Saturday, March 14, 2020

Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1961)

Because Universal Studios has released only the first 6 seasons of Alfred Hitchcock Presents on Region 1 DVDs and appears to have no plans to release Season 7 in this format, this post will cover only the Season 6 episodes that aired in 1961.

After progressively declining ratings for Alfred Hitchcock Presents, from a high point of #6 during its second season in 1956-57 to #25 in its fifth season of 1959-60, Hitchcock & company left CBS for NBC, which moved the program from Sunday night to Tuesday in the fall of 1960, promising better ratings when not going up against The Dinah Shore Chevy Show on NBC and The Alaskans on ABC, neither of which were in the top 30. As Hitchcock notes in a March 25, 1961 TV Guide cover story, the move initially led to a decline, not an increase, in viewership. The article's author felt that this setback was going to change as the stories were about to become more macabre and that the temporary decline in ratings was due to the program veering away from Hitchcock's trademark bizarre stories early in Season 6, such as the season's opening episode "Mrs. Bixby and the Colonel's Coat." But the series never regained its early popularity, neither with its two seasons on NBC nor when it returned to CBS in an expanded format as The Alfred Hitchcock Hour in the fall of 1962.

While Hitchcock spends a fair amount of time lampooning television in his opening and closing vignettes, he obviously also felt that his own program was on par with his films and some of the greatest short stories ever written, as he equates his program with the work of De Maupassant and O. Henry in his TV Guide interview. Besides savaging his own sponsors in his vignettes when segueing to the opening and closing commercial breaks, Hitchcock lampoons the situation comedy formula in the vignettes for "Coming, Mama" (April 11, 1961) by saying the recipe has been so perfected that it now comes in a dried formula which he pours from a cereal box and then just adds water to have a stereotypical American family with husband, wife, son, and daughter magically appear. In the opening vignette for "Gratitude" (April 25, 1961) Hitchcock sits in an old west saloon and says that he just learned that he needs to begin every episode with a teaser, which then plays out with a stereotypical bar-room brawl over a cowboy flirting with the saloon girl, an obvious poke at the ubiquitous western formula of trying to spur interest in this week's episode by beginning with a particularly dramatic or perilous opening snippet. Hitchcock even takes a swipe at his own series in the opening vignette for "Final Arrangements" (June 20, 1961), which shows him working on an assembly line to manufacture his own program, saying that each episode requires a dose of saccharine, some pruning, and a few commercials sprinkled about. Though his own program could hardly be accused of the saccharine sentimentality found elsewhere on TV, most likely the real thrust of this vignette is his attempt in the final segment to create an episode without commercials, only to have the assembly line stop and Hitchcock remark that you can't get away with anything because Big Brother is always watching.

But in fact Hitchcock got away with much more than other television programs due to his lofty reputation as a film auteur, and he knew it. Again from the TV Guide interview he remarked, "The advantage of my show is that the husband can murder his wife and bury her in the cellar ... Retribution ... can be dealt with at the end by me." On other programs the viewer is always shown that crime is punished, and even reformed criminals usually are killed off, though they are given the saccharine solace that they cleansed their reputation at the end. On Alfred Hitchcock Presents the viewer often sees the perpetrator execute their crime, but their supposed capture and punishment are dashed off by Hitchcock in his closing vignette. Given the cynical, flippant tone of these postludes, the "retribution" seems like an insincere formality. In the aforementioned "Coming, Mama" episode, 35-year-old spinster Lucy Baldwin is tied down to her nagging, bed-ridden, invalid mother, who threatens to disinherit her if she marries her boyfriend. So Lucy decides to overdose her mother with sleeping medicine and gets away with it, only to discover that not only did her mother have no fortune to inherit but her fiance also has a nagging, bed-ridden, invalid mother that she is now expected to take care of. This might seem an appropriate punishment, but Lucy tells her fiance that his mother appears uncomfortable and they will need to get her doctor to prescribe a sleeping sedative as she smiles devilishly to herself. It's clear that Lucy plans to dispose of her new husband's mother the same way she got rid of her own, but Hitchcock narrates in the closing segment that she was caught on her next try. Technically this comment is supposed to appease our discomfort in seeing someone get away with parenticide, but it is only to appease the sponsors and censors. The same sort of tepid "retribution" is also provided at the end of "The Kiss-Off" (March 7, 1961), "Incident in a Small Jail" (March 21, 1961), "A Woman's Help" (March 28, 1961), "Museum Piece" (April 4, 1961), "Deathmate" (April 18, 1961), "Self Defense" (May 23, 1961), and "Servant Problem" (June 6, 1961). 

But by the end of Season 6, these closing "explanations" became even more brazen. In "Final Arrangements" we see office worker Leonard Thompson commit suicide by drinking a glass of milk laced with rat poison just to escape, you guessed it, his nagging, bed-ridden, invalid wife; afterward, Hitchcock says that just because they depicted a man committing suicide does not mean they endorse it as a solution to life's problems--there are other ways of dealing with such problems, such as money. In "Make My Death Bed" (June 27, 1961) a wife attempts to kill her cheating husband by leaving behind a bottle of poison labeled as saccharine when she takes their children on a trip to her parents only to have the husband's paramour take the poison after he has been shot dead by the paramour's jealous husband. Hitchcock then comes on and says that we all make mistakes without ever resolving whether the wife was prosecuted for attempted murder or negligent homicide. And in the final episode of Season 6, "Ambition" (July 4, 1961), District Attorney Rudy Cox allows his former friend and retiring mob boss Mac Davis to be prosecuted for the murder of his chief witness, even though Cox can provide Davis with an alibi, if he so chooses, but getting a conviction on Davis will further his career ambitions. At the close Hitchcock merely says that Cox was forced to confess the truth to his wife when she found two used coffee cups in their kitchen when she returned from a dance without him, but he never says that Davis was acquitted or that Cox faced any repercussions for his lie.

These tacked-on rationales for horrendous crimes are just one example of the ways Hitchcock was pushing the boundaries of television to make it more on par with feature films. He also took liberties with the gruesomeness of the crimes committed. When famous novelist Kerwin Drake strangles his long estranged wife to death in "Servant Problem" we don't actually see her face as she is being killed, but the effect is still very chilling. Likewise, when traveling salesman Leon Gorwald barely escapes a lynch mob in "Incident in a Small Jail" but then turns out to be the slasher the mob was after, drives off after examining his sample case to make sure his knife is still in order, and picks up another potential victim on his way out of town, we don't actually see him doing the deed, but Hitchcock allows our imagination to supply the gory details in a manner a bit more spine-tingling than your average TV crime drama. It's truly a pity that Universal has not released Season 7 on DVD in America so that we can see whether Hitchcock continued to push the envelope on TV decorum or was forced to pull back.

Hitchcock also challenged existing mores on topics such as invalids and the institution of marriage. Typically bed-ridden invalids are the subject of pity as they are unable to move about and enjoy the many social aspects of life that the healthy can experience. But Hitchcock devotes a full three episodes from the 25 Season 6 episodes airing in 1961 to depict invalids as demanding burdens that deserve to be killed. Besides the aforementioned "Coming, Mama," in which Lucy Baldwin kills off her own invalid mother and then plans to do the same to the mother of her new husband, and "Final Arrangements," in which hen-pecked Leonard Thompson has to commit suicide to get away from his bed-ridden wife who isn't really as ill as she pretends, "A Woman's Help" (March 28, 1961) shows Arnold Burton falling in love with the young caretaker he has hired to tend to his shrewish bed-ridden wife Elizabeth, who accuses him of not being able to do anything without the help of a woman--first his mother and then her, his wife. After Elizabeth catches Arnold kissing the caretaker, she fires her and insists on hiring her replacement herself, only Arnold manages to trick into hiring his mother, who is only too helpful in assisting in his original plan to slowly overdose his wife with a prescribed sedative. All three of these episodes also depict a dysfunctional marriage, another favorite topic on Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

We have already touched on the dysfunctional marriages in "Servant Problem," in which novelist Kerwin Drake is surprised when the wife he abandoned 22 years ago shows up unexpectedly, thereby threatening his planned marriage to the much younger Sylvia Colton, and "Make My Death Bed," which depicts marital infidelity and even suggests that cheating wife Elise Taylor married her husband Ken because she thought she could get away with her indiscretions. But there is also "The Last Escape" (January 31, 1961) in which Houdini-like escape artist Joe Ferlini is abusive to his performing assistant wife Wanda, tempting her to sabotage a particularly risky stunt he is determined to undertake in an attempt to boost his career. In "Deathmate" (April 18, 1961) hustler Ben Conan is set up by the wife of a wealthy businessman to murder the husband only to find out that she also hired a private detective to catch him in the act. In "You Can't Trust a Man" (May 9, 1961) nightclub singer Crystal Coe has to get rid of her ex-con first husband because he can show they were never really divorced after she has already remarried to a wealthy oil tycoon. And in "A Secret Life" (May 30, 1961) dissatisfied art dealer James Howgill begrudgingly hires a private detective agency to spy on his wife when she refuses to give him a divorce and gets tricked into thinking that she has been seeing another man, making him suddenly want her back, only to later find out the detective agency was following the wrong woman. In all of these episodes marriage is depicted as a trap or a threat to a happy life rather than the ultimate goal in life as depicted by countless romantic comedies. Hitchcock still finds humor in marriage, but it is always at the expense of those who are married. Though he seems content with the direction his program was heading in that 1961 TV Guide interview, he must have been galled that the television landscape was being taken over by the very situation comedies he delighted in skewering. 

The Actors

For the biography of Alfred Hitchcock, see the 1960 post on Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

Notable Guest Stars

Season 6, Episode 14, "The Changing Heart": Nicholas Pryor (shown on the left, starred in The Way We Live Now, The Happy Hooker, The Omen II: Damien, Risky Business, and Less Than Zero and played Ernest Cooper on Young Dr. Malone, Johnny Ellis on The Secret Storm, Tom Baxter on Another World, Ken Alexander on The Nurses, Lincoln Tyler on All My Children, Joel Gantry on The Edge of Night, Jeffrey Trout on Eight Is Enough, Jack Feldspar on The Bronx Zoo, Chancellor Milton Arnold on Beverly Hills, 90210, and Victor Collins on Port Charles) plays engineer Dane Ross. Abraham Sofaer (starred in Christopher Columbus, Quo Vadis, and Elephant Walk) plays clock shop owner Ulrich Klemm. Anne Helm (starred in Follow That Dream, The Interns, and Honeymoon Hotel and played Molly Pierce on Run for Your Life and Mary Briggs on General Hospital) plays his daughter Lisa. Robert Sampson (Sgt. Walsh on Steve Canyon, Father Mike Fitzgerald on Bridget Love Bernie, and Sheriff Turk Tobias on Falcon Crest) plays Dane's friend Jack. Baruch Lumet (father of director Sidney Lumet) plays a concertina player.
Season 6, Episode 15, "Summer Shade": James Franciscus (shown on the right, played Det. Jimmy Halloran on Naked City, Russ Andrews on The Investigators, John Novak on Mr. Novak, Mike Longstreet on Longstreet, Benjamin Elliot on Doc Elliot, and James Hunter on Hunter) plays house hunter Ben Kendall. Julie Adams (starred in The Creature From the Black Lagoon and played Martha Howard on The Jimmy Stewart Show, Ann Rorchek on Code Red, and Eve Simpson on Murder, She Wrote) plays his wife Phyllis. Susan Gordon (appeared in Attack of the Puppet People, Tormented, The Five Pennies, and Picture Mommy Dead) plays their daughter Kate. John Hoyt (starred in My Favorite Brunette, The Lady Gambles, and Blackboard Jungle and played Grandpa Stanley Kanisky on Gimme a Break!) plays a Salem, MA minister. Veronica Cartwright (starred in The Birds, The Children's Hour, Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), Alien, The Right Stuff, and The Witches of Eastwick and played Jemima Boone on Daniel Boone, Molly Hark on Tanner '88, A.D.A. Margaret Flanagan on L.A. Law, Cassandra Spender on The X-Files, Valerie Shenkman on Invasion, and Bun Waverly on Eastwick) plays Kate's friend Judy Davidson.
Season 6, Episode 16, "A Crime for Mothers": Robert Sampson (see "The Changing Heart" above) plays civil engineer Ralph Birdwell. Patricia Smith (Charlotte Landers on The Debbie Reynolds Show and Margaret Hoover on The Bob Newhart Show) plays his wife Jane. Claire Trevor (shown on the left, starred in Stagecoach, Murder, My Sweet, Raw Deal, Key Largo, Marjorie Morningstar, and How to Murder Your Wife) plays their daughter's birth mother Mrs. Meade. Howard McNear (see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Andy Griffith Show) plays Meade's attorney Mr. Maxwell. Biff Elliot (starred in I, the Jury, House of Bamboo, and Pork Chop Hill) plays private investigator Phil Ames. King Calder (Lt. Gray on Martin Kane) plays his partner Charlie Vance.
Season 6, Episode 17, "The Last Escape": Keenan Wynn (shown on the right, starred in Annie Get Your Gun, Royal Wedding, Angels in the Outfield, The Absent-Minded Professor, Son of Flubber, Dr. Strangelove, The Great Race, and Point Blank and played Kodiak on Troubleshooters, Willard "Digger" Barnes on Dallas, Carl Sarnac on Call to Glory, and Butch on The Last Precinct) plays escape performance artist Joe Ferlini. Jan Sterling (starred in Johnny Belinda, Ace in the Hole¸ The Mating Season, 1984, and High School Confidential! and played Mildred Foss on Guiding Light) plays his wife Wanda.  Dennis Patrick (Paul Stoddard on Dark Shadows and Vaughn Leland on Dallas) plays his promoter Harry Miller. John Craven (Jim on The Egg and I) plays nightclub singer Tommy. Robert Carson (Mr. Maddis on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show) plays Police Chief Wallace. Ronnie Rondell, Jr. (stunt coordinator on The Mod Squad, Charlie's Angels, Dynasty, and Hart to Hart) plays motor boat driver Dave Brooks. Charles Meredith (Dr. LeMoyne Snyder on The Court of Last Resort) plays the reverend at Ferlini's funeral. Claude Stroud (Rudy Cromwell on The Duke and Hobert Nalven on The Ted Knight Show) plays a fake coroner's office investigator.
Season 6, Episode 18, "The Greatest Monster of Them All": Sam Jaffe (starred in Lost Horizon, Gunga Din, The Asphalt Jungle, and Ben-Hur and played Dr. David Zorba on Ben Casey) plays B movie mogul Hal Ballew. Robert H. Harris (Jake Goldberg on Molly and Raymond Schindler on The Court of Last Resort) plays his director Morty Lenton.  William Redfield (appeared in Hamlet, Duel at Diablo, The Fantastic Voyage, The Hot Rock, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) plays scriptwriter Fred Logan. Richard Hale (shown on the left, starred in Abilene Town, Kim, San Antone, Red Garters, and To Kill a Mockingbird) plays old monster movie star Ernst von Croft.
Season 6, Episode 19, "The Landlady": Patricia Collinge (shown on the right, appeared in The Little Foxes, Shadow of a Doubt, Tender Comrade, and Washington Story) plays a boarding house owner. Dean Stockwell (starred in Anchors Aweigh, Gentleman's Agreement, Kim, Sons and Lovers, and Dune and played Dr. Rudy Devereux on Dr. Kildare, Admiral Al Calavicci on Quantum Leap, John Stern on Street Gear, Frank DiMeo on The Tony Danza Show, Edward Shefflied on JAG, and John Cavil on Battlestar Gallactica) plays her tenant Billy Weaver.  Burt Mustin (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Leave It to Beaver) plays a dart player in the pub.
Season 6, Episode 20, "The Throwback": Scott Marlowe (shown on the left, played Nick Koslo on Executive Suite, Eric Brady on Days of Our Lives, and Michael Burke on Valley of the Dolls) plays young lover Eliot Gray. Joyce Meadows (Lynn Allen on The Man and the Challenge, Stacy on Two Faces West, and Warden Lucille Osborn on Days of Our Lives) plays his girlfriend Enid. Murray Matheson (Felix Mulholland on Banacek) plays Enid''s old boyfriend Cyril Hardeen. John Indrisano (real-life professional boxer and referee, played John the Chauffeur on O.K. Crackerby!) plays Hardeen's manservant Joseph. Bert Remsen (Detective Lawrence on Peyton Place, Mr. Pell on Gibbsville, Mario on It's a Living, and Jack Crager on Dynasty) plays police detective Lt. Mosh.
Season 6, Episode 21, "The Kiss-Off": Rip Torn (shown on the right, starred in King of Kings, Sweet Bird of Youth, Tropic of Cancer, and The Cincinnati Kid and played Arthur on The Larry Sanders Show and Don Geiss on 30 Rock) plays ex-con Ernie Walters. Bert Freed (appeared in The Atomic City, The Cobweb, and Paths of Glory and played Rufe Ryker on Shane) plays his nemesis police Det. Cooper. Don Keefer (starred in Death of a Salesman, Hellcats of the Navy, and Sleeper and played George on Angel) plays a tax clerk. Florence MacMichael (Phyllis Pearson on My Three Sons and Winnie Kirkwood on Mister Ed) plays tax office customer Mrs. Simmons. Harry Swoger (Harry the bartender on The Big Valley) plays a taxi driver.
Season 6, Episode 22, "The Horse Player": Claude Rains (shown on the left, starred in The Invisible Man, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Casablanca, Phantom of the Opera, Notorious, and Lawrence of Arabia) plays Catholic priest Father Amion. Percy Helton (Homer Cratchit on The Beverly Hillbillies) plays his usher Morton. Ed Gardner (Archie on Duffy's Tavern) plays horse race gambler Charlie Sheridan. Kenneth MacKenna (starred in Man Trouble, Temple Tower, and Judgment at Nuremberg) plays Amion's superior Bishop Cannon. David Carlile (Deputy Bookright on The Long, Hot Summer) plays a bank teller.
Season 6, Episode 23, "Incident in a Small Jail": John Fiedler (shown on the right, appeared in 12 Angry Men, That Touch of Mink, The World of Henry Orient, Kiss Me, Stupid, Girl Happy, The Odd Couple, True Grit and played Emil Peterson on The Bob Newhart Show and Woody on Buffalo Bill) plays traveling salesman Leon Gorwald. Myron Healey (Doc Holliday on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays police deputy Carly. Crahan Denton (appeared in The Parent Trap, Birdman of Alcatraz, and To Kill a Mockingbird) plays his boss Sheriff Monty. Richard Jaeckel (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Frontier Circus) plays a suspected murderer. 
Season 6, Episode 24, "A Woman's Help": Geraldine Fitzgerald (shown on the left, starred in Wuthering Heights, Dark Victory, Three Strangers, The Pawnbroker, and Arthur and played Helen Eldridge on Our Private World and Violet Jordan on The Best of Everything) plays bed-ridden invalid Elizabeth Burton. Scott McKay (appeared in Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, Duel in the Sun, and The Bell Jar and played Bob Wallace on Honestly, Celeste!) plays her husband Arnold. Antoinette Bower (Fox Devlin on Neon Rider) plays hired nurse Miss Greco. Leon Lontoc (Henry on Burke's Law) plays the Burtons' houseboy Chester.

Season 6, Episode 25, "Museum Piece": Larry Gates (starred in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Some Came Running, and The Young Savages and played H.B. Lewis on Guiding Light) plays museum curator Mr. Hollister. Myron McCormick (starred in No Time for Sergeants and The Hustler) plays archeopsychologist Newton B. Clovis. Bert Convy (starred in Bucket of Blood, Semi-Tough, and The Cannonball Run and played Glenn Hamilton on Love of Life, Lt. Steve Ostrowski on The Snoop Sisters, and Neil Townsend on It's Not Easy) plays Hollister's son Ben. Edward Platt (shown on the right, appeared in Rebel Without a Cause, Written on the Wind, Designing Woman, and North by Northwest and played the Chief on Get Smart) plays District Attorney Henshaw. Charles Meredith (see "The Last Escape" above) plays the judge.
Season 6, Episode 26, "Coming, Mama": Madge Kennedy (Aunt Martha Bronson on Leave It to Beaver) plays demanding bed-ridden mother Mrs. Baldwin. Eileen Heckart (shown on the left, appeared in Somebody Up There Likes Me, Bus Stop, The Bad Seed, and Butterflies Are Free and played The Boss Angel on Out of the Blue, Amy Decker on Trauma Center, Jeanine on Partners in Crime, Emma Block on Annie Maguire, Emma Buchanan on The 5 Mrs. Buchanans, and Frances Wyler on Murder One) plays her 35-year-old daughter Lucy. Don Defore (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Hazel) plays Lucy's boyfriend Arthur Clark. Arthur Malet (appeared in Mary Poppins, In the Heat of the Night, and Heaven Can Wait and played Carl on Casablanca, Bobby on Easy Street, and Ryan on Dallas) plays Mrs. Baldwin's physician Dr. Larson. Robert Karnes (see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Lawless Years) plays Mrs. Baldwin's financial advisor Mr. Simon. Gail Bonney (Goodwife Martin on Space Patrol and Madeline Schweitzer on December Bride) plays Arthur's mother Mrs. Clark. Jesslyn Fax (appeared in Rear Window, The Music Man, The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, and The Love God? and played Angela Devon on Our Miss Brooks, Emma the fan club VP on The Jack Benny Program, and Wilma Fritter on Many Happy Returns) plays the Baldwins' neighbor Mrs. Evans.
Season 6, Episode 27, "Deathmate": Lee Philips (shown on the right, starred in Peyton Place and The Hunters, and played Ellery Queen on The Further Adventures of Ellery Queen; also directed 60 episodes of The Andy Griffith Show and multiple episodes of Peyton Place, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, The Doris Day Show, and The Waltons) plays hustler Ben Conan. 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 wealthy alcoholic Peter Talbot. Gia Scala (starred in The Price of Fear, The Big Boodle, Don't Go Near the Water, and The Guns of Navarone) plays Talbot's wife Lisa. Russell Collins (appeared in Niagara, Miss Sadie Thompson, Raintree County, and Fail-Safe and played Owen Sharp on Many Happy Returns) plays private detective Alvin Moss.
Season 6, Episode 28, "Gratitude": Peter Falk (shown on the left, starred in Robin and the 7 Hoods, Murder by Death, and The Cheap Detective and played Daniel O'Brien on The Trials of O'Brien and Columbo on Columbo) plays casino operator Meyer Fine. Paul Hartman (Albie Morrison on The Pride of the Family, Charlie on Our Man Higgins, Emmett Clark on The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry R.F.D., and Bert Smedley on Petticoat Junction) plays his valet John. Karl Lukas (Pvt. Stash Kadowski on The Phil Silvers Show, Scotty on Family Affair, and Carl the maintenance man on St. Elsewhere) plays Fine's henchman Otto. Clegg Hoyt (Mac on Dr. Kildare) plays henchman Hubert. John Dennis (Dutch Schultz on The Lawless Years) plays casino operator Joe Dumfee. Bert Remsen (see "The Throwback" above) plays a police lieutenant.
Season 6, Episode 29, "The Pearl Necklace": Ernest Truex (Grandpa McHummer on Jamie, Mr. Remington on Mister Peepers, Jason McCauley on The Ann Sothern Show, and Pop on Pete and Gladys) plays wealthy 65-year-old Howard Rutherford. Hazel Court (shown on the right, 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 secretary Charlotte Jameson. Jack Cassidy (Tony Award-winning father of David and Shaun Cassidy and husband of Shirley Jones, played Oscar North on He & She) plays her boyfriend Mark Lansing. Michael Burns (Howie Macauley on It's a Man's World and Barnaby West on Wagon Train) plays Lansing's son Billy at age 10. David Faulkner (Dr. Pagano on Ryan's Hope) plays Billy at age 20. Shirley O'Hara (Debbie Flett on The Bob Newhart Show) plays Howard's nurse.
Season 6, Episode 30, "You Can't Trust a Man": Polly Bergen (shown on the left, singer and actress starred in That's My Boy, Escape From Fort Bravo, Cape Fear, Move Over, Darling, Kisses for My President, and Cry-Baby and played Doris Campbell on Baby Talk, Kate Allen on Commander in Chief, and Stella Wingfield on Desperate Housewives) plays nightclub singer Crystal Coe. Joe Maross (Fred Russell on Peyton Place, Capt. Mike Benton on Code Red, and Dr. Blakely on Dallas) plays her first husband Tony. Frank Albertson (starred in Alice Adams, Man Made Monster, and It's a Wonderful Life and played Mr. Cooper on Bringing Up Buddy) plays her second husband George Wyncliff. Claire Carleton (Nell Mulligan on The Mickey Rooney Show and Alice Purdy on Cimarron City) plays her maid Pauline. Walter Kinsella (Happy McMann on Martin Kane) plays a police lieutenant. Andy Romano (appeared in Beach Party, Bikini Beach, Pajama Party, Beach Blanket Bingo, How to Stuff a Wild Bikini, and The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini and played Lt. Joe Caruso on Get Christie Love!, Frank Richards on Friends (1979), Warren Briscoe on Hill Street Blues, and Inspector Aiello on NYPD Blue) plays a gas station attendant.
Season 6, Episode 31, "The Gloating Place": Susan Harrison (appeared in The Sweet Smell of Success and Key Witness and whose daughter, Darva Conger, was the bride of the ill-fated reality show Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?) plays high school student Susan Harper. Marta Kristen (shown on the right, played Judy Robinson on Lost in Space) plays classmate Marjorie Stone. Hank Brandt (Leonard Waggedorn on Julia, Morgan Hess on Dynasty, and Dr. Aaron Kranzler on Santa Barbara) plays a police detective. Erin O'Brien-Moore (appeared in Little Men, Destination Moon, and Peyton Place and played Margaret Ruggles on The Ruggles and Miss Choate on Peyton Place) plays Susan's mother Linda. King Calder (see "A Crime for Mothers" above) plays Susan's father. David Fresco (Albert Wysong on Murder One) plays a newspaper photographer. Eve McVeagh (starred in High Noon, The Glass Web, and Tight Spot and played Miss Hammond on Petticoat Junction) plays news reporter Eva. Tyler McVey (Maj. Norgrath on Men Into Space) plays police Sgt. Martin.
Season 6, Episode 32, "Self Defense": George Nader (shown on the left, starred in Robot Monster, Lady Godiva of Coventry, and The Female Animal and played Ellery Queen on The Further Adventures of Ellery Queen, Dr. Glenn Barton on The Man and the Challenge, and Joe Shannon on Shannon) plays radio station engineer Gerald R. Clarke. Jesslyn Fax (see "Coming, Mama" above) plays liquor store owner Mrs. Gruber. Robert Paget (Gary on Beach Heat Miami) plays 18-year-old stick-up man Jimmy Phillips. Audrey Totter (starred in The Postman Always Rings Twice, Lady in the Lake, The Set-up, and Any Number Can Play and played Beth Purcell on Cimarron City, Alice MacRoberts on Our Man Higgins, Nurse Wilcox on Medical Center) plays Jimmy's mother Mrs. Phillips. David Carlile (see "The Horse Player" above) plays police Sgt. Krebs.
Season 6, Episode 33, "A Secret Life": 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 art gallery owner James Howgill. Patricia Donahue (Hazel on The Thin Man, Lucy Hamilton on Michael Shayne, and Birdie Wells on General Hospital) plays his wife Marjorie. Mary Murphy (appeared in The Wild One, Beachhead, The Mad Magician, The Desperate Hours, and Junior Bonner) plays his new girlfriend Estelle. 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 his attorney Mr. Johnson. Arte Johnson (shown on the right, a regular performer on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In who played Bascomb Bleacher, Jr. on Sally, Cpl. Lefkowitz on Don't Call Me Charlie, Clive Richlin on Glitter) plays private detective Mr. Bates. 
Season 6, Episode 34, "Servant Problem": John Emery (appeared in Here Comes Mr. Jordan, Blood on the Sun, Spellbound, The Woman in White, and Rocketship X-M) plays novelist Kerwin Drake. Jo Van Fleet (shown on the left, Oscar winner 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 his missing wife Molly Goff. Grandon Rhodes (Mr. Vanderlip on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, Dr. Stevens on Lassie, Dr. J.P. Martin on Bonanza, and the judge 16 times on Perry Mason) plays his publisher Howard Standish. Alice Frost (Mama Holstrum on The Farmer's Daughter) plays Standish's wife Lydia. Joan Hackett (see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Defenders) plays Drake's fiance Sylvia Colton. Bartlett Robinson (Willard Norton on Wendy and Me and Frank Caldwell on Mona McCluskey) plays Sylvia's father George. Kathryn Givney (appeared in My Friend Irma, A Place in the Sun, Three Coins in the Fountain, Daddy Long Legs, and Guys and Dolls and played Grandma Collins on My Three Sons) plays Sylvia's mother.
Season 6, Episode 35, "Coming Home": Crahan Denton (see "Incident in a Small Jail" above) plays ex-con Harry Beggs. Jeanette Nolan (shown on the right, 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 his wife Edith. Susan Silo (Rusty on Harry's Girls and has been a prolific voice actor on shows such as The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang, James Bond, Jr., and Where's Waldo?) plays bar hustler Angela. Robert Carson (see "The Last Escape" above) plays the prison warden. Harry Swoger (see "The Kiss-Off" above) plays the prison cashier.
Season 6, Episode 36, "Final Arrangements": Martin Balsam (shown on the left, starred in 12 Angry Men, Psycho, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and Catch-22 and played Dr. Milton Orliff on Dr. Kildare and Murray Klein on Archie Bunker's Place) plays hen-pecked office worker Leonard Thompson. Vivian Nathan (appeared in The Young Savages, The Outsider, and Klute) plays his invalid wife Elsie. O.Z. Whitehead (appeared in Beware, My Lovely, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and The Lion in Winter) plays mortician Simms. Bartlett Robinson (see "Servant Problem" above) plays Elsie's physician Dr. Maxwell. Slim Pickens (starred in The Story of Will Rogers, Dr. Strangelove, Blazing Saddles, The Apple Dumpling Gang, Beyond the Poseidon Adventure, and The Howling and played Slim on Outlaws, Slim Walker on The Wide Country, California Joe Milner on Custer, and Sgt. Beauregard Wiley on B.J. & the Bear) plays curio shop owner Bradshaw. Susan Brown (Nancy Pollock Karr on The Edge of Night, Martha Ferguson on Bright Promise, Constance MacKenzie Carson on Return to Peyton Place, Maggie Malone on Mariah, Adelaide Fitzgibbon on As the World Turns, Dorothy Lane on Santa Barbara, and Gail Baldwin on General Hospital) plays a secretary where Leonard works. Bryan Russell (brother of actress Jeannie Russell) plays neighborhood boy Billy Howard.
Season 6, Episode 37, "Make My Death Bed": Joe Flynn (see the biography section in the 1961 post on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet) plays jealous husband Ken Taylor. Diana Van der Vlis (shown on the right, played Susan Ames Dunbar Carver on Secret Storm, Kate Prescott on Where the Heart Is, and Dr. Nell Beaulac on Ryan's Hope) plays his flirtatious wife Elise. James Best (Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane on The Dukes of Hazzard) plays farm equipment salesman Bish Darby. Madeleine Sherwood (appeared in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Sweet Bird of Youth, and Hurry Sundown and played Reverend Mother Superior Placido on The Flying Nun, Betty Eiler on Guiding Light, and Carmen on The Secret Storm) plays Bish's wife Jackie. Dennis Rush (Howie Pruitt on The Andy Griffith Show) plays their son Bob. Biff Elliot (see "A Crime for Mothers" above) plays the Taylors' friend Dr. Bob Hudson. Jocelyn Brando (Marlon Brando's sister, appeared in The Big Heat, The Ugly American, The Chase, and Mommie Dearest and played Mrs. Reeves on Dallas) plays Hudson's wife Della. Alexander Lockwood (see "Self Defense" above) plays a policeman.
Season 6, Episode 38, "Ambition": Leslie Nielsen (shown on the left, starred in Forbidden Planet, The Opposite Sex, The Poseidon Adventure, Airplane!, and the Naked Gun trilogy and played Lt. Price Adams on The New Breed, Victor & Kenneth Markham on Peyton Place, Harry Kleber on Dr. Kildare, Sam Danforth on The Bold Ones: The Protectors, John Bracken on Bracken's World, and Det. Frank Drebin on Police Squad!) plays District Attorney Rudy Cox. Ann Robinson (starred in The War of the Worlds, Dragnet, and Midnight Movie Massacre and played Queen Juliandra on Rocky Jones, Space Ranger and Helen Watkins on Fury) plays his wife Helen. Harold J. Stone (John Kennedy on The Grand Jury, Hamilton Greeley on My World and Welcome to It, and Sam Steinberg on Bridget Loves Bernie) plays mobster Mac Davis. Syl Lamont (Yeoman Tate on McHale's Navy) plays one of his henchmen. Harry Landers (Dr. Ted Hoffman on Ben Casey and was the spokesman for Taster's Choice coffee) plays subordinate mobster Ernie Stillinger. Bernard Kates (Lalley on The Asphalt Jungle) plays former mob accountant Lou Heinz.