Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thriller (1961)

As noted in our post on the 1960 episodes of Thriller, the series has been criticized for its lack of consistent focus and tone, changing from week to week between horror stories that may involve the supernatural, to standard crime dramas, to roaring '20's gangster fare. In Alan Warren's book This Is a Thriller, he lays out some of the problems behind the scenes, which were also documented at the time though in less detail in a May 6, 1961 TV Guide article, that contributed to the series' problems--most notably a clash in ideology between creator and executive producer Hubbell Robinson and his chief producer Fletcher Markle. The series was panned in early reviews and ratings were poor, which caused promoters to grumble. Robinson's strategy to turn things around was to fire Markle and replace him with William Frye, a TV veteran who had helmed such series as Climax! and the esteemed Playhouse 90, and Maxwell Shane of Checkmate. Frye and Shane took over in the fall of 1960 and narrowed the show's focus down to two types of stories--so-called "chiller" fare, overseen by Frye, and crime dramas, overseen by Shane. Warren opines that this still gave viewers a case of thematic whiplash from week to week, but the quality of material was demonstrably better, particularly after Frye hired proven writers such as Robert Bloch (whose many credits include the novel Psycho on which the Hitchcock film is based), made a deal with horror promoter Forrest J. Ackerman to access his recently acquired trove of Weird Tales pulp magazines for story ideas, and hired more compatible directors such as Ida Lupino to film individual episodes. As Warren also relates, the show became perhaps too successful in that it began to outdraw Alfred Hitchcock Presents, prompting that show's namesake to stipulate that his continued involvement with NBC would require that Thriller be taken off the air for a year, which was tantamount to cancellation.

At its best the series lived up to Stephen King's assessment of it being the best horror series ever produced for television. However, some of the episodes cited by Warren as being amongst the series' best have their flaws. In "The Ordeal of Dr. Cordell" (March 7, 1961) research scientist Dr. Frank Cordell is testing the effect of certain gases in work for the military but due to an accidental explosion he turns into a psychotic killer whenever he hears bells, though after his killing sprees he has no recollection of his crimes. First he kills his landlord's parakeet, which has a bell in its cage, and then a lost female student at the university where he works because she just happens to be wearing bell-shaped earrings. Later he chases down another female student who rings a hand bell at a cheesy pep rally. Besides the irrational premise of having the sound of bells switch on a homicidal maniac, the story goes to great lengths to insert extremely unlikely triggers into the plot to set the killer in motion. Another episode favored by Warren is "Pigeons From Hell" (June 6, 1961), which has a few Hitchcockian scenes reminiscent of The Birds­ (which wouldn't be released until 1963) but ultimately revolves around a presumed-dead voodoo practitioner who has remained hidden in an abandoned mansion for decades. When a pair of carefree travelling young brothers ditch their car nearby and spend the night in the mansion, they become prey for the voodoo priestess. The main problem with this episode is the overwrought acting of Brandon de Wilde, playing the brother who manages to escape the voodoo killer. His attempts to portray a terrified witness to unbelievable atrocities are just not convincing.

Other episodes are sometimes plagued by plot inconsistencies, such as in "Portrait Without a Face" (December 25, 1961) in which an arrogant, blackguard painter is killed with a crossbow before starting on his last work, yet the painting slowly takes shape in his inimitable style to depict his assassin. Cataloguer Arthur Henshaw, sent by the painter's New York-based gallery, admits to the painter's widow that he is an excellent copyist and has been filling in the painting himself in order to get the killer to reveal himself. But after the real killer returns to the scene of the crime in an attempt to destroy the painting before his identity can be revealed, then falls to his death, the painting miraculously fills in his face in the unfinished portion left blank by Henshaw. In other words, what at first appeared to be a supernatural wonder turns out to have a rational explanation, which is then subverted in the final scene. Another painting-themed episode "The Grim Reaper" (June 13, 1961) tries a similar plot twist as accountant Paul Graves convinces his rich, mystery-writer aunt that a 19th century French painting she purchased is cursed, driving her to drink to calm her nerves, which precipitates a fatal fall down the stairs. Graves then confesses to his aunt's husband, after tricking him into taking a poison pill, that he faked the blood that appeared to suddenly materialize on the painted grim reaper's scythe, but after the husband dies and Graves inherits his aunt's estate, he is trapped in the room with the painting and later found with his throat slashed, as if by a scythe. Both of these episodes at first suggest a supernatural explanation for a series of unusual events, then undermine the supernatural element with a rational explanation before turning the tables once more and destroying the comfort of the rational. The final twist in these episodes seem a bit tacked on, as if the producers felt an obligation to end on a chilling note for the story to live up to its billing as a Thriller.

However, where these fall short, others are truly exceptional, particularly "The Merriweather File" (February 14, 1961) in which a lawyer comes to the aid of his next-door neighbor, a wife who appears to be the intended victim of a philandering husband who blames her for the death of their only child some years ago. The lawyer also tries to act as defense lawyer for the accused husband, but the evidence is stacked against him and he is sentenced to be executed, while his female alleged accomplice is sentenced to a lengthy jail term. Only a year later after he has married the executed man's wife does the lawyer learn from the police detective after a confession by the jailed accomplice that, while the executed man had planned to have his wife killed, she managed to kill the assassin herself and then framed her husband for the murder, a chilling revelation for a man who thought he had married an innocent, helpless victim. Another particularly pleasing episode is "A Good Imagination" (May 2, 1961) in which Edward Andrews plays a cuckolded husband who exacts revenge on his wife's lovers in imaginative ways drawn from his love of classic literature. However, when he fools a handyman lothario into thinking he had sealed his wife into a basement wall a la Poe's "Cask of Amontillado" and driving the handyman mad, he fails to anticipate, after he later actually seals her in the wall himself, that the sheriff will bring the handyman back to see his wife alive just to convince him that he has not really killed her, thereby forcing him to come up with an uncomfortable explanation. Besides the unexpected ending (unless you consider that a 1961 television show would never allow a killer to get off scott-free), Andrews' portrayal of bookish Frank Logan is a delight, as he taunts his victims for their indiscretions almost like a cat worries its prey before killing it.

Phyllis Thaxter is equally devious, though with less wit, as the greedy cousin many times removed in "The Last of the Sommervilles" (November 6, 1961), convincing her clueless cousin to knock off their rich aunt before making him think they have been found out so that she can lure him into a swampy bog where he will meet his own death. Eliminating her chief rival for her aunt's estate, she in essence bequeaths it to her lover, the aunt's attorney, who is next in line according to the aunt's will. However, this is another episode with a somewhat tacked-on ending when the aunt's physician (played by Karloff) merely narrates that the guilty couple met their own death not much later when they missed a turn in the road and ended up in the bog themselves. Again, killers cannot go unpunished in a 1961 TV series, but it would have gone down better had their final come-uppance been depicted as a natural evolution of the plot rather than as a narrated postscript.

Still, despite any such minor peccadilloes, this episode is a prime example of the series' favorite theme -- inheritance and the greed it can inspire. No fewer than 12 of the 37 episodes of those aired in 1961, or nearly one third, revolve around inheritance. What makes inheritance such a compelling story line is perhaps the difficulty in pulling off the perfect murder and getting away with it. Laws prohibit the passing of property of a murder victim to his or her killer, and life insurance policies likewise have provisions to prevent incentivizing crime. Actual crime statistics show that the most common causes for homicide are those committed in the act of robbery or as the result of some kind of argument, both of which involve a passionate, spur-of-the-moment response to unanticipated events. But pulling off a murder in order to inherit an estate requires cold calculation and clever covering of one's tracks. As viewers we are intrigued by the perpetrators' cunning and may even applaud their audacity while also weighing what we may have done or not done in the same situation. We may even be a little disappointed when they are inevitably caught in the final act, exposing that perhaps we viewers are not quite as righteous as we would like to think. Getting us to recognize this potential darkness within ourselves is Thriller's greatest accomplishment and makes it deserving of the esteem bestowed by those like Stephen King.

The Actors

For the biography of Boris Karloff, see the 1960 post of Thriller.

Notable Guest Stars

Season 1, Episode 16, "The Hungry Glass": William Shatner (shown on the left, starred in The Brothers Karamazov, Judgment at Nuremberg, Kingdom of the Spiders, and The Kidnapping of the President and played David Koster on For the People, Dr. Carl Noyes on Dr. Kildare, Capt. James T. Kirk on Star Trek, Jeff Cable on Barbary Coast, Sgt. T.J. Hooker on T.J. Hooker, Walter H. Bascom on TekWar, Denny Crane on The Practice and Boston Legal, and Dr. Edison Milford Goodson III on $#*! My Dad Says) plays photographer Gil Thrasher. Joanna Heyes (wife of screenwriter, director, and producer Douglas Heyes) plays his wife Marcia. Russell Johnson (starred in It Came From Outer Space, This Island Earth, and Johnny Dark and played Marshal Gib Scott on Black Saddle, Professor Roy Hinkley on Gilligan's Island, and Assistant D.A. Brenton Grant on Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law) plays their real estate agent Adam Talmadge. Elizabeth Allen (Laura Deane on Bracken's World, Martha Simms on The Paul Lynde Show, Capt. Quinlan on CPO Sharkey, and Victoria Bellman on Texas) plays his wife Liz. Donna Douglas (Barbara Simmons on Checkmate and Elly Mae Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies) plays vain former resident Laura Belman. Clem Bevans (appeared in Sergeant York, Saboteur, The Yearling, Mourning Becomes Electra, and Harvey) plays checker-player Obed.

Season 1, Episode 17, "The Poisoner": Murray Matheson (Felix Mulholland on Banacek)  plays writer, painter, and critic Thomas Edward Griffith. Sarah Marshall (starred in The Long, Hot Summer, Lord Love a Duck, and Dave and played Evelyn Winslow on Miss Winslow and Son) plays his wife Frances Abercrombie. David Frankham (appeared in Return of the Fly, Master of the World, and King Rat and played Reverend Daniels on The Bold and the Beautiful) plays her attorney Mr. Proctor. Maurice Dallimore (Willie Shorthouse on Fair Exchange) plays Griffith's Uncle George. Sam Edwards (starred in Captain Midnight, Twelve O'Clock High, and The Beatniks and played Hank the hotel clerk on The Virginian and Mr. Bill Anderson on Little House on the Prairie) plays wedding guest Charles Larrimore. Richard Peel (Mr. Withers on Family Affair) plays police detective Justin.

Season 1, Episode 18, "Man in the Cage": Guy Stockwell (Chris Parker on Adventures in Paradise) plays gun smuggler Noel Hudson. Philip Carey (shown on the right, starred in I Was a Communist for the FBI, Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison, Calamity Jane, Mister Roberts, Dead Ringer, and Three For Texas and played Lt. Michael Rhodes on Tales of the 77th Bengal Lancers, Philip Marlowe on Philip Marlowe, Capt. Edward Parmalee on Laredo, and Asa Buchanan on One Life to Live) plays his brother Daryl. Theodore Marcuse (starred in Hitler, The Cincinnati Kid, and Harum Scarum and played Von Bloheim on Batman) plays mobster Arthur Upshaw. Diana Millay (Laura Collins on Dark Shadows) plays his niece Ellen. Barry Gordon (Dennis Whitehead on The New Dick Van Dyke Show, Charlie Harrison on Fish, Gary Rabinowitz on Archie Bunker's Place, Roger Hightower on A Family for Joe, and was the voice of Donatello on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) plays young hustler Slip Slip. Booth Colman (Prof. Hector Jerrold on General Hospital and Dr. Felix Burke on The Young and the Restless) plays a hotel clerk. Robert Stevenson (bartender Big Ed on Richard Drum and Marshal Hugh Strickland on Stagecoach West) plays bartender Phil Barrister. Lilyan Chauvin (Madame Dussolier on Cafe Amercain) plays his wife. Al Ruscio (Paul Locatelli on Shannon, Sal Giordano on Life Goes On, and Frank Ruscio on Joe's Life) plays hustler Allah el Kazim. Pedro Regas (Buffalo Running Schwartz on Pat Paulsen's Half a Comedy Hour) plays his accomplice Gilali.

Season 1, Episode 19, "Choose a Victim": Susan Oliver (Ann Howard on Peyton Place) plays wealthy inheritor Edith Landers. Vaughn Taylor (starred in Jailhouse Rock, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Psycho, and In Cold Blood and played Ernest P. Duckweather on Johnny Jupiter) plays her uncle Philip. Henry Hunter (Doctor Summerfield on Hazel) plays his friend Larry Kirt. Larry Blyden (Joe Sparton on Joe & Mabel and Harry Burns on Harry's Girls)plays beach bum Ralphie Teal. 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 police Det. Hazlett. Henry Corden (Carlo on The Count of Monte Cristo, and Babbitt on The Monkees and did voicework on The Flintstones, Jonny Quest, The Atom Ant Show, The Banana Splits Adventure Hour and Return to the Planet of the Apes) plays his partner Det. Sid Benajain. Billy Barty (Babby on Peter Gunn, Sparky the Firefly on The Bugaloos, Sigmund Ooze on Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, Inch on Ace Crawford, Private Eye, and the voice of Dweedle on Wildfire) plays carnival small person Sam.

Season 1, Episode 20, "Hay-Fork and Bill-Hook": Kenneth Haigh (appeared in Saint Joan, Cleopatra, and Robin and Marian and played Joe Lampton on Man at the Top) plays Scotland Yard Det. Insp. Harry Roberts. Audrey Dalton (appeared in Titanic (1953), Separate Tables, and Kitten With a Whip) plays his wife Nesta. Alan Napier (shown on the left, appeared in The House of the Seven Gables, Lassie Come Home, Joan of Arc, Marnie, The Loved One, and Batman: The Movie and played Gen. Steele on Don't Call Me Charlie and Alfred the butler on Batman) plays Dark Woods Constable Evans. Doris Lloyd (starred in Waterloo Bridge, Tarzan the Ape Man, Oliver Twist, and The Time Machine) plays his mother. Alan Caillou (Jason Flood on Tarzan and The Head on Quark) plays Chief Constable Sir Wilfred. J. Pat O'Malley (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Frontier Circus) plays a pub patron. Richard Peel (see "The Poisoner" above) plays a mine-sweeping soldier.

Season 1, Episode 21, "The Merriweather File": Bethel Leslie (appeared in 15 episodes of The Richard Boone Show and played Claudia Conner on All My Children and Ethel Crawford on One Life to Live) plays besieged wife Ann Merriweather.  Ross Elliott (Freddie the director on The Jack Benny Program and Sheriff Mark Abbott on The Virginian) plays her husband Charles. James Gregory (shown on the right, see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Lawless Years) plays her next-door neighbor, attorney Howard Yates. 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 police Lt. Giddeon. K.T. Stevens (Vanessa Prentiss on The Young and the Restless) plays dead hustler's girlfriend Virginia Grant. Bernard Fein (Pvt Gomez on The Phil Silvers Show) plays private investigator I.L. Gluckman. Richard Reeves (Mr. Murphy on Date With the Angels) plays a police patrolman.

Season 1, Episode 22, "The Fingers of Fear": Nehemiah Persoff (shown on the near left, starred in The Wrong Man, Al Capone and Some Like It Hot) plays homicide Lt. Jim Wagner. Kevin Hagen (shown on the far left, John Colton on Yancy Derringer, Inspector Dobbs Kobick on Land of the Giants, and Dr. Hiram Baker on Little House on the Prairie) plays his partner Sgt. Spivak. Robert Middleton (Barney Wales on The Monroes) plays dishwasher Orbach. H.M. Wynant (Frosty on Batman and Ed Chapman on Dallas) plays diner cook Sid. Thayer Roberts (Thomas on The Living Bible) plays doll owner Mr. Merriman. Ted de Corsia (Police Chief Hagedorn on Steve Canyon) plays Police Commissioner Putnam. Michael Burns (Howie Macauley on It's a Man's World and Barnaby West on Wagon Train) plays young fisherman Jody Matthews. John Zaremba (Special Agent Jerry Dressler on I Led 3 Lives, Dr. Harold Jensen on Ben Casey, Admiral Hardesy on McHale's Navy, Dr. Raymond Swain on The Time Tunnel, and Dr, Harlem Danvers on Dallas) plays his father. Richard Travis (Rodger Barnett on Code 3 and Thompson on The Grand Jury) plays suspect Mr. Carter. Rodolfo Hoyos, Jr. (Luis Valdez on Viva Valdez) plays leather tradesman Mr. Martinez. Dick Wessel (see the biography section for the 1960 post on Riverboat) plays film projectionist Mr. Zimmer. Robert Stevenson (see "Man in the Cage" above) plays psychologist Dr. Lascoe. Morgan Brittany (Kate Simpson on Glitter and Katherine Wentworth on Dallas) plays young, unwitting Merriman accomplice Doris Carlyle. Angela Greene (Tess Trueheart on Dick Tracy) plays her mother. Sam Gilman (Sam Grafton on Shane) plays police Officer Pat Dutton.

Season 1, Episode 23, "Well of Doom": Ronald Howard (Sherlock Holmes on Sherlock Holmes, Stephen Britten on Mary Britten, M.D., Wing Commander Hayes on Cowboy in Africa, and Dr. John Dartington on The Lotus Eaters) plays inheritor of the Hadwick estate Robert Penrose. Torin Thatcher (appeared in Great Expectations, The Crimson Pirate, The Robe, Love is a Many-Splendored Thing, and Witness for the Prosecution) plays his housekeeper Jeremy Teal. Billy Beck (Lt. Trask on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, the photo editor on Lou Grant, Charles on Falcon Crest, and Nick Pappasmearos on Son of the Beach) plays his chauffeur Cyril. Henry Daniell (appeared in The Philadelphia Story, Jane Eyre, Song of Love, Lust for Life, and Witness for the Prosecution) plays wronged land-owner Squire Moloch. Richard Kiel (starred in The Phantom Planet, Eegah, The Longest Yard, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, and Pale Rider and played Moose Moran on Barbary Coast) plays his assistant Master Styx. 

Season 1, Episode 24, "The Ordeal of Dr. Cordell": Robert Vaughn (starred in Teenage Cave Man, The Magnificent Seven, The Towering Inferno, and Bullitt and who played Capt. Ray Rambridge on The Lieutenant, Napoleon Solo on The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Harry Rule on The Protectors, Harlan Adams on Emerald Point N.A.S., Gen. Hunt Stockwell on The A-Team, and Albert Stroller on Hustle) plays gas researcher Dr. Frank Cordell. Kathleen Crowley (Terry Van Buren on Waterfront and Sophia Starr on Batman) plays his associate Dr. Lois Walker. Robert Ellenstein (appeared in 3:10 to Yuma, Too Much Too Soon, and North by Northwest) plays their boss Dr. Brauner.  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 homicide Lt. Boutaric. Marlo Thomas (shown on the right, played Stella Barnes on The Joey Bishop Show and Ann Marie on That Girl) plays university student Susan Baker. 

Season 1, Episode 25, "Trio for Terror": Terence de Marney (Case Thomas on Johnny Ringo and Counsellor Doone on Lorna Doone) plays rich Uncle Julian. Reginald Owen (appeared in A Christmas Carol (1938), Mrs. Miniver, Woman of the Year, National Velvet, and Mary Poppins) an old hussar. Peter Brocco (Peter the waiter on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show) plays a casino major domo. Michael Pate (starred in Face to Face, Julius Caesar, Hondo, and Tower of London and played Chief Vittoro on Hondo and Det. Sgt. Vic Maddern on Matlock) plays serial strangler Shanner. John Abbott (appeared in The Woman in White, Madame Bovary, The Merry Widow, and Gigi) plays stone statue artist Kriss Milo. Richard Peel (see "The Poisoner" above) plays a police inspector. Noel Drayton (Mr. Hardcastle on Family Affair) plays his superintendent. 

Season 1, Episode 26, "Papa Benjamin": John Ireland (starred in Red River, All the King's Men, I Shot Jesse James, and Spartacus and played John Hunter on The Cheaters, Jed Colby on Rawhide, and Lyman Shackleford on Cassie & Co.) plays jazz pianist and composer Eddie Wilson. Jeanne Bal (Pat Baker on Love and Marriage) plays his wife and band singer Judy. Robert H. Harris (Jake Goldberg on Molly and Raymond Schindler on The Court of Last Resort) plays his manager Jerry Roberts. Jester Hairston (appeared in The Alamo, In the Heat of the Night, Lady Sings the Blues, and I'm Gonna Get You Sucka and played Wildcat on That's My Mama and Rolly Forbes on Amen) plays voodoo cult leader Papa Benjamin. 

Season 1, Episode 27, "Late Date": Larry Pennell (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Ripcord) plays beach resident Larry Weeks. Edward Platt (shown on the left, appeared in Rebel Without a Cause, Written on the Wind, Designing Woman, and North by Northwest and played the Chief on Get Smart) plays his brother Jim. Jody Fair (appeared in High School Confidential, Hot Rod Gang, The Brain Eaters, and Sex Kittens Go to College) plays Jim's step-daughter Helen. Steve Mitchell (Fred Starkey on The New Phil Silvers Show) plays Helen's boyfriend Gordon. Stuffy Singer (Donnie Henderson on Beulah and Alexander Bumstead on Blondie) plays Larry's acquaintance Art Brinkerhoff. Richard Reeves (see "The Merriweather File" above) plays a truck driver. Stuart Randall (Sheriff Art Sampson on Cimarron City, Al Livermore on Lassie, and Sheriff Mort Corey on Laramie) plays police Sgt. Crowell.

Season 1, Episode 28, "Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper": John Williams (appeared in Dial M for Murder, Sabrina, To Catch a Thief, and Witness for the Prosecution and played Nigel French on Family Affair) plays British Jack the Ripper investigator Sir Guy. Donald Woods (John Brent on Tammy and Craig Kennedy on Kennedy, Criminologist) plays psychologist Dr. John Carmody. Ransom M. Sherman (Herbert Dunston on Father of the Bride) plays the Washington, D.C. police commissioner. Adam Williams (appeared in Flying Leathernecks, The Big Heat, Fear Strikes Out, and North by Northwest) plays artist Hymie Kralik. Gloria Blondell (sister of Joan Blondell, played Honeybee Gillis in The Life of Riley and was the voice of Gloria on Calvin and the Colonel) plays murder victim's neighbor Maggie Radevik. J. Pat O'Malley (see "Hay-Fork and Bill-Hook" above) plays a street singer.

Season 1, Episode 29, "The Devil's Ticket": MacDonald Carey (shown on the right, see the biography section for the 1960 post on Lock Up) plays artist Hector Vane. Joan Tetzel (appeared in Duel in the Sun, The File on Thelma Jordon, and Joy in the Morning) plays his wife Marie. John Emery (appeared in Here Comes Mr. Jordan, Blood on the Sun, Spellbound, The Woman in White, and Rocketship X-M) plays a demonic pawnbroker. Robert Cornthwaite (Professor Windish on Get Smart and Howard Buss on Picket Fences) plays pawnbroker Mr. Spengler. Patricia Medina (Margarita Cortazar on Zorro) plays artist model Nadja. 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 psychiatrist Dr. Frank.

Season 1, Episode 30, "Parasite Mansion": Pippa Scott (shown on the left, see the biography section for the 1960 post on Mr. Lucky) plays school teacher Marcia Elizabeth Hunter. Jeannette Nolan (starred in Macbeth (1948), The Big Heat, Tribute to a Bad Man, and The Reluctant Astronaut, did voicework for Psycho, The Rescuers, and The Fox and the Hound, and played Annette Devereaux on Hotel de Paree and Holly Grainger on The Virginian) plays cursed Harrod family matriarch Granny. James Griffith (Deputy Tom Ferguson on U.S. Marshal) plays her nephew Victor. Tom Nolan (Jody O'Connell on Buckskin, Officer Hubbell on Jessie, and Mick on Out of This World) plays his brother Rennie. Beverly Washburn (starred in Old Yeller and played Kit Wilson on Professional Father and Vickie Massey on The New Loretta Young Show) plays their sister Lollie. 

Season 1, Episode 31, "A Good Imagination": Edward Andrews (shown on the right, appeared in The Harder They Fall, Elmer Gantry, The Absent-Minded Professor, Son of Flubber, Advise and Consent, and The Glass Bottom Boat and played Cmdr. Rogers Adrian on Broadside and Col. Fairburn on The Doris Day Show) plays bookseller Frank Logan. 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 his unfaithful wife Louise. Britt Lomond (Captain Monastario on Zorro and Johnny Ringo on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays her brother Arnold Chase. Ken Lynch (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Checkmate) plays private detective Joe Thorp. Mary Grace Canfield (Amanda Allison on The Hathaways, Harriet Kravitz on Bewitched, and Ralph Monroe on Green Acres) plays Logan's sales clerk Celia Perry. Ed Nelson (Michael Rossi on Peyton Place and Ward Fuller on The Silent Force) plays cabin handyman George Parker. William Allyn (associate producer of Peyton Place) plays playboy Randy Hagen. Jim Bannon (Red Ryder in 4 feature films and the TV series Red Ryder, Sandy North on The Adventures of Champion, Sheriff Tom Tynes on Casey Jones, and was the announcer on Ethel and Albert) plays a rural sheriff.

Season 1, Episode 32, "Mr. George": Gina Gillespie (Tess on Law of the Plainsman and Mimi Scott on Karen) plays young heir Priscilla. Virginia Gregg (starred in Dragnet, Crime in the Streets, Operation Petticoat and was the voice of Norma Bates in Psycho and was the voice of Maggie Belle Klaxon on Calvin and the Colonel) plays her aunt Edna Leggett. John Qualen (appeared in The Three Musketeers(1935), His Girl Friday, The Grapes of Wrath, Angels Over Broadway, Casablanca, Anatomy of a Murder, and A Patch of Blue) plays a streetcar conductor. Joan Tompkins (Trudy Wagner on Sam Benedict, Mrs. Brahms on Occasional Wife, and Lorraine Miller on My Three Sons) plays Priscilla's late guardian's sister Laura Craig. 

Season 1, Episode 33, "The Terror in Teakwood": Guy Rolfe (appeared in Ivanhoe, King of Kings, and Taras Bulba and played Charles Atkinson on The Widow of Bath and The Emperor on William Tell) plays world-renowned pianist Vladimir Vicek. Hazel Court (shown on the left, starred in Devil Girl From Mars, The Curse of Frankenstein, The Raven, and The Masque of the Red Death and played Jane Starrett on Dick and the Duchess, Liz Woodruff on 12 O'Clock High, and Norma Hobart on Dr. Kildare) plays his wife Leonie. Charles Aidman (narrator on the 1985-87 version of The Twilight Zone) plays her former suitor Jerry Welch. Linda Watkins (Robin Crosley on One Life to Live) plays newspaper critic Sylvia Slattery. Bernard Fein (see "The Merriweather File" above) plays a stage manager.

Season 1, Episode 34, "The Prisoner in the Mirror": Henry Daniell (see "Well of Doom" above) plays notorious illusionist and criminal Count Alexander Cagliostro. Lloyd Bochner (Chief Inspector Neil Campbell on Hong Kong and Cecil Colby on Dynasty) plays university professor Harry Langham. Jack Mullaney (Johnny Wallace on The Ann Sothern Show, Lt. Rex St. John on Ensign O'Toole, Dr. Peter Robinson on My Living Doll, and Hector on It's About Time) plays his assistant Fred Forrest. Marion Ross (shown on the right, played Nora on Life With Father, Susan Green on The Gertrude Berg Show, Marion Cunningham on Happy Days and Joanie Loves Chachi, Emily Heywod/Hayward on The Love Boat, Sophie Berger on Brooklyn Bridge, Beulah Carey on The Drew Carey Show, and the voice of Mrs. Lopart on Handy Manny) plays Langham's fiance Kay Forrest. Peter Brocco (see "Trio for Terror" above) plays renowned scholar Prof. Thibault. David Frankham (see "The Poisoner" above) plays 1910 Paris illusionist Marquis Robert de Chantenay. Frieda Inescort (appeared in Pride and Prejudice (1940), A Place in the Sun, and The Alligator People and played Emily Van Buren on Waterfront) plays his mother.

Season 1, Episode 35, "Dark Legacy": Harry Townes (starred in The Brothers Karamazov, Screaming Mimi, and Sanctuary) plays sorcerer Radan Asparos and his nephew Mario. Richard Hale (starred in Abilene Town, Kim, San Antone, Red Garters, and To Kill a Mockingbird) plays Radan's cousin Lars Eisenhart. Doris Lloyd (see "Hay-Fork and Bill-Hook" above) plays Radan's cousin Edith Pringle. Ned Glass (MSgt. Andy Pendleton on The Phil Silvers Show, Sol Cooper on Julia, and Uncle Moe Plotnick on Bridget Loves Bernie) plays nightclub manager Vince Fennaday. Henry Silva (starred in Johnny Cool, The Manchurian Candidate, Cinderfella, and Ocean's Eleven) plays Mario's friend Tony Wolfe. 

Season 1, Episode 36, "Pigeons From Hell": Brandon de Wilde (starred in The Member of the Wedding, Shane, All Fall Down, and Hud and played Jamison Francis McHummber on Jamie) plays young drifter Timothy Branner. David Whorf (assistant director on Batman, Peyton Place, The Felony Squad, The F.B.I., Cannon, The Streets of San Francisco, and Spenser: For Hire) plays his brother Johnny. Crahan Denton (appeared in The Parent Trap, Birdman of Alcatraz, and To Kill a Mockingbird) plays rural Sheriff Buckner. Guy Wilkerson (played Panhandle Perkins in 22 westerns) plays local resident Howard. 

Season 1, Episode 37, "The Grim Reaper": William Shatner (see "The Hungry Glass" above) plays accountant Paul Graves. Natalie Shafer (shown on the left, appeared in The Snake Pit, Callaway Went Thataway, and Anastasia and played Lovey Howell on Gilligan's Island) plays his aunt, mystery writer Beatrice Graves. Elizabeth Allen (see "The Hungry Glass" above) plays her secretary Dorothy Lyndon. Paul Newlan (Police Capt. Grey on M Squad and Lt. Gen. Pritchard on 12 O'Clock High) plays investigating police Sgt. Bernstein. Robert Cornthwaite (see "The Devil's Ticket" above) plays Beatrice's attorney Mr. Phillips.  Henry Daniell (see "Well of Doom" above) plays 1848 Parisian painter's father Pierre Radin.

Season 2, Episode 1, "What Beckoning Ghost?": Judith Evelyn (appeared in Rear Window, Hilda Crane, Giant, The Brothers Karamazov, and The Tingler and played The Woman on Windows) plays concert pianist Mildred Adler Beaumont. Tom Helmore (appeared in The Tender Trap, Designing Woman, Vertigo, and The Time Machine) plays her younger husband Eric Beaumont. Adele Mara (wife of Maverick producer Roy Huggins who appeared in Wake of the Red Witch, Sands of Iwo Jima, and The Big Circus) plays her sister Lydia. Frank Wilcox (see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Untouchables) plays a detective.

Season 2, Episode 2, "Guillotine": Alejandro Rey (shown on the right, played Carlos Ramirez on The Flying Nun and Capt. Luis Rueda on Dallas) plays condemned killer Robert Lamont. Robert Middleton (see "The Fingers of Fear" above) plays the executioner Monsieur de Paris. Gregory Morton (Mr. Wainwright on Peyton Place and Walter Williams on Ben Casey) plays the prison director. Peter Brocco (see "Trio for Terror" above) plays his assistant. Marcel Hillaire (appeared in Sabrina, Seven Thieves, and Murderer's Row and played Inspector Bouchard on Adventures in Paradise) plays the prison barber. Gaylord Cavallaro (Det. Sgt. Steve Wall on The Pursuers) plays cab driver Francois Triniteaux.

Season 2, Episode 3, "The Premature Burial": Sidney Blackmer (starred in Kismet (1930), Little Caesar, The Count of Monte Cristo, Heidi (1937), High Society, and Rosemary's Baby and played Dr. Morgan Granger on Ben Casey) plays prematurely buried Edward Stapleton. Patricia Medina (see "The Devil's Ticket" above) plays his fiance Victorine Lafourcade. Boris Karloff (shown on the left, see the biography section for the 1960 post on Thriller) plays his physician Dr. Thorne. William D. Gordon (Joe Travis on Riverboat and wrote or adapted teleplays for Thriller, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, The Fugitive, Ironside, and CHiPs) plays Thorne's colleague Dr. March. Scott Marlowe (Nick Koslo on Executive Suite, Eric Brady on Days of Our Lives, and Michael Burke on Valley of the Dolls) plays artist Julian Boucher. J. Pat O'Malley (see "Hay-Fork and Bill-Hook" above) plays the Stapleton butler.

Season 2, Episode 4, "The Weird Tailor": George Macready (Martin Peyton on Peyton Place) plays black magic practitioner Mr. Smith. Gary Clarke (Dick Hamilton on Michael Shayne, Steve Hill on The Virginian, and Capt. Richards on Hondo) plays his son Arthur. Henry Jones (Dean Fred Baker on Channing, Owen Metcalf on The Girl With Something Extra, Judge Jonathan Dexter on Phyllis, Josh Alden on Mrs. Columbo, Homer McCoy on Gun Shy, B. Riley Wicker on Falcon Crest, and Hughes Whitney Lennox on I Married Dora) plays tailor Erik Borg. Sondra Blake (former wife of Robert Blake, played Erlene on Days of Our Lives) plays his wife Anna. Stanley Adams (Lt. Morse on Not for Hire) plays Borg's creditor Mr. Schwenk. Abraham Sofaer (starred in Christopher Columbus, Quo Vadis, and Elephant Walk) plays car salesman Nicolai. Diki Lerner (appeared in Singin' in the Rain, Li'l Abner, Irma la Douce, The Swinger, and Easy Come, Easy Go) plays clothing dummy Hans.

Season 2, Episode 5, "God Grante That She Lye Stille": Sarah Marshall (see "The Poisoner" above) plays condemned witch Elspeth Clewer and her lone surviving relative Lady Margaret Clewer. Henry Daniell (see "Well of Doom" above) plays presiding Judge John Weatherford and his descendant Vicar Weatherford. Ronald Howard (see "Well of Doom" above) plays local physician Dr. Stone. Victor Buono (shown on the far right, appeared in Robin and the 7 Hoods, Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte, The Greatest Story Ever Told, and The Silencers and played King Tut on Batman and Dr. Schubert on Man From Atlantis) plays psychologist Dr. Van de Velde. 

Season 2, Episode 6, "Masquerade": Tom Poston (shown on the far left, starred in Zotz!, Soldier in the Rain, and The Happy Hooker and played Mr. Sullivan on On the Rocks, Cliff Murdock on The Bob Newhart Show, Damon Jerome on We've Got Each Other, Franklin Delano Bickley on Mork & Mindy, George Utley on Newhart, Ringo Prowley on Good Grief, Floyd Norton on Grace Under Fire, and Clown on Committed) plays honeymooner Charlie Denham. Elizabeth Montgomery (shown on the near left, starred in Johnny Cool, Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?, and How to Stuff a Wild Bikini and played Samantha Stephens on Bewitched) plays his wife Rosamond. John Carradine (starred in Stagecoach, The Grapes of Wrath, House of Frankenstein, House of Dracula, The Ten Commandments, and Sex Kittens Go to College and played Gen. Joshua McCord on Branded) plays spooky mansion owner Jed Carta. Jack Lambert (see the biography section for the 1960 post on Riverboat) plays his son Lem. 

Season 2, Episode 7, "The Last of the Sommervilles": Phyllis Thaxter (starred in Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, The Sea of Grass, The Breaking Point, and Superman) plays attendant niece Ursula Sommerville. Martita Hunt (starred in Great Expectations, Anna Karenina, Anastasia, Becket, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, and Bunny Lake Is Missing) plays her eccentric, rich Aunt Celia. Boris Karloff (see "The Premature Burial" above) plays Celia's physician Dr. Farnham. 

Season 2, Episode 8, "Letter to a Lover": Ann Todd (shown on the right, starred in The Seventh Veil, The Paradine Case, The Passionate Friends, and Breaking the Sound Barrier and played Ann Teviot in Ann and Harold and Astrid Linderman in Maelstrom) plays beleaguered wife Sylvia Lawrence. Murray Matheson (see "The Poisoner" above) plays her husband Andrew. Brendan Dillon (Mr. Bemis on The Virginian and Tommy Kelsey on All in the Family) plays postman Coggins. Richard Peel (see "The Poisoner" above) plays police Sgt. Lathrop.

Season 2, Episode 9, "A Third for Pinochle": Edward Andrews (see "A Good Imagination" above) plays hen-pecked husband Maynard Thispin. Ann Shoemaker (appeared in Alice Adams, Stella Dallas, My Favorite Wife, and Above Suspicion) plays his wife. Doro Merende (appeared in Our Town, The Man With the Golden Arm, and Kiss Me, Stupid and played Aunt Iris Flower on Bringing Up Buddy) plays nosy neighbor Melba Pennaroyd. Vito Scotti (shown on the left, played Jose on The Deputy, Capt. Gaspar Fomento on The Flying Nun, Gino on To Rome With Love, and Mr. Velasquez on Barefoot in the Park) plays prospective astronaut Buddy Welsh. Ken Lynch (see "A Good Imagination" above) plays a police lieutenant. Barbara Perry (Thelma Brockwood on The Hathaways) plays Maynard's girlfriend Babs Dawson. Burt Mustin (Foley on The Great Gildersleeve, Mr. Finley on Date With the Angels, Gus the fireman on Leave It to Beaver, Jud Fletcher on The Andy Griffith Show, and Justin Quigley on All in the Family) plays a train redcap.

Season 2, Episode 10, "The Closed Cabinet": Doris Lloyd (see "Hay-Fork and Bill-Hook" above) plays reanissance-era matriarch Dame Alice. David Frankham (see "The Poisoner" above) plays her modern-day descendant Alan Mervyn. Olive Sturgess (Carol Henning on The Bob Cummings Show) plays his girlfriend Eve Bishop. 

Season 2, Episode 11, "Dialogues With Death": Boris Karloff (see "The Premature Burial" above) plays morgue attendant Pop Jenkins and southern aristocrat Col. Jackson Beauregard Finchess. Ed Nelson (see "A Good Imagination" above) plays newspaper reporter Tom Ellison and Finchess' relative Daniel LeJean. William Schallert (shown on the right, see the biography section for the 1960 post on TheMany Loves of Dobie Gillis) plays psychologist Dr. John McFarland. Norma Crane (appeared in Tea and Sympathy, They Call Me Mr. Tibbs!, and Fiddler on the Roof and played Rayola Dean on Mister Peepers) plays Lejean's wife Nell. Estelle Winwood (starred in Quality Street, This Happy Feeling, The Notorious Landlady, and Dead Ringer and played Aunt Hilda on Batman) plays Finchess' sister Emily.

Season 2, Episode 12, "The Return of Andrew Bentley": Terence de Marney (see "Trio for Terror" above) plays sorceror Amos Wilder. John Newland (shown on the left, see the biography section for the 1960 post on One Step Beyond) plays his nephew Ellis Corbett. Antoinette Bower (Fox Devlin on Neon Rider) plays his wife Sheila. Philip Bourneuf (appeared in Joan of Arc, Chamber of Horrors, and Pete 'n' Tillie and played Dr. Wickens on Dr. Kildare) plays Wilder's physician Dr. Weatherbee. Oscar Beregi, Jr. (appeared in Ship of Fools, The Incredible Mr. Limpet, and Young Frankenstein and played Joe Kulak on The Untouchables) plays the town minister Rev. Burkhardt.

Season 2, Episode 13, "The Remarkable Mrs. Hawk": Joan Van Vleet (starred in East of Eden, I'll Cry Tomorrow, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Cool Hand Luke, and I Love You, Alice B. Toklas) plays pig farmer Mrs. Cissy Hawk. John Carradine (see "Masquerade" above) plays hobo Jason Longfellow. Bruce Dern (shown on the right, starred in The Wild Angels, Hang 'Em High, Support Your Local Sheriff!, Silent Running, Coming Home, and Nebraska and played E.J. Stocker on Stoney Burke and Frank Harlow on Big Love) plays his accomplice Johnny Norton. Paul Newlan (see "The Grim Reaper" above) plays local lawman Sheriff Tom Ulysses Willetts. 

Season 2, Episode 14, "Portrait Without a Face": John Newland (see "The Return of Andrew Bentley" above) plays painter Robertson Moffat. Jane Greer (starred in Dick Tracy (1945), Out of the Past, The Big Steal, The Prisoner of Zenda, and Down Among the Sheltering Palms and played Charlotte Pershing on Falcon Crest and Vivian Smythe Niles on Twin Peaks) plays his wife Ann. Katherine Squire (Emma Simpson on The Doctors) plays her Aunt Agatha. Robert Webber (appeared in The Sandpiper, The Silencers, The Dirty Dozen, 10, Private Benjamin, and S.O.B. and played Alexander Hayes on Moonlighting) plays gallery cataloguer Arthur Henshaw. George Mitchell (Cal Bristol on Stoney Burke) plays local lawman Pete Browning. Alberta Nelson (appeared in Beach Party, Muscle Beach Party, Bikini Beach, Pajama Party, Beach Blanket Bingo, How to Stuff a Wild Bikini, and The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini and played Lori the waitress on Peyton Place) plays his wife Marie. Gage Clarke (Mr. Botkin on Gunsmoke) plays family physician Dr. Josiah Grant. John Banner (shown on the left, played Bovaro on Rocky Jones, Space Ranger, Hans on The Baileys of Balboa, Sgt. Hans Georg Schultz on Hogan's Heroes, and Uncle Latzi on The Chicago Teddy Bears) plays art expert Prof. Martin Vander Hoven.

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