Thursday, April 30, 2020

The Joey Bishop Show (1961)

Spun off from a 1961 episode of The Danny Thomas Show as a vehicle for suddenly hot stand-up comedian Joey Bishop, The Joey Bishop Show initially had the titular actor playing somewhat incompetent PR man Joey Barnes working for irascible boss J.P. Willoughby, whose secretary Barbara Simpson secretly has a crush on him, and living with and supporting his widowed mother and younger siblings Larry, a medical student, and aspiring actress Stella. He also supports his married sister Betty and her constantly unemployed husband Frank Grafton. Like Rob Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show, the Barnes character is cast in the mold of Thomas' character Danny Williams--working in the entertainment industry with a soft spine that makes him unable to speak the uncomfortable truth to others, resulting in a series of misadventures easily avoidable by just growing a backbone. Like Danny Williams and to a lesser degree Rob Petrie, Barnes' character is supposed to derive comedy from the portrayal of the unconfident, ineffectual male. 
To begin with, Barnes is a grown adult male living still living with his mother, a subject that is mined for comedy in "The Bachelor" (October 25, 1961) and "Five Brides for Joey" (November 1, 1961). In the former episode he brings home actress Connie Bowers after escorting her to a premiere and the two begin to have a romantic interlude before being interrupted by the steady stream of relatives who either live with him or drop by announced. He decides to try on the role of swinging bachelor when another client, playboy actor Brian Taylor, loans him his swank bachelor pad while Taylor is off on a theatrical gig, but the down-to-earth Barnes fails miserably to pull it off. He is also too dense to notice that Willoughby's secretary Barbara Simpson pines for him, so when his family tries to set him up with several eligible females they know in the latter episode, he clumsily asks Barbara to pretend to be his steady girlfriend, thinking that she is the last person on earth who would really want such a position. She manages to turn the tables on him by showing up to meet his family dressed like a floozy, as she also puts the pressure on him in "Ring-a-Ding-Ding" (November 22, 1961) when she is pursued by notorious wolf Ricky Hamilton and decides to accept Hamilton's offer of a date to spur jealousy in Barnes. His solution for extricating her from Hamilton's clutches is both hilarious and proof that he really cares about her, but nothing develops thereafter and the Barbara Simpson character was dropped after only 8 appearances all in 1961.
Another weakness is Barnes' constant fear of being fired; in fact, he is fired in the first minute of the very first episode, "On the Spot" (September 20, 1961), when Willoughby blames him for failing to pick up one of their clients at his hotel the previous evening. Over the course of the episode, Barnes is reinstated when Willoughby realizes that he sent him to the wrong hotel, but only after Barnes has aired his grievances about his ex-boss for a Candid Camera-inspired TV show, which is a favorite of Willoughby, and then goes to ridiculous lengths to try to keep Willoughby from seeing it. His fear of being fired also has Barnes weighing that outcome versus being killed by jealous husband Danny Williams (played by Danny Thomas, of course) when he is assigned to bring Williams to Los Angeles for a surprise appearance on This Is Your Life in the fourth episode, "This Is Your Life" (October 11, 1961). Barnes decides that being murdered is less worrisome than being fired by Willoughby, but he gets fired again a few episodes later in "Charity Begins at Home" (November 15, 1961) when all of the Barnes and the Willoughbys get swept up in a police raid that mistakenly thinks they are running an illegal bookmaking operation. Needless to say, Barnes gets reinstated at the insistence of Mrs. Willoughby and is even given a raise. But in real life it was Bishop who wound up firing the Willoughby character and the rest of the Season 1 cast because he thought the set-up was not suited to his talents as an ad-libbing comic, so beginning in Season 2 he was the host of a talk show who had the opportunity to play off a series of celebrity guests. Bishop's show business cachet already helped land such celebrity guests as Danny Thomas and Marjorie Lord, Jack Paar, and Barbara Stanwyck in the first four episodes alone, and he certainly had ample opportunities to give a steady stream of comic zingers in the Season 1 format, but in a 1998 interview with The Los Angeles Times, Bishop said about the original set-up, "it wasn’t something I couldn’t wait to go and do. They just happened to make a big mistake in casting me in my family because I had to kind of play sympathetically [toward his mother] Madge Blake. I couldn’t kid with her."
And yet he had the perfect comic foil in those episodes in the character of his chronically unemployed brother-in-law Frank Grafton, played brilliantly by Joe Flynn. Grafton goes through a series of jobs that rarely last a week because he does something outlandish or decides the job doesn't meet his high standards. Yet he is always happy to drop by and eat dinner at the Barnes' house or borrow money from Joey. And yet Frank is a talented salesman because he always seems to hook Joey into his latest get-rich scheme and is dogged in brushing aside any objections or even refusals. In "The Contest Winner" (October 18, 1961) Frank enters a contest to come up with a new slogan for a baking company with a $10,000 prize but before learning that he has won, Joey pressures him into accepting a job with a pretzel company. The only problem is that the baking company and pretzel company are part of the same conglomerate, making Frank ineligible to accept the prize, so he shames Joey into playing along with a ridiculous attempt to pretend that Frank stole the slogan from Joey, who is the rightful winner of the contest. The plot almost works, until Joey learns that his PR firm is also part of the same conglomerate, making him also ineligible. 
In "Back in Your Own Backyard" (November 8, 1961) Frank is now selling swimming pools and in an attempt to show Joey that his backyard is perfect for swimming pool excavation, he appears to strike oil, which would make both of them wealthy beyond their dreams, only it turns out the oil is over the property line and actually in a vacant lot behind Joey's. So Frank pressures Joey to borrow the $10,000 needed to buy the lot from Willoughby, whom they make a partner, only to discover the oil actually came from an underground heating oil tank. But all is not lost because a movie theater wants to buy the vacant lot for possible future expansion and is even willing to pay them $7000 more than they paid for it, only Frank thinks that isn't enough and tries to figure out why they want it so that they can make more money for themselves than the mere $7000. Needless to say, things don't pan out the way Frank envisioned. Joey is even pressured to get Frank a job at his own firm in "Help Wanted" (November 29, 1961), and Frank finally finds a job that he feels suits his unique talents. However, when he convinces a comedian client to expand his horizons by playing Shakespeare, Willoughby demands that Joey fire him, a task one would think Joey would relish given the number of insults he hurls at Frank for his slacker approach to work. Instead, he tries to evade any unpleasantness by thinking Frank will quickly grow tired of the job and quit, then assigning him demeaning menial tasks, and forbidding him from talking to the client again. These indirect tactics only spur Frank to go over Joey's head, which only forces Joey into another opportunity to be fired by Willoughby, whom he mistakenly berates while banging on the comedian's hotel bathroom door, thinking that it is Frank inside when it is actually Willoughby. 
These episodes with Flynn playing Frank are the best of those aired in 1961, but they definitely posed a problem for Bishop because despite delivering a succession of zingers aimed at Frank, Bishop is actually the straight man for Flynn, who was never seen again after the "Help Wanted" episode. A feature article about Flynn in the August 10, 1963 edition of TV Guide explains what happened: after Variety reviewed the show and said it would "need a lot of work to keep Bishop from stooging for Joe Flynn instead of starring on his own," Flynn remarked in the TV Guide interview, "When I read that, I knew I was through." He was paid off after appearing in only 7 shows though his contract called for 10. The producers of McHale's Navy put him to good use beginning the next fall in the best known role of his career as Capt. Wallace B. Binghamton, a role that bears some resemblance to the dyspeptic Willoughby character. Bishop was already at work changing the series as of the December 2, 1961 edition of TV Guide, which notes about the show, "at this writing it already has undergone some changes in response to criticism, despite its early success in the ratings race." The criticisms were likely the comments in Variety, but The Joey Bishop Show entered the top 30 at #24 for its first season in 1961-62 never to crack the top 30 again in its revised format for Seasons 2-4. Bishop seemed to think those later seasons held up well in the aforementioned 1998 interview. Sounds like the viewing public didn't entirely agree with him.
One final footnote for the 1961 episodes: The Joey Bishop Show was part of NBC's push to be the leader in color television programs, which began for fiction-based programs with the popularity of the all-color introduction of Bonanza for the 1959-60 series. Prior to the introduction of Bonanza, color broadcasts were reserved for variety shows such as The Dinah Shore Chevy Show and The Perry Como Show and for game shows like The Price Is Right. For 1960-61 NBC only added color for about half the episodes of the children's anthology series Shirley Temple's Storybook, but for 1961-62 they began to expand their color offerings in a big way. First, they lured Walt Disney's popular anthology series away from ABC and renamed it Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color. Second, they tried reviving three existing westerns by filming them in color a la Bonanza--Laramie, Tales of Wells Fargo, and Outlaws. And finally, they experimented with three new sit-coms by broadcasting test episodes in color--one episode each for Hazel and The Bob Newhart Show and three episodes for The Joey Bishop Show. For the latter program these episodes were "A Windfall for Mom" (October 4, 1961), "Five Brides for Joey" (November 1, 1961), and "The Ham in the Family" (December 6, 1961). The experiments apparently proved successful because both Hazel and The Joey Bishop Show were broadcast entirely in color beginning with the 1962-63 season.

The theme music and for The Joey Bishop Show was composed by longtime Earle Hagen and John Williams collaborator Herbert W. Spencer. Spencer was born in Santiago, Chile on April 7, 1905. He broke into film scoring with uncredited stock compositions for The Wolf Dog in 1933, though he was more often the orchestrator and/or arranger on dozens of pictures through the 1930s and 1940s. He contributed to such classic musicals as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, There's No Business Like Show Business, Guys and Dolls, and Carousel in the 1950s. In 1953 he joined forces with Hagen to create the Spencer-Hagen Orchestra and provide music and orchestration for TV shows such as Hey, Jeannie!, The Danny Thomas Show, and The Andy Griffith Show, whose memorable theme "The Fishin' Hole" he co-wrote with Hagen. Spencer and Hagen broke up their association around 1960, but Spencer continued to find steady feature film work on titles such as Cleopatra, The Greatest Story Ever Told, and A Guide for the Married Man. Beginning with Valley of the Dolls in 1967, Spencer began a collaboration with composer John Williams that lasted through Home Alone in 1990. This included the original Star Wars trilogy, E.T., MASH, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and the Indiana Jones series. He received Oscar nominations for his work on Scrooge in 1971 and Jesus Christ Superstar in 1974 and passed away at age 87 on September 18, 1992. 

The complete series has been released on DVD by SFM Entertainment.

The Actors

For the biography of Madge Blake, see the 1960 post on The Real McCoys. For the biography of Joe Flynn, see the 1961 post on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.

Joey Bishop

Born Joseph Abraham Gottlieb in the Bronx on February 3, 1918, Bishop's family moved to South Philadelphia when he was an infant. His father was a bicycle repairman who also played the ocarina and taught his son Yiddish songs, and Bishop decided he wanted to be an entertainer at an early age. Dropping out of high school at age 18, Bishop first performed as part of a comedy duo with his older brother Maury and then in 1938 teamed up with two friends as the Bishop Brothers Trio, taking their last name from a friend who let them use his car to drive to gigs. After the outbreak of World War II, the group split up, but Bishop hung on to the last name and began performing as a single comedian. He met his wife Sylvia Ruzga in 1941 when she says he wasn't even earning $20 a week, but that changed when he was offered $100 a week at the club El Dumpo in Cleveland. The couple married in January 1942, and later that year Bishop was drafted into the Army, where he served for 3 years in the Special Services and considered making a career of military life until Sylvia became gravely ill and was hospitalized at great expense, which prompted the Army to give Bishop a special discharge. He went back to being a comedian, relying on his keen ability to ad lib rather than working from a regular routine, and he found work at the Greenwich Village Inn at $125 a week, gradually working his way up to making $1000 a week at clubs in the Latin Quarter. He made his first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1950. His career received a big boost when Frank Sinatra caught his act in 1952 and tabbed Bishop to open for him at Bill Miller's Riviera in Fort Lee, New Jersey later that year. By 1958 he began appearing in films such as The Deep Six, The Naked and the Dead, and Onionhead and the TV talk show Keep Talking, which in turn led to semi-regular appearances as a guest on The Jack Paar Show and Steve Allen's The Tonight Show. In 1960, the year in which he also appeared in the Rat Pack's first film Ocean's 11, Danny Thomas and Louis F. Edelman decided to build a sit-com around Bishop and had his character introduced in an episode of The Danny Thomas Show. Bishop was also chosen to MC the inaugural gala for President John F. Kennedy in January 1961 (after turning down a request to perform the same function at the Republican National Convention the previous year) at which the Rat Pack performed. In fact, Bishop would play a pivotal role in the Rat Pack's Las Vegas shows, serving as MC and writing most of the material.

During the 4-year run on The Joey Bishop Show, Bishop appeared in another Rat Pack feature film, Sergeants 3 but reportedly had a falling out with Sinatra during the filming of Robin and the 7 Hoods two years later. But he found small roles in other features such as Johnny Cool, Texas Across the River with Dean Martin, Who's Minding the Mint?, and Valley of the Dolls. After playing a talk-show host over the last 3 seasons of The Joey Bishop Show, Bishop took up the role in real life, when he was given his own talk show, also called The Joey Bishop Show, by ABC in 1967 with a young sidekick named Regis Philbin. The show ran a little over two years, but while the program couldn't compete with Johnny Carson's Tonight Show, Bishop filled in for Carson a then-record 177 times both before and after his own show. His quick wit and penchant for ad libs also made him a popular panelist on game shows such as The Match Game, What's My Line?, The Hollywood Squares, Celebrity Sweepstakes, and Break the Bank. He also returned to nightclub performances for a time, but by the late 1970s was scaling back all of his show business ventures. He made single guest spot appearances on Trapper John, M.D., Hardcastle and McCormick, and Murder, She Wrote in the 1980s and made only a few more feature film appearances during this time, his last being in the 1996 mob-themed movie Mad Dog Time directed and written by his son Larry Bishop. His wife Sylvia died of lung cancer in 1999, and Bishop thereafter lived with companion Nora Garabotti until his death from multiple organ failure on October 17, 2007 at the age of 89.

Marlo Thomas

Margaret Julia Thomas was born in Detroit, Michigan on November 21, 1937, the eldest of entertainer Danny Thomas' three children. Her name "Marlo" came from a childhood mispronunciation of the family's nickname for her, "Margo." Thomas grew up in Beverly Hills, California, attended Marymount High School in Los Angeles, and then matriculated to USC, where she earned degrees in teaching and English in 1959. Despite her hugely popular TV star father, Thomas cites as her first time on stage performing a number from West Side Story with her sorority sisters at the annual USC homecoming variety show. Shortly after finishing college, she began getting guest spots on TV programs, beginning with The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis in January 1960. She and her father co-starred in a memorable 1961 episode of the western anthology Zane Grey Theater, but her only appearance on her father's hit series The Danny Thomas Show was the 1961 episode that launched The Joey Bishop Show, "Everything Happens to Me," in which she played Bishop's younger sister Stella, the role she continued when The Joey Bishop Show launched in the fall of 1961.

However, Thomas appeared on the program only 22 times during Season 1, as it was then retooled and recast for its last three seasons. For the next few years she received guest spots on programs such as Bonanza, My Favorite Martian, The Donna Reed Show, and McHale's Navy before she was cast in the lead for a TV pilot that aired as the TV movie Two's Company in which she played a newlywed opposite Ron Husmann in 1965. The pilot was not picked up, but ABC and sponsor Clairol saw potential in Thomas, and wanted to develop a new series around her. She later commented that she had no interest in the typical roles they offered her as a wife, daughter or secretary. She eventually persuaded head of programming Edgar Scherick to do a series about an independent single working woman living on her own in New York City, and thus the series That Girl was born, a show that garnered Thomas 4 Emmy nominations, won her a Golden Globe in 1967, and blazed the trail for The Mary Tyler Moore Show and many others thereafter. Towards the end of the series' 5-year run, Thomas made her feature film debut playing the title character opposite Alan Alda in Jenny in 1970. After That Girl ended, Thomas studied with Lee Strasburg and Sandra Seacat at the Actors Studio and performed in Broadway, Off Broadway, and local theatrical productions. In 1972 she authored the children's book Free to Be...You and Me, which spawned a series of sequels and an Emmy- and Peabody-winning children's special in 1974. In 1973 she co-founded the Ms. Foundation for Women with Gloria Steinem, Patricia Carbine, and Letty Cottin Pogrebin. In 1977 she appeared as a guest on Phil Donahue's television talk show and the two immediately fell in love, marrying in 1980. For the next two decades her filmography consisted solely of feature films and TV movies, including an Emmy-winning role in the 1986 film Nobody's Child. She won another Emmy in 1989 for the children's special Free to Be...a Family. She returned to TV roles in the late 1990s, playing Jennifer Anniston's mother on Friends, appearing four times as Judge Mark Clark on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and playing the character Vivian in 3 episodes of Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later. She won a Grammy in 2006 for Best Spoken Word Album for Children for Marlo Thomas and Friends: Thanks and Giving All Year Long. In 2010 she founded the web site for women over 35 years of age, and in 2014 she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She last appeared in the feature film all-female re-spin of Ocean's 11, Ocean's Eight in 2018 and currently serves as the National Outreach Director for the St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital founded by her father in 1962.

Warren Berlinger

The nephew of comedian Milton Berle (whose real last name was Berlinger), Berlinger was born in Brooklyn on August 31, 1937. His father was a building contractor and the owner of the Berlinger Glass store on Avenue D. Young Warren made his stage debut at age 9 in the original Broadway production of Annie Get Your Gun starring Ethel Mermen. He attended the Professional Children's School from 1952-55 and appeared as a guest on the original Howdy Doody TV program. His first television credit came in a 1955 episode of Kraft Theatre and the following year made his feature film debut in Teenage Rebel, during which he met his future wife, actress Betty Lou Keim. He also appeared that year in Three Brave Men as well as his first TV sit-com role on The Goldbergs. He attended Columbia University in 1958 while also taking occasional roles on television. He won a Theatre World Award for the theatrical version of Blue Denim and then reprised the role of Ernie in the 1959 feature film version. In 1960 he was in demand as a character actor in Because They're Young, Platinum High School, and The Wackiest Ship in the Army starring Jack Lemmon and Ricky Nelson. He followed that with the musical comedy All Hands on Deck in 1961 before being cast as Joey Bishop's younger brother Larry in Season 1 of The Joey Bishop Show.

His film career stalled for a few years thereafter but began to pick up again in 1965 with the title role in the Magical World of Disney four-parter Kilroy and a supporting role in the Patty Duke vehicle Billie. He supported Elvis Presley in the car-racing feature Spinout in 1966 and then backed Annette Funicello and Fabian in the similarly themed Thunder Alley the following year. TV guest spots were sparse, but old friend Marlo Thomas featured him twice on That Girl in 1967 and 1970. He then had recurring roles as Artie Halpern on Bracken's World, the Blue-Collar Husband on the sketch variety series The Funny Side, and Walter Bradley on A Touch of Grace, to go along with 7 appearances on Love American Style between 1970-73. A string of feature film roles, such as Lepke and The Shaggy D.A., and occasional TV guest spots on Emergency!, What's Happening!!, and The Love Boat filled the years before he landed another recurring role as Chief Engineer Dobritch on the TV version of Operation Petticoat in 1978-79. That was followed by the role of Herb on Too Close for Comfort between 1982-86. He appeared on virtually all the major 1970-80 series in guest roles--Happy Days, Charlie's Angels, CHiPs, Laverne & Shirley, Dynasty, The Jeffersons, and The A-Team. His film roles included everything from The Cannonball Run to The World According to Garp. But behind the scenes he also served on the Board of Directors of the Screen Actors Guild, was Vice Chair of the Safom Art Commission, and was a member of Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. He was also made both honorary mayor and honorary sheriff of the city of Chatsworth, California.  Though his career has slowed in the past couple of decades, he still showed up in a 2016 episode of Grace and Frankie.

John Griggs

Very little is known about the life of actor John Griggs, who played Joey Barnes' irritable boss J.P. Willoughby on the first season of The Joey Bishop Show. He was born May 19, 1908 in Evanston, Illinois and began his theatrical career in Detroit before moving to Broadway in 1928. He had a lengthy and prolific career as a radio actor, appearing in such series as Roses and Drums from 1932-36, Howie Wing in 1938-39, The Creightons in 1942, My Best Girls in 1944-45, The House of Mystery from 1945-49, was the host of Adventure Parade from 1946-49, and was a regular performer on Casey, Crime Photographer and Mr. Ace and Jane. He also appeared on such anthologies as Words at War, The Cavalcade of America, and Theater Five from the 1940s into the early 1960s. His lone feature film appearance came in Annapolis Salute in 1937, but in the 1950s he began to find more steady work in television, providing the voice of the title character in the 1952 puppet show Fearless Fosdick, based on the Li'l Abner comic strip lampoon of Dick Tracy, and appearing multiple times on The Honeymooners, The Phil Silvers Show, and Robert Montgomery Presents. He appeared 10 times as J.P. Willoughby on The Joey Bishop Show and made only one more TV appearance in a 1964 episode of The Defenders before dying at age 58 on February 25, 1967 in Englewood, New Jersey. In April 1968 the Yale University newspaper Yale Daily News featured an article about the acquisition of some 200 16-mm films, mostly from the silent era, collected by the actor John Griggs of New Jersey whose son had attended Yale. The Yale University Library web site notes, "The Griggs Collection formed the seeds of the Film Study Center’s collection, and many of the prints from the original acquisition survive today."

Nancy Hadley

Other than her filmography, not much has been published about actress Nancy Hadley, born August 21, 1931 in Los Angeles. She broke into films in 1952, playing an unnamed model in Ellis in Freedomland. Her TV debut came 3 years later in single episodes of Luke and the Tenderfoot and Cavalcade of America. She had a string of brief guest spots on a number of series in the 1950s and had a recurring role as Marilee Dorf on The Box Brothers, starring Gale Gordon and Bob Sweeney in 1956-57. More guest spots filled out the remainder of the 1950s with appearances on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, Rawhide, and Perry Mason before she landed her lone feature-film starring role opposite Jim Davis in the 1961 B-grade western Frontier Uprising. She appeared in 8 episodes as J.P. Willoughby's secretary in the first season of The Joey Bishop Show, but her career afterward dwindled with only occasional appearances on Bonanza, Mr. Novak, and Gomer Pyle: USMC. At some point she married actor and screenwriter John Falvo after his divorce from actor Fay Spain. Falvo died in 1990. Hadley's last screen credit came in the 1972 TV movie A Great American Tragedy. She is apparently still living.

Virginia Vincent

The actress who played Joey Barnes' sister Betty was born on May 3 either in 1918 (as cited on and elsewhere) or 1924 (cited on Rotten Tomatoes and elsewhere) in Goshen, New York. She broke into feature films in uncredited roles in California Passage in 1950 and The Company She Keeps in 1951. Her TV debut came the following year in an episode of The Web. While she had occasional roles primarily on anthology TV series in the 1950s, she found bigger parts in feature films with significant supporting roles in The Helen Morgan Story in 1957 and The Return of Dracula, The Black Orchid, and the Susan Hayward star vehicle I Want to Live! all in 1958. She also appeared multiple times on Perry Mason, The Untouchables, and The Detectives in the late 1950s and early '60s before landing the role of Betty on The Joey Bishop Show, which lasted only for 6 episodes. Her career did not wane thereafter with numerous TV guest spots through the late 1980s and recurring roles as Dottie Clark on The Super and Daisy Maxwell on Eight Is Enough. She also continued to get a fair number of supporting roles in feature films such as Love With the Proper Stranger, Tony Rome, Change of Habit, The Million Dollar Duck, and The Hills Have Eyes. She married actor and casting director Frank London in 1959 and passed away on October 3, 2013 at the age of 95 (if born in 1918).

Notable Guest Stars

Season 1, Episode 1, "On the Spot": Joey Forman  (shown on the left, played Freddy Devlin on The Mickey Rooney Show and later played Dr. Sam Nolan on The Joey Bishop Show) plays TV host Charlie Hogan. Mel A. Bishop (unit manager on Adam-12 and Kojak and production manager on Charlie's Angels and Vega$) plays the On the Spot producer. Casey Kasem (voice of Shaggy Rogers on countless Scooby-Doo programs, Alexander Cabot III on Josie and the Pussycats and Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space, and Dick Grayson/Robin on numerous Super Friends programs as well as radio program American Top 40) voices the TV announcer.

Season 1, Episode 2, "Joey Meets Jack Paar": Jack Paar (shown on the right, legendary talk-show host) plays himself. Randy Paar (Jack Paar's daughter) plays herself. Hollis Irving (Mrs. Woodley on Blondie and Aunt Phoebe on Margie) plays monkey trainer Lorraine Rogers. Shirley Mitchell (Yvonne Sharp on Sixpenny Corner, Kitty Devereaux on Bachelor Father, Janet Colton on Pete and Gladys, Marge on Please Don't Eat the Daisies, and Clara Appleby on The Red Skelton Hour) plays Parr's secretary. Jerry Hausner (see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Mr. Magoo Show) plays a singing group's agent.

Season 1, Episode 3, "A Windfall for Mom": Barbara Stanwyck (shown on the left, see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Barbara Stanwyck Show)plays homemaker advisor Dora Dunphy. Walter Coy (Zoravac on Rocky Jones, Space Ranger, Jason Farrell on A Flame in the Wind, and was the narrator on Frontier) plays her husband. Leonid Kinskey (appeared in Duck Soup, Les Miserables (1935), Ball of Fire, and Casablanca and played Pierre Quincy on The People's Choice) plays Stella's acting coach. Vera Marshe (Mrs. Franklin on Meet Corliss Archer) plays an attendee at Dora's lecture.

Season 1, Episode 4, "This Is Your Life": Danny Thomas (shown on the right, starred in Big City, I'll See You in My Dreams, and The Jazz Singer (1952) and played Danny Williams on The Danny Thomas Show and Make Room for Granddaddy, Dr. Jules Bedford on The Practice, Dr. Benjamin Douglass on I'm a Big Girl Now, and Jake Hatton on One Big Family) plays singer Danny Williams. Marjorie Lord (Kathy Williams on The Danny Thomas Show and Make Room for Granddaddy) plays his wife Kathy. Sid Melton (Ichabod Mudd on Captain Midnight, Charley Halper on The Danny Thomas Show and Make Room for Granddaddy, Alf Monroe on Green Acres, and Salvadore Petrillo on The Golden Girls) plays his agent Charlie Halper.

Season 1, Episode 5, "The Contest Winner": Les Damon (shown on the left, played Bruce Banning on Guiding Light, Jim Lowell, Jr. on As the World Turns, and Asst. DA Ed Palmerlee on The Edge of Night) plays pretzel company president Mr. Collyer. 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 check distributor Mr. Chadwick. Orville Sherman (Mr. Feeney on Buckskin, Wib Smith on Gunsmoke, and Tupper on Daniel Boone) plays contest coordinator Mr. Larraby.

Season 1, Episode 6, "The Bachelor": Sue Ane Langdon (shown on the right, played Kitty Marsh on Bachelor Father, Lillian Nuvo on Arnie, Rosie on Grandpa Goes to Washington, and Darlene on When the Whistle Blows) plays actress Connie Bowers. Dennis O'Keefe (starred in Topper Returns, The Leopard Man, The Fighting Seabees, Brewster's Millions, and Walk a Crooked Mile and played Hal Towne on The Dennis O'Keefe Show) plays playboy actor Brian Taylor. Susan Hart (appeared in The Slime People, Ride the Wild Surf, Pajama Party, Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine, and The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini) plays Taylor girlfriend Marilyn.

Season 1, Episode 7, "Five Brides for Joey": Bek Nelson (shown on the left, played Dru Lemp on Lawman and Phyllis Sloan on Peyton Place) plays Mrs. Barnes' friend's daughter Annabelle Johnson. Jean Carson (Rosemary on The Betty Hutton Show) plays Barbara Simpson's colleague Marge. Shirley DeBurgh (Delia Abernathy on Days of Our Lives) plays Frank and Betty's friend Helen Dimsdale.

Season 1, Episode 8, "Back in Your Own Backyard": Peter Leeds (Tenner Smith on Trackdown and George Colton on Pete and Gladys) plays movie theater representative Mr. Kissinger.

Season 1, Episode 9, "Charity Begins at Home": Howard McNear (shown on the right, see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Andy Griffith Show) plays bookie Chet Cooper. Eleanor Audley (Mother Eunice Douglas on Green Acres and Mrs. Vincent on My Three Sons) plays Mr. Willoughby's wife Ethel. Milton Frome (starred in Pardners, The Delicate Delinquent, and The Swinger and played Lawrence Chapman on The Beverly Hillbillies) plays police Sgt. Thompson. Johnny Silver (Ludicrous Lion and Dr. Blinkey on H.R. Pufnstuf) plays a man in a police lineup. Mel A. Bishop (see "On the Spot" above) plays a police officer.

Season 1, Episode 10, "Ring-a-Ding-Ding": Henry Silva (shown on the left, starred in Johnny Cool, The Manchurian Candidate, Cinderfella, and Ocean's Eleven) plays playboy actor Ricky Hamilton. Mickey Simpson (Boley on Captain David Grief) plays restaurant diner Charley. Angela Greene (Tess Trueheart on Dick Tracy) plays his wife Bessie. Jennie Lynn (Jennie Baker on Love and Marriage) plays their daughter Dottie. Evelyn Scott (Ada Jacks on Peyton Place and Return to Peyton Place) plays wife of restaurant diner Bruce.

Season 1, Episode 11, "Help Wanted": Mickey Manners (Joe Foley on Many Happy Returns) plays comedian Buddy Morgan.

Season 1, Episode 12, "The Ham in the Family": Jack Albertson (shown on the right, starred in Days of Wine and Roses, Kissin' Cousins, The Flim-Flam Man, and Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and played Lt. Harry Evans on The Thin Man, Walter Burton on Room for One More, Lt. Cmdr. Virgil Stoner on Ensign O'Toole, Paul Fenton on Mister Ed, and Ed Brown on Chico and the Man) plays comedian Blinky Wilson. Herbie Faye (Cpl. Sam Fender on The Phil Silvers Show, Waluska on The New Phil Silvers Show, and Ben Goldman on Doc) plays talent agent Marty Milford.

Season 1, Episode 13, "Follow That Mink": Eleanor Audley (see "Charity Begins at Home" above) returns as Ethel Willoughby.

Season 1, Episode 14, "Barney, the Bloodhound": Raymond Bailey (shown on the left, see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis) plays dog food company president Mr. Collins. Joan Benny (Jack Benny's adopted daughter) plays his secretary. Addison Richards (see "The Contest Winner" above) plays his lawyer. 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 inexperienced lawyer Harvey Wallace. Charles Meredith (Dr. LeMoyne Snyder on The Court of Last Resort) plays civil court Judge Brandon. Keith Taylor (Harry on Leave It to Beaver) plays a heckling neighborhood kid. Jonathan Hole (Orville Monroe on The Andy Griffith Show) plays costume designer Harlow.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Tales of Wells Fargo (1961)

In our post on the 1960 episodes, we discussed the founding of Tales of Wells Fargo and its quick rise to fame, reaching #3 on the Nielsen charts in its first full season and continuing in the top 10 at #7 the following season, but despite star and 50% owner Dale Robertson's maneuvering to oust aging creator Nat Holt and replace him with Earle Lyon beginning in Season 5, the fleeting success of the series seems to be a case of the rising tide of westerns lifting all boats rather than Wells Fargo finding popularity because of its own merits. The program first appeared mid-season in March 1958, a season in which 9 of the top 30 programs were westerns. For the 1958-59 season, the high-water mark for westerns in which Wells Fargo placed #3, there were 14 westerns in the top 30--even Sugarfoot made the list at #21. By 1959-60, when Wells Fargo dipped slightly to #7, the waters had begun to recede as only 11 westerns cracked the top 30. The competition also begin to get tougher as popular programs like Rawhide and Maverick entered the fray. And though it did not crack the top 30 in its initial season, there would soon be a new sheriff in town--Bonanza, which stood out not only for its all-male quartet cast but more importantly because it was a 1-hour western in color. By 1960-1961 Wells Fargo had faded out of the top 30 and Bonanza entered at #17, while the top 30 contained only 8 westerns. It's clear where the direction of the genre was heading. When perennial top-rated Gunsmoke expanded from a 30-minute to 1-hour format while still remaining black-and-white for the 1961-62 season, it lost its top spot to Wagon Train while Bonanza vaulted to #2. Only 6 westerns made the top 30 that season.

The problem for Wells Fargo was that it had no distinguishing feature that set it apart from others of its ilk, and the attempts by its producers to change its downward trajectory were the same techniques used on other programs with similar unsuccessful results. For the Wells Fargo Season 5 episodes that aired in 1961 with Lyons at the helm, the producers attempted to pair the wholesome Jim Hardie with colorful characters and historical figures to spur interest. For the latter technique, they brought on famous pugilist John L. Sullivan in "The Hand That Shook the Hand" (February 6, 1961) in a yarn in which we do not actually see Sullivan box, but he accidentally injures a hustling prankster while in a drunken stupor and then vows to give up his violent career until he learns that his victim has miraculously recovered. The episode makes Hardie largely a bystander in the interchange between two colorful characters and places him in the town where it all happens with the lame explanation that he is between assignments. In other words, the story has nothing to do with his working for Wells Fargo.

Late in Season 5, the producers bring back two colorful characters featured in episodes from 1960, perhaps figuring that if they proved popular before then they can work their magic again. "The Repentant Outlaw" (May 29, 1961) marks the return of Edgar Buchanan's scofflaw Doc Dawson, who gets mixed up in the robbery of an army payroll that Hardie is supposed to be escorting when the leader of an outlaw gang escapes but is wounded, which sends his henchman searching for a doctor to remove the bullet and Dawson is the only "doctor" they can find. The following episode, "A Quiet Little Town" (June 5, 1961), brings back Hardie frenemy Wade Cather, played by John Dehner, when Hardie, again not on official business, shows up in the small town where his friend Marshal Dave Prescott was murdered and discovers that Cather is now serving as the town's marshal with the lame explanation that Prescott once saved his life, so he took the job to find out who killed him and now is worried that the same men will kill Hardie. Having to jazz up a story with colorful characters like Dawson and Cather only makes painfully obvious that the star of the show is too bland to attract and keep viewers.

Since the tactics employed in Season 5 did not raise Wells Fargo in the ratings, the producers tried throwing in the kitchen sink when it came to Season 6--they expanded the program to 60 minutes, shot it in color, added a new opening sequence and theme, and introduced a supporting cast of 5 new regular characters. Since Dale Robertson was an avid horse enthusiast, his character Jim Hardie buys himself a horse ranch and hires housekeeper and horse trainer Jebediah Gaine. The widow he buys the ranch from, Ovie Swenson, lives at the ranch next door with her two attractive daughters, one an adult school teacher and the other a vivacious teenage tomboy. NBC tried the same approach in attempting to revive Laramie during the 1961-62 season: though it had always been a 1-hour program, they added color and a new cast of supporting characters. Adding characters from older and younger demographics than the main star was an attempt to attract more viewers from those audience segments. Wells Fargo additionally decided to give Hardie a younger, more hot-headed sidekick by introducing the character of Beau McCloud, played by Jack Ging, in the season's first episode "Casket 7.3" (September 30, 1961). But as Ging soon discovered, the show was still all about Hardie and Dale Robertson. Robertson himself once commented that he was not a fan of either the "adult" westerns like Gunsmoke or the kiddie westerns that dominated the early 1950s and that he envisioned Wells Fargo as more of an entire-family-oriented program. This middle-of-the-road mentality perhaps explains why Wells Fargo in Season 6 tried to be all things to all demographics--roughly half the 1961 episodes revolve around Hardie's ranch and the town Gloribee, while the other half have Hardie and McCloud on the road tending to Wells Fargo business. Thus, it tried to incorporate both the home-bound format of shows like Bonanza, The Rifleman, and Gunsmoke with the wandering hero format of programs like Cheyenne, Have Gun -- Will Travel, and Maverick. Though the cast added two attractive young women as possible romantic interests for Hardie, he treats them more like sisters and thus no sparks fly.

Ging quickly grew tired of being Robertson's glorified waterboy and broke his contract, disappearing after the 13th episode, but this was actually an opportunity to make better use of iconic character actor William Demarest, who had been reduced to the role of buffoonish clown through the first third of Season 6. The final 1961 episode, "Trackback" (December 30, 1961), attempts to correct that one-dimensional portrayal by having his character Jeb Gaine go through an existential crisis as the result of reaching his 60th birthday and feeling that he was all washed up, or at least considered so by Hardie and the Swensons. He is able to reclaim his self-worth by using his experience and brains to send the outlaws trying to break a colleague out of the Gloribee jail right into Hardie's arms. 

Aging is a pervasive theme in the 1961 episodes of Wells Fargo. Beginning with the Season 5 tale "The Has-Been" (January 16, 1961) which includes a former star vocalist hallucinating about his deceased wife and former performing partner, the series dwells on characters who are past their prime or trying to make up for past transgressions. "Moment of Glory" (May 1, 1961) features a grandfather trying to impress his young grandson with fabricated fictions of his being an undercover government agent who has tangled with the likes of the Clanton Gang at the OK Corral. "The Lobo" (May 8, 1961) centers around retired outlaw Sam Horne trying to get his young daughter situated in a proper school in Santa Fe while fending off attempts to force him back to his criminal ways. "John Jones" (June 26, 1961) features another former outlaw who returns to the town where his former partners have become respectable citizens in an attempt to blackmail them after his own fortunes have turned sour. "A Fistful of Pride" (November 18, 1961) focuses on former boxing champion Bonzo Croydon trying to make a comeback to keep custody of his daughter and win back his estranged wife. And "Defiant at the Gate" (November 25, 1961) concerns aging robber Matt Blackner trying to provide an inheritance for his daughter whom he neglected for 20 years by entrusting her with $48,000 he stole and stiffed his former partners for. Perhaps the producers sensed that Wells Fargo was also past its prime and needed to prepare for the hereafter.

But while they may have made the right call in giving Demarest a bigger, more well-rounded role after Ging's departure, their biggest mistake for Season 6 was moving the program from its Monday night time slot to Saturday night opposite Perry Mason. Lyons, in an interview with the Western Clippings web site, lays the blame for the show's cancellation at the feet of new Universal Studios chief Lew Wasserman and his desire to cut costs, claiming that Wells Fargo was still doing respectably well in ratings. But between 1960-61 and 1961-62 Perry Mason jumped from #16 to #5 in the ratings. Some of that increase may have come at the expense of The Roaring 20s, which was cancelled in January 1962 and was replaced with two even more forgettable 30-minute programs--the animated Calvin and the Colonel and the family sit-com Room for One More, neither of which survived past the end of the season. But Perry Mason's climb may have also been aided by its new NBC neighbor, which tried to be every kind of western under the sun and wound up riding off into the sunset in 1962.

The new Season 6 theme for Tales of Wells Fargo was written by Harry Warren, one of the most successful songwriters of the Great American Songbook. Born Salvatore Antonio Guaragna on December 24, 1893 in Brooklyn, Warren was one of 11 children of an Italian bootmaker, whose accordion was his first instrument. By age 14 he was playing drums professionally and dropped out of school two years later. By 1915 he was working for Vitagraph Motion Picture Studios not only performing administrative tasks but also playing mood music on the piano for the performers, eventually working his way up to assistant director before entering the U.S. Navy in 1918, which is when he began writing songs. He is credited with some 800 compositions, 500 of which were published, and 21 of which reached #1 on Your Hit Parade. Among his better-known works are "I Only Have Eyes for You," "You'll Never Know," "There Will Never Be Another You," "Lullaby of Broadway," "Jeepers Creepers," "Chattanooga Choo-Choo," "You're Getting to Be a Habit With Me," "That's Amore," and "At Last." He was nominated for 11 Oscars and won 3 for "Lullaby of Broadway" (1935), "You'll Never Know" (1943), and "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe" (1945). On television, he composed the themes for The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp and The Californians, and his songs showed up frequently on programs such as 77 Sunset Strip, Hawaiian Eye, and Surfside 6. He was the director of the music publishing rights organization ASCAP from 1929 to 1932, and was elected to the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1971. He died 10 years later at age 87 on September 22, 1981. 

The Actors

For the biography of Dale Robertson, see the 1960 post on Tales of Wells Fargo.

William Demarest

Carl William Demarest was born February 27, 1892 in St. Paul, Minnesota, the son of a second-hand furniture salesman. His family moved to New Jersey when he was a child and he formed an act playing cello with his two brothers (his older brother Rube also became an actor in films) at local resort hotels. He then began performing solo as a dancer and comedian as well as a professional boxer under the name Battling McGovern before joining the U.S. Army during World War I. After the war he found fame working in vaudeville, particularly after forming an act with his first wife Estelle Colette, whom he married in 1923 (she was 6 years older than he and had a child from a previous marriage), billing themselves Demarest and Colette. From vaudeville he moved on to Broadway and eventually Hollywood, though he failed an initial screen test for Jack Warner in 1926. But by the following year he appeared in no fewer than 16 features and shorts, including the first talkie short, A Night at Coffee Dan's, and the first talkie feature, The Jazz Singer, though he was not credited in the latter. He appeared in 7 more films in 1928 but was not fond of Hollywood and returned to vaudeville until his comedy act was billed during an intermission between two Mae West films in 1933, prompting him to remark "If Mae West and Paramount are going to put me out of the vaudeville business, I'll go back to Hollywood and join Paramount." In 1935 he appeared in the first of six films with Fred MacMurray, Hands Across the Table. In 1939 he appeared in Frank Capra's Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and the following year appeared in the first of eight films directed by Preston Sturges, The Great McGinty. He would go on to appear in Sturges' best known works such as The Lady Eve, Sullivan's Travels, and The Miracle of Morgan's Creek. By 1943 he was such a fixture in Hollywood playing golden-hearted curmudgeons that he had a cameo playing himself in Stage Door Canteen and did the same two years later in Duffy's Tavern. In 1946 he received his lone Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Al Jolson's fictional mentor Steve Martin in The Jolson Story, a role he would reprise in Jolson Sings Again in 1949. By the late 1950s when his feature film roles began diminishing, he moved into television starring as crochety music publisher William Harris in Love and Marriage which lasted only 18 episodes before cancellation in late January 1960. He appeared 6 times as Mr. Daly on The Danny Thomas Show between 1957-61, and was added to the cast of Tales of Wells Fargo as Jeb Gaine at the beginning of Season 6 in the fall of 1961.

After Wells Fargo was cancelled, Demarest's TV appearances were sparse, but he managed a few high-profile feature film roles in Son of Flubber, Viva Las Vegas, It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, and That Darn Cat! before he was tapped for the biggest TV role of his career--succeeding William Frawley on My Three Sons as former seaman Uncle Charlie O'Casey, which he played for the remaining duration of the series from 1965-72. He received an Emmy nomination for this role in 1968, but after My Three Sons, Demarest largely retired to Palm Springs, except for an occasional guest spot on McMillan and Wife or Ellery Queen, a couple of TV movies, and an appearance in The Wild McCullochs and Won Ton Ton: The Dog Who Saved Hollywood. He busied himself running his own charitable foundation and hosting a yearly golf tournament in Palm Springs, and in 1979 he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He contracted prostate cancer and suffered from pneumonia before dying from a heart attack on December 27, 1983 at the age of 91.

Jack Ging

Jack Lee Ging was born in Alva, Oklahoma on November 30, 1931. Both sets of grandparents had participated in the Cherokee Strip Land Run of 1893. His parents divorced when he was young, which led to him living with various relatives due to his mother's unusual work hours as a waitress. For a time he attended boarding school in Santa Fe, New Mexico but eventually returned to Oklahoma when his mother became ill. He attended the University of Oklahoma, where he played for three years on the football team and scored a total of 5 touchdowns during a career that included an appearance in the 1954 Orange Bowl. After graduation he briefly played professionally with the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League before enlisting and serving four years in the Marines. After being honorably discharged, Ging decided to pursue an acting career after seeing Tyrone Power in a theatrical production and received a recommendation for an acting coach from Power. He studied at Sandy Meisner's Playhouse in New York and by 1958 made his first TV appearance on episodes of The Rough Riders and Highway Patrol. That year also marked the first of 8 appearances on McKenzie's Raiders in various generic lieutenant roles. His military background also came in handy in his first feature film appearance in Rally Round the Flag, Boys! with Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward also released in 1958. He landed his first starring role in the 1960 feature Tess of the Storm Country opposite Diane Baker, followed by another military role in Sniper's Ridge in 1961 while also guest starring on TV programs such as The Twilight Zone, Bat Masterson, and This Man Dawson. His role as reformed Confederate sympathizer Beau McCloud on Season 6 of Tales of Wells Fargo was his first named recurring role, but it lasted only 13 episodes. Though Dale Robertson, as a fellow Oklahoman, had lobbied for Ging to be cast as his younger sidekick, Ging later recalled in an interview on the Western Clippings web site that despite the show being expanded to an hour, it was still all Robertson's show, and Ging's character didn't have much to do--"I was just holding Dale Robertson's horse." So Ging says he just left the show and was suspended for six months for breaking his contract, but he says since he was being represented by MCA they managed to smooth things over.

The next season he was cast in his longest-running recurring television role as young psychiatrist Dr. Paul Graham on The Eleventh Hour co-starring Wendell Corey, which ran two seasons from 1962-64, during which Ging also crossed over the role of Graham on a 1963 episode of Dr. Kildare. His acting credits for the next few years were sparse, but the multi-talented athlete Ging also excelled at golf, winning a Crosby golf tournament, as well as tennis, winning the Clint Eastwood Celebrity Tennis tournament. He played for sometimes thousands of dollars on golf-course bets with the likes of Dean Martin and James Garner. In 1967 he appeared on a two-part The Magical World of Disney film that was spun off into the feature Mosby's Marauders and the following year appeared in the first of three Clint Eastwood films--Hang 'Em High, which would be followed by Play Misty for Me and High Plains Drifter. In 1970 he made the first of seven appearances as Lt. Dan Ives on Mannix, the last coming in 1974. Other guest spots in the 1970s included appearances on The Six Million Dollar Man, The Bionic Woman, and Kojak. In 1979 he played Det. Chuck Morris on the Brenda Vaccaro series Dear Detective, which was canceled after 4 episodes. His next recurring role was playing Lt. Ted Quinlan on the Vietnam vet adventure series Riptide, appearing 30 times over 3 seasons before his character was killed off, which gave him the opportunity to play Gen. Harlan "Bull" Fulbright 6 times during Season 4 of The A-Team with Fulbright also getting killed off by the end of the season. His last recurring role came as Chief Hollings in the Palm Springs-based Connie Sellecca vehicle P.S. I Luv U in 1991-92. His last acting credit came in a 1994 episode of Wings. At age 88, he is believed to be living in the Los Angeles area with his third wife Sharon Ramona Thompson.

Virginia Christine

Virginia Christine Ricketts was born in Stanton, Iowa, a community largely of Swedish immigrants, including her mother, on March 5, 1920. With both parents being musicians, Christine studied piano and won statewide honors while in high school in vocal and instrumental music. But her real passion was acting, and at age 17 she won a nationwide drama competition the same year her family moved to Los Angeles, where she then attended UCLA. While in college she began working as a voice actor on radio, but her biggest break came when she met German-born character actor Fritz Feld, 20 years her senior, and the couple married in 1940. Two years later Feld directed Christine in a Los Angeles theatrical production of Hedda Gabler to which he invited representatives from the major movie studios, resulting in a contract with Warner Brothers for Christine. She made her feature film debut supporting Errol Flynn in Edge of Darkness playing a Norwegian peasant girl named, ironically, Miss Olson. Though she was given a lead role in Truck Busters opposite Richard Travis that same year, Warner Brothers dropped her after only a year, but she signed with Universal Studios, appearing in the western The Old Texas Trail and playing a female mummy alongside Lon Chaney, Jr. in The Mummy's Curse. By the mid-1940s she supplemented her film work with radio appearances on programs such as Romance, Gunsmoke, and Fort Laramie. She had a supporting role in the 1946 film noir classic The Killers and also appeared in the Don Siegel remake in 1964. In 1950 she had her first role in a film produced by Stanley Kramer, The Men, which was also Marlon Brando's debut. Thereafter Kramer would use her often in pivotal roles in classics such as Cyrano de Bergerac, High Noon, Not as a Stranger, Judgment at Nuremberg, and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? Other notable feature films included Dragnet, The Cobweb, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and Elvis Presley's Flaming Star. Her television debut came with three appearances on the crime drama Front Page Detective in 1951. By the mid-1950s her television appearances outnumbered her feature film roles as she had multiple guest spots on the original Dragnet, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and anthology series such as Science Fiction Theatre and Studio 57. Her role as widow Ovie Swenson on the final season of Tales of Wells Fargo was the only recurring TV role of her career, but not her best known because beginning in 1960 she began appearing as helpful neighbor Mrs. Olson on commercials for Folgers coffee, a series that would continue for 21 years and invite parodies by everyone from Johnny Carson and Jackie Gleason to Ann-Margaret. Her hometown of Stanton, Iowa converted the local water tower into a giant coffee pot in her honor.

Her workload did not diminish with the cancellation of Tales of Wells Fargo in 1962; she continued to find frequent guest-star work on Perry Mason, Wagon Train, The Virginian, and The F.B.I. through the remainder of the 1960s. Things finally began to slow down as Christine entered her 50s in the 1970s with occasional appearances on Nanny and the Professor, Ironside, and Kojak. In the late 1970s and early 1980s she called on her past experience in radio drama to provide voice work on the TV series Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo and The Puppy's Further Adventures. Her last on-screen appearance was in a 1986 episode of The Insiders. In retirement she was made honorary mayor of Brentwood, volunteered for Planned Parenthood, and judged the annual American College Theatre Festival. Her husband of 53 years passed away in 1993, and Christine followed him three years later on July 24, 1996 at the age of 76.

Mary Jane Saunders

Born Mary Jayne Saunders in Pasadena, California on October 12, 1943, Saunders was the daughter of an auto parts dealer and homemaker who submitted her picture at age 5 to a casting call advertised by Paramount Studios. Saunders was selected to play a 5-year-old girl in the 1949 Bob Hope and Lucille Ball comedy Sorrowful Jones, which also included future Tales of Wells Fargo castmate William Demarest. In 1950 she received third billing in the William Holden comedy Father Is a Bachelor and starred along with Ray Milland and Rosalind Russell in A Woman of Distinction. She made her TV debut the following year with single guest spots on The Bigelow Theatre, Boston Blackie, and Front Page Detective, but her career would slow down for the rest of the decade with feature roles in The Girl Next Door in 1953 and not another full-length movie for 6 years in uncredited parts in The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker and Beloved Infidel. Meanwhile, she had occasional TV roles on The Loretta Young Show, The Great Gildersleeve, and The Danny Thomas Show, but she was averaging only a single appearance per year until she landed the part of vivacious teenager Mary Gee on the final season of Tales of Wells Fargo.

Television work picked up just a touch after Wells Fargo with guest spots on Wagon Train, The Donna Reed Show, My Three Sons, and Daniel Boone. But after appearances on I Spy and Petticoat Junction in 1966, Saunders married professional baseball player Jay Johnstone, then a member of the California Angels, in 1967 and retired from acting. Johnstone played for nearly 20 seasons on 8 different teams, including 3 World Series champions, and was known as a clubhouse prankster. He later worked as a radio announcer for the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies and appeared in the first Naked Gun film.



 Lory Patrick

Born Loretta Basham on April 8, 1938 in Beckley, West Virginia, Patrick has become more famous for her marriages than her acting career. After beginning a career in modeling in Detroit and spending three years in New York studying acting, she broke into television in 1961 with appearances on The Loretta Young Show and The Case of the Dangerous Robin before being cast as Ovie Swenson's older daughter Tina on the final season of Tales of Wells Fargo. She appeared in 15 episodes during the show's final season but found steady work thereafter with guest spots on Wagon Train, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, and Laramie over the next two years. She made her feature film debut in 1964 in the teenage exploitation flick Surf Party, even receiving a credit on one song from the soundtrack album along with co-stars Jackie DeShannon and Patricia Morrow. She had three appearances as Nurse Betty Taylor in the final season of Dr. Kildare in 1965, but then married irascible science fiction author Harlan Ellison on January 30, 1966, a marriage that lasted less than two months. She had no acting credits that year but returned for single appearances on Bonanza and This Is the Life as well as an unnamed receptionist in the feature How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying in 1967, then retired from acting. Nothing has been published about what she did over the next 6 years, but on June 2, 1973 she married actor Dean Jones, whom she had played opposite in the 1961 episode "A Killing in Calico" (December 16, 1961) of Tales of Wells Fargo. Jones and Patrick became born-again Christians, and he became a spokesman for Compassion International and later founded the Christian Rescue Fund to bring persecuted Christians to safety. She wrote a best-selling religious book Hearing God.  Jones passed away from Parkinson's Disease on September 1, 2015, though Patrick is still living.

Steve Darrell

Born Daryl Eugene Horsfall in Osage, Iowa on November 19, 1904, Darrell was one of four children and was still living with his parents as of the 1930 U.S. census. The following year he began his acting career by joining the Trousdale Players in Des Moines, Iowa. At some point he moved west and made his feature film debut  in an uncredited role as a gangster in the 1938 feature Angels With Dirty Faces. His first screen credit came the next year in Code of the Secret Service and from that point on he found steady work in minor parts in a steady stream of B-grade westerns and crime dramas. At the same time, he kept up a theatrical career, appearing in a Broadway production of The Barber Had Two Sons in 1943 and a Los Angeles production of Arsenic and Old Lace at the Beaux Arts Theater in 1944. Perhaps his highest profile role in the 1940s was playing Frank James opposite Clayton Moore as Jesse James in the 1948 serial Adventures of Frank and Jesse James. Playing in support of Gene Autry in features such as Riders in the Sky and Cow Town led to his television debut on The Gene Autry Show in 1950. As the 1950s progressed and the B-westerns faded, Darrell switched over to the suddenly popular western TV format on programs such as The Lone Ranger, Annie Oakley, and The Adventures of Kit Carson. The more adult westerns of the later 1950s also provided steady work on Cheyenne, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, and Wanted Dead or Alive. And in the 1960s he continued showing up on Laramie, Wagon Train, and Shotgun Slade. His role as the Gloribee sheriff, who was eventually named Hal Humphrey, on the final season of Tales of Wells Fargo was his only recurring role. Though he found a few more guest spots afterward on The Virginian, Rawhide, and Gunsmoke, Darrell logged his last credit on a 1967 episode of Daniel Boone before succumbing to a brain tumor three years later at the age of 65 on August 14, 1970.

Notable Guest Stars

Season 5, Episode 15, "Border Rengades": John Beradino (shown on the left, former major league baseball player, played Special Agent Steve Daniels on I Led 3 Lives, Sgt. Vince Cavelli on The New Breed, and Dr. Steve Hardy on General Hospital) plays gun smuggler Virgil McCready. Elaine Devry (daughter of a Disney animator who was Mickey Rooney's fourth wife) plays mine owner Carolyn Robbins.

Season 5, Episode 16, "Captain Scofield": DeForest Kelley (shown on the right, played Dr. McCoy on Star Trek) plays wounded army deserter Capt. Cole Scofield. William Keene (played various reverends on The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry R.F.D.) plays Bull Creek physician Dr. Crosier. William Tannen (Deputy Hal Norton on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays army imposter Keenan. 

Season 5, Episode 17, "The Has-Been": Adam West (shown on the left, played Det. Sgt. Steve Nelson on The Detectives, Bruce Wayne on Batman, Captain Rick Wright on The Last Precinct, Dr. Noah Goddard on Black Scorpion, and voiced Mayor Adam West on Family Guy) plays former soldier and renowned gunman Steve Draco. Andra Martin (former wife of Ty Hardin, starred in The Big Beat, The Thing That Couldn't Die, Up Periscope, and A Fever in the Blood) plays army widow Laura Halliday. J. Pat O'Malley (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Frontier Circus) plays has-been singer Cedric Manning. Hal Needham (Hollywood's highest-paid stuntman who invented numerous stunt devices, was a double for Richard Boone and Burt Reynolds, and directed Smokey and the Bandit, Hooper, and Cannonball Run) plays an unnamed outlaw. Marshall Reed (Inspector Fred Asher on The Lineup) plays an army officer.

Season 5, Episode 18, "Town Against a Man": Val Avery (appeared in The Magnificent Seven, Papillon, and Donnie Brasco and played Lt. Al Costello on East Side/West Side) plays ranch owner Frank "Bully" Armstrong. Jackie Russell (shown on the right, played Peggy Connolly on The Joey Bishop Show) plays his pretty daughter Lorna. Yvette Vickers (starred in Reform School Girl, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, and Attack of the Giant Leeches) plays his plain daughter Carol. Lurene Tuttle (appeared in Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, Ma Barker's Killer Brood, Psycho, The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, and The Fortune Cookie and played Doris Dunston on Father of the Bride and Hannah Yarby on Julia) plays Frank's sister Madie. Mark Tapscott (see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Tall Man) plays wealthy banker Paul Warren. Michael Hinn (George Haig on Johnny Ringo) plays attorney Leo Kinsman.

Season 5, Episode 19, "The Barefoot Bandit": Don C. Harvey (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Rawhide) plays Wells Fargo agent Al Wiley. Joan Marshall (Sailor Duval on Bold Venture) plays fight manager Lisa Lindsey. Paul Sorensen (Andy Bradley on Dallas) plays Bonanza Flats tough guy Chuck Kramer. George Selk (see the biography section for the 1960 post on Gunsmoke) plays a telegraph messenger. 

Season 5, Episode 20, "The Hand That Shook the Hand": Claude Akins (shown on the left, played Sonny Pruett on Movin' On and Sheriff Elroy P. Lobo on B.J and the Bear and on Lobo) plays renowned pugilist John L. Sullivan. Vito Scotti (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 hustling prankster Abner Dabler. Thalmus Rasulala (starred in Cool Breeze, Blacula, Willie Dynamite, and Mr. Ricco and played Lt. Jack Neal on One Life to Live, Bill Thomas on What's Happening!!, Tangeneva on General Hospital, and Capt. Boltz on Dragnet (1989)) plays saloon cook George.

Season 5, Episode 21, "That Washburn Girl": Jack Nicholson (shown on the right, starred in Five Easy Pieces, Easy Rider, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Chinatown, The Shining, and Terms of Endearment and played Jaime Angel on Dr. Kildare) plays Wells Fargo worker's brother Tom Washburn. Anne Whitfield (Barbara Harris on Days of Our Lives) plays his fiance Ruby Coe. Morris Ankrum (starred in Rocketship X-M, Invaders From Mars, Earth vs. The Flying Saucers, and The Giant Claw and played the judge 22 times on Perry Mason) plays her ex-con father Jonas. John Archer (father of Anne Archer, former husband of Marjorie Lord, appeared in White Heat, Ten Thousand Bedrooms, Blue Hawaii, and How to Frame a Figg) plays gun salesman Dean Chase. Chubby Johnson (Concho on Temple Houston) plays stage driver Scotty.

Season 5, Episode 22, "The Diamond Dude": James Millhollin (Anson Foster on Grindl) plays New York jeweler Leroy Finch. Robert Middleton (Barney Wales on The Monroes) plays notorious thief Bodie Seaton. Grant Sullivan (Brett Clark on Pony Express) plays Seaton's associate Beam. 

Season 5, Episode 24, "Fraud": Steve Brodie (see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays crooked Mayor Walt Lawson. Sue Ane Langdon (shown on the left, played Kitty Marsh on Bachelor Father, Lillian Nuvo on Arnie, Rosie on Grandpa Goes to Washington, and Darlene on When the Whistle Blows) saloon pianist Jessica Brown. Guy Stockwell (brother of Dean Stockwell, played Chris Parker on Adventures in Paradise) plays her boyfriend Bob Guthrie. Gregg Palmer (see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays Lawson's gunman Lupo. Michael Whalen (starred in White Fang, Career Woman, The Lady Escapes, Inside Story, and The Phantom From 10,000 Leagues) plays photographer Abel Boyce.

Season 5, Episode 25, "Stage From Yuma": Brad Dexter (shown on the right, starred in Macao, Between Heaven and Hell, and Run Silent, Run Deep) plays wanted outlaw Bud Pierce. Kelly Thordsen (Colorado Charlie on Yancy Derringer) plays outlaw ringleader Rafe. Harry Harvey, Jr. (son of Harry Harvey, and script supervisor and director on Mannix) plays outlaw Lew Walter. Tom Greenway (Sheriff Jack Bronson on State Trooper) plays the Yuma sheriff. 

Season 5, Episode 26, "Prince Jim": Gina Gillespie (shown on the left, played Tess on Law of the Plainsman and Mimi Scott on Karen) plays orphan Carol Butler. Kristine Miller (appeared in Desert Fury, I Walk Alone, Too Late for Tears, and Young Daniel Boone and played Margaret Jones on Stories of the Century) plays her aunt Ruth Hudson. Norman Leavitt (Ralph on Trackdown) plays drummer Willy Zane. Denny Scott Miller (see the biography section of the 1961 post on Wagon Train) plays livery stable owner Stickson. Robert Sampson (Sgt. Walsh on Steve Canyon, Father Mike Fitzgerald on Bridget Love Bernie, and Sheriff Turk Tobias on Falcon Crest) plays his accomplice Hal. Wally Brown (appeared in Notorious, The Left Handed Gun, and The Absent-Minded Professor and played Jed Fame on Cimarron City and Chauncey Kowalski on The Roaring '20's) plays town drunk Charlie.

Season 5, Episode 27, "The Remittance Man": William Mims (see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays Blazing Rock Sheriff Dan Gillette. Yvonne Craig (shown on the right, starred in Gidget, High Time, Kissin' Cousins, Ski Party, and One Spy Too Many and played Barbara Gordon, aka Batgirl, on Batman and Grandma on Olivia) plays his daughter Libby. 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 fiance Noel Briggs. Ron Soble (appeared in The Cincinnati Kid, True Grit, and Papillon and played Dirty Jim on The Monroes) plays bounty hunter Gabe Adams. Henry Wills (Pernell Roberts' stunt double on Bonanza and the stunt coordinator on The High Chaparral) plays stage driver Wally.

Season 5, Episode 28, "The Jealous Man": Ed Nelson (Michael Rossi on Peyton Place, Ward Fuller on The Silent Force, and Sen. Mark Denning on Capitol) plays jealous husband Andy Thorpe. Faith Domergue (starred in Cult of the Cobra, This Island Earth, and It Came From Beneath the Sea) plays his wife Kitty. 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 Henry. Tommy Ivo (shown on the left, see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Donna Reed Show) plays his younger brother Lou.

Season 5, Episode 29, "Something Pretty": Peter Whitney (Sergeant Buck Sinclair on The Rough Riders and Lafe Crick on The Beverly Hillbillies) plays prospector Moose Gilliam. James Seay (shown on the near right, see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays easterner Banning. Leonard Nimoy (shown on the far right, played Mr. Spock on Star Trek, Paris on Mission: Impossible, and Dr. William Bell on Fringe) plays outlaw Coleman. Dennis Moore (Deputy Lee on Tombstone Territory) plays lawman Marshal Buxton.

Season 5, Episode 30, "Lady Trouble": Robert Armstrong (shown on the left, starred in King Kong, The Son of Kong, Framed, Dive Bomber, Blood on the Sun, and Mighty Joe Young and played Sheriff Andy Anderson on State Trooper) plays Saddle Ridge Wells Fargo agent Jess Walden. Josephine Hutchinson (appeared in The Story of Louis Pasteur, Son of Frankenstein, Tom Brown's Schooldays, and North by Northwest) plays mining company owner Agatha Webster. Barry Cahill (Capt. Curt Douglas on 12 O'Clock High and Buck Vernon on The Waltons) plays outlaw Stu Redmond. Terry Frost (Sgt. Bruce Moore/Morse/Morris on Highway Patrol) plays a Wells Fargo guard. 

Season 5, Episode 31, "Moment of Glory": Eddy Waller (shown on the right, see the biography section for the 1961 post on Laramie) plays yarn-spinning Grandpa Charlie Bridger. Bryan Russell (brother of actress Jeannie Russell) plays his grandson Pete. Wallace Rooney (Andrew Winters on The Doctors) plays Calico Wells Fargo agent Mr. Bennett. Joel Ashley (Pvt. Boone on Boots and Saddles) plays rival stagecoach line owner Bart Dillon.

Season 5, Episode 32, "The Lobo": Jim Davis (shown on the left, played Matt Clark on Stories of the Century, Wes Cameron on Rescue 8, Marshal Bill Winter on The Cowboys, and Jock Ewing on Dallas) plays wanted outlaw Sam Horne. Claire du Brey (starred in The Winged Mystery, The Magic Eye, Modern Love, and Jane Eyre (1934) and played Aunt Angela on Where's Raymond?) plays White Oaks Hotel proprietor Ma. Charles Watts (Judge Harvey Blandon on Bachelor Father) plays White Oaks Wells Fargo agent Hi Walker. Chubby Johnson (see "That Washburn Girl" above) plays returns as stage driver Scotty. 

Season 5, Episode 33, "Rifles for Red Hand": Ziva Rodann (appeared in Forty Guns, The Private Lives of Adam and Eve, The Story of Ruth, and College Confidential and played Nefertiti on Batman) plays casino and saloon owner Leah Harper. Stanley Adams (Lt. Morse on Not for Hire) plays gun smuggler Sam Tustin. Carleton G. Young (shown on the right, appeared in Queen of Burlesque, The Kissing Bandit, His Kind of Woman, and Hard, Fast and Beautiful! and played Harry Steeger on The Court of Last Resort) plays U.S. Army Capt. Rawlings. Clegg Hoyt (Mac on Dr. Kildare) plays trapper Jebediah Skane. 

Season 5, Episode 34, "Gunman's Revenge": Harry Carey, Jr. (starred in Red River, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Mister Roberts, and The Searchers and played Bill Burnett on The Adventures of Spin and Marty) plays Yuma Wells Fargo employee Pete Carter. Jennie Lynn (Jennie Baker on Love and Marriage) plays his daughter Nell. Roy Wright (Callahan on The Islanders) plays his boss Neil Brand. Ollie O'Toole (Mr. Meeker on Circus Boy) plays Wells Fargo clerk Al Wiley. Robert Foulk (shown on the left, played Ed Davis on Father Knows Best, Sheriff Miller on Lassie, Joe Kingston on Wichita Town, Mr. Wheeler on Green Acres, and Phillip Toomey on The Rifleman) plays Yuma Sheriff Nolan. Chuck Connors (see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Rifleman) plays vengeful gunman Rocky Nelson. Helen Wallace (Nurse Lucy Webber on Dr. Kildare) plays judge's wife Mrs. Castro.

Season 5, Episode 35, "The Repentant Outlaw": Edgar Buchanan (shown on the right, played Uncle Joe Carson on The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, and Petticoat Junction, Red Connors on Hopalong Cassidy, Judge Roy Bean on Judge Roy Bean, Doc Burrage on The Rifleman, and J.J. Jackson on Cade's County) plays huckster Doc Dawson. Lew Gallo (Major Joseph Cobb on 12 O'Clock High and directed multiple episodes of That Girl, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Love American Style, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, and The New Mike Hammer) plays captured outlaw Maxey. John Dennis (Dutch Schultz on The Lawless Years) plays his accomplice Red. Craig Duncan (Sgt. Stanfield/Banfield on Mackenzie's Raiders) plays army payroll Sgt. Morgan. Ralph Reed (see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays a young swindler in the saloon.

Season 5, Episode 36, "A Quiet Little Town": John Dehner (Duke Williams on The Roaring '20's, Commodore Cecil Wyntoon on The Baileys of Balboa, Morgan Starr on The Virginian, Cyril Bennett on The Doris Day Show, Dr. Charles Cleveland Claver on The New Temperatures Rising Show, Barrett Fears on Big Hawaii, Marshal Edge Troy on Young Maverick, Lt. Joseph Broggi on Enos, Hadden Marshall on Bare Essence, and Billy Joe Erskine on The Colbys) plays Hardie's old frenemy Wade Cather. Shirley Ballard (shown on the left, Miss California of 1944, wife of Jason Evers, continuity supervisor on Water Under the Bridge and The Sullivans) plays unhappy marshal's wife Meg Prescott. William Leslie (appeared in The Long Gray Line, Hellcats of the Navy, Up Periscope, and Mutiny in Outer Space and was the narrator on The Prosecutors: In Pursuit of Justice) plays banker Thorne Whitman. 

Season 5, Episode 37, "Bitter Vengeance": Richard Hale (starred in Abilene Town, Kim, San Antone, Red Garters, and To Kill a Mockingbird) plays alcoholic stage waystation owner Ben Martin. Phyllis Coates (shown on the right, played Alice McDokes in 18 shorts, starred in Outlaws of Texas, Man From Sonora, Superman and the Mole-Men, Jungle Drums of Africa, and I Was a Teenage Frankenstein, and played Lois Lane on Adventures of Superman, Gloria on The Duke, Madge Allen on Professional Father, and Clarissa Holliday on This Is Alice) plays his daughter Ruby. 

Season 5, Episode 38, "John Jones": Justice Watson (J.W. Harrington on Holiday Lodge) plays former outlaw John Jones. Roy Barcroft (Col. Logan on The Adventures of Spin and Marty and Roy on Gunsmoke) plays his former partner Clem Boland. Warren Oates (starred in In the Heat of the Night, The Wild Bunch, and Stripes and played Ves Painter on Stoney Burke) plays Boland's son Chuck. Forrest Lewis (Mr. Peavey on The Great Gildersleeve) plays small-town Marshal Ezra.

Season 5, Episode 39, "The Dowry": 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 wealthy land owner Bertram Le Tour. Lisa Gaye (Gwen Kirby on How to Marry a Millionaire) plays his grand-daughter Michelle Bovarde. George Chandler (Mac Benson on Waterfront, Uncle Petrie Martin on Lassie, and Ichabod Adams on Ichabod and Me) plays riverboat Capt. Billy. 

Season 6, Episode 1, "Casket 7.3": Howard Keel (shown on the right, starred in Annie Get Your Gun, Show Boat, Kiss Me Kate, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Kismet, and Invasion of the Triffids and played Clayton Farlow on Dallas) plays former Confederate sergeant Justin Brox. Suzanne Lloyd (Raquel Toledano on Zorro) plays his wife Christine. Torin Thatcher (appeared in Great Expectations, The Crimson Pirate, The Robe, Love is a Many-Splendored Thing, and Witness for the Prosecution) plays government agent Alexander Prescott. Stephen Roberts (Stan Peeples on Mr. Novak) plays eastern head of Wells Fargo Mr. Nichols. Eve McVeagh (starred in High Noon, The Glass Web, and Tight Spot and played Miss Hammond on Petticoat Junction) plays Mrs. Russo, a guest at Brox's party. Norman Leavitt (see "Prince Jim" above) plays Matthew, a clerk aboard the Wells Fargo ship.

Season 6, Episode 2, "The Dodger": Philip Carey (shown on the left, 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 ex-con Jay Squire. Claude Akins (see "The Hand That Shook the Hand" above) plays his "lieutenant" Harry Rakeover. Jon Lormer (Harry Tate on Lawman, Sam Watkins on The Real McCoys, the autopsy surgeon on Perry Mason, Simon Benjamin on The Young Marrieds, and Judge Irwin A. Chester on Peyton Place) plays general store proprietor Mr. Taylor. Paul Barselou (played various bartenders in 9 episodes of Bewitched) plays barber and undertaker Happy.

Season 6, Episode 3, "Treasure Coach": Robert Vaughn (shown on the right, starred in Teenage Cave Man, The Magnificent Seven, The Towering Inferno, and Bullitt and 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 outlaw Billy Brigode. Pat Crowley (Joan Nash on Please Don't Eat the Daisies, Georgia Cameron on Joe Forrester, Emily Fallmont on Dynasty, and Natalie DeWitt on The Bold and the Beautiful) plays his estranged wife Lydia. J. Pat O'Malley (see "The Has-Been" above) plays physician Dr. Cobb. 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 his wife Frances.

Season 6, Episode 4, "Death Raffle": Gary Clarke (shown on the left, played Dick Hamilton on Michael Shayne, Steve Hill on The Virginian, and Capt. Richards on Hondo) plays ex-con Davey Hewitt. Kelly Thordsen (see "Stage From Yuma" above) plays blacksmith Sam Hobb. Bennye Getteys (Judith Potter on The Brighter Day) plays Hobb's daughter Jessamie. William Tannen (see "Captain Scofield" above) plays banker Mr. Japes. Gregg Palmer (see "Fraud" above) plays Hewitt's former outlaw partner Steger. Grant Sullivan (see "The Diamond Dude" above) plays Steger's accomplice Dutch. Paul Bryar (Sheriff Harve Anders on The Long, Hot Summer) plays railroad clerk Sam.

Season 6, Episode 5, "Tanoa": Richard Hale (see "Bitter Vengeance" above) plays aging Indian chief Pochalo. Rodolfo Acosta (shown on the right, played Vaquero on The High Chaparral)) plays his cousin Red Knife. Charles Watts (see "The Lobo" above) plays Wells Fargo executive Mr. Anderson. Hal Needham (see "The Has-Been" above) plays an Indian brave. Sara Taft (Aunt Alex on The Young Marrieds) plays baking contest judge Mrs. Forbes.

Season 6, Episode 6, "Mr. Mute": Vito Scotti (shown on the left, see "The Hand That Shook the Hand" above) plays Italian professional clown Mr. Mute. Lyle Bettger (starred in The Vanquished, Destry, and The Fastest Guitar Alive and played Sam Larsen on The Court of Last Resort and Harry Driscoll on The Grand Jury) plays train robber LaPorte. Ron Soble (see "The Remittance Man" above) plays his accomplice Frank Dorcus. Chubby Johnson (see "That Washburn Girl" above) plays Jeb Gaine antagonist Ernie. 

Season 6, Episode 7, "Jeremiah": Albert Salmi (shown on the right, played Yadkin on Daniel Boone and Pete Ritter on Petrocelli) plays outlaw Jeremiah Logart. Nancy Gates (starred in The Great Gildersleeve, The Atomic City, The Member of the Wedding, and Some Came Running) plays his former henchman's widow Amelia Cavendish. Bryan Russell (see "Moment of Glory" above) plays her son Jody. X Brands (Pahoo-Ka-Ta-Wah on Yancy Derringer) plays Logart associate Brock. 

Season 6, Episode 8, "A Fistful of Pride": Eddie Albert (shown on the left, starred in Roman Holiday, Oklahoma!, The Teahouse of the August Moon, The Sun Also Rises, The Longest Day, and The Longest Yard and played Larry Tucker on Leave It to Larry, Oliver Wendell Douglas on Green Acres and Petticoat Junction, and Frank MacBride on Switch) plays former boxing champion Bonzo Croydon. Barbara Stuart (Bessie on The Great Gildersleeve, Alice on Pete and Gladys, Bunny on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., Wilma Winslow on The Queen and I, Peggy Ferguson on The McLean Stevenson Show, Marianne Danzig on Our Family Honor, and Alice on Huff) plays his estranged wife Lucy. Gina Gillespie (see "Prince Jim" above) plays their daughter Cindy. Ed Nelson (see "The Jealous Man" above) plays up-and-coming boxer The Frisco Kid. David White (Larry Tate on Bewitched) plays his manager Dooley. H.M. Wynant (Lt. Bauer on The Young Marrieds, Frosty on Batman, and Ed Chapman on Dallas) plays San Francisco gambler Carson. Dennis McCarthy (Dr. Sam Hodges on Cimarron City) plays Gloribee bettor Willis. Harry Holcombe (appeared in The Fortune Cookie, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Foxy Brown, Escape to Witch Mountain, and Empire of the Ants and played Frank Gardner on Search for Tomorrow, Doc Benson on My Mother the Car, Mr. Kendricks on Barefoot in the Park, and Dr. J.P. Martin on Bonanza) plays the Gloribee judge.

Season 6, Episode 9, "Defiant at the Gate": Tom Tully (starred in Destination Tokyo, The Lady in the Lake, The Turning Point, The Jazz Singer (1952), and The Caine Mutiny and played Inspector Matt Grebb on The Lineup and Tom Starett on Shane) plays aging outlaw Matt Blackner. Gloria Talbott (shown on the right, starred in The Cyclops, Daughter of Dr. Jekyll,  and I Married a Monster From Outer Space and played Moneta on Zorro) plays his daughter Narcissa. Frank Ferguson (Gus Broeberg on My Friend Flicka, Eli Carson on Peyton Place, and Dr. Barton Stuart on Petticoat Junction) plays his former partner Deacon. L.Q. Jones (Beldon on The Virginian, Sheriff Lew Wallace on The Yellow Rose, and Nathan Wayne on Renegade) plays his former partner Striker.

Season 6, Episode 10, "Man of Another Breed": Wright King (shown on the left, see the biography section for the 1960 post on Wanted Dead or Alive) plays young robber Will Norris. Robert Middleton (see "The Diamond Dude" above) plays homesteader Caleb Timmons. Debra Paget (starred in Broken Arrow, Les Miserables, Prince Valiant, The Ten Commandments, Love Me Tender, and Journey to the Lost City) plays his young wife Kate. Dee Pollock (Billy Urchin on Gunslinger) plays his son Arly. Willis Bouchey (Mayor Terwilliger on The Great Gildersleeve, Springer on Pete and Gladys, and the judge 23 times on Perry Mason) plays aging Wells Fargo agent Frank Danes. John Zaremba (see "The Jealous Man" above) plays a sheriff.
Season 6, Episode 11, "Kelly's Clover Girls": Virginia Field (appeared in Little Lord Fauntleroy, Thank You, Jeeves!, Stage Door Canteen, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court) plays madame Kelly Green. Dawn Wells (shown on the right, played Mary Ann Summers on Gilligan's Island) plays her young understudy Molly. Lisa Gaye (see "The Dowry" above) plays her more experienced employee Sunset. 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 wanted killer Paul Jennings Kalo. Hank Patterson (Fred Ziffel on Green Acres and Petticoat Junction and Hank Miller on Gunsmoke) plays transport driver Coleman Flagg. William Mims (see "The Remittance Man" above) plays trail boss Canby. Glenn Strange (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Gunsmoke) plays one of his drovers Sam Craiger. Phil Chambers (see "Gunman's Revenge" above) plays Wells Fargo agent Bill.

Season 6, Episode 12, "A Killing in Calico": Dean Jones (shown on the left, starred in Jailhouse Rock, That Darn Cat!, The Ugly Dachshund, The Love Bug, The Million Dollar Duck, and Beethoven and played Ensign O'Toole on Ensign O'Toole, Linc McCray on The Chicago Teddy Bears, and Jim Douglas on Herbie, the Love Bug) plays outlaw gunman Jamie Coburn. Patricia Breslin (Amanda Peoples Miller on The People's Choice, Laura Brooks on Peyton Place, and Meg Bentley on General Hospital) plays his wife Theresa. John Larch (starred in The Wrecking Crew, Play Misty for Me, and Dirty Harry and played Deputy District Attorney Jerry Miller on Arrest and Trial, Gerald Wilson on Dynasty, and Arlen & Atticus Ward on Dallas) plays former employer Birch Morgan. George Brenlin (Benny on General Hospital and Duke Dukowski on Adam-12) plays gun for hire Wolf. Byron Foulger (Mr. Nash on Captain Nice and Wendell Gibbs on Petticoat Junction) plays a telegrapher. Herb Vigran (Judge Brooker on Gunsmoke) plays a clothier.

Season 6, Episode 14, "Trackback": Leo Gordon (Big Mike McComb on Maverick) plays wanted robber Frank Lambert. Richard Rust (Hank Tabor on Sam Benedict and Jason Vining on General Hospital) plays his younger brother Wally. Morgan Woodward (shown on the right, see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays Frank's accomplice Steve Taggart. Edward Mallory (Bill Riley on Morning Star and Bill Horton on Days of Our Lives) plays Gloribee deputy Ron.