penny for Your Thoughts": Dick York (shown on the right, played Tom Colwell on Going My Way and Darrin Stephens on Bewitched) plays bank employee Henry B. Poole. Dan Tobin (Terrance Clay on Perry Mason) plays his boss E.M. Bagby. 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 Bishop on Dr. Kildare) plays loan client Sykes. James Nolan (Inspector Roper on Dante) plays security guard Jim. Cyril Delevanti (Lucious Coin on Jefferson Drum) plays old employee L.J. Smithers. Frank London (Shad on Johnny Staccato and Charlie on Peyton Place) plays a driver who knocks Poole down.

Season 2, Episode 17, "Twenty Two": Barbara Nichols (Ginger on Love That Jill) plays exotic dancer Liz Powell. Jonathan Harris (shown on the left, played Bradford Webster on The Third Man, Mr. Phillips on The Bill Dana Show, Dr. Zachary Smith on Lost in Space, and Commander Gampu on Space Academy) plays her doctor. Fredd Wayne (Sgt. Bill Hollis on Code 3) plays her agent Barney Kamener. Arlene Martel (Tiger on Hogan's Heroes and Spock's Vulcan bride on Star Trek) plays the morgue nurse. Mary Adams (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Window on Main Street) plays the day nurse. Norma Connolly (Ruby Anderson on General Hospital) plays the night nurse. Wesley Lau (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Perry Mason) plays an airline ticket agent.

Season 2, Episode 18, "The Odyssey of Flight 33": John Anderson (see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays airline pilot Skipper Farver. Sandy Kenyon (Des Smith on Crunch and Des, Shep Baggott on The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters, and Reverend Kathrun on Knots Landing) plays navigator Hatch. Wayne Heffley (Officer Dennis on Highway Patrol and Vern Scofield on Days of Our Lives) plays second officer Wyatt. Paul Comi (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Ripcord) plays first officer John Craig. Nancy Rennick (Patty Johnson on Rescue 8) plays stewardess Paula. Lester Fletcher (Mr. Divine on Down to Earth) plays a passenger in the RAF.

Season 2, Episode 19, "Mr. Dingle, the Strong": Burgess Meredith (shown on the right, starred in Of Mice and Men, Mine Own Executioner, Advise & Consent, and The Cardinal and played Martin Woodridge on Mr. Novak, The Penguin on Batman, V.C.R. Cameron on Search, the narrator on Korg: 70,000 B.C., and Dr. Willard Adams on Gloria) plays vacuum cleaner salesman Luther Dingle. Don Rickles (legendary comedian who appeared in Run Silent, Run Deep, Muscle Beach Party, Bikini Beach, Beach Blanket Bingo, Kelly's Heroes, voiced Mr. Potato Head in all the Toy Story movies, and played Don Robinson on The Don Rickles Show, Otto Sharkey on C.P.O. Sharkey, and Al Mitchell on Daddy Dearest) plays a bully bettor. Eddie Ryder (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Dr. Kildare) plays bookie Joseph J. Callahan. James Westerfield (appeared in The Shaggy Dog, The Absent-Minded Professor, and The Love God? and played John Murrel on The Travels of Jamie McPheeters) plays bartender Anthony O'Toole. James Millhollin (appeared in No Time for Sergeants, The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, and How to Frame a Figg and played Anson Foster on Grindl) plays TV host Jason Abernathy. Michael Fox (Coroner George McLeod on Burke's Law, Amos Fedders on Falcon Crest, Saul Feinberg on The Bold and the Beautiful, and appeared 25 times as autopsy surgeons and various other medical witnesses on Perry Mason) plays half of a Martian. Douglas Spencer (appeared in The Thing From Another World, Shane, This Island Earth, River of No Return, and The Diary of Anne Frank) plays the other half of the Martian. Gregory Irvin (Johnny Brady on Dennis the Menace) plays a Venusian.

Season 2, Episode 20, "Static": Dean Jagger (starred in Brigham Young, Twelve O'Clock High, White Christmas, Bad Day at Black Rock, and Elmer Gantry and played Albert Vane on Mr. Novak) plays boarding house resident Ed Lindsay. Robert Emhardt (Sgt. Vinton on The Kids From C.A.P.E.R.) plays boarding house resident Professor Ackerman. Arch Johnson (starred in Somebody Up There Likes Me, G.I. Blues, and The Cheyenne Social Club and played Gus Honochek on The Asphalt Jungle and Cmdr. Wivenhoe on Camp Runamuck) plays boarding house resident Roscoe Bragg. Alice Pearce (appeared in On the Town, The Opposite Sex, Dear Heart, Kiss Me, Stupid, and The Glass Bottom Boat and played Gladys Kravitz on Bewitched) plays boarding house owner Mrs. Nielson. Stephen Talbot (son of Lyle Talbot, played Gilbert Bates on Leave It to Beaver, and served as produce on Frontline, Frontline/World, and Independent Lens) plays a young boy who helps move a radio. Clegg Hoyt (Mac on Dr. Kildare) plays a junk shopkeeper.

Season 2, Episode 21, "The Prime Mover": Dane Clark (starred in Destination Tokyo, God Is My Co-Pilot, and That Way With Women and played Richard Adams on Justice, Dan Miller on Wire Service, Slate Shannon on Bold Venture, and Lt. Arthur Tragg on The New Perry Mason) plays diner owner Ace Larsen. Christine White (Abigail Adams on Ichabod and Me) played his girlfriend Kitty Cavanaugh. Buddy Ebsen (shown on the left, played Sgt. Hunk Marriner on Northwest Passage, Jed Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies, Barnaby Jones on Barnaby Jones, and Roy Houston on Matt Houston) plays his super-powered friend Jimbo Cobb.

Season 2, Episode 22, "Long Distance Call": Bill Mumy (shown on the right, played Will Robinson on Lost in Space, Weaver on Sunshine, and Lennier on Babylon 5) plays sheltered little boy Billy Bayles. Philip Abbott (starred in Sweet Bird of Youth and played Arthur Ward on The F.B.I., Dr. Alex Baker on General Hospital, and Grant Stevens on The Young and the Restless) plays his father Chris. Patricia Smith (Charlotte Landers on The Debbie Reynolds Show and Margaret Hoover on The Bob Newhart Show) plays his mother Sylvia. Henry Hunter (Doctor Summerfield on Hazel) plays a doctor. 

Season 2, Episode 23, "A Hundred Yards Over the Rim": Cliff Robertson (shown on the near left, starred in Picnic, The Naked and the Dead, Gidget, PT 109, The Devil's Brigade, Charly, and Three Days of the Condor and played Rod Brown on Rod Brown of the Rocket Rangers, Shame on Batman, Dr. Michael Ranson on Falcon Crest, and Hal Malloy on The Lyon's Den) plays western settler Christian Horn. John Astin (shown on the far left, appeared in That Touch of Mink, The Wheeler Dealers, Move Over, Darling, Viva Max, and Freaky Friday and played Harry Dickens on I'm Dickens, He's Fenster, Gomez Addams on The Addams Family, Rudy Pruitt on The Phyllis Diller Show, Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Sherman on Operation Petticoat, Ed LaSalle on Mary, Buddy Ryan on Night Court, Radford on Eerie, Indiana, and Prof. Albert Wickwire on The Adventures of Briscoe County, Jr.) plays fellow traveler Charlie. Ken Drake (Bragan on Not for Hire) plays another traveler. John Crawford (appeared in Zombies of the Stratosphere, John Paul Jones, Exodus, and The Americanization of Emily and played Chief Parks on Police Woman and Sheriff Ep Bridges on The Waltons) plays diner owner Joe. Evan Evans (widow of John Frankenheimer, appeared in All Fall Down, Bonnie and Clyde, and The Iceman Cometh) plays his wife Mary Lou. 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 a doctor. Robert McCord (Captain Amos Fry on Yancy Derringer) plays the sheriff.

Season 2, Episode 24, "The Rip Van Winkle Caper": Oscar Beregi, Jr. (see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Untouchables) plays criminal mastermind Mr. Farwell. Simon Oakland (starred in Psycho, West Side Story, and Follow That Dream and played Tony Vincenzo on Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Brig. Gen. Thomas Moore on Black Sheep Squadron, and Sgt. Abrams on David Cassidy - Man Undercover) plays demolitions expert De Cruz. 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 weapons expert Brooks. John Mitchum (see the biography section for the 1960 post on Riverboat) plays mechanical engineer Erbie. Wallace Rooney (Andrew Winters on The Doctors) plays highway driver George.

Season 2, Episode 25, "The Silence": Franchot Tone (shown on the near right, starred in Moulin Rouge (1934), Mutiny on the Bounty, Fast and Furious, Dark Waters, and I Love Trouble and played Dr. Daniel Niles Freeland on Ben Casey) plays club member Col. Archie Taylor. Jonathan Harris (shown on the far right, see "Twenty Two" above) plays his lawyer George Alfred. Liam Sullivan (Major Mapoy on The Monroes, Dr. Joseph Lerner on The Young and the Restless, and Mr. Willis on Knots Landing) plays loudmouth Jamie Tennyson. Cyril Delevanti (see "A Penny for Your Thoughts" above) plays club waiter Franklin. 

Season 2, Episode 26, "Shadow Play": Dennis Weaver (shown on the left, see the biography section for the 1960 post on Gunsmoke) plays convicted murderer Adam Grant. Harry Townes (starred in The Brothers Karamazov, Screaming Mimi, and Sanctuary) plays D.A. Henry Ritchie. Wright King (see the biography section for the 1960 post on Wanted: Dead or Alive) plays newspaper editor Paul Carson. Bernie Hamilton (Capt. Harold Dobey on Starsky and Hutch) plays inmate Cooley.

Season 2, Episode 27, "The Mind and the Matter": Shelley Berman (shown on the right, legendary Grammy-winning comedian, appeared in The Best Man, Divorce American Style, Teen Witch, and Meet The Fockers and played Ben Flicker on L.A. Law, Judge Robert Sanders on Boston Legal, and Nat David on Curb Your Enthusiasm) plays misanthrope Archibald Beechcroft. Jack Grinnage (appeared in Rebel Without a Cause, King Creole, and Wolf Larsen and played Ron Updyke on Kolchak: The Night Stalker) plays office boy Henry. 

Season 2, Episode 28, "Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?": Barney Phillips (shown on the left, played Sgt. Ed Jacobs on the original Dragnet, Lt. Sam Geller on Johnny Midnight, Lt. Avery on The Brothers Brannagan, Doc Kaiser on 12 O'Clock High, Mike Golden on Dan August, and Fletcher Huff on The Betty White Show) plays a diner counterman. John Hoyt (starred in My Favorite Brunette, The Lady Gambles, and Blackboard Jungle and played Grandpa Stanley Kanisky on Gimme a Break!) plays business traveler Ross. Jack Elam (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 old man Avery. Jean Willes (appeared in Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Ocean's 11, and Gypsy) plays professional dancer Ethel McConnell. Bill Erwin (Joe Walters on My Three Sons and Glenn Diamond on Struck by Lightning) plays long-time husband Peter Kramer. Gertrude Flynn (appeared in War and Peace, Rome Adventure, and Funny Girl and played Anna Sawyer on Days of Our Lives) plays his wife Rose. Morgan Jones (see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Blue Angels) plays state trooper Dan Perry.

Season 2, Episode 29, "The Obsolete Man": Burgess Meredith (see "Mr. Dingle, the Strong" above) plays librarian Romney Wordsworth. Fritz Weaver (starred in Fail-Safe, The Maltese Bippy, Marathon Man, and The Thomas Crown Affair (1999) and played Hugo Marick on All My Children) plays the state chancellor. 
Season 3, Episode 1, "Two": Elizabeth Montgomery (shown on the far right, starred in Johnny Cool, Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?, and How to Stuff a Wild Bikini and played Samantha Stephens on Bewitched) plays an apocalypse-surviving female soldier. Charles Bronson (shown on the near right, starred in The Magnificent Seven, The Dirty Dozen, Once Upon a Time in the West, The Valachi Papers, and four Death Wish movies and played Mike Kovac on Man With a Camera, Paul Moreno on Empire, and Linc Murdock on The Travels of Jamie McPheeters) plays an apocalypse-surviving male soldier.
Season 3, Episode 2, "The Arrival": Harold J. Stone (shown on the left, played John Kennedy on The Grand Jury, Hamilton Greeley on My World and Welcome to It, and Sam Steinberg on Bridget Loves Bernie) plays FAA investigator Grant Sheckly. Bing Russell (Kurt Russell's father, played Deputy Clem Foster on Bonanza) plays airport ground crew member George Cousins. Robert Karnes (see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Lawless Years) plays baggage handler Robbins. Noah Keen (Det. Lt. Carl Bone on Arrest and Trial) plays airline VP Bengston. Fredd Wayne (see "Twenty Two" above) plays PR rep Paul Malloy.
Season 3, Episode 3, "The Shelter": Larry Gates (starred in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Some Came Running, and The Young Savages and played H.B. Lewis on Guiding Light) plays suburban Dr. Bill Stockton. Peggy Stewart (starred in Oregon Trail, Son of Zorro, and Desert Vigilante and played Cherien's mother on The Riches) plays his wife Grace. Michael Burns (Howie Macauley on It's a Man's World and Barnaby West on Wagon Train) plays his son Paul. Jack Albertson (starred in Days of Wine and Roses, Kissin' Cousins, The Flim-Flam Man, and Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and played Lt. Harry Evans on The Thin Man, Walter Burton on Room for One More, Lt. Cmdr. Virgil Stoner on Ensign O'Toole, Paul Fenton on Mister Ed, and Ed Brown on Chico and the Man) plays neighbor Jerry Harlowe. Jo Helton (Nurse Conant on Dr. Kildare) plays Harlowe's wife Martha. Sandy Kenyon (see "The Odyssey of Flight 33" above) plays neighbor Frank Henderson. Mary Gregory (appeared in Sleeper and Coming Home and played Dr. Stanwhich on Knots Landing and Judge Pendleton on L.A. Law) plays Henderson's wife.
Season 3, Episode 4, "The Passersby": James Gregory (shown on the right, see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Lawless Years) plays former Confederate sergeant Abby. 





Season 3, Episode 5, "A Game of Pool": Jack Klugman (shown on the near left, starred in 12 Angry Men, Days of Wine and Roses, and I Could Go on Singing and played Alan Harris on Harris Against the World, Oscar Madison on The Odd Couple, Dr. Quincy, M.E. on Quincy, M.E., and Henry Willows on You Again?) plays pool shark Jesse Cardiff. Jonathan Winters (shown on the far left, legendary comedian, starred in It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, The Loved One, The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming!, and Viva Max, hosted The Jonathan Winters Show and The Wacky World of Jonathan Winters, played Hearth on Mork & Mindy and Gunny Davis on David Rules, and voiced Mr. Freebus and Roger Gustav on The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley, Grandpa Smurf on The Smurfs, Coach Cadaver on Gravedale High, and Mayor Cod on Fish Police) plays billiards legend Fats Brown.
Season 3, Episode 6, "The Mirror": Peter Falk (shown on the right, starred in Robin and the 7 Hoods, Murder by Death, and The Cheap Detective and played Daniel O'Brien on The Trials of O'Brien and Columbo on Columbo)plays Latin American revolutionary Ramos Clemente. Arthur Batanides (Sgt. Olivera on Johnny Midnight) plays his lieutenant Tabal. Rodolfo Hoyos, Jr. (Luis Valdez on Viva Valdez) plays his lieutenant Garcia. Will Kuluva (Charlie Kingman on Primus) plays deposed dictator General De Cruz. Vladimir Sokoloff (see "Dust" above) plays priest Father Tomas.
Season 3, Episode 7, "The Grave": Lee Marvin (shown on the far left, starred in The Big Heat, Bad Day at Black Rock, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Cat Ballou, The Dirty Dozen, and Paint Your Wagon and played Det. Lt. Frank Ballinger on M Squad) plays small-town lawman Conny Miller. Strother Martin (appeared in Kiss Me Deadly, The Shaggy Dog, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Cool Hand Luke, True Grit, The Wild Bunch, Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, and Slap Shot and played Aaron Donager on Hotel de Paree and R.J. Hawkins on Hawkins) plays townsman Mothershed. Stafford Repp (shown on the middle left, played Chief O'Hara on Batman) plays bartender Ira Broadly. Lee Van Cleef (shown on the near left, starred in High Noon, The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, The Bad and the Ugly) plays gambler Steinhart. James Best (Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane on The Dukes of Hazzard)plays bettor Johnny Rob. Dick Geary (played various scuba divers and law enforcement officers in 13 episodes of Perry Mason) plays outlaw Pinto Sykes.
Season 2, Episode 8, "It's a Good Life": Bill Mumy (shown on the far right, see "Long Distance Call" above) plays omnipotent child Anthony Fremont. John Larch (see "Dust" above) plays his father. Cloris Leachman (shown on the near right, starred in The Last Picture Show, Charley and the Angel, Dillinger, and Young Frankenstein and played Ruth Martin on Lassie,  Rhoda Kirsh on Dr. Kildare, and Phyllis Lindstrom on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda, and Phyllis) plays his mother. Alice Frost (Mama Holstrum on The Farmer's Daughter) plays his Aunt Amy. Don Keefer (starred in Death of a Salesman, Hellcats of the Navy, and Sleeper and played George on Angel) plays neighbor Dan Hollis. Jeanne Bates (Nurse Wills on Ben Casey) plays Hollis' wife Ethel. Max Showalter (appeared in Niagra, The Music Man, Dangerous Crossing, Indestructible Man, The Monster That Challenged the World, and How to Murder Your Wife and played Gus Clyde on The Stockard Channing Show) plays neighbor Pat Riley.
Season 3, Episode 9, "Deaths-Head Revisited": Oscar Beregi, Jr. (see "The Rip Van Winkle Caper" above) plays former SS Capt. Gunther Luntze. Joseph Schildkraut (shown on the left, starred in Orphans of the Storm, The King of Kings, Viva Villa!, Cleopatra (1934), The Life of Emile Zola, The Shop Around the Corner, and The Diary of Anne Frank) plays his former prisoner Alfred Becker. Kaaren Verne (appeared in Sky Murder, All Through the Night, Kings Row, and Ship of Fools) plays a Dachau innkeeper.
Season 3, Episode 10, "The Midnight Sun": Lois Nettleton (Sue Kramer on Accidental Family, Joanne St. John on In the Heat of the Night, and Evelyn on Crossing Jordan) plays painter Norma. Jason Wingreen (Dr. Aaron Clark on The Long, Hot Summer, Harry Snowden on All in the Family and Archie Bunker's Place, and Judge Arthur Beaumont on Matlock) plays departing resident Mr. Shuster. Tom Reese (starred in Taggart, The Money Trap, and Murderers' Row and played Sgt. Thomas Velie on Ellery Queen) plays an intruder. William Keene (played various reverends on The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry R.F.D.) plays a doctor. Robert Stevenson (bartender Big Ed on Richard Drum and Marshal Hugh Strickland on Stagecoach West) plays a radio announcer.
Season 3, Episode 11, "Still Valley": Gary Merrill (shown on the right, appeared in Twelve O'Clock High, All About Eve, and Mysterious Island and played Jason Tyler on Justice, Lou Sheldon on The Reporter, and Dr. Leonard Gillespie on Young Dr. Kildare) plays Confederate scout Sgt. Joseph Paradine. Ben Cooper (appeared in Johnny Guitar, The Rose Tattoo, and Support Your Local Gunfighter and played Waverly on The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo and the Director on The Fall Guy) plays Confederate trooper Dauger. 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 sorcerer Teague. Mark Tapscott (Deputy Andy on The Tall Man and Bob Anderson on Days of Our Lives) plays a Confederate lieutenant.
Season 3, Episode 12, "The Jungle": John Dehner (Duke Williams on The Roaring '20's, Commodore Cecil Wyntoon on The Baileys of Balboa, Morgan Starr on The Virginian, Cyril Bennett on The Doris Day Show, Dr. Charles Cleveland Claver on The New Temperatures Rising Show, Barrett Fears on Big Hawaii, Marshal Edge Troy on Young Maverick, Lt. Joseph Broggi on Enos, Hadden Marshall on Bare Essence, and Billy Joe Erskine on The Colbys) plays businessman Alan Richards. Emily McLaughlin (shown on the left, played Dr. Eileen Seaton on Young Dr. Malone and nurse Jessie Brewer on General Hospital) plays his wife Doris. Walter Brooke (appeared in The Graduate, Tora! Tora! Tora!, and The Nude Bomb and played D.A. Frank Scanlon on The Green Hornet and Clarence Johnson on The Waltons) plays his colleague Chad Cooper. Hugh Sanders (starred in That's My Boy, The Pride of St. Louis, The Winning Team, and The Wild One) plays board member Templeton. Donald Foster (Herbert Johnson on Hazel) plays company president Sinclair.
Season 3, Episode 13, "Once Upon a Time": Buster Keaton (shown on the right, iconic silent-film comedian, starred in Sherlock Jr., Go West, The General, Steamboat Bill, Jr., Sunset Boulevard, and Beach Blanket Bingo and hosted The Buster Keaton Show) plays janitor Woodrow Mulligan. Stanley Adams (Lt. Morse on Not for Hire and Gurrah on The Lawless Years) plays scientist Rollo. Jesse White (appeared in Harvey, Bedtime for Bonzo, The Bad Seed, It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, and The Reluctant Astronaut and played Mickey Calhoun on Private Secretary, Jesse Leeds on Make Room for Daddy, and Oscar Pudney on The Ann Sothern Show) plays a fix-it repairman. James Flavin (Lt. Donovan on Man With a Camera and Robert Howard on The Roaring 20's) plays a police officer.
Season 3, Episode 14, "Five Characters in Search of an Exit": William Windom (appeared in To Kill a Mockingbird, The Americanization of Emily, and Escape From the Planet of the Apes and played Congressman Glen Morley on The Farmer's Daughter, John Monroe on My World and Welcome to It, Larry Krandall on Brothers and Sisters, Frank Buckman on Parenthood, and Dr. Seth Hazlitt on Murder, She Wrote) plays an army major. Murray Matheson (Felix Mulholland on Banacek) plays a clown. Susan Harrison (appeared in The Sweet Smell of Success and Key Witness and whose daughter, Darva Conger, was the bride of the ill-fated reality show Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?) plays a ballerina. Kelton Garwood (Beauregard O'Hanlon on Bourbon Street Beat and Percy Crump on Gunsmoke) plays a hobo. Mona Houghton (daughter of producer Buck Houghton and screenwriter for The Young and the Restless, Another World, and Knots Landing) plays a young girl.
Season 3, Episode 15, "A Quality of Mercy": Dean Stockwell (shown on the left, starred in Anchors Aweigh, Gentleman's Agreement, Kim, Sons and Lovers, and Dune and played Dr. Rudy Devereux on Dr. Kildare, Admiral Al Calavicci on Quantum Leap, John Stern on Street Gear, Frank DiMeo on The Tony Danza Show, Edward Shefflied on JAG, and John Cavil on Battlestar Gallactica) plays American Lt. Katell and Japanese Lt. Yamuri. Albert Salmi (Yadkin on Daniel Boone and Pete Ritter on Petrocelli) plays U.S. Sgt. Causarano. Leonard Nimoy (Mr. Spock on Star Trek, Paris on Mission: Impossible, and Dr. William Bell on Fringe) plays radio man Hansen. Jerry Fujikawa (appeared in King of Marvin Gardens, Chinatown, and Farewell, My Lovely and played Matsu on Mr. T and Tina) plays a Japanese captain. Rayford Barnes (see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays infantryman Andrew Watkins. Ralph Votrian (King Lexian in Masked Rider) plays infantryman Hanachek.