The first 1-hour series filmed for television is still one of the most popular legal dramas ever. It has been studied in several full-length books, as well as fan-operated web sites recounting its origin and individual episodes. But despite its calling-card courtroom drama with its titular undefeated defense attorney wringing confessions from unlikely murderers every week, Perry Mason had as much drama away from the cameras as it did on-set. The series was not the first attempt to translate the pulp novels of lawyer Erle Stanley Gardner to the screen. In fact, a series of Warner Brothers feature films based on his Perry Mason books soured him on Hollywood when the tenor of his tomes was tampered with on each successive feature, eventually having Perry and his secretary Della Street getting married. CBS nearly lured him into collaborating on a daytime soap opera based on the Mason novels, but when producers insisted on Mason having a love interest, Gardner pulled out. CBS went on without him but changed the character's name to Mike Karr and called the show The Edge of Night, which premiered in 1956 with John Larkin, who had played Mason in radio dramas, in the lead role.
However, Gardner's literary agent Thomas Cornwell Jackson and his wife and former actress Gail Patrick Jackson persuaded Gardner to enter into a partnership dubbed Paisano Productions to bring Mason to the small screen with Gardner given full control over the scripts. Gail Patrick Jackson, who studied law before embarking on her acting career, served as executive producer. The same year that they launched Perry Mason in 1957, they debuted another legal drama based on Gardner's writings called The Court of Last Resort, based on real-live cases that Gardner believed had been adjudicated wrongly. The latter program lasted only a single season, however, while Perry Mason successfully battled the very popular Perry Como Show. After a slow start and critical indifference, Mason picked up steam, eventually chasing Como from his Saturday night time-slot and garnering Raymond Burr and Barbara Hale Emmy Awards in 1959. For the 1959-60 season Perry Mason cracked the top 10 in the Nielsen Ratings for the first time.
But as Burr biographer Michael Seth Starr observed in Hiding in Plain Sight: The Secret Life of Raymond Burr, while the Mason series gave Burr what he had desired for many years--the opportunity to jettison being typecast as a "heavy" and assume a leading-man role, it also created problems for him in opening him up to more scrutiny, thereby threatening to reveal his homosexuality in an age when such a revelation would have been a career-killer. Burr used his excessively demanding work schedule as an excuse to fend off inquiries about his love life, claiming that he simply had no time to court a future wife. But it didn't stop him from inventing deceased wives and then pretending that the pain of their deaths was still too raw to discuss. A three-part feature story in the March 1961 issues of TV Guide recounted how his alleged first wife Annette Sutherland was in the same airplane as actor Leslie Howard that was shot down by the Nazis in World War II. Of course, the British-born Sutherland never existed. That marriage purportedly produced a son who was stricken with leukemia and died at age 11. Burr's supposed "second marriage" to "friend" Isabella Ward actually happened. The two met while acting at the Pasadena Playhouse, but the marriage was short-lived, possibly because Burr was then living with his grandparents, mother, and "friend" Norman. In the TV Guide feature, Burr said that the marriage ended in divorce because "She had deep-set personal problems and so did I, and the combination of the two made our life impossible." More likely, Ms. Ward probably discovered that she had married a gay man, though she would never discuss the marriage publicly thereafter. The TV Guide article goes on to list a third marriage to Laura Andrina Morga, who supposedly died of cancer just as they were to embark on a delayed honeymoon. As Starr points out, the chronology for this fictitious romance just wouldn't work. Burr was already an established and well-known actor when the couple was supposed to have met, and none of his co-stars ever heard him mention her. Though Burr was able to fend off seemingly uncurious reporters and fellow actors by simply saying "we don't discuss that" when asked for details about his past loves, he came perilously close to exposing his sexual orientation during a 1960 trip to New York that eventually made its way to the tabloids.
As Starr relates, Burr had gone to New York in mid-1960 to visit a young burn victim who requested a visit from his favorite TV star, but the details of a late night tryst with female impersonator and bartender Ray/Libby Reynolds were later sold by Reynolds to scandal sheet Confidential. However, by the time the story appeared in the April 1961 edition of the tabloid, it had been changed to suggest that Burr met Reynolds when the latter was in drag, had not realized that the "she" was a "he," and that their encounter had amounted only to a little kissing. Reynolds years later told Starr that the printed story was a lie; obviously the magazine must have contacted Burr or someone close to him and given him the opportunity to hush things up, probably for a price. But the story was salacious enough to cause members of the American Bar Association to lobby their president to stop booking Burr as a guest speaker at their conventions. Their requests were then forwarded on to the F.B.I., then run by J. Edgar Hoover, who had a few skeletons in his own closet, but the matter was dropped and Burr suffered no ill consequences from the affair.
Such was not the case for William Talman, who played inept D.A. Hamilton Burger, the prior season. In March 1960 Talman was arrested while nude with six others at a party where marijuana cigarettes were distributed, though apparently never smoked. CBS immediately fired Talman and had his place filled by a variety of other actors playing deputy D.A.'s or had Mason handle cases outside of Los Angeles where he was opposed by local prosecutors. But none of the fill-ins seemed to have the gravitas of Talman, and due to the intercessions of Burr and Gail Patrick Jackson, plus a robust letter-writing campaign from fans of the show, Talman was eventually reinstated in December 1960. He was slowly worked back into his old role, still having other actors like Robert Karnes playing Deputy D.A. Victor Chamberlin in a couple of 1961 episodes.
The successful program also had to deal with the possible loss of actor Ray Collins, who played homicide detective Lt. Arthur Tragg. Collins, who was already 68 when the show began airing in 1957, began suffering memory retention problems that made it difficult to remember his lines. Rather than merely replace him, Gail Patrick Jackson kept him on until his death in 1965, though his appearances dwindled with each successive season. To fill the void, the producers first tried out actor Mort Mills as Sgt. Ben Landro in the March 25, 1961 episode "The Case of the Difficult Detour." But after actor Wesley Lau appeared as defendant Amory Fallon in the second episode of Season 5, he was brought on board in the role of Tragg's next-in-command Lt. Andy Anderson in October 1961. The producers continued to use Mills as Landro sporadically--he appeared in 2 more 1961 episodes, 3 episodes in 1962, and one last appearance in 1965--but Lau as Anderson became the regular, with 82 total Mason appearances before being replaced by Richard Anderson in the show's final season.
The other cast change in 1961 was the addition of Karl Held as legal student David Gideon in Season 5, an obvious appeal to a younger demographic as Held was a striking, young-looking 30-year-old blonde heart-throb. However, the Gideon character was never given anything substantial to do, and after 8 appearances as Mason's understudy, he was quietly brushed under the carpet in January 1962. The experiment apparently didn't hurt the show's ratings, however, as it reached its peak popularity as the #5-rated program for the 1961-62 season.
But the show's star was not completely happy, due in part to his heavy workload, and his agent Lester Salkow commented to the press earlier in the year that Burr would not be returning for the 1961-62 season. How serious Burr was about leaving is not clear, but the threat served as an effective bargaining ploy and won him a larger contract. He would continue to make suggestions that each following season would be his last on the program, but in the end it was CBS, not Burr, who made the decision to cancel the series after 9 seasons, achieving something Hamilton Burger never could do--silence Perry Mason.
The iconic opening theme for Perry Mason was written by Fred Steiner, born in New York City, the son of Hungarian composer George Steiner. The younger Steiner was considered a child prodigy, playing piano at age 6, and after high school attended the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, from which he graduated in 1943. He then went to work composing for radio programs and though somewhat inexperienced received a break when his father introduced him to established soundtrack composer Van Cleave, in whose orchestra the elder Steiner was then playing. As the radio business began to decline, Fred moved to Hollywood in 1947 to pursue a career in film. Much of his early work was providing uncreditied orchestration in such light-hearted fare as Son of Paleface, The Girls of Pleasure Island, and Casanova's Big Night, though he also worked on the more substantial The Man With the Golden Arm in 1955. That same year he got his first TV assignment as composer for the series Navy Log. A friendship with Hitchcock composer Bernard Herrmann led to his first true film score for 1956's Run for the Sun, which Steiner years later considered one of his favorites. But it was the next year, 1957, that would make his career. Besides composing for the short-lived TV western series Boots and Saddles, Steiner composed his masterpiece "Park Avenue Beat," better known as the theme to Perry Mason. Steiner took over compositional duties from Frank Comstock on The Bullwinkle Show in Season 3, and composed scores for 18 episodes of the original Star Trek. His most notable feature film work was his shared Oscar-nominated work on the film The Color Purple in 1985. He died in Mexico on June 23, 2011 at the age of 88.
The complete series has been released on DVD by CBS/Paramount Home Video.
Raymond William Stacy Burr was the oldest of three children born to William Burr and Minerva Smith in New Westminster, Canada. Burr's childhood was troubled, in part because of the weight issues that dogged him his entire life, making him shy and withdrawn with few friends, and in part because his parents essentially split up when he was only 6 years old. As William Burr continued to struggle to support his family, Minerva took the children and moved in with her parents, who operated a small hotel in Vallejo, California. Though William Burr had planned to eventually join them and did so, he did not find California to his liking and returned to Canada alone 8 months later. Young Raymond then became essentially the man of the house, helping his mother, who taught piano lessons around the Bay area, to raise his younger siblings. Despite his shyness, Raymond had acting aspirations from an early age and after high school studied acting with Gilmor Brown at the Pasadena Playhouse. Despite landing his first screen appearance in 1940's Earl of Puddlestone, Burr was unable to find regular acting work, though he continued to take lessons and perform in productions at the Pasadena Playhouse. On his second trip to New York to make a stab at Broadway, he landed a leading role that caught the eye of Hollywood agent Edith Van Cleve, who was eventually able to secure a contract for him with RKO when he returned to California. It was about this time that Burr began padding his biography with a string of tall tales that included war decorations (he never served in the military), acting triumphs on the London stage, and teaching at prestigious universities (he did teach acting at the Pasadena Playhouse, but that's as far as it went). However, he also began landing supporting roles at RKO, usually as the literal and figurative "heavy." His appearance in San Quentin in 1946 is considered a turning point in getting better and more significant roles in film. He also continued appearing in Pasadena Playhouse productions and there met his one and only wife Isabella Ward. Burr was certainly not the first homosexual actor to marry as a means of cover, but the marriage did not last long, as the couple lived with Burr's mother, grandparents, and friend Norman, whose relationship with Burr is not clear. Neither Burr nor Ward would discuss any details about the marriage after the couple divorced. In any case, Burr went on later to fabricate a second marriage to a British woman who supposedly died in the same war-time plane crash that killed actor Leslie Howard and a son that died of a terminal illness after Burr claimed to have spent the boy's last months touring the world with him, just as Red Skelton did with his dying son. Burr also was rumored to have had a relationship with young Natalie Wood, and while the two were very close friends until their studios effectively broke it up, she did not realize at the time that Burr was gay. But despite the heartbreak of his real and imagined romances, Burr continued to find steady work in Hollywood and on radio dramas, getting rave reviews for his work in A Place in the Sun, The Blue Gardenia, and Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window. He also appeared in the American version of the original Godzilla and many years later the 1985 remake. But he eventually grew tired of continually playing villainous roles, so when he was asked to audition for the role of Hamilton Burger on the new television version of Erle Stanley Gardner's Perry Mason, he agreed to do so on one condition--that he could also do a screen test in the title role. There are many stories about what finally tipped the scales in his favor, but the bottom line is that finally, at age 40, he was a leading man.
Perry Mason made Burr one of the most popular actors in Hollywood, but the workload of producing a weekly 1-hour drama in which he appeared in nearly every scene began weighing on him as early as the first season. Throughout the program's 9-year run, he complained fairly regularly about the workload, though he did not help matters by filling his weekends with personal appearances, such as speaking before various legal organizations. Despite the fact that the demands for being the star were real, Burr also used his workload as leverage to extend his contract and increase his salary, threatening to end his involvement with the show many times. But the workload also provided Burr a convenient cover for why he never remarried or found time to date any women, though during the show's run he found time to invent another fictional dead wife. Once CBS decided to cancel Perry Mason, Burr envisioned a return to feature films with more clout to secure better roles, but like many popular TV actors, he found producers largely unable to see him as anyone other than Perry Mason, and so by the fall of 1967 he was back starring in another TV drama, this time as the title character on Ironside. The show was an instant hit, but it wasn't long before Burr began grousing about the demands of so much work, complicated by the fact that now all of his camera time was spent in a wheelchair. After the series ran for 7 seasons, Burr tried out a few other TV projects in the late 1970s--Mallory: Circumstantial Evidence, Kingston: Confidential, and The Jordan Chance--but none of the projects panned out. Burr closed out the 1970s by appearing in the mini-series Harold Robbins' 79 Park Avenue and Centennial and reprised his role as Steve Martin in the Godzilla update feature Godzilla 1985. However, Burr found TV success once again by returning to the character who made him--Perry Mason--by filming a series of 26 Perry Mason TV movies between 1985 and his death in 1993. Barbara Hale reprised her role as Della Street, and her son William Katt stepped into William Hopper's shoes as Paul Drake, Jr. Besides his nonstop acting career, Burr made many trips to visit U.S. troops in war zones in Korea and Vietnam. For a time in Hollywood he owned an art gallery. He and his life partner Robert Benevides grew orchids and are credited with creating over 1500 hybrids, one of them named after Barbara Hale. In 1965 he bought the island of Naitauba in the Fiji islands and built a medical clinic, started a newspaper, and invested heavily in coconut meat production to help the natives earn a living, though due to poor health he was forced to sell the island in 1983. After having a cancerous tumor surgically removed from his kidney in February 1993, the cancer was found to have spread while he was filming what would be his last Perry Mason TV movie. He finally succumbed on September 12, 1993 at the age of 76.
Born in Dekalb, Illinois the daughter of a landscape gardener, Barbara Hale's family soon thereafter moved to Rockford, where she began taking ballet and tap dancing at age 12. Despite appearing in local theater, Hale's ambition was to become an artist, so after graduating from high school she moved to Chicago to enroll in the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. She began taking modeling jobs in Chicago to finance her education when she was noticed by Al Seaman of the Chicago Model Bureau, who sent photos of Hale to RKO Studios in Hollywood, resulting in a screen test and movie contract. After 7 uncredited appearances in 1943 feature films, she got her first credited role that included singing a duet with Frank Sinatra in Higher and Higher. The following year, Hale met actor Bill Williams, got him a part in West of the Pecos, and according to her account finally talked him into marrying her two years later in 1946. The couple had two daughters and one son, actor William Katt. The year 1946 was also eventful for Hale because she began receiving leading roles, starring opposite Robert Young in Lady Luck. Later starring roles included with Arthur Kennedy in The Window, Larry Parks in Jolson Sings Again, Jimmy Stewart in The Jackpot, Richard Greene in Lorna Doone, James Cagney in A Lion Is in the Streets, and Rock Hudson in Seminole. She began appearing on TV drama anthologies in 1953 and two years later made her first appearance on a drama series in an episode of Climax! Hale was selected for the role of Della Street on Perry Mason because she was good friends with executive producer Gail Patrick Jackson. When Jackson first called and suggested the part for her, Hale said she was too busy raising her children, but Jackson won her over by telling her they were going to produce only 18 episodes. In all, Hale appeared in 271 episodes over 9 seasons and picked up the 1959 Emmy for Best Supporting Actress.
During the late 1970s she appeared in television commercials and print ads as the spokesperson for the Amana Radarange microwave ovens. Hale worked only sporadically after Perry Mason, that is, until the series of Perry Mason TV movies revved up in 1985. She appeared in single episodes of Custer, Ironside, Lassie, Adam-12, The Doris Day Show, Marcus Welby, M.D., and her son William Katt's The Greatest American Hero. She also appeared in a few feature films, most notably Airport, The Giant Spider Invasion, and Big Wednesday. After appearing in all 30 Perry Mason TV movies (including the 4 made after Raymond Burr's death), Hale retired from acting to Palm Desert, California. She died in Sherman Oaks on January 26, 2017 from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at the age of 94.
Born William DeWolf Hopper, Jr., the only son of actress-turned-gossip-columnist Hedda Hopper and actor DeWolf Hopper, Junior never really wanted a career as an actor, but his mother had other ideas. His first on-screen appearance was as a baby in one of his father's silent movies, but his career began in earnest in 1936 in a string of uncredited roles and one billed as DeWolf Hopper, Jr. in The Accusing Finger. This was the same year his mother gave up acting and became a very influential Hollywood gossip columnist, so influential that she was able to coerce directors to cast her son, which he resented. Nevertheless, he continued in the acting profession, appearing in scores of features until World War II. Amongst his credits are many lesser films, but he also appeared in Stagecoach, Knute Rockne, All American, The Maltese Falcon, and Yankee Doodle Dandy. During the war he served in the highly dangerous and stressful Navy Underwater Demolition Team, for which he received a Bronze Star. Some sources claim that the stress of this assignment is what turned Hopper's hair from a natural blonde to prematurely white. After the war he decided to chuck acting and went to work selling cars, a job he claimed not to be particularly good at but felt that his mother's connections probably aided as well. Finally in 1954 director William Wellman persuaded him to return to acting in his feature The High and the Mighty, even though Hopper suspected that his mother had arranged the role. He also began dabbling in TV but when he was cast opposite Claire Trevor in a live drama on Lux Video Theatre he was overcome with stage fright and canceled his appearance. However, upon reflecting on what was the worst thing that could happen even if he bombed, he instantly became more comfortable in front of the camera and his career thrived. He appeared with buddy Robert Mitchum in Track of the Cat, played Natalie Wood's father in Rebel Without a Cause, and starred in cult sci-fi fare such as The Deadly Mantis and 20 Million Miles to Earth. During this time he also made an occasional TV appearance on shows like Gunsmoke, The Millionaire, and Casablanca. When Perry Mason was being cast, Hopper auditioned for the title role, but after the part went to Raymond Burr, he landed the part of Mason's right-hand P.I. Paul Drake. Perhaps not coincidentally, Hopper had appeared with Perry Mason executive producer Gail Patrick Jackson in the 1936 feature Murder With Pictures.
His role as Paul Drake finally established Hopper as a successful actor on his own terms, and he demanded that his mother stop mentioning him in her column after he secured the role. However, when the series ended 9 years later in 1966, Hopper gave up acting, the same year his mother died. He did make one uncredited appearance in the savagely reviewed Myra Breckenridge in 1970, the year that he died after suffering a stroke and then succumbing to pneumonia in Palm Springs on March 6 at the age of 55.
William Whitney Talman, Jr. was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of an electrical company vice president and later recalled riding to school each day in a limousine, though since it was a public school he said he had to fight his way in and out of school each day. This experience is perhaps what led him to develop an interest in boxing, as well as baseball, which he played semi-professionally before his acting career took off. He is credited with founding the drama club at Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, after which he attended Dartmouth College. But he was forced out of Dartmouth after an incident in which he borrowed another student's car to visit a girlfriend but wound up in an accident that killed a passenger riding with him. During the investigation it was revealed that the car was stolen. Though he was later invited to return to Dartmouth, Talman declined, instead attending the University of Michigan. After school Talman worked various odd jobs, including car salesman, while also working in stock theatre companies, working his way up to Broadway in the early 1940s until he was drafted into the U.S. Army in January 1942. Talman spent 30 months in the service, working his way up from private to major while overseeing talent shows for the troops in the Pacific Theatre and managing the army's boxing and baseball teams. After his discharge, he returned to Broadway before relocating to Hollywood in 1949. He specialized in supporting roles in crime dramas, beginning with Red, Hot and Blue and including Armored Car Robbery, The Racket, and his most famous role in the title role of Ida Lupino's The Hitch-Hiker, a performance that caught the attention of and stuck in the mind of future Perry Mason producer Gail Patrick Jackson. Talman also began finding occasional TV roles starting in 1955, mostly on drama anthology series but also including Climax!, Trackdown, and Wagon Train.
Like his tenure at Dartmouth, his time on Perry Mason was marked by an incident that threatened to derail his career. In March 1960 he and six others were arrested at a party for being naked and in the presence of marijuana cigarettes, which were laid out around the host's home but did not appear to have been smoked. CBS invoked the morals clause in Talman's contract and fired him immediately. Talman's lawyer publicly criticized the network for hypocritically condemning his client without a trial, in direct opposition to the overarching message of the Perry Mason series. The judge who heard the case dismissed the charges, saying that while he may not approve of Talman's behavior, he did nothing illegal. A strong letter-writing campaign by Perry Mason fans as well as lobbying by Gail Patrick Jackson and Raymond Burr eventually led to Talman being reinstated, and he continued with the series until its cancelation in 1966. However, the damage to his reputation from the incident seems to have been permanent because he accumulated only three more acting credits thereafter. But even more damaging was Talman's heavy smoking throughout adulthood, leading to his contracting lung cancer. He was angered after reading that other actors were afraid to publicly denounce smoking's health dangers because they might jeopardize commercial opportunities with cigarette companies, so he recorded a pair of public service announcements for the American Cancer Society shortly before he died, the first actor to do so. He stipulated that they were to air after his death, which came on August 30, 1968 at the age of 53.
Ray Bidwell Collins was born in Sacramento, California, the son of the local newspaper's drama critic. He was inspired to take up acting as a boy after seeing his uncle Ulric perform in a Broadway production of Way Down East. Collins made his professional acting debut at age 13 in Oakland and was rarely out of work between ages 17 and 30. In 1914 he and first wife Margaret moved to Vancouver, where he appeared in stock theatrical performances before starting his own company at the Empress Theatre. He left Vancouver to perform in touring vaudeville groups and landed in New York, where he began appearing on Broadway as of 1924. During the Great Depression, he added radio dramas to his repertoire, appearing on as many as 18 programs per week, and in 1930 began appearing in a series of Vitaphone film shorts over the next four years. In 1934 he began a long and prolific association with Orson Welles when the latter joined the cast of the radio program The American School of the Air. Welles would later call Collins "the finest actor I've ever worked with." He appeared with Welles on the news drama series The March of Time as well as Cavalcade of America, and The Shadow. He also appeared in Welles' famous radio presentations of Les Miserables and The War of the Worlds. Collins made his feature film debut as Welles' political rival in Citizen Kane and would go on to appear in two more Welles' masterpieces, The Magnificent Ambersons and Touch of Evil. In between those roles Collins appeared in dozens of other features, including The Human Comedy, Leave Her to Heaven, The Best Years of Our Lives, The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, The Fountainhead, and The Racket (with William Talman). He landed his first recurring TV role as Professor Merriweather on The Halls of Ivy in 1954-55 and appeared in several other drama anthology series throughout the 1950s before being cast in his final role as homicide Lt. Arthur Tragg on Perry Mason.
As early as 1960 Collins began to experience health problems and found that his memory, which had allowed him to memorize as much as 80 pages of dialogue in 8 hours during his Broadway years, was now fading, and he had trouble remembering his lines on Perry Mason. Though he stuck with the series as long as he could, his appearances continued to diminish each season, with his last coming in January 1964. Still, Gail Patrick Jackson continued to list his name in the closing credits through the spring of 1965 because she knew Collins watched the show and did not want to discourage him at seeing his name removed. He died from emphysema on July 11, 1965 at the age of 75.
Born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, Wesley Lau related in a TV Guide interview that he caught the acting bug after appearing in a high school play, but his real desire was to become a dramatic writer. After appearing in local community theater productions, Lau attended the University of Wisconsin as an aspiring playwright and followed that by earning an M.A. from the Yale School of Drama in 1950. In the midst of his college work he served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II and married Turkish actress Shirin Devrim in 1949. After finishing school be moved to New York and appeared in many Broadway productions in addition to studying at the Actors Studio. He finally accepted his fate as an actor because jobs were much easier to come by than those for writing. He made his TV debut on an episode of Suspense in 1952 and eventually moved to Hollywood, continuing to appear in a number of drama anthologies before making his feature film debut in the Susan Hayward drama I Want to Live! In the late 1950s and early 1960s he found somewhat regular guest work on series such as Alfred Hitchcock Presents, One Step Beyond, Gunsmoke, and Peter Gunn, to name but a few. In 1960 he had a supporting role in John Wayne's Oscar-nominated epic The Alamo. He first appeared on Perry Mason playing defendant Amory Fallon in "The Case of the Impatient Partner" (September 16, 1961), but as Ray Collins' health continued to make his appearances less frequent, Lau was offered a permanent role as homicide Lt. Andy Anderson beginning with "The Case of the Malicious Mariner" (October 7, 1961). He would appear in the role 82 times through the spring of 1965 before being replaced by Richard Anderson in the series' final season.
After another of his rare feature film roles in the Robert Vaughn-starring The Venetian Affair and a few guest spots on The Big Valley, Bonanza, and Combat!, Lau was cast as Master Sgt. Jiggs in Irwin Allen's science fiction series The Time Tunnel in 1966-67. Thereafter he had a string of other guest appearances on programs such as The Virginian, Mission: Impossible, and Ironside, including 3 turns as Capt. Ivan Gottschalk on The Magician, as well as an occasional feature film roles. But he finally achieved his goal of becoming a writer when his screenplay for the drama Lepke, telling the story of Jewish gangster Lepke Buchalter, was made into a feature film in 1975. His last screen credit was for an unnamed part in a TV movie version of Valley of the Dolls in 1981. He suffered heart failure and passed away on August 30, 1984 at the age of 63.
Karl, or Carl, Held was born in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1931. His father was an undocumented German immigrant and his mother had Austrian and German roots, so young Karl was brought up to speak both German and English until the age of 6 when the rise of the Nazis in Germany made the Helds want to appear as American as possible. Though Held is still alive, few details from his early years are publicly known. He served in the military during the Korean War; his father died at age 61 from smoking. At some point Held took up acting and was appearing on Broadway by 1958 when he and British actress Sarah Marshall met while both had supporting roles in the original production of The World of Suzie Wong. The couple would marry in 1964 and remain married for nearly 50 years until her death in 2014. Held made his television debut in a 1960 episode of The Law and Mr. Jones. Held made his Perry Mason debut the following year playing the son of the murder defendant in "The Case of the Angry Dead Man" (February 25, 1961) and first appeared as defendant David Gideon in "The Case of the Grumbling Grandfather" (May 27, 1961). Held would appear 8 more times in the role during Season 5 but was not retained after early 1962.
Held signed a 7-year contract with Warner Brothers in 1962 and appeared in Warner series such as Cain's Hundred, 77 Sunset Strip, Hawaiian Eye, and The Dakotas over the next couple of years. He was scheduled to star in a combination secret agent/science fiction program called 13th Gate in 1964, but the series was suddenly canceled before it aired a single episode. However, Held continued to find occasional guest TV spots and a couple of feature films, 36 Hours and Disney's That Darn Cat! in 1965. In 1968 he and Marshall moved to London, where they lived until 1980. He had a recurring role in the British TV series The Lotus Eaters in 1972 and would occasionally return to the States for a guest spot on shows such as The F.B.I. and The Incredible Hulk. In 1979 he played the role of Travis in 8 episodes of the British mini-series The Aphrodite Inheritance, and he continued to land the occasional TV guest spot after relocating to Hollywood in the 1980s. In 1986 he secured his most-remembered TV role playing the vaguely European Garth on the primetime soap opera Falcon Crest, appearing 46 times through the end of Season 8, at which point a writer's strike threw the entire series into chaos and he was not brought back when it resumed for Season 9. Since then Held has only a few credits, the last being an unnamed part in a 2017 episode of Me and My Grandma, which stars Rhea Perlman.
Notable Guest Stars
Season 4, Episode 13, "The Case of the Envious Editor": James Coburn (shown on the left, starred in The Magnificent Seven, Charade, Our Man Flint, and In Like Flint and who played Jeff Durain on Klondike and Gregg Miles on Acapulco) plays magazine editor Donald Fletcher. Barbara Lawrence (starred in The Street With No Name, A Letter to Three Wives, and Oklahoma!) plays his assistant Lori Stoner. 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 magazine owner Edmond Aitken. Sara Shane (starred in Magnificent Obsession, Three Bad Sisters, and Tarzan's Greatest Adventure) plays Aitken's wife Alyce. Jennifer Howard (appeared in All Fall Down, House of Women, and The Chapman Report) plays her sister Millie Nash. Dave Willock (starred in Let's Face It, Pin Up Girl, and The Fabulous Dorseys and played Lt. Binning on Boots and Saddles, Harvey Clayton on Margie, and was the narrator on the animated Wacky Races) plays Fletcher's neighbor Jay Robinson. Paul Lambert (Dalessio on Executive Suite) plays poetry publisher Ben Nicholson. Vinton Hayworth (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Lawman) plays advertising executive Wendell Harding. Sid Tomack (Jim Gillis on The Life of Riley) plays photographer Rudi Tripp. H.M. Wynant (Frosty on Batman and Ed Chapman on Dallas) plays Deputy D.A. Sampson. S. John Launer (Marshall Houts on The Court of Last Resort and the judge 33 times on Perry Mason) plays the judge.
Season 4, Episode 14, "The Case of the Resolute Reformer": Douglas Dick (Carl Herrick on Waterfront) plays drunken party-goer Peter Caine. John Hoyt (starred in My Favorite Brunette, The Lady Gambles, and Blackboard Jungle and played Grandpa Stanley Kanisky on Gimme a Break!) plays his father William Harper Caine. Diana Millay (Laura Collins on Dark Shadows) plays Peter's date Debra Bradford. Maxine Stuart (Maureen on Norby, Ruth Burton on Room for One More, Mrs. Hewitt on Peyton Place, Marge Newberry on Executive Suite, Amanda Earp on The Rousters, and Eleanor "Gram" Rutledge on The Pursuit of Happiness) plays ranch owner Grace Witt. 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 developer Roger Quigley. Richard Eastham (see the biography section for the 1960 post on Tombstone Territory) plays Deputy D.A. Parness.
Season 4, Episode 15, "The Case of the Fickle Fortune": Vaughn Taylor (shown on the right, starred in Jailhouse Rock, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Psycho, and In Cold Blood and played Ernest P. Duckweather on Johnny Jupiter) plays county estate examiner Ralph Duncan. Virginia Christine (was the Folger's Coffee woman in commercials and starred in The Mummy's Curse, The Killers, and Night Wind and played Ovie Swenson on Tales of Wells Fargo) plays his wife Helen. Ralph Casper (Barry Wisegarten on Room 222 and Dr. J. Stanley Mattick on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman) plays his cousin Charlie Nickels. Cathy O'Donnell (starred in The Best Years of Our Lives, They Live by Night, Detective Story, The Man From Laramie, The Deerslayer, and Ben-Hur) plays Duncan's colleague Norma Brooks. Liam Sullivan (Major Mapoy on The Monroes, Dr. Joseph Lerner on The Young and the Restless, and Mr. Willis on Knots Landing) plays importer/exporter Lloyd Farrell. Philip Ober (appeared in From Here to Eternity, North by Northwest, and Elmer Gantry)plays accountant Albert Keller. Richard Gaines (appeared in The Howard of Virginia, Double Indemnity, Unconquered, and Ace in the Hole) plays the judge.
Season 4, Episode 16, "The Case of the Waylaid Wolf": Robert Karnes (see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Lawless Years) plays Deputy D.A. Victor Chamberlin. Morris Ankrum (starred in Rocketship X-M, Invaders From Mars, Earth vs. The Flying Saucers, and The Giant Claw) plays the judge. Laurie Mitchell (starred in Calypso Joe, Queen of Outer Space, and Missile to the Moon) plays secretary Madge Ellwood. Benson Fong (Ray Wong on My Three Sons) plays gardener Oolong Kim. Robert Carricart (Pepe Cordoza on T.H.E. Cat) plays bookie Orvel Kingman. Tiger Joe Marsh (former professional wrestler who was the model for the original advertising character Mr. Clean) plays his bodyguard Al.
Season 4, Episode 17, "The Case of the Wintry Wife": Jerome Thor (Robert Cannon on Foreign Intrigue) plays inventor Walter Randall. Barney Phillips (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 Nortronics executive Mr. Johnson. Alan Hewitt (starred in That Touch of Mink, Days of Wine and Roses, The Misadventures of Merlin Jones, and The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes and played Det. Bill Brennan on My Favorite Martian) plays electronics inventor Bruce Sheridan. Sue England (Mildred Price on Bracken's World) plays his date Judy Baldwin. Fredd Wayne (Sgt. Bill Hollis on Code 3) plays Johnson's brother-in-law Roger Phillips. Robert Karnes (see "The Case of the Waylaid Wolf" above) returns as Deputy D.A. Victor Chamberlin. Paul Barselou (played various bartenders in 9 episodes of Bewitched) plays private investigator John Penner. Willis Bouchey (Mayor Terwilliger on The Great Gildersleeve and Springer on Pete and Gladys) plays the judge.
Season 4, Episode 18, "The Case of the Angry Dead Man": Les Tremayne (starred in The War of the Worlds (1953), The Story of Ruth, The Slime People, and The Fortune Cookie and played Inspector Richard Queen in The Further Adventures of Ellery Queen) plays mining developer Willard Nesbitt. Gloria Talbott (shown on the left, starred in The Cyclops, Daughter of Dr. Jekyll, and I Married a Monster From Outer Space and played Moneta on Zorro) plays his widow Eve. 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 Nesbitt's business partner Lloyd Castle. James Milhollin (Anson Foster on Grindl) plays their bookkeeper Ben Otis. Gordon Jones (appeared in The Green Hornet, Flying Tigers, My Sister Eileen, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and McLintock! and played Mike Kelley on The Abbott and Costello Show, Pete Thompson on The Ray Milland Show, Hubie Dodd on So This Is Hollywood, and Butch Barton on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet) plays police Deputy Gillis. Ray Montgomery (Prof. Howard Ogden on Ramar of the Jungle) plays his partner. 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 cleaning woman Fanny Werbler. Frank Ferguson (Gus Broeberg on My Friend Flicka, Eli Carson on Peyton Place, and Dr. Barton Stuart on Petticoat Junction) plays handwriting expert Professor Laiken. Wally Brown (appeared in Notorious, The Left Handed Gun, and The Absent-Minded Professor and played Jed Fame on Cimarron City and Chauncey Kowalski on The Roaring '20's) plays insurance investigator John Givney.
Season 4, Episode 19, "The Case of the Blind Man's Bluff": George Macready (Martin Peyton on Peyton Place) plays jewelry store owner Mr. Slade. Merry Anders (Joyce Erwin on The Stu Erwin Show, Val Marlowe on It's Always Jan, Mike McCall on How to Marry a Millionaire, and Policewoman Dorothy Miller on Dragnet 1967) plays sales assistant Adele Bentley. Berry Kroeger (appeared in Black Magic, Gun Crazy, Hitler, and Demon Seed) plays jewelry store worked Edgar Whitehead. 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 wealthy inheritor James Kincannon. Nelson Leigh (appeared in The Adventures of Sir Galahad, The Pilgrimage Play, and Gunfight at the O.K. Corral and played Jesus on The Living Bible and Pastor Martin on This Is the Life) plays the judge.
Season 4, Episode 20, "The Case of the Barefaced Witness": Russ Conway (Fenton Hardy on The Hardy Boys: The Mystery of the Applegate Treasure, Gen. Devon on Men Into Space, and Lt. Pete Kile on Richard Diamond, Private Detective) plays former Pinon City resident Fred Swan. Roy Roberts (Capt. Simon P. Huxley on The Gale Storm Show, Admiral Rogers on McHale's Navy, John Cushing on The Beverly Hillbillies, Mr. Cheever on The Lucy Show, Frank Stephens on Bewitched, Norman Curtis on Petticoat Junction, and Mr. Botkin/Bodkin on Gunsmoke) plays real estate agent W.L. Picard. Adam West (shown on the right, played Det. Sgt. Steve Nelson on The Detectives, Bruce Wayne on Batman, Captain Rick Wright on The Last Precinct, and Dr. Noah Goddard on Black Scorpion) plays news reporter Dan Southern. Josephine Hutchinson (appeared in The Story of Louis Pasteur, Son of Frankenstein, Tom Brown's Schooldays, and North by Northwest) plays elderly resident Sarah McKay. Eloise Hardt (Karen Hadley on The Dennis O'Keefe Show) plays Swan's friend Marta Wiltern. Malcolm Atterbury (starred in I Was a Teenage Werewolf, The Birds, and The Learning Tree and played John Bixby on Wagon Train and Grandfather Aldon on Apple's Way) plays restaurant owner Alfred Needham. Tom Fadden (Duffield on Broken Arrow, Silas Perry on Cimarron City, and Ben Miller on Green Acres and Petticoat Junction) plays haircut customer Beller. Paul Fix (see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Rifleman) plays the Pinon City prosecutor.
Season 4, Episode 21, "The Case of the Difficult Detour": Jeff York (appeared in The Postman Always Rings Twice, The Lady Says No, Johnny Tremain, and Old Yeller and played Reno McKee on The Alaskans) plays construction contractor Pete Mallory. Suzanne Lloyd (Raquel Toledano on Zorro) plays his wife Sheila. Lee Farr (Lt. Jim Conway on The Detectives and was married to actor Felicia Farr) plays his assistant Chet Stark. Jason Evers (starred in The Brain That Wouldn't Die, House of Women, The Green Berets, and Escape From the Planet of the Apes and played Pitcairn on Wrangler, Prof. Joseph Howe on Channing, and Jim Sonnett on The Guns of Will Sonnett) plays resort developer Stuart Benton. Bert Freed (appeared in The Atomic City, The Cobweb, and Paths of Glory and played Rufe Ryker on Shane) plays equipment renter Edward Parker. Mort Mills (Marshal Frank Tallman on Man Without a Gun, and Sheriff Fred Madden on The Big Valley) plays Sgt. Ben Landro. John Gallaudet (played Chamberlain on Mayor of the Town and Bob Anderson on My Three Sons) plays the property hearing judge. S. John Launer (see "The Case of the Envious Editor" above) plays the murder trial judge.
Season 4, Episode 22, "The Case of the Cowardly Lion": Leslie Bradley (starred in The Crimson Pirate, Slaves of Babylon, Lady Godiva of Coventry, and Attack of the Crab Monsters) plays zoo veterinarian Dr. Walther Braun. Carole Eve Rossen (Anna Kassoff on The Lawless Years) plays his understudy Hilde Fursten. Betty Lou Gerson (the voice of Cruella de Vil in 101 Dalmations) plays his wife Trudie. Phyllis Coates (shown on the left, played Alice McDokes in 18 shorts, starred in Outlaws of Texas, Man From Sonora, Superman and the Mole-Men, Jungle Drums of Africa, and I Was a Teenage Frankenstein, and played Lois Lane on Adventures of Superman, Gloria on The Duke, Madge Allen on Professional Father, and Clarissa Holliday on This Is Alice) plays his secretary Frieda Crawson. Paul Birch (Erle Stanley Gardner on The Court of Last Resort, Mike Malone on Cannonball, and Capt. Carpenter on The Fugitive) plays security officer Crawford. Bert Remsen (Detective Lawrence on Peyton Place, Mr. Pell on Gibbsville, Mario on It's a Living, and Jack Crager on Dynasty) plays police Lt. White. Ralph Manza (Al Bonacorsi on The D.A.'s Man, Jay Drury on Banacek, Ambulance Aide Stanke on A.E.S. Hudson, Padre Guardiano on Mama Malone, and Bud on Newhart) plays coroner Dr. Prince. Norman Leavitt (Ralph on Trackdown) plays a crime lab technician. Eddie Quillan (starred in The Grapes of Wrath, Mandarin Mystery, Mutiny on the Bounty, and Hi, Good Lookin'! and played Eddie Edson on Julia and Poco Loco on Hell Town) plays bookkeeper Keller. Bill Quinn (see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Rifleman) plays the judge at the first trial.
Season 4, Episode 23, "The Case of the Torrid Tapestry": Conrad Nagel (starred in Little Women (1918), What Every Woman Knows, Lawful Larceny, and Tess of the D'urbervilles) plays tapestry owner Nathan Claver. Robert H. Harris (Jake Goldberg on Molly and Raymond Schindler on The Court of Last Resort) plays tapestry expert Claude Demay. Percy Helton (Homer Cratchit on The Beverly Hillbillies) plays a pawnbroker.
Season 4, Episode 24, "The Case of the Violent Vest": Erik Rhodes (appeared in The Gay Divorcee, Charlie Chan in Paris, A Night at the Ritz, Top Hat, and Mysterious Mr. Moto) plays ad executive Herman Albright. Dorothy Green (Lavinia Tate on Tammy) plays his wide Ida. 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 his boss Walter Caffrey. Myrna Fahey (shown on the right, appeared in Face of a Fugitive and House of Usher and played Katherine "Kay" Banks on Father of the Bride) plays Miss Debutante Grace Halley. Sam Flint (Mr. Armstead on Father Knows Best and Judge Jewett on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays bartender Welkes. Barbara Pepper (Doris Ziffel on Green Acres and Petticoat Junction) plays Grace's neighbor Mrs. Diamond. Bill Erwin (Joe Walters on My Three Sons and Glenn Diamond on Struck by Lightning) plays an apartment building superintendant. Richard Gaines (see "The Case of the Fickle Fortune" above) plays the judge.
Season 4, Episode 25, "The Case of the Misguided Missile": Robert Rockwell (shown on the left, played Phillip Boynton on Our Miss Brooks, Sam Logan on The Man From Blackhawk, Tom Bishop on Diff'rent Strokes, and Wally Overmier on Growing Pains) plays Air Force Major Jerry Reynolds. Bruce Bennett (appeared in Sahara, Mildred Pierce, Dark Passage, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, and Angels in the Outfield) plays missile company CEO Dan Morgan. Richard Arlen (starred in The Virginian, Dangerous Paradise, Gun Smoke, Island of Lost Souls, and Alice in Wonderland) plays scientist Dr. Harrison. William Schallert (see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis) plays scientist Dr. Bradbury. Jeanne Bal (Pat Baker on Love and Marriage) plays lawyer Helen Rand. George N. Neise (Capitan Felipe Arrellanos on Zorro, Dr. Nat Wyndham on Wichita Town, and Colonel Thornton on McKeever & the Colonel) plays Morgan's chief competitor George Huxley. 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 Air Force investigator Capt. Mike Caldwell. James Sikking (Lt. Howard Hunter on Hill Street Blues, Dr. David Howser on Doogie Howser, M.D., and Capt. Stan Jonas on Brooklyn South) plays civilian engineer Bert Springer. Med Flory (played clarinet in the Ray Anthony orchestra and founded and plays alto sax in the group Super Sax, appeared in Gun Street, The Nutty Professor (1963), and The Gumball Rally, and played Sheriff Mike McBride on High Mountain Rangers) plays police Capt. McVey. Alan Dexter (Frank Ferguson on Days of Our Lives) plays coroner Dr. Richard Stanton. Clark Howat (Dr. John Petrie on The Adventures of Dr. Fu Manchu and the police dispatcher on Harbor Command) plays military tribunal judge Lt. Col. Fremont. Stephen Roberts (Stan Peeples on Mr. Novak) plays prosecuting attorney Major Cooke.
Season 4, Episode 26, "The Case of the Duplicate Daughter": Walter Kinsella (Happy McMann on Martin Kane) plays missing father Carter Gilman. Anne Helm (Molly Pierce on Run for Your Life) plays his step-daughter Glamis Barlow. Don Dubbins (appeared in The Caine Mutiny, Tribute to a Bad Man, From the Earth to the Moon, and The Prize and played William Kennerly, Jr. on Peyton Place) plays her boyfriend Hartley Elliott. Don C. Harvey (Collins on Rawhide) plays the Las Vegas sheriff. Harlan Warde (John Hamilton on The Rifleman and Sheriff John Brannan on The Virginian) plays Paul Drake operative Alan Connors. Michael Fox (Coroner George McLeod on Burke's Law, Amos Fedders on Falcon Crest, and Saul Feinberg on The Bold and the Beautiful) plays medical examiner Dr. Hoxie. George Selk (see the biography section for the 1960 post on Gunsmoke) plays locksmith Maurice Fellows. Willis Bouchey (see "The Case of the Wintry Wife" above) plays the judge.
Season 4, Episode 27, "The Case of the Grumbling Grandfather": Otto Krueger (appeared in Treasure Island, Dracula's Daughter, Saboteur, Murder, My Sweet, and High Noon) plays grandfather J.J. Gideon. Karl Held (see the actor biography section above) plays his grandson David. Frances Rafferty (Ruth Henshaw on December Bride and Nancy on Pete and Gladys) plays the elder Gideon's secretary Sue Franks. Gavin MacLeod (shown on the right, 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 accountant Lawrence Comminger. Patricia Barry (Kate Harris on Harris Against the World, Lydia McGuire on Dr. Kildare, Adelaide Horton Williams on Days of Our Lives, Peg English on All My Children, and Sally Gleason on Guiding Light) plays former secretary Dorine Hopkins. Dub Taylor (starred in You Can't Take It With You, Bonnie & Clyde, and The Wild Bunch, played Cannonball in 53 western films, and played Wallie Simms on Casey Jones, Mitch Brady on Hazel, and Ed Hewley on Please Don't Eat the Daisies) plays a man walking his dog. Henry Hunter (Doctor Summerfield on Hazel) plays defense attorney Avery Bellison. Kenneth MacDonald (see "The Case of the Torrid Tapestry" above) plays the pretrial judge. John Gallaudet (see "The Case of the Difficult Detour" above) plays the murder trial judge.
Season 4, Episode 28, "The Case of the Guilty Clients": Charles Bateman (Det. George Peters on Manhunt, Dr. Rick January and Marshal Ben January on Two Faces West, Fred Williams on Hazel, Lt. Paul Tarcher on Cannon, and C.C. Capwell on Santa Barbara) plays airplane company owner Jeff Bronson. Lisa Gaye (Gwen Kirby on How to Marry a Millionaire) plays his wife Lola. Faith Domergue (starred in Cult of the Cobra, This Island Earth, and It Came From Beneath the Sea) plays her cousin Conception O'Higgins. Guy Mitchell (popular singer backed by Mitch Miller who appeared in Those Redheads From Seattle, Red Garters, and The Wild Westerners and played George Romack on Whispering Smith) plays test pilot Bill Ryder. Barbara Stuart (Bessie on The Great Gildersleeve, Alice on Pete and Gladys, Bunny on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., Peggy Ferguson on The McLean Stevenson Show, Marianne Danzig on Our Family Honor, and Alice on Huff) plays his wife Violet. Alan Bunce (Albert Arbuckle on The Kate Smith Evening Hour and Ethel and Albert) plays company president Courtney Patton. William Mims (see the biography section of the 1960 post on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays takeover shark Leander Walker. Grandon Rhodes (Mr. Vanderlip on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, Dr. Stevens on Lassie, Dr. J.P. Martin on Bonanza) plays the divorce court judge.
Season 5, Episode 1, "The Caseof the Jealous Journalist": Denver Pyle (Ben Thompson on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, Grandpa Tarleton on Tammy, Briscoe Darling on The Andy Griffith Show, Buck Webb on The Doris Day Show, Mad Jack on The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams, and Uncle Jesse on The Dukes of Hazzard) plays Los Angeles Chronicle editor Tilden Stuart. Linden Chiles (Charles Hanson on East Side/West Side, Paul Hunter on James at 16, and Edward Nichols on Santa Barbara) plays publisher's nephew Joe Davies. Irene Hervey (appeared in Destry Rides Again, Cactus Flower, and Play Misty for Me and played Aunt Meg on Honey West) plays his mother Grace. Bek Nelson (Dru Lemp on Lawman and Phyllis Sloan on Peyton Place) plays his secretary Miriam Coffey. Parley Baer (shown on the left, played Mayor Roy Stoner on The Andy Griffith Show, Darby on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, Mayor Arthur J. Henson on The Addams Family, and Doc Appleby on The Dukes of Hazzard ) plays their relative Seward Quentin. Jan Merlin (Roger Manning on Tom Corbett, Space Cadet and Lt. Colin Kirby on The Rough Riders) plays Quentin's son Ralph. Theodore Marcuse (starred in Hitler, The Cincinnati Kid, and Harum Scarum and played Von Bloheim on Batman) plays entrepreneur Boyd Allison. James Neilson (directed multiple episodes of Janet Dean, Registered Nurse, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Lawless Years, and Adam-12) plays a Paul Drake operative. Paul Smith (George Howell on The Gertrude Berg Show, Capt. Martin on No Time for Sergeants, Harley Trent on Mr. Terrific, and Ron Harvey on The Doris Day Show) plays bartender Mr. Young.
Season 5, Episode 2, "The Case of the Impatient Partner": Wesley Lau (see the actor biography section above) plays Fallon Paint Company co-owner Amory Fallon. Leslie Parrish (appeared in Li'l Abner, The Manchurian Candidate, The Candy Man, and The Giant Spider Invasion) plays his secretary Vivian Ames. Dan Seymour (Ferrari on Casablanca) plays his business associate Carlos Silva. Jack Betts (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Checkmate) plays chemist Bert Nichols. Cheerio Meredith (Love Hackett on One Happy Family and Emma Brand on The Andy Griffith Show) plays coat-switcher Mrs. Temple. 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 accountant Frank Wells.
Season 5, Episode 3, "The Case of the Missing Melody": James Drury (The Virginian on The Virginian and Captain Spike Ryerson on Firehouse) plays jazz pianist Eddie King. Bobby Troup (shown on the right, songwriter and musician, starred in Bop Girl Goes Calypso, The Five Pennies, and MASH, played Dr. Joe Early on Emergency!) plays his bongo player Bongo White. Barney Kessel (legendary west-coast jazz guitarist) plays his guitarist. Crahan Denton (appeared in The Parent Trap, Birdman of Alcatraz, and To Kill a Mockingbird) plays King's singer's father Templeton Courtland. Andrea King (starred in God Is My Co-Pilot, My Wild Irish Rose, and I Was a Shoplifter) plays Courtland's assistant Enid Markham. Constance Towers (appeared in The Horse Soldiers, Fate Is the Hunter, and The Naked Kiss and played Clarissa McCandless on Capitol, Julianna Deschanel on Sunset Beach, and Helena Cassadine on General Hospital) plays King's new vocalist Jonny Baker. Walter Burke (starred in All the King's Men, Jack the Giant Killer, and Support Your Local Sheriff! and played Tim Potter on Black Saddle) plays mob gambler Jack Grabba.
Season 5, Episode 4, "The Case of the Malicious Mariner": Robert Armstrong (starred in King Kong, The Son of Kong, Framed, Dive Bomber, Blood on the Sun, and Mighty Joe Young and played Sheriff Andy Anderson on State Trooper) plays foundering ship Capt. Bancroft. Lee Farr (see "The Case of the Difficult Detour" above) plays his first mate Jerry Griffin. Edward Binns (see "The Case of the Angry Dead Man" above) plays Griffin's brother Charles. 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 Charles' business partner Frank Logan. Tudor Owen (Joe Ainsley on Mayor of the Town and First Mate Elihu Snow on Captain David Grief) plays ship engineer MacLean. Roy Roberts (shown on the left, see "The Case of the Barefaced Witness" above) plays ship owner Arthur Janeel. Sean McClory (Jack McGivern on The Californians and Myles Delaney on Bring 'Em Back Alive) plays original first mate Fred Wenzel. Robert Carson (Mr. Maddis on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show) plays receiving ship Capt. Lansing. George Ives (Doc on Mister Roberts) plays prosecuting attorney Lt. Gregg. Robert Foulk (Ed Davis on Father Knows Best, Sheriff Miller on Lassie, Joe Kingston on Wichita Town, Mr. Wheeler on Green Acres, and Phillip Toomey on The Rifleman) plays security guard Vogel.
Season 5, Episode 5, "The Case of the Crying Comedian": Tommy Noonan (half-brother of John Ireland, appeared in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, A Star is Born, and Promises.... Promises!) plays comedian Charlie Hatch. Jackie Coogan (shown on the right, starred in The Kid, Oliver Twist, A Boy of Flanders, Tom Sawyer, and Huckleberry Finn and played Stoney Crockett on Cowboy G-Men, Sgt. Barnes on McKeever & the Colonel, and Uncle Fester Frump on The Addams Family) plays his friend Gunner Grimes. Sue Ane Langdon (Kitty Marsh on Bachelor Father, Lillian Nuvo on Arnie, Rosie on Grandpa Goes to Washington, and Darlene on When the Whistle Blows) plays fellow performer Rowena Leach. Gloria Talbott (see "The Case of the Angry Dead Man" above) plays sanitarium escapee Anne Gilrain. Liam Sullivan (see "The Case of the Fickle Fortune" above) plays her husband Tom. Stacy Harris (see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays insurance investigator Ed Brigham. Nestor Paiva (Theo Gonzales on Zorro) plays restaurant owner Nico. Med Flory (see "The Case of the Misguided Missile" above) plays police Det. Sgt. McVey. John Gallaudet (see "The Case of the Difficult Detour" above) plays the judge.
Season 5, Episode 6, "The Case of the Meddling Medium": Virginia Field (appeared in Little Lord Fauntleroy, Thank You, Jeeves!, Stage Door Canteen, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court) plays distraught matriarch Sylvia Walker. Mary LaRoche (appeared in Run Silent, Run Deep, Gidget, Bye Bye Birdie, and The Swinger and played Barbara Scott on Karen) plays her secretary Helen Garden. Paul Smith (see "The Case of the Jealous Journalist" above) plays her son-in-law Michael Craig. Kent Smith (starred in Cat People, This Land Is Mine, Hitler's Children, Curse of the Cat People, Nora Prentiss, The Spiral Staircase, and The Fountainhead and played Dr. Robert Morton on Peyton Place and Edgar Scoville on The Invaders) plays Sylvia's physician Dr. Arthur Younger. James Chandler (Lt. Girard on Bourbon Street Beat) plays police Sgt. Bradley. ESP expert Dr. Andrija Puharich plays himself. S. John Launer (see "The Case of the Envious Editor" above) plays the judge.
Season 5, Episode 7, "The Case of the Pathetic Patient": Skip Homeier (appeared in Arthur Takes Over, The Gunfighter, Sailor Beware, and The Ghost and Mr. Chicken and played Lt. Dan Raven on Dan Raven and Dr. Hugh Jacoby on The Interns) plays physician Dr. Wayne Edley. Bek Nelson (see "The Case of the Jealous Journalist" above) plays his wife Janice. Ed Kemmer (Commander Buzz Corry on Space Patrol, Paul Britton on The Secret Storm, and Dick Martin on As the World Turns) plays her former love interest Leslie Hall. Peter Whitney (Sergeant Buck Sinclair on The Rough Riders and Lafe Crick on The Beverly Hillbillies) plays her cousin Roger Gates. Frank Cady (shown on the left, played Sam Drucker on The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, and Petticoat Junction) plays malpractice scammer Joe Widlock and his twin brother Hiram. Wayne Heffley (Officer Dennis on Highway Patrol and Vern Scofield on Days of Our Lives) plays construction contractor Grif Roland. Wally Brown (see "The Case of the Angry Dead Man" above) plays Hall's landlord Mr. Morgan. Mort Mills (see "The Case of the Difficult Detour" above) plays returns as Sgt. Ben Landro.
Season 5, Episode 8, "The Case of the Traveling Treasure": 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 speculator Karl Magovern. Lisa Gaye (see "The Case of the Guilty Clients" above) plays his wife Rita. Vaughn Taylor (see "The Case of the Fickle Fortune" above) plays researcher Professor Sneider. Addison Richards (starred in Boys Town, They Made Her a Spy, Flying Tigers, and The Deerslayer and played Doc Calhoun on Trackdown and Doc Landy on The Deputy) plays gold mine owner Smith. Frank Gerstle (Dirk Gird on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp and voiced Raseem on The Banana Splits Adventure Hour) plays gold mine guard Allen. Jackie Searl (began as a child actor, appearing in Tom Sawyer (1930), Huckleberry Finn (1931), Alice in Wonderland (1933), Great Expectations(1934), and Little Lord Fauntleroy) plays gold mine guard Leon Ulrich. Jeff York (see "The Case of the Difficult Detour" above) plays fishing boat captain Scot Cahill. Ron Gans (the voice of Nikolai Volkoff on Rock 'n' Wrestling and Drag Strip on The Transformers) plays first mate Ben Wiley. H.M. Wynant (see "The Case of the Envious Editor" above) plays deep sea diver Max.
Season 5, Episode 9, "The Case of the Posthumous Painter": Britt Lomond (Captain Monastario on Zorro and Johnny Ringo on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays painter Jack Culross. Lori March (Nurse Harris on As the World Turns, Mrs. Henson on The Edge of Night, and Abigail Kramer on Another World) plays his wife Edna. Jason Evers (see "The Case of the Difficult Detour" above) plays her brother Clint Miller. Stuart Erwin (starred in Men Without Women, Make Me a Star, Women Are Trouble, and The Bride Came C.O.D. and played Stu Erwin on The Stu Erwin Show and Otto King on The Greatest Show on Earth) plays gallery owner Austin Durrant. Carole Eve Rossen (see "The Case of the Cowardly Lion" above) plays his secretary Linda Burnside. George Macready (see "The Case of the Blind Man's Bluff" above) plays art expert Dr. Vincent Kenyon. James Griffith (Deputy Tom Ferguson on U.S. Marshal) plays art defacer Walter Hutchings. Nelson Leigh (see "The Case of the Blind Man's Bluff" above) plays the judge.
Season 5, Episode 10, "The Case of the Injured Innocent": Alejandro Rey (Carlos Ramirez on The Flying Nun and Capt. Luis Rueda on Dallas) plays Italian race car driver Vincent Danielli. Frank Maxwell (Duncan MacRoberts on Our Man Higgins and Col. Garraway on The Second Hundred Years) plays race car engine designer Dr. Mooney. Linda Lawson (shown on the right, played Renee on Adventures in Paradise, Pat Perry on Don't Call Me Charlie, Laura Fremont on Ben Casey, and Mrs. Paganini on That's Life) plays his daughter Erin. Jess Barker (appeared in Trail of the Lonesome Pine, Cover Girl, Jam Session, and Scarlet Street, was married to Susan Hayward) plays financial backer Walter Eastman. Audrey Dalton (appeared in Titanic (1953), Separate Tables, and Kitten With a Whip) plays his wife Kate. 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 physician Dr. Bell. Noel Drayton (Mr. Hardcastle on Family Affair) plays the Eastman butler Ellis. S. John Launer (see "The Case of the Envious Editor" above) plays the judge.
Season 5, Episode 11, "The Case of the Left-Handed Liar": Leslie Parrish (shown on the left, see "The Case of the Impatient Partner" above) plays gym trainer Veronica Temple. Ed Nelson (Michael Rossi on Peyton Place and Ward Fuller on The Silent Force) plays her former husband Ward Nichols. Les Tremayne (see "The Case of the Angry Dead Man" above) plays gym owner Bernard Daniels. Maggie Pierce (Barbara Crabtree on My Mother the Car) plays his daughter Casey. Amzie Strickland (Julia Mobey on Carter Country) plays his bookkeeper Clara Prentice. Alan Baxter (appeared in Saboteur, Close-Up, and Paint Your Wagon) plays gym comptroller Eugene Housman. Joan Banks (Sylvia Platt on Private Secretary and Helen Hadley on National Velvet) plays his wife Rhonda. Dabbs Greer (see the biography section for the 1960 post on Gunsmoke) plays locker room attendant Buzz Farrell. Henry Hunter (see "The Case of the Grumbling Grandfather" above) plays insurance examiner Mr. Baxter. Barbara Pepper (see "The Case of the Violent Vest" above) plays a gym member. John Harmon (Eddie Halstead on The Rifleman) plays a lab technician. Claude Stroud (Rudy Cromwell on The Duke and Hobert Nalven on The Ted Knight Show) plays landlord Masters. Wallace Rooney (Andrew Winters on The Doctors) plays a handwriting expert. Kenneth MacDonald (see "The Case of the Torrid Tapestry" above) plays the judge.
Season 5, Episode 12, "The Case of the Brazen Bequest": Will Wright (Mr. Merrivale on Dennis the Menace and Ben Weaver on The Andy Griffith Show) plays millionaire donor James Vardon. William Allyn (associate producer for Peyton Place) plays his financial advisor Robert Haskell. Barbara Stuart (see "The Case of the Guilty Clients" above) plays drunken benefactor Maizie Freytag. Alan Hewitt (see "The Case of the Wintry Wife" above) plays college professor Dr. Marcus Tate. James Milhollin (see "The Case of the Angry Dead Man" above) plays college Prof. Grove. Strother Martin (shown on the right, 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 custodian Pete Gibson. Phyllis Avery (Peggy McNulty on The Ray Milland Show: Meet Mr. McNulty) plays professor's wife Mary Cromwell. John Wilder (wrote multiple scripts for Peyton Place, Branded, The Streets of San Francisco, and Spenser: For Hire) plays student Dick Wilson. Morris D. Erby (Sgt. Davis on Peter Gunn) plays hospital orderly Jonas. Herbert Lytton (Admiral Reynolds on McHale's Navy) plays an apartment house desk clerk. Mort Mills (see "The Case of the Difficult Detour" above) plays returns as Sgt. Ben Landro. Elvia Allman (Aunt Vera on I Married Joan, Jane on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, Cora Dithers on Blondie, Mrs. Montague on The Bob Cummings Show, Elverna Bradshaw on The Beverly Hillbillies, and Selma Plout on Petticoat Junction) plays hotel maid Julia Slovak. Charles Irving (Admiral Beckett on The Wackiest Ship in the Army) plays the judge.
Season 5, Episode 13, "The Case of the Renegade Refugee": John Sutton (appeared in Jane Eyre, The Three Musketeers(1948), and The Return of the Fly) plays Space Corporation chairman Clifton Barlow. Paul Lambert (see "The Case of the Envious Editor" above) plays journalist Lawrence Vander. Dick Foran (Fire Chief Ed Washburne on Lassie and Slim on O.K., Crackerby!) plays board member Harlan Merrill. Frank Overton (starred in Desire Under the Elms, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Fail-Safe and played Major Harvey Stovall on 12 O'Clock High) plays priest Father Paul. William Boyett (Sgt. Ken Williams on Highway Patrol and Sgt. MacDonald on Adam-12) plays board member Buck Osborn. Denver Pyle (shown on the left, see "The Case of the Jealous Journalist" above) plays comptroller Emery Fillmore. Jennifer Howard (see "The Case of the Envious Editor" above) plays board member Winifred Dunbrack. Jon Lormer (Harry Tate on Lawman and Judge Irwin A. Chester on Peyton Place) plays an autopsy surgeon. John Gallaudet (see "The Case of the Difficult Detour" above) plays the judge.
Season 5, Episode 14, "The Case of the Unwelcome Bride": Torin Thatcher (appeared in Jane Eyre, The Three Musketeers(1948), and The Return of the Fly) plays wealthy father Walter Frazer. DeForest Kelley (shown on the right, played Dr. McCoy on Star Trek) plays his step-son-in-law Peter Thorpe. Diana Millay (see "The Case of the Resolute Reformer" above) plays his daughter-in-law Sue Ellen Frazer. Gerald Mohr (narrator on 19 episodes of The Lone Ranger, Christopher Storm on Foreign Intrigue, voice of Mr. Fantastic and Reed Richards on Fantastic 4) plays nightclub owner Joe Medeci. Alan Hale, Jr. (Biff Baker on Biff Baker U.S.A., Casey Jones on Casey Jones, and The Skipper on Gilligan's Island) plays private investigator Lon Snyder. Willis Bouchey (see "The Case of the Wintry Wife" above) plays the judge.
Season 5, Episode 15, "The Case of the Roving River": Sarah Marshall (shown on the left, starred in The Long, Hot Summer, Lord Love a Duck, and Dave and played Evelyn Winslow on Miss Winslow and Son) plays land inheritor Judy Bryant. Bruce Bennett (see "The Case of the Misguided Missile" above) plays her uncle Matt Lambert. Robert Lowery (starred in Criminal Investigator, Revenge of the Zombies, The Navy Way, The Mummy's Ghost, and They Made Me a Killer and played Big Tim Champion on Circus Boy and Buss Courtney on Pistols 'n' Petticoats) plays her step-father Amos Bryant. Philip Ober (see "The Case of the Fickle Fortune" above) plays real estate developer Harvey Farrell. Sherwood Price (Gen. Jeb Stuart on The Gray Ghost) plays his assistant Ralph Ordway. Ray Boyle (Morgan Earp on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays golf pro Neil Gilbert. Harry Carey, Jr. (starred in Red River, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Mister Roberts, and The Searchers and played Bill Burnett on The Adventures of Spin and Marty) plays forest ranger Frank Deane. J. Pat O'Malley (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Frontier Circus) plays speculator Seth Tyson. Kelly Thordsen (Colorado Charlie on Yancy Derringer) plays Sheriff Ward Vincent. Paul Fix (see "The Case of the Barefaced Witness" above) plays the prosecutor at the murder trial.