Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bat Masterson (1960)

Bat Masterson was a half-hour western that ran for three seasons, from 1958-1961, starring Gene Barry in the title role. Like The Untouchables, it was based on a book about the exploits of a real-life figure, in this case Richard O'Connor's 1957 biography of Masterson, which is shown at the end of each episode. However, also like The Untouchables, the stories shown in the TV series were highly fictionalized adaptations of real events, only in this case the source material was at least partly to blame. Though O'Connor's book claimed that Masterson was born as William Barclay Masterson on a farm in Illinois in 1853, he was actually born as Bartholomew Masterson in the parish of St. George, Henryville in Quebec, Canada. And his nickname of "Bat" was not given to him when he began using a cane after a gun wound, employing  this cane to "bat" his enemies about. Rather, the nickname "Bat" was a shortened version of his actual given name of Bartholomew. But the cane became such a big part of his legend that it is used extensively throughout the TV series and figures prominently in the show's theme song. Masterson's legend was also inflated by tall tales told to a gullible New York Sun reporter visiting Gunnison, Colorado in 1881 by Dr. W. S. Cockrell, who among other things said that Bat had killed 26 men by the age of 27. However, in his 1979 biography of Masterson published by the University of Oklahoma Press, Robert K. DeArment claims that there is no certifiable proof that Masterson ever killed anyone. Masterson himself, who certainly exploited his reputation for all that he could get out of it, once was quoted as saying that he was tried for murder four times and was acquitted all four times.

But whether or not he ever killed anyone, Masterson led a life full of adventure. He was a noted buffalo hunter, a scout for the U.S. army, a sheriff's deputy alongside Wyatt Earp in Dodge City, Kansas, county sheriff of Ford County in Kansas, a gambler and prize fight promoter, appointee of Theodore Roosevelt as deputy to the U.S. marshal in the southern district of New York, and sportswriter and columnist for the New York Morning Telegraph from around 1904 until his death at age 67 in 1921. However, he was also no angel: besides the accusations of murder, he was close friends with con man Soapy Smith and was implicated with Smith in the 1889 Denver registration and election fraud scandal, and upon moving to New York in 1902 he was arrested for illegal gambling.

But his character in the TV show has no such shades of gray--he always chooses the path of righteousness, though he is not above making a buck or two in the process. However, as played by Barry, TV's Bat Masterson is cut from a different cloth than other western gunslingers. He is a refined gentleman in a dandy's outfit--derby, gold-tipped cane, and ornately patterned vest. Barry, in fact, remarked in a May 21, 1960 TV Guide interview that he was not interested in the part until he learned about Masterson's wardrobe and gentility. Masterson does not always shoot first and ask questions later; rather, he lets his cane do the talking, though he is not above using his pistol when the situation warrants. He is also quick-witted, frequently recruited by his friend Hugh Blaine to get him out of predicaments Blaine has foolishly gotten himself into. In "A Picture of Death" (January 14, 1960), Blaine makes a bet with Roger Purcell over whether a trotter horse lifts all four of its feet off the ground at the same time. Bat hires a photographer to rig up a series of cameras that are tripped by strings placed across the race track so that when the horse trots past a series of photographs is taken in hopes that one will show the horse with all four feet off the ground. Bat's scheme works, and Blaine wins the bet. In "Pigeon and Hawk" (January 21, 1960), Blaine complains to Bat about Baxter & Wynant, a pair of competitors who are snapping up all the good gold and silver options from nearby mines because they have  a team of Pony Express riders who arrive with the news of which mines have struck before anyone else finds out about it. So Bat acquires and trains a flock of carrier pigeons to get the news to Blaine before Baxter & Wynant's riders can inform them. Of course, Baxter & Wynant then employ  a young lady with a hawk to catch and kill Bat's pigeons. But both of these episodes, and many others, show Bat's keen intellect in solving problems, rather than just attacking them with brute force. Likewise, in many of the episodes shown early in 1960, Bat is more inclined to subdue adversaries with his cane rather than his gun, perhaps in response to general complaints about too much violence in westerns, as mentioned in our previous post about The Rifleman. But as 1960 progressed, Bat began using his gun more, often in combination with his cane, so that by year's end he most likely had as many killings as The Rifleman's Lucas McCain.

Still, Bat also has his weaknesses: he has an eye for the ladies, almost in a less-alcoholic Dean Martin kind of way, that can get him into trouble--in "The Elusive Baguette" (June 2, 1960), he is duped by pretty blonde widow Lucy Carter in a scheme to make a $150,000 necklace appear to be stolen, in "Gold Is Where You Steal It" (May 19, 1960) he is tricked by pretty young Rosita Anselm (though he is suspicious of her from the start), and in "A Grave Situation" (May 12, 1960) he is fooled into trusting Katie, the pretty blonde secretary of swindling real estate agent Lemuel Carstairs, though she is a part of the swindle herself. 

Probably the low point of the show was the theme song, which ran in different versions at the beginning and ending of each episode. The music for the song is credited to Havens Wray, which is believed to be a pseudonym for David Rose (for more about Rose, see my post for Men Into Space). But it's the lyrics that really stink; these belong to Bart Corwin, about whom little is known. Amongst his lyrical transgressions are saying that Masterson wore a cane and hat, so that he can rhyme them with Bat, but people obviously don't "wear" a cane. He also rhymes the word "trigger" with "figger," an intentional misspelling for "figure."  In other words, the lyrics are the work of a hack. And to top it off, the song is sung in stilted manner either by Mike Stewart, who recorded a children's album about comic character Pogo two years prior, or Bill Lee, who was a member of the Mellomen with Thurl Ravenscroft--opnions differ as to who the unlucky vocalist really was.

Unfortunately, this is another series that has not been officially released on DVD, but you can view all the episodes from the first two seasons at There are also unofficial "bootleg" versions of the series available on DVD-R that contain all three seasons. 

The Actors

Gene Barry

Barry was born Eugene Klass in New York City June 14, 1919. His father was an amateur violinist, his mother an amateur singer. He took up violin until a football injury ended that pursuit, at which point he switched to singing and won a scholarship to the Chatham Square School of Music. He was a prize winner on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts radio program and pursued a career on the stage in musicals, including an appearance in the Mae West production Catherine Was Great in 1944. He moved to Hollywood and began appearing in films in the 1950s, though the only memorable one was War of the Worlds in 1953. Bat Masterson was his first TV show, but he later went on to star in Burke's Law (1963-66) and The Name of the Game (1968-1971), which featured three rotating stars--Barry, Robert Stack, and Tony Franciosa. In the 1980s, he returned to Broadway and received a Tony nomination for his role in La cage aux folles. He also starred as Richard Nixon in Watergate: The Musical, and appeared as Tom Cruise's father in Steven Spielberg's update of War of the Worlds in 2005. He died December 9, 2009.

Though Barry was the only regular throughout the series, there were a few characters who made repeat appearances as friends of Masterson.

Allison Hayes

Hayes played Bat's lady friend Ellie Winters, who appeared in 7 episodes. Her relationship with Bat is a trifle complicated--there is the hint of past romance as well as jealousy on her part when Bat casts his attention on other women. Hayes is best known for playing the lead role in the 1958 science fiction classic Attack of the 50-Foot Woman. She also appeared in several horror films, like The Undead, Zombies of Mora Tau, and The Crawling Hand. And she had appearances on many TV shows, including multiple roles on Tombstone Territory and Perry Mason. She died February 27, 1977 at the age of 46.

Howard Petrie

Petrie appeared in four episodes as Bat's clueless friend Hugh Blaine, who always had a problem that he needed Bat to solve, as in the two mentioned above. Petrie appeared in a long list of TV shows in the 50s and 60s and starred as Butch Cassidy in the 1956 film The Maverick Queen. He died March 24, 1968 at the age of 61.

Ron Hayes

Hayes appeared four times as Masterson's real-life friend Wyatt Earp. Hayes' acting career was spent almost entirely in television, from M Squad in 1957 to The A-Team in 1983. He had regular roles as Lincoln Vail on The Everglades in 1961-62, as Ben Jones on The Rounders in 1966-67, as Garth Holden on Lassie in 1971-72, and as Hank Johnson on Dallas in 1980-81. He died October 1, 2004 at age 75.

Notable Guest Stars

Season 2, Episode 13, "The Pied Piper of Dodge City": Donald "Red" Barry (Tarantula and The Grand Vizier on Batman, Lt. Snedigar on Surfside 6, and Jud Larabee on Little House on the Prairie) plays Bat's friend Luke Short, who invites Bat to become a partner in his saloon. William Boyett (Sgt. MacDonald on Adam-12 and Sgt. Ken Williams on Highway Patrol) plays the crooked marshal.

Season 2, Episode 14, "A Picture of Death": Donald Woods (John Brent on Tammy and Craig Kennedy on Kennedy, Criminologist) plays Roger Purcell, who makes a bet with Hugh Blaine about whether a trotter horse lifts all four feet off the ground at once. 

Season 2, Episode 17, "Death by the Half Dozen": Willard Waterman (Mac Maginnis on The Real McCoys and Mr. Quigley on Dennis the Menace) plays clueless Mayor Goodwin.

Season 2, Episode 18, "Deadly Diamonds": William Schallert (Mr. Leander Pomfritt on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Martin Lane on The Patty Duke Show, and Admiral Hargrade on Get Smart) plays gem expert Dr. Dunsmore. Hank Patterson (Fred Ziffel on Green Acres and Hank on Gunsmoke) plays cantankerous ex-confederate Soda Smith.

Season 2, Episode 20, "Six Feet of Gold": James Coburn (Jeff Durain on Klondike and Gregg Miles on Acapulco, The Magnificent Seven, In Like Flint) plays gentleman swindler Leo Talley.

Season 2, Episode 21, "Cattle and Cane": Joyce Taylor (Mary McCauley on Men Into Space) plays Jane Taylor, an old friend of Bat's whose family ranch is in trouble. Ted Markland (Reno on The High Chaparral) plays her brother Lem Taylor.

Season 2, Episode 26, "Come Out Fighting": Rhys Williams (Doc Burrage on The Rifleman) plays fining Judge Malachi Brody.

Season 2, Episode 28, "Incident at Fort Bowie": Will Wright (Mr. Merrivale on Dennis the Menace and Ben Weaver on The Andy Griffith Show) plays Bat's injured trail hand Billy Willow.

Season 2, Episode 29, "Masterson's Arcadia Club": Kasey Rogers (Julie Anderson on Peyton Place and Louise Tate on Bewitched) plays Dixie Mayhew, a hostess at Masterson's Arcadia Club.

Season 2, Episode 30, "Welcome to Paradise": Ralph Taeger (Mike Halliday on Klondike, Patrick Malone on Acapulco, and Hondo Lane on Hondo) plays Frank Dexter, a stagecoach passenger arrested for wearing a gun.

Season 2, Episode 32, "Gold Is Where You Steal It": Gloria Castillo (starred in Night of the Hunter, Invasion of the Saucer Men, and Reform School Girl) plays Rosita Anselm, who winds up with stolen bank money. Carlos Romero (Romero Serrano on Zorro and Carlo Agretti on Falcon Crest) plays bank robber Juan Torino.

Season 2, Episode 33, "Wanted: Alive Please": Joe Turkel (starred in The Shining and Blade Runner) plays wrangler Fargo. H.M. Wynant (Frosty on Batman and Ed Chapman on Dallas) plays another wrangler Foster.

Season 2, Episode 36, "Blood on the Money": Len Lesser (Uncle Leo on Seinfeld and Garvin on Everybody Loves Raymond) plays Bat's future casino partner Frank Holloway. 

Season 3, Episode 1, "Debt of Honor": Edgar Buchanan (Uncle Joe Carson on The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, and Petticoat Junction, Red Connors on Hopalong Cassidy, Judge Roy Bean on Judge Roy Bean, and J.J. Jackson on Cade's County) plays gold prospector Cactus Charlie.

Season 3, Episode 3, "Bat Trap": Lon Chaney, Jr. (starred in The Wolfman, Of Mice and Men, High Noon, The Ghost of Frankenstein, The Curse of Dracula, Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman, and many others, and who played Chingachgook on Hawkeye and the Last of the Mohicans) plays ornery sharpshooter Rance Fletcher. Frank Ferguson (Gus Broeberg on My Friend Flicka, Eli Carson on Peyton Place, and Dr. Barton Stuart on Petticoat Junction) plays gunsmith Dick Pierce. 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 young sharpshooter Bill Webb. Maggie Pierce (Barbara Crabtree on My Mother the Car) plays Webb's girlfriend Amber Mason.

Season 3, Episode 5, "The Hunter": John Vivyan (Mr. Lucky on Mr. Lucky and Lepke Buchalter on The Lawless Years) plays famous hunter Sir Edward Marion. Sue Randall (Miss Alice Landers on Leave It to Beaver) plays his niece Elizabeth.

Season 3, Episode 8, "Dakota Showdown": James Best (Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane on The Dukes of Hazzard) plays Danny Dakota, youngest member of the Dakota gang. Kasey Rogers (see "Masterson's Arcadia Club" above) plays saloon girl Francie Wallace. 

Season 3, Episode 11, "A Time to Die": Robert Strauss (starred in Stalag 17, Sailor Beware, and Jumping Jacks, and played Sgt. Stan Gruzewsky on Mona McCluskey) plays evil saloon owner Howard C. Smith. 

Season 3, Episode 12, "Death by Decree": 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 Justice Bradshaw. Paul Richards (Louis "Louy" Kassoff on The Lawless Years and Dr. McKinley Thompson on Ben Casey and Breaking Point) plays corrupt Sheriff Corbett. Robert F. Simon (Dave Tabak on Saints and Sinners, General Alfred Terry on Custer, Frank Stephens on Bewitched, General Maynard M. Mitchell on M*A*S*H, and J. Jonah Jameson on The Amazing Spider-Man) plays newspaper publisher Harrison Whitney. June Blair (Julie Greer on Two Faces West and June Nelson on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet) plays his daughter Connie Whitney. 

Season 3, Episode 13, "The Lady Plays Her Hand": William Schallert (see "Deadly Diamonds" above) plays bookkeeper turned system card sharp George Winston. Johnny Seven (Lt. Carl Reese on Ironside) plays his bodyguard Burt Comers. Robert Lynn (Reverend Swain on Father Knows Best) plays Bat's carpenter Zach.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Untouchables (1960)

The Untouchables started out as a two-part drama on Desilu Playhouse that aired in April 1959. Though Van Johnson was originally cast in the lead role of real-life crimebuster Eliot Ness, Johnson backed out at the last minute over his salary, and Robert Stack was recruited at 2:00 A.M. Sunday morning with filming scheduled to begin the next day. This initial two-part episode told the story of how Ness tracked down and eventually arrested Chicago mob kingpin Al Capone, who was played by Neville Brand. The story was based on Ness' autobiography, co-written with Oscar Paley, and was such a success that the two parts were combined into a theatrical release, and ABC outbid CBS in turning it into a regular series that debuted in the fall of 1959. In its first season, the series didn't crack the top 30 in audience ratings, but by the second season of 1960-61, it climbed up to number 8, just behind Candid Camera.

However, despite its popular success with audiences, the show raised complaints from a number of sources. Parents and some critics thought the show was too violent, and, indeed, each show is filled with mobsters killing innocent people and each other, and lawmen killing mobsters.  But this kind of violence was prevalent in many other shows as well, particularly westerns and other crime dramas. The Untouchables perhaps upped the ante in the sheer number of bodies killed each week, as Ness and his men usually knocked off half a dozen bad guys in each raid they conducted. But the show also disturbed Italian Americans, who claimed that the show unfairly featured predominantly Italian-American criminals like Capone, Frank Nitti, and Louis Campagna. Frank Sinatra was reportedly one who objected to this depiction of his heritage. And Al Capone's widow sued the network, Desilu, and the show's sponsor Westinghouse for $1 million for using her late husband's name and likeness for profit without consulting the family. The lawsuit reportedly upset Desi Arnaz, who had been a friend and classmate of Al Capone's son. On the other side of the ledger, the F.B.I. was upset with the show depicting Ness busting criminals like Ma Barker, whom he had nothing to do with. The Bureau felt they were not being given credit for criminals they had apprehended. Even the Bureau of Prisons felt insulted because they felt they were shown as being too easy on Capone.

After they were called out for historical inaccuracy, the show began running a disclaimer at the end of each episode saying that while the story is based on real events, certain parts had been fictionalized. Producer Quinn Martin explained in the February 27, 1960 issue of TV Guide, "We try to stick to the facts as closely as possible, but we can't let the facts steer us away from our primary purpose--which is dramatic entertainment--or let them do harm to anyone, including us."  Martin elsewhere in the interview specifically mentions their need to avoid being sued for libel. He also says that beyond providing dramatic entertainment, the show doesn't just mimic the crime-show cliché that crime doesn't pay, but that they are trying to show "why the bad man winds up as he does"--because of devoted men like Ness.

Other than Ness, the other members of The Untouchables are fictional creations, and pretty thin ones at that. As other critics have noted, none of them are very well developed characters--we see nothing of them outside of their law enforcement roles--and they have very few lines, acting more as accessories to Stack's portrayal of Ness. And even Ness himself is a pretty one-dimensional character, always pursuing justice, rarely ever influenced to adjust or question his principles, a straight arrow in every way. In the very early episodes of 1959, his wife is featured in a few episodes, even being terrorized by mobsters in an attempt to influence Ness, but by 1960 she never appears again and is mentioned only when Ness says occasionally that he is married. He also says in one episode that he has two boys, but we don't see them either.

In real life, Ness disbanded The Untouchables in 1932. On the show, The Untouchables venture into 1934 during the episodes aired in 1960, and later seasons had them continuing into the 1940s. Despite the show's top 10 ratings in the 1960-61 season, it fell out of the top 30 the following year when pitted against the inexplicably popular Sing Along With Mitch and lasted only one more season after that.

The theme music for the show was composed by legendary arranger Nelson Riddle, who had established his reputation in the 1950s producing Nat King Cole's and Sinatra's records for Capitol Records. Though he had worked as musical director for a few single episodes for variety shows like The Rosemary Clooney Show and the entire run of The Frank Sinatra Show, The Untouchables was his first show as musical director for a dramatic series. The next year, he began his stint as musical director for Route 66 and continued on other shows like Sam Benedict, Naked City, The Rogues, and Batman in the 1960s, Emergency! in the 1970s and Newhart in the 1980s. He died October 6, 1985 at the age of 64.

Thus far, the first three seasons have been released on DVD, two sets per season, by CBS/Paramount Home Video. The show ran for four seasons, ending in the spring of 1963.

The Actors

Robert Stack

Born in Los Angeles but raised early on in Europe (and thus not able to speak English until age 6), Stack was a champion skeet shooter in the 1930s, placing second nationally in 1935 and first in 1937. He made his movie debut in the Deanna Durbin vehicle First Love in 1939 after makeup man Jack Pierce eventually convinced him to have his blonde hair dyed black and straightened. From then on, he was a Hollywood heart-throb. He also starred in the very first 3D movie, Bwana Devil, in 1952. He received an Oscar nomination for his role in Written on the Wind in 1956, but was allowed to leave 20th Century Fox when his contract ended, at which point he was cast in The Untouchables.

After The Untouchables, he continued acting in feature-length films and was one of three rotating stars on The Name of the Game (with Gene Barry and Tony Franciosa) from 1968-71. He also starred on Most Wanted and Strike Force and was the host for Unsolved Mysteries from 1987-2002.  He died May 14, 2003.

Nicholas Georgiade

Georgiade played Agent Rico Rossi, appearing in 107 of the show's 118 episodes. At the time he was cast in the role of Rossi, Georgiade was a relative newcomer to acting, with his first role being in an episode of Playhouse 90 in 1958. He made single-episode appearances on Whirlybirds, The Millionaire, and Hawaiian Eye in 1959, and appeared as a character named Frank Kotter in the first part of the two-part Untouchables pilot on Desilu Playhouse. After The Untouchables, he appeared in single episodes of several TV shows, including four appearances on Quincy M.E., and occasional film roles, such as in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and Indecent Proposal.

Abel Fernandez

Fernandez (shown on left in photo) played Agent William Youngfellow, a half Native American and former football All American at Carlisle University (where legendary Jim Thorpe starred), an odd back-story given that his character was frequently assigned to work undercover despite being a sports celebrity. Fernandez's career in films began in 1953, and he appeared on numerous TV shows, including a recurring role on Steve Canyon in 1959, before being cast on The Untouchables. Fernandez was the only actor other than Stack to carry over the same role from the Desilu Playhouse pilot into the regular series. After The Untouchables, his roles were less frequent, though he did appear seven times on Daniel Boone between 1965 and 1969.

Steve London

London played Agent Jack Rossman in 65 episodes, perhaps the most silent member of the Untouchables. His roles before and after The Untouchables, both on TV and in films, were few, though he did appear in the sci-fi classic I Married a Monster From Outer Space in 1958.

Anthony George

George's run as Agent Cam Allison on The Untouchables was short-lived, beginning with "The St. Louis Story" on January 28, 1960, and ending 13 episodes later on "The Frank Nitti Story" on April 28 the same year. His character quickly became Ness' right-hand man and was given more lines and more character development than any of the other agents. In fact, "The St. Louis Story" is centered around crime in his hometown and his father's murder at the hands of mobsters there. As explained in our previous post about the show Checkmate, George became such a hot commodity after appearing on The Untouchables that he soon received an offer to star in his own show. He asked out of his contract and was given his release, resulting in his character's rather trite death in his last episode.

Paul Picerni

Picerni (shown on left in photo) was brought in as Agent Lee Hobson at the beginning of Season 2 to replace George. He appeared in this role in 86 episodes during the remainder of the show's run.  Hobson also became the most featured agent, other than Ness, though we learn less about him than we did Cam Allison, at least in the episodes that aired through the end of 1960. Picerni was also the most seasoned actor of the agents, having started in films in 1946 and in TV in 1954. He appeared as Tony Liguri in the Desilu Playhouse pilot and had appeared in multiple episodes of Waterfront, The Loretta Young Show, Colt .45, and The Rebel before being cast as Hobson. He had also appeared in films like House of Wax, To Hell and Back, and I Was a Communist for the F.B.I.  After The Untouchables he appeared in many TV series, including multiple appearances on Here's Lucy, Mannix, Gunsmoke, and The Red Hand Gang. He died January 12, 2011.

Jerry Paris

Paris played Agent Martin Flaherty in the show's first 16 episodes, four of them in 1960, but then left the show for a longer run as dentist Jerry Helper on The Dick Van Dyke Show. He had begun acting in films in 1949 and had a major role in Ernest Borgnine's Oscar-winning film Marty in 1955. Like Fernandez, he had a recurring  role on Steve Canyon, then had another on Michael Shayne between The Untouchables and The Dick Van Dyke Show. While working on the latter show, he also was given a chance to direct, which he carried over to many other TV shows, including 238 of the 255 episodes of Happy Days. He died March 31, 1986.

Walter Winchell

Longtime newspaper columnist and radio commentator Walter Winchell provided the voice of the narrator and appeared on camera at the beginning of each of the episodes of the two-part pilot. His journalistic career was filled with controversy. In the 1930s he was a close friend of New York gangster Owney Madden but came to fear for his life, so he moved to Los Angeles and became friends with J. Edgar Hoover, even helping to turn over Louis Buchalter of Murder, Inc. to Hoover. However, he also accused several people of being communists, particularly Josephine Baker, and was a supporter of Senator Joe McCarthy. In fact, his hiring as narrator for The Untouchables is considered remarkable because he also accused Lucille Ball of being a communist sympathizer. But a dispute with TV talk show host Jack Paar in 1963, as well as the closing of his newspaper The New York Daily Mirror, brought an end to his career. He died February 20, 1972.

Notable Guest Stars

Season 1, Episode 13, "Syndicate Sanctuary": Jack Elam (veteran of many films as well as Deputy J.D. Smith on The Dakotas and George Taggart on Temple Houston) plays Nick Bravo, hitman for Guido Morelli. Robert F. Simon (Dave Tabak on Saints and Sinners, General Alfred Terry on Custer, Frank Stephens on Bewitched, General Maynard M. Mitchell on M*A*S*H, and J. Jonah Jameson on The Amazing Spider-Man) plays Police Chief Towers.

Season 1, Episode 14, "The Noise of Death": J. Carroll Naish (Charlie Chan in The New Adventures of Charlie Chan, Hawkeye in Guestward Ho!, and starred in Monster Maker and House of Frankenstein) plays Joe Bucco, a washed-up mobster marked for death. Joi Lansing (Shirley Swanson on The Bob Cummings Show, Goldie on Klondike, and Gladys Flatt on The Beverly Hillbillies) plays his moll. Henry Silva (starred in Johnny Cool, The Manchurian Candidate, Cinderfella, and Ocean's Eleven) plays up-and-coming mobster Little Charlie. Harry Dean Stanton (Kelly's Heroes, Dillinger, Cool Hand Luke, Alien, etc.) plays a blind newspaper seller.

Season 1, Episode 15, "Star Witness": Jim Backus (Thurston Howell III on Gilligan's Island, the voice of Mr. Magoo, Mr. Dithers on Blondie, and Judge Bradley Stevens on I Married Joan) plays William Norbert, a former accountant for the mob with a remarkable memory.

Season 1, Episode 16, "The St. Louis Story": Frank Wilcox (Mr. Brewster on The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction) plays D.A. Beecher Asbury. Percy Helton (Homer Cratchit on The Beverly Hillbillies) plays securities dealer Mr. Meyer.

Season 1, Episode 17, "One-Armed Bandits": Harry Guardino (Danny Taylor on The Reporter, Monty Nash on Monty Nash, and Hamilton Burger on The New Perry Mason) plays Frank Odine, a former IRA member turned gangster who once saved Ness' life.

Season 1, Episode 18, "Little Egypt": Fred Clark (Harry Morton on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show and Dr. Roy Clyburn on The Beverly Hillbillies) plays mob king Major Charlie Byron. Majel Barrett (Nurse Chapel on Star Trek) plays a waitress in Byron's diner. Norman Alden (played Johnny Ringo on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, Captain Horton on Rango, Tom Williams on My Three Sons, and Coach Leroy Fedders on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman) plays Barry Carlton, one of Byron's men.

Season 1, Episode 19, "The Big Squeeze": Dan O'Herlihy ("Doc" Sardius McPheeters on The Travels of Jamie McPheeters, "Boss" Will Varner #2 on The Long, Hot Summer, and Andrew Packard on Twin Peaks) plays Larry "Ace" Banner, a sophisticated bank robber in Kansas City. Kenneth McDonald (the judge 32 times on Perry Mason and who played Col. Parker on Colt .45) plays an unnamed member of Congress. Frank Wilcox (see "The St, Louis Story" above) reappears as D.A. Beecher Asbury.

Season 1, Episode 20, "The Unhired Assassin, Part 1": Robert Middleton (Barney Wales on The Monroes) plays Chicago Mayor Anton Cernak. Bruce Gordon (Gus Chernak on Peyton Place) plays Capone enforcer Frank Nitti. Richard Deacon (Mel Cooley on The Dick Van Dyke Show and Roger Buell on The Mothers-in-Law) plays Capone protege Bill Skidmore. Lee Van Cleef (For a Few Dollars More and The Good, The Bad and the Ugly) plays Capone protege Frank Diamond. Frank DeKova (Chief Wild Eagle on F Troop) plays Capone hitman Louis Campagna. Claude Akins (Sonny Pruett on Movin' On and Sheriff Elroy P. Lobo on B.J and the Bear and on Lobo) plays Capone thug Jake "Dodo" Ryan. Joe Mantell (Ernie Briggs on Pete and Gladys) plays European immigrant and aspiring assassin Joe Zangara. Frank Darro (uncredited role as Robby the Robot in Forbidden Planet) plays a newspaper seller.

Season 1, Episode 21, " The Unhired Assassin, Part 2": Middleton, Gordon, Van Cleef, DeKova, and Mantell reprise their roles from Part 1. Percy Helton (see "The St, Louis Story" above) plays drunken moocher Jocko Monaghan. Eleanor Audley (Mother Eunice Douglas on Green Acres and Mrs. Vincent on My Three Sons) plays Mrs. Cross, a widowed inconvenienced by would-be mob assassins. Sterling Holloway (Waldo Binney on The Life of Riley and Buck Singleton on The Baileys of Balboa) plays a hotel desk clerk.

Season 1, Episode 22, "The White Slavers": Dick York (Darrin Stephens on Bewitched and Tom Colwell on Going My Way) plays Ernie Torrance, brother of a gangster who runs a prostitution ring. Paul Langton (Leslie Harrington on Peyton Place) plays Bob Wheaton and Frank London (Charlie on Peyton Place and Shad on Johnny Staccato) plays Ned Gold, both Capone henchmen.

Season 1, Episode 23, "Three Thousand Suspects": Leslie Nielsen (Lt. Frank Drebin on Police Squad and in the Naked Gun movies; also played Vincent Markham on Peyton Place, Lt. Price Adams on The New Breed, and Harry Kleber on Dr. Kildare) plays Tom Sebring, a convict Ness recruits to find out who killed another convict. James Flavin (Lt. Donovan on Man With a Camera and Robert Howard on The Roaring 20's) plays prison Warden Rinehart. Dan Seymour (The Maharajah on Batman) plays pool hall proprietor Sam Argus. 

Season 1, Episode 24, "The Doreen Maney Story": Anne Francis (Honey West on Honey West) plays Doreen Maney, moll of gangster Shiek Humphries. Connie Hines (Carol Post on Mister Ed) plays her sister Maybelle. 

Season 1, Episode 25, "Portrait of a Thief": Edward Andrews (starred in The Absent-Minded Professor, Son of Flubber, and The Glass Bottom Boat and played Cmdr. Rogers Adrian on Broadside) plays E. Carlton Duncan, who runs a company that makes alcohol. Henry Jones (Dean Fred Baker on Channing, Judge Jonathan Dexter on Phyllis, Josh Alden on Mrs. Columbo, and B. Riley Wicker on Falcon Crest) plays Brooks Wells, his partner. Raymond Bailey (Milburn Drysdale on The Beverly Hillbillies, Dean Magruder on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, and Mr. Beaumont on My Sister Eileen) plays federal D.A. John Carvell. Frank Wilcox (see "The St, Louis Story" above) reappears as D.A. Beecher Asbury. J. Pat O'Malley (Judge Caleb Marsh on Black Saddle, Duffy on Frontier Circus, Mr. Harry Burns on My Favorite Martian, Mr. Bundy on Wendy and Me, and Bert Beasley on Maude) plays a prison warden, Harlan Warde (Sheriff John Brannan on The Virginian and John Hamilton on The Rifleman) plays a policeman.

Season 1, Episode 26, "The Underworld Bank": Thomas Mitchell (starred in Only Angels Have Wings, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Gone With the Wind, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Our Town, and It's a Wonderful Life and who played Mayor Thomas Russell on Mayor of the Town and Capt. Colin Glencannon on Glencannon) plays Milo Sullivan, leader of the underworld bank. Peter Falk (Columbo on Columbo and Daniel O'Brien on The Trials of O'Brien) plays Duke Mullen, a small-time thief. Virginia Vincent (Betty on The Joey Bishop Show, Dottie Clark on The Super, and Daisy Maxwell on Eight Is Enough) plays Louise O'Hara, Sullivan's niece and Mullen's girlfriend. Raymond Bailey (see "Portrait of a Thief" above) reappears as federal D.A. John Carvell.

Season 1, Episode 27, "Head of Fire: Feet of Clay": Jack Warden (starred in From Here to Eternity, 12 Angry Men, and Run Silent, Run Deep and who played Major Simon Butcher on The Wackiest Ship in the Army, Lt. Mike Haines on N.Y.P.D., Morris Buttermaker on The Bad News Bears, and Harry Fox, Sr. on Crazy Like a Fox) plays Frank Barber, Ness' high school buddy, now a boxing promoter. Nehemiah Persoff (starred in Al Capone and Some Like It Hot) plays mobster Johnny Fortunato. Madlyn Rhue (Marjorie Grant on Bracken's World, Angela Schwartz on Fame, and Hilary Mason/Madison on Executive Suite) plays Chicky Bernstein, Barber's girlfriend. Leo Gordon (Big Mike McComb on Maverick) plays boxer Pops Gantry.

Season 1, Episode 28, "The Frank Nitti Story": Bruce Gordon (see "The Unhired Assassin, Part 1" above) reappears as Frank Nitti. Frank DeKova (see "The Unhired Assassin, Part 1" above) reappears as Louis Campagna. Richard Anderson (D.A. Glenn Wagner on Bus Stop; Lt. Steve Drumm on Perry Mason; Chief George Untermeyer on Dan August; Oscar Goldman on The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman; and Buck Fallmont on Dynasty) plays Nitti "business engineer" Sidney Rogers. Frank Albertson (starred in Alice Adams, It's a Wonderful Life, and Psycho) plays newspaper reporter Jason McIntire.

Season 2, Episode 1, "The Rusty Heller Story": Elizabeth Montgomery (Samantha Stephens on Bewitched) plays Rusty Heller, a gold-digging nightclub entertainer who develops a crush on Ness. Harold J. Stone (John Kennedy on The Grand Jury, Hamilton Greeley on My World and Welcome to It, Sam Steinberg on Bridget Loves Bernie) plays Charles "Pops" Felcher, a mobster muscling in on Capone's territory. David White (Larry Tate on Bewitched) plays Archie Grayson, Felcher's attorney. Norman Fell (Det. Meyer Meyer on 87th Precinct, Sgt. Charles Wilentz on Dan August, and Stanley Roper on Three's Company and The Ropers) plays Capone's bookkeeper Reiner. Allison Hayes (starred in Attack of the 50 Foot Woman) plays Felcher's wife.

Season 2, Episode 2, "Jack 'Legs' Diamond": Steven Hill (Daniel Briggs on Mission: Impossible and D.A. Adam Schiff on Law & Order) plays gangster Jack "Legs" Diamond. Suzanne Storrs (Janet Halloran on Naked City)plays Dawn Dolan, a nightclub singer and Diamond's girlfriend. Oscar Beregi, Jr. (Joe Kulak on The Untouchables) plays Oscar Benjamin, leader of the local syndicate. Peter Whitney (Sergeant Buck Sinclair on The Rough Riders and Lafe Crick on The Beverly Hillbillies) plays syndicate member Bill Swinney. Lawrence Dobkin (uncredited narrator on Naked City) plays syndicate member Dutch Schultz. Robert Carricart (Pepe Cordoza on T.H.E. Cat) plays syndicate member Lucky Luciano. Raymond Bailey (see "Portrait of a Thief" above) reappears as federal D.A. John Carvell.

Season 2, Episode 3, "Nicky": Michael Ansara (Cochise on Broken Arrow and Deputy U.S. Marshal Sam Buckhart on The Rifleman and the Law of the Plainsman) plays mob hitman Charlie Steuben. Malcolm Atterbury (Grandfather Aldon on Apple's Way)plays a judge.

Season 2, Episode 4, "The Waxey Gordon Story": Nehemiah Persoff (see "Head of Fire: Feet of Clay" above) plays mobster Waxey Gordon. Frank DeKova (see "The Unhired Assassin, Part 1" above) plays Bugs Donovan. Terry Huntington (starred in The Three Stooges Meet Hercules) plays Gordon's girlfriend Flo Ingalls. Hank Patterson (Mr. Ziffel on Green Acres) plays a warehouse guard.

Season 2, Episode 5, "The Mark of Cain": Henry Silva (see "The Noise of Death" above) returns as mobster Little Charlie Sebastino. Vic Perrin (narrator on Sergeant Preston of the Yukon and did voice work for The Outer Limits, Star Trek, and Scooby Doo, Where Are You?) plays drug-dealing ragpicker Robert Riordan. Eduardo Cianelli (Waldo on Johnny Staccato) plays mob boss Joe Genna. Joyce Taylor (Mary McCauley on Men Into Space) plays a nightclub singer.

Season 2, Episode 6, "A Seat on the Fence": John McIntire (Lt. Dan Muldoon on Naked City, Christopher Hale on Wagon Train, and Clay Grainger on The Virginian) plays Loren Hall, a radio personality who protects his sources. Gene Lyons (Commander Dennis Randall on Ironside) plays Willie Asher, a gangster assigned to kill his former boss. Frank Silvera (Don Sebastian Montoya on The High Chaparral) plays Dino Patrone, the former boss. Olan Soule (John Masters on The Andy Griffith Show and who provided the voice of Batman on numerous Super Friends animated cartoons) plays Dr. Amos Hallet, a physician involved in a drug ring. Len Lesser (Uncle Leo on Seinfeld and Garvin on Everybody Loves Raymond) plays gangster henchman Gunther.

Season 2, Episode 7, "The Purple Gang": Werner Klemperer (Colonel Klink on Hogan's Heroes)) plays Jan Tornek, a Capone drug messenger. James Flavin (see "Three Thousand Suspects" above) plays gangster Rocky Garver. Steve Cochran (starred in White Heat) plays Eddie Fletcher, leader of the Purple Gang.

Season 2, Episode 8, "Kiss of Death Girl": Wesley Lau (Sherriff Lt. Andy Anderson on Perry Mason) plays Whitey Barrows, a gangster who gets rubbed out. Robert H. Harris (Jake Goldberg on Molly and Raymond Schindler on The Court of Last Resort) plays up-and-coming mobster Phil Corbin. Mickey Shaughnessy (starred in From Here to Eternity and Jailhouse Rock) plays bouncer Henny Coombs.

Season 2, Episode 9, "The Larry Fay Story": June Havoc (Willa "Willy" Dodger on Willy) plays Sally Kansas, nightclub singer and girlfriend of Fay. Robert Karnes (Max Fields on The Lawless Years and Deputy D.A. Victor Chamberlin on Perry Mason) plays Warren Owens, milk company president. 

Season 2, Episode 10, "The Otto Frick Story": Jack Warden (see "Head of Fire: Feet of Clay" above) plays drug dealer Otto Frick. Richard Jaeckel (Tony Gentry on Frontier Circus, Lt. Martin Quick on Spenser: For Hire, and Capt. Ben Edwards on Baywatch) plays Frick's partner Hans Eberhardt. Willis Bouchey (played the judge 23 times on Perry Mason) plays Nathaniel Emmons, special assistant to the Secretary of State. Bea Benaderet (Kate Bradley on Petticoat Junction) plays Mrs. Cooley, Frick's neighbor.

Season 2, Episode 11, "The Tommy Karpeles Story": Harold J. Stone (see "The Rusty Heller Story" above) plays wrongly imprisoned gangster Tommy Karpeles. Madlyn Rhue (see "Head of Fire: Feet of Clay" above) plays his daughter Sally. Murray Hamilton (Steve Baker on Love and Marriage  and Capt. Rutherford T. Grant on B.J. and the Bear) plays George Varsey, dancer, derelict, and mob stoolie. Vic Morrow (Sgt. Saunders on Combat!) plays gangster thug Collier.