Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Leave It to Beaver (1960)

Today it is viewed as the quintessential quaint and naive 1950s situation comedy depicting an idealized world of wholesome family values and innocence that never really existed. Yet it has also remained one of the most popular television shows of all time despite the fact that during its 6-year run from 1957-1963 it never cracked the top 30 in the ratings. But the most surprising aspect of this All-American TV classic is how funny the show remains today, far superior to the contrived punch-line driven fare that passes for contemporary comedy. The credit for Beaver's still-fresh humor goes to the series' creators and principle writers Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher, who wrote over 1500 scripts for the radio and later TV comedy Amos 'n' Andy. After a failed attempt on their own writing for a Ray Milland-led anthology series, the two decided to focus on what they knew--the everyday situations and language of their own children. They also took the novel approach of showing these situations from the children's point of view, with Connelly's 8-year-old son Ricky providing the model for the character of Beaver and his 14-year-old son Jay as the model for Wally. Connelly carried a notebook with him to record what his children said and did, and Mosher had two children of his own that sometimes provided material. This real-world observation helped Connelly and Mosher come up with dialogue and behavior that isolated television writers couldn't have dreamed up on their own, such as when Beaver brings home his friend Richard for the first time and introduces him to his parents by stating the obvious, "This is Richard. He's a kid." The dialogue of teenager Wally is also infused with more satire than one would expect from a wholesome, idealized comedy and gives the show unexpected zing decades later. 

The other criticism most often lobbed against Beaver is its sermonizing, in which each episode drives toward a life lesson, usually administered by one or both parents to one or both children. And while there are plenty of episodes that end with Ward Cleaver dispensing learned wisdom to Beaver or Wally after their misguided attempts, many other episodes show Ward and June being the recipients of a teachable moment, such as in "Tire Trouble" (January 2, 1960) when Beaver accidentally flattens one of the tires on Ward's car and he and Wally try to get it fixed before their father finds out. However, Ward inadvertently finds out what they are up to from Eddie Haskell, then asks why they didn't tell him about the flat. Wally replies that he was afraid Ward would call him stupid, causing Ward to apologize and explicitly say that when he talks to them he often learns more than they do. In "Wally's Election" (February 6, 1960), Ward pushes Wally to campaign hard for class president, after Fred Rutherford obnoxiously crows about his own son Lumpy, then has to apologize to Wally when his son loses the election because he pushed too hard. Ward admits that sometimes parents push their children to achieve things that they themselves failed at. And in "Ward's Baseball" (April 9, 1960), Ward is about to give in and let Beaver come down for dinner after sending him to his room for destroying an autographed baseball of Ward's that he was told not to play with. But Wally intervenes and says that when Ward had gone easy on him after he had told his friends he was grounded, he felt that his friends had lost some respect for his father. So Ward takes Wally's advice and lets Beaver serve out his punishment so that he will know his father isn't a push-over.

Another parenting topic that is depicted repeatedly is the use of corporal punishment. Though there are never any scenes showing spanking or hitting, Wally in particular makes frequent references to getting clobbered. In "Tire Trouble" he says he would prefer being hit to being called stupid. Eddie Haskell also frequently talks about being hit for misbehaving, and the plot of "Larry Hides Out" (January 9, 1960) revolves around Beaver's friend Larry Mondello running away from home to hide at the Cleavers after his mother catches him reading his sister's diary and tells him he is going to get it when his father gets home. Even Ward recounts that his father used a belt on him in "The Hypnotist" (March 12, 1960). The frequent references to physical punishment that never seems to materialize, along with frequent claims of parents yelling at their children when they rarely raise their voices, suggest the child's point of view in which such displays of anger have an outsized effect on the child's psyche. In some ways, the Cleavers' parenting philosophy bears some resemblance to the ideas of Dr. Benjamin Spock, whose The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care had become enormously influential in new ways of child rearing since its publication in 1946. Rather than rigidly demanding that their children conform to adult-derived beliefs about behavior, they make a concerted effort to understand their children's problems while teaching them how to behave. They attempt to enforce consistent discipline but always with the explanation that it is done out of love for the children.

But perhaps one of the more justified criticisms of the show is the way in which the Cleaver household is portrayed as the ideal when compared to any others its family members encounter. The Rutherfords are headed by obnoxious, overconfident Fred and his lethargic son Lumpy. The Mondellos have an absent father and overwhelmed mother. Eddie Haskell often talks about the ways he outsmarts or cons his father. In "Beaver's House Guest" (October 8, 1960), Beaver has his friend Chopper come and stay with him, but we learn that Chopper's parents are divorced and use him to get at each other. And in "Beaver and Kenneth" (December 17, 1960), Beaver is befriended by a boy who steals things from his classmates and gives them to Beaver to win his friendship. When Ward takes Beaver over to Kenneth's house to tell his father, the father is easily duped by Kenneth into standing behind his lies. Even members of the Cleavers' extended family, such as Ward's "Uncle Billy" (December 31, 1960) fail to live up to the nuclear Cleavers' standards for honesty.

The pilot for Leave It to Beaver, "It's a Small World," appeared as an episode on the anthology series Heinz Studio 57 on April 23, 1957, with Casey Adams cast in the role of Ward Cleaver and Paul Sullivan as Wally. Those two actors were replaced with Hugh Beaumont and Tony Dow when the show was picked up as a regular series, debuting on October 4, 1957 on CBS. After its first season, the show was dropped by CBS but was then picked up for five more seasons on ABC. Reportedly Tony Dow said that the reason for switching networks was because the sponsor got a better deal with ABC. As noted above, the show was never a top ratings winner, though it had a steady following and was still popular when it was finally canceled because Jerry Mathers wanted to attend high school as a regular kid.

The music associated with the show is its sprightly instrumental opening theme, "The Toy Parade," composed by David Kahn, Melvyn Leonard, and Mort Greene. In its final season, the theme song was given a jazzy makeover by Pete Rugolo. Incidental music for individual episodes was largely precorded library music not created specifically for the show. Though earlier seasons of the show included teaser scenes from the episode and narration by Hugh Beaumont, by calendar year 1960 (seasons 3 and 4), each episode began with the same sequence of scenes, though these opening sequences were changed each season. For season 3, the opening sequence shows Ward and June coming up to the boys' bedroom to wake them up in the morning. For season 4, the opening sequence shows Ward and June coming out of the front door to see the boys off to school, handing them jackets and sack lunches much like the opening sequence for The Donna Reed Show. Another notable difference in these sequences is the tone of announcer Bob LeMond, whose cheery up-beat delivery in season 3 is replaced with a much more deadpan, toned-down delivery in season 4.

The complete series has been issued on DVD by Shout!Factory. Two hundred of the show's 234 episodes are also available online at imdb.com.

The Actors

Barbara Billingsley

Barbara Lillian Combes  was born in Los Angeles in 1915. Her parents divorced when she was 4, and her father went on to be of the assistant Chief of Police while her mother became a factory worker. After  graduating high school and a single year of college, she moved to New York when the play Straw Hat was brought to Broadway, though it lasted there for only 5 performances. Later she found work as a model and a card balancer for a magician. Her work in film began with several uncredited appearances beginning in 1945, with her first credited role coming three years later in The Argyle Secret. Her TV appearances began in 1952 and she starred as a doctor's wife in the short-lived series Professional Father in 1955. She also had 5 appearances as the character Barbara on The Brothers in 1956-57 before landing the role of June Cleaver on Leave It to Beaver. Though it is often cited as an example of the show's artificiality, Billingsley later revealed that the reason she wore pearls even when cleaning house on the show was to hide a surgical scar.

After playing such an iconic role, she had difficulty finding any roles other than June Cleaver or a character playing off that role, such as the jive translator in the movie Airplane! She, Tony Dow, and Jerry Mathers reprised their Leave It to Beaver roles on the 1983 TV movie Still the Beaver, which was then spun into a cable television series that ran from 1984-1989. However, she did provide the voice of the Nanny on Muppet Babies from 1984-1991. She took her acting surname Billingsley from her first husband Glenn Billingsley, nephew of the owner of New York's famous nightspot The Stork Club. Through Billingsley she is also related to actor Peter Billingsley, who played the central character Ralphie in the movie A Christmas Story. She died October 16, 2010 at the age of 94.

Hugh Beaumont

Born in Lawrence, Kansas, Beaumont's father was a traveling salesman, causing the family to move quite a bit. He graduated from high school in Chattanooga, TN and attended the University of Chattanooga but left when his position on the football team was changed. Later he attended and graduated from USC with a degree in theology and became an ordained lay Methodist minister. He began in show business in 1931, making appearances in nightclubs, in theaters, and on the radio, then moved over into film acting in 1940. A conscientious objector in World War II, he found steady work in films such as the noir classic The Blue Dahlia and took over the role of detective Michael Shayne from Lloyd Nolan in films such as Murder Is My Business. His work in television began in 1952, most notably as the narrator on Racket Squad and he had multiple appearances on show like The Public Defender and The Loretta Young Show as well as occasional film appearances in movies such as The Mole People before landing his career-defining role as Ward Cleaver.

Beaumont apparently felt that after Leave It to Beaver he had been typecast and his acting career was limited to occasional guest appearances on shows like Petticoat Junction, The Virginian, and Mannix through the late 60s and early 70s. When he retired from acting, he became a Christmas tree farmer on Balgillo Island, Minnesota, which he owned. However, he suffered a life-threatening stroke in 1972 and was told he would never walk or talk again. But he did recover enough to do some directing in community theatre. He died from a heart attack on May 14, 1982 while visiting his son Hunter, a psychology professor living in Munich, Germany.

Tony Dow

Born in Hollywood, Dow's mother, Muriel Montrose, was a stuntwoman in early westerns, Clara Bow's movie double, and a Mack Sennett bathing beauty. Dow himself was a Junior Olympics diving champion before answering a casting call and being cast as Wally Cleaver with little prior acting experience.
He graduated from high school in 1963, the year Leave It to Beaver finished its 6-year run and had occasional guest appearances on other shows before joining the National Guard from 1965 to 1968. After that, he resumed acting but also studied construction and would later design luxury condominiums, became an amateur abstract sculptor, representing the U.S. at an exhibit at the Louvre in 2008, and ventured into directing episodes of Coach, Babylon 5, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He was also visual effects supervisor on Babylon 5. In the 1990s he admitted to suffering from clinical depression and has appeared in videos on the subject. He currently lives in the mountains of Santa Monica with his second wife Lauren Schulkind.

Jerry Mathers

Gerald Patrick Mathers was born in Sioux City, Iowa, the son of a high school principal, and began appearing in commercials at the age of 2. He had already appeared in four feature-length films before being cast as Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver, a role he won because he told the casting director that he would rather be at his cub scout meeting than at the audition. He was the first child actor to receive royalties from tie-in merchandise, which is still being produced today. At the end of the show's run in 1962, he recorded a single for Atlantic Records, "Don't 'Cha Cry" b/w "Wind-Up Toy," and formed a band called Beaver and the Trappers that continued recording for Atlantic after the TV show ended. One of their singles, "Happiness Is Havin'," became a #1 hit in Hawaii and Alaska.

Mathers wanted to leave Leave It to Beaver to attend high school as a normal kid, and after graduating from Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, CA in 1967, he attended the University of California at Berkeley, where he earned a B.A. in Philosophy. From 1966 to 1969 he was a member of the Air National Guard. In the 1970s he used his earnings from TV to get into real estate development and banking, serving as a loan officer for several years. He also ran his own catering company in the late 1990s called Cleaver's Catering. He was diagnosed with diabetes in 1996, and after taking corrective action and losing 55 pounds, he became a leading lecturer about the disease, even testifying before Congress on the topic. He has also been a spokesman for the National Psoriasis Foundation. He published his autobiography, And Jerry Mathers as the Beaver in 1998. In 2007, he replaced Jere Burns in the Broadway production of Hairspray. He remarried, to Teresa Modnick, in January 2011.

Ken Osmond

Osmond was born in Glendale, CA, the son of a carpenter and a homemaker with show business dreams for her boys Kenneth and Dayton. She had them take acting lessons, as well as lessons in diction, dialects, martial arts, and equestrian riding. Osmond began appearing in commercials at age 4 and his first film appearance was as a child extra in the Spencer Tracy film Plymouth Adventure. He had a few other appearances in film and TV shows like Fury, Annie Oakley, and Lassie before being cast as Wally's best friend, the two-faced troublemaker Eddie Haskell. Originally, the role was supposed to be a one-shot affair, but the producers were so impressed with Osmond's performance that he became a regular on the series and a cultural icon, so much so that, like most of the other actors from the series, he had trouble finding other work once Beaver ended.

After the occasional appearance on The Munsters and Petticoat Junction, Osmond gave up acting and joined the Los Angeles police force, growing a mustache to disguise his identity and working in vice and narcotics. He once was shot three times while pursuing a suspected car thief, though two of the bullets hit his bullet-proof vest and the third ricocheted off his belt buckle. He retired from the force in 1988 and took up managing rental properties in the Los Angeles area. He reprised his role as Eddie Haskell on all the subsequent Beaver  TV shows and movies, including the 1997 feature Leave It to Beaver.

Frank Bank

Besides playing the lethargic Lumpy Rutherford, Wally's classmate on Leave It to Beaver, Bank's film career is brief. He appeared as the child version of Will Rogers in The Story of Will Rogers in 1952 and had a single appearance on Father KnowsBest in 1956 before making 50 appearances on Beaver starting in 1958. During the show's run he had occasional work on Cimarron City, 87th Precinct, and Bachelor Father, as well as playing the title role in the 1962 TV movie and pilot about comic book character Archie Andrews, Life With Archie, which was not picked up for production. Like the other Beaver actors, Bank could not find work in acting after the series and became a successful municipal bonds trader in Southern California. He appeared in the 1980s TV movie and series as an adult Lumpy, and in 2002 published his autobiography Call Me Lumpy: My Leave It To Beaver Days and Other Wild Hollywood Life in which he claimed to have bedded over 1000 women and engaged in other escapades completely at odds with his TV character.

Rusty Stevens

Born Christmas Day 1948, Stevens played Beaver Cleaver's friend Larry Mondello in 68 episodes of Leave It to Beaver from 1957 till 1960, at which point his family left Burbank, CA for Philadelphia and effectively quashed his acting career. Prior to Beaver, Stevens had but a single appearance on the TV show Telephone Time, but during the show's run he had single appearances on 77 Sunset Strip, Shirley Temple Theatre, and Angel, as well as an uncredited appearance in the film Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
After his family movied to Philadelphia, Stevens was able to make a few appearances on other TV show in the 1960s, including My Three Sons, Perry Mason, and Wagon Train. He later worked as an insurance salesman in New Jersey, and a detective had to be hired to track him down for his appearance in Still the Beaver and 3 episodes of The New Leave It to Beaver.

Stanley Fafara

Born in San Francisco, Fafara (whose older brother Tiger also appeared on Leave It to Beaver as Tooey Brown), Fafara had only a couple of acting appearances before being cast as Beaver's friend Whitey Whitney, though he had been appearing in commercials since the age of 4. He also had single appearances on The Millionaire, Wanted: Dead or Alive, and Man Without a Gun during Beaver's 6-year run. After the show ended, however, Fafara not only left acting but soon descended into a world of alcohol and drug abuse, even living with the rock band Paul Revere and the Raiders for a while. He started using hard drugs in the mid-60s and then began dealing, eventually being arrested for breaking into pharmacies and sentenced to a year in jail. He tried working as a roofer, waiter, and janitor before succumbing to drugs again, but he finally became sober in 1995 and remained so for the last 8 years of his life. However, by this time he had contracted hepatitis C and would die from it September 23, 2003 at the age of 54.

Sue Randall

Marion Burnside Randall was born in Philadelphia, the daughter of an internationally known real estate consultant. After graduating with honors from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York , she began appearing on TV at age 20 in 1955. She made her only feature-length film appearance in the Spencer Tracy-Katherine Hepburn vehicle Desk Set two years later, then made 4-6 TV guest appearances per year until first appearing as Beaver's teacher Miss Landers on Leave It to Beaver in 1958. She made 28 appearances on the series and continued with occasional guest appearances on other shows like Perry Mason, Bonanza, and The Fugitive until 1971. A heavy smoker all her life, she died of lung cancer at the age of 49 on October 26, 1984.

Notable Guest Stars

Season 3, Episode 14, "Tire Trouble": Richard Deacon (shown on the right, played Sherman Hall on The Charles Farrell Show, Roger Finley on Date With the Angels, Uncle Archie on Walt Disney Presents: Annette, Mel Cooley on The Dick Van Dyke Show, and Roger Buell on The Mothers-in-Law) plays Ward's business colleague Fred Rutherford.

Season 3, Episode 15, "Larry Hides Out": Madge Blake (shown on the left, played Mrs. Barnes on The Joey Bishop Show, Flora MacMichael on The Real McCoys, Tillie the Fan Club President on The Jack Benny Show, and Aunt Harriet Cooper on Batman) plays Beaver's friend Larry's mother Mrs. Mondello.
Season 3, Episode 16, "Pet Fair": Tim Graham (Homer on National Velvet) plays pet store owner Mr. Allen.

Season 3, Episode 17, "Wally's Test": Frank Albertson (shown on the right, starred in Alice Adams, Man Made Monster, and It's a Wonderful Life and played Mr. Cooper on Bringing Up Buddy) plays Wally's teacher Mr. Gannon.
Season 3, Episode 19, "Wally's Election": Ross Elliott (Freddie the director on The Jack Benny Show and Sheriff Abbott on The Virginian) plays Wally's teacher Mr. Hyatt. Cindy Carol (starred in Gidget Goes to Rome and played Binkie Massey on The New Loretta Young Show) plays Wally's classmate Alma Hanson. Ann Barnes (Cookie Bumstead on Blondie) plays Wally's classmate Frances Hobbs. Richard Deacon (see "Tire Trouble" above) returns as Fred Rutherford.
Season 3, Episode 21, "Beaver's Dance": Katherine Warren (starred in The Lady Pays Off, The Glenn Miller Story, and The Caine Mutiny) plays dance club hostess Mrs. Prescott. Karen Sue Trent (later played Penny Woods on Leave It to Beaver) plays a young girl at the dance. Madge Blake (see "Larry Hides Out" above) returns as Mrs. Mondello.
Season 3, Episode 25, "Wally and Alma": Jean Vander Pyl (shown on the left, the voice of Wilma Flintstone on The Flintstones, Rosie the Robot on The Jetsons, Ma and Floral Rugg on The Atom Ant Show, and The Banana Splits Adventure Hour, and Marge Huddles on Where's Huddles?) plays Alma's mother Mrs. Hanson. Cindy Carol (see "Wally's Election" above) returns as Alma Hanson. Barry Curtis (Ricky North on The Adventures of Champion and Court Whitney on Walt Disney Presents: Annette) plays Wally's classmate Harry Myers.
Season 3, Episode 26, "Beaver's Bike": Paul Bryar (Sheriff Harve Anders on The Long, Hot Summer) plays police Sgt. Peterson.
Season 3, Episode 27, "Wally's Orchid": Pamela Baird (Hildy Broeberg on My Friend Flicka, Nancy on Bachelor Father, and Mary Ellen Rogers on five other episodes of Leave It to Beaver) plays Wally's date Myra. Doris Packer (Mrs. Sohmers on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, Clara Mason on Happy, and Clarice Osborne on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis) plays Beaver's principal Mrs. Rayburn.
Season 3, Episode 28, "Ward's Baseball": Richard Deacon (see "Tire Trouble" above) returns as Fred Rutherford.
Season 3, Episode 29, "Beaver's Monkey": Norman Leavitt (Ralph on Trackdown) plays a veterinarian.
Season 3, Episode 30, "Beaver Finds a Wallet": Valerie Allen (shown on the right, appeared in The Joker Is Wild, The Five Pennies, Bells Are Ringing, and Pillow Talk, and played Verna Mason on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show and Anne Banner on The Texan) plays the woman who lost the wallet, Miss Tomkins. Jess Kirkpatrick (Frank Teeters on Gunsmoke) plays an unnamed police sergeant.
Season 3, Episode 31, "Mother's Day Composition": Doris Packer (see "Wally's Orchid" above) returns as Mrs. Rayburn. Bill Baldwin (announcer on The Bob Cummings Show, the narrator on Bat Masterson, and played a variety of announcers, newsmen, and emcees on a host of programs including Mister Ed, The Beverly Hillbillies, and The Addams Family) plays TV interviewer Frank.
Season 3, Episode 32, "Beaver and Violet": Veronica Cartwright (shown on the left, older sister of Angela 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 Fred Rutherford's daughter Violet. Majel Barrett (Nurse Christine Chapel on Star Trek, the voice of the computer on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: Voyager, and played Julianne Belman on Earth: The Final Conflict) plays Fred's wife Gwen. Richard Deacon (see "Tire Trouble" above) returns as Fred Rutherford.
Season 3, Episode 34, "Beaver the Model": Bartlett Robinson (Frank Caldwell on Mona McCluskey) plays Ward's lawyer friend George Compton. Aline Towne (Joan Gilbert on Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe) plays Compton's secretary.
Season 3, Episode 35, "Wally the Businessman": Ann Jillian (shown on the right, starred in Babes in Toyland, Gypsy, and Mr. Mom and played Milly on Hazel, Jennifer Farrell on Jennifer Slept Here, Cassie Cranston on It's a Living, and Ann McNeil on Ann Jillian) plays one of Wally's ice cream customers.
Season 3, Episode 35, "Wally's Play": Tommy Ivo (Herbie Bailey on The Donna Reed Show and Haywood Botts on Margie) plays Wally's fraternity brother Duke Hathaway.

Season 4, Episode 1, "Beaver Won't Eat": Hal Smith (shown second from left, played Charlie Henderson on I Married Joan, Hickey on Jefferson Drum, Otis Campbell on The AndyGriffith Show, Engineer Taurus on Space Angel, and did voicework on The Flintstones, Scooby Doo, Where Are You?, The Fantastic Four, The Dukes, and The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh) plays a restaurant manager. Bea Silvern (Etta Bormann on Secrets of Midland Heights) plays a waitress.

Season 4, Episode 2, "Beaver's House Guest": Barry Gordon (shown on the right, played Dennis Whitehead on The New Dick Van Dyke Show, Charlie Harrison on Fish, Gary Rabinowitz on Archie Bunker's Place, Roger Hightower on A Family for Joe, and the voice of Donatello on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) plays Beaver's friend Chopper. Clark Howat (Dr. John Petrie on The Adventures of Dr. Fu Manchu) plays Chopper's "Uncle Dave."
Season 4, Episode 4, "Wally the Lifeguard": John Hiestand (Mr. Jason on Room for One More and the radio announcer's voice on The Waltons) plays Friend's Lake manager Mr. Burton. Dick Gering (Johnny Green on Margie) plays a lifeguard. Cindy Carol (see "Wally's Election" above) returns as Alma Hanson. Pamela Baird (see "Wally's Orchid" above) plays Mary Ellen Rogers.
Season 4, Episode 6, "Beaver's Contest": Burt Mustin (shown on the left, played Foley on The Great Gildersleeve, Mr. Finley on Date With the Angels, Jud Fletcher on The Andy Griffith Show, and Justin Quigley on All in the Family) plays Gus the fireman. Mark Allen (Matt Kissel on The Travels of Jamie McPheeters and Sam Evans on Dark Shadows) plays a traffic cop.
Season 4, Episode 8, "Eddie's Double-Cross": Reba Waters (Francesca on Peck's Bad Girl) plays Eddie's girlfriend Caroline Shuster. Cindy Carol (see "Wally's Election" above) returns as Alma Hanson.
Season 4, Episode 9, "Beaver's I.Q.": Doris Packer (see "Wally's Orchid" above) returns as Mrs. Rayburn. Karen Sue Trent (see "Beaver's Dance" above) plays Beaver's classmate Penny Woods.
Season 4, Episode 10, "Wally's Glamour Girl": Bernadette Withers (shown on the right, played Ginger on Bachelor Father) plays Wally's date Kitty Bannerman.
Season 4, Episode 11, "Chuckie's Shoes": Marjorie Reynolds (Peg Riley on The Life of Riley) plays the Cleavers' neighbor Mrs. Murdock. Jess Kirkpatrick (see "Beaver Finds a Wallet" above) plays a department store shoe salesman.  
Season 4, Episode 12, "Beaver and Kenneth": Jean Vander Pyl (see "Wally and Alma" above) plays mother's day school committee head Mrs. Thompson. William Bakewell (starred in The Iron Mask, Playing Around, Guilty Hands, and The Fabulous Dorseys) plays Kenneth's father Mr. Purcell. 
Season 4, Episode 13, "Beaver's Accordion": John Hoyt (shown on the left, starred in My Favorite Brunette, The Lady Gambles, and Blackboard Jungle and played Grandpa Stanley Kanisky on Gimme a Break!) plays music company collector Mr. Franklin.

Season 4, Episode 14, "Uncle Billy": 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, and J.J. Jackson on Cade's County) plays Ward's Uncle Billy. Henry Hunter (Doctor Summerfield on Hazel) plays a sporting goods store clerk.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mr. Lucky (1960)

After the surprise success of Blake Edwards' Peter Gunn in the 1958-59 television season, CBS called on the then 37-year-old producer for another hit when it decided to replace the Edward Binns crime drama Brenner barely into the 1959 fall season. And Edwards delivered with Mr. Lucky, which finished the season tied for #21 in the ratings, higher than Gunn. But the series had the bad fortune of running afoul of Bible belt distaste for contemporary depictions of gambling and never recovered. The series' only resemblance to the 1943 feature-length film of the same name was the suave demeanor of the title character, played by Cary Grant in the film and John Vivyan in the TV series, and his penchant for gambling. Both were also ostensibly based on the short story "Bundles for Freedom" by Milton Holmes. But whereas Grant's Lucky is a gambler and draft dodger until he reforms and joins the military, Vivyan's Lucky runs a South American casino with his sidekick Andamo, then escapes a revolution and relocates in the States to set up a gambling establishment aboard his boat, the Fortuna II, situated 3 miles off land in international waters to avoid U.S. restrictions and taxes. While outside the reach of government officials, Lucky was not beyond the disapproval of American television viewers, particularly in the South, who began complaining to CBS, as reported in the January 23, 1960 edition of TV Guide. By the February 13 edition, TV Guide was reporting that sponsor Lever Brothers had demanded that the show be made more respectable, but by then the show had already made the transition, with Lucky hinting to Andamo at the end of "The Sour Milk Fund" (January 30, 1960) that the Fortuna II would no longer be used for gambling. In the next episode, "The Brain Picker" (February 6, 1960), Lucky reveals that the boat will become an exclusive dinner club. TV Guide, playing on the fact that Lever was mostly known for its soap, opined, "By taking the bite out of the character, it [Lever] was running a real risk of transforming one of the season's big hits into a big flop..." Yet, as mentioned above, the show finished just out of the top 20 in the ratings for the year. However, Lever decided not to renew its sponsorship, and the network was unable to find a replacement. Vivyan, who had turned down a role in an Ingrid Bergman film in anticipation of a second season of Mr. Lucky, had a lackluster career thereafter.

Despite its abandonment by its sponsors, the series proved popular not only with viewers but also with the editors at TV Guide, as it co-starred in a February 13 cover story with Peter Gunn and producer Edwards, scored profiles of co-stars Pippa Scott in the April 2 issue and Ross Martin in the May 21 issue, and was the subject of the magazine's weekly review in the March 12 issue. In that review, Frank DeBlois admires the show's character development, witty dialogue, and visual aesthetics, but admits that the plots are frequently shopworn. And he has a point: most episodes revolve around someone seeking assistance from Lucky or trying to manipulate him for their purposes, and most climax with a fist-fight that Lucky and Andamo always win, which would be a tad more credible if Lucky's back-story included a boxing career like Charles Bronson's Mike Kovacs in Man With a Camera. Amongst those seeking Lucky's assistance are stand-up comedian Jerry Musco, trying to escape from his mobster former employer in "The Last Laugh" (February 13, 1960), exploited ex-con Karl Lieder in "The Parolee" (Febraury 20, 1960), country club manager Joe Branco, trying to snuff out a dangerous card cheat in "Cold Deck" (March 19, 1960), and young, blonde, rich socialite Margot who is being pursued by a beatnik serial killer in "Stacked Deck" (May 28, 1960). Among those trying to manipulate him are bad painter and art thief Andre Damon in "Aces Back to Back" (January 2, 1960), old friend and heist co-conspirator Pop Markel in "Big Squeeze" (March 12, 1960), divorced mob attorney Vincent, trying to force his ex-wife into joint custody by using the Fortuna II to kidnap his own daughter in "His Maiden Voyage" (March 26, 1960), and Nazi mouthpiece Frederick St. John, who uses the Fortuna II as a way to sneak back into the States in "Odyssey of Hate" (June 4, 1960). In many of these white-knuckle escapades, Lucky and Andamo are bailed out in the nick of time by police Lt. Rovacs, who maintains a love-hate relationship with the boys--simmering because they are outside his jurisdiction and sometimes have interests at odds with his, but also somewhat thankful for the number of cases they help him solve. Sometimes the rescues are a bit implausible, as in "Stacked Deck" where Lucky tries to signal Rovacs on shore by flicking his boat's illuminated sign off and on, only to learn from the killer that because the sign is neon, the flickering would probably appear normal rather than a sign of distress. Still, Rovacs shows up just as the killer is about to shoot Lucky, proving that his nickname is not without merit.

Regarding the character development that DeBlois lauded in his TV Guide review, Lucky is a more complex individual than the standard male lead. Though he can check off tall, dark, and handsome on his resumé, his occupation as a professional gambler during the first half of the series causes him to occasionally rub elbows with unsavory characters. He maintains a high standard of ethics, refusing, as mentioned above, to allow his boat to be used as a getaway vehicle for a heist in "Big Squeeze," even though one of the perpetrators is an old friend. But he also doesn't run to the police and rat out that old friend, even when the friend's accomplices first frame him for the robbery and then take Andamo as a hostage. Rovacs is only able to rush in at the last minute by tailing Lucky after he is framed as he traces the crime back to its source. Also somewhat ambivalent is Lucky's relationship status: his regular girlfriend Margaret "Maggie" Shank-Rutherford appears in only 8 of the 34 episodes, and in those episodes he is devoted only to her. But in other episodes he occasionally becomes very friendly with a number of other lovely ladies, some of them quite dangerous, as with the assassin Miss Grey, hired to rub him out in "I Bet Your Life" (April 2, 1960), or gambler moll Evelyn, who lures him into a trap in "Election Bet" (June 18, 1960).

The other characters are simpler by comparison. Andamo is a trusty and always loyal sidekick with plenty of wit but also a weakness for feminine charms that sometimes gets him into trouble , too, such as when he falls for do-gooder socialite Victoria Pennington, whose charity is run by a crook in "The Sour Milk Fund" (January 30, 1960). Rovacs is a consistently dyspeptic and sarcastic cop, while Maggie is a somewhat ditzy girlfriend who disobeys instructions and nearly gets herself killed in "Maggie the Witness" (January 9, 1960).

The boat used as the Fortuna II was actually named The Alamo and was built in 1932 for William F. Ladd of New York. After changing ownership several times, it was acquired by the U.S. Navy in 1942 and was decommissioned at the end of World War II in December 1945. It was sold to retired Col. C.S. Smith in 1947, and it was during his ownership that it was used for Mr. Lucky. In 1960 it was sold to Enrique Braun, who moved it to Acapulco. In 1982 it was to be converted to a floating restaurant (just like in the TV series) when it caught fire and sunk. It is now considered a popular scuba diving venue. The entire history, with additional photos and documents, can he found here.

As with Peter Gunn, the music for the series was provided by frequent Blake Edwards collaborator and soundtrack superstar Henry Mancini, who would later provide scores for Edwards' signature Pink Panther film franchise. The theme song for Mr. Lucky was released as a single and reached #21 on the pop charts after debuting at #95 the week of April 10, 1960. Also like Peter Gunn, Mancini produced two albums with music taken from the series, the eponymous Mr. Lucky and Mr. Lucky Goes Latin. The theme song is what the house band aboard the Fortuna II usually plays, and Lucky has a pocket watch that plays the first five notes of the theme when opened.

Though the series had not been released to DVD at the time this post was originally written (all 34 episodes were then currently available on youtube.com with visual quality varies from quite good to merely acceptable), the complete series is now available from Timeless Media Group.

The Actors

John Vivyan

Born Jan Vukoyan to Croatian parents in Pittsburgh, Vivyan grew up in Chicago and was a ballroom dancer until a World War II injury at Guadalcanal forced a career change. After the war, he graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York in 1946 and made his first TV appearance on an episode of the drama anthology series Studio One in Hollywood three years later. More regular TV work did not come until 1957, when he appeared on shows such as State Trooper, Highway Patrol, and The Millionaire. More steady work in crime dramas and westerns, including four appearances in Maverick, followed over the next two years until he was cast as the lead for Mr. Lucky. He also appeared in 9 episodes of The Lawless Years before and after Lucky in 1959 and 1961, playing the character Lepke Buchalter in 7 of those appearances.

But, as mentioned above, the cancelation of Lucky took him by surprise and appears to have hit him hard. Interviews at the time said that he was shocked by the decision, and he appeared in only one feature-length film, 1962's Rider on a Dead Horse, and a string of TV guest appearances on a mere 15 shows over the next 23 years, the last being an episode of Simon & Simon in 1983. He died that year at the age of 68 on December 20. He also owned a message center in Hollywood on Wilshire Blvd in the 1970s and made commercials for Coffeemate in the 1980s.

Ross Martin

Much happier than Vivyan's story is that of the actor who played his sidekick Andamo. Martin was born as Martin Rosenblatt in Grodek, Poland in 1920 but grew up in New York's Lower East Side. He explained in his May 21 TV Guide feature story that his parents and grandparents suffered many pogroms in Poland and that he grew up with a sense of insecurity that drove him to study law, business, and accounting as fallbacks, even though his desire was to be an actor. A multilingual background (he spoke Yiddish, Polish, and Russian growing up) made him adept at picking up additional languages and accents, making him a perfect fit for the role of Andamo, who is Latin but of undisclosed origin. His linguistic dexterity also allowed him to play a variety of characters when he broke into radio, at one time having roles on 8 different shows simultaneously before eventually landing his own show. But before that he had a vaudeville comedy act with Bernie West and was an accomplished violinist by the age of 8. He broke into TV in 1949 and had steady work throughout the 50s, including 4 appearances on Lights Out, 7 on Treasury Men in Action, and 6 more on Modern Romances. After catching Blake Edwards' eye when appearing in an episode of Peter Gunn in January 1959, he landed the role of Andamo on Mr. Lucky, his first regular role, and continued his association with Edwards in the feature films Experiment in Terror in 1962 and The Great Race in 1965, which led to a Golden Globe nomination.

After a few more guest appearances on various TV shows as well as occasional movie work, he landed the role of a lifetime as secret agent, technical wizard, and master of disguise Artemus Gordon opposite Robert Conrad on The Wild Wild West, which ran four seasons from 1965-69 and earned Martin an Emmy nomination in its last season. However, in the last year of the series, Martin suffered a heart attack that temporarily kept him from working. It has been suggested that Martin's heart condition may have scared the networks away from giving him a lead role thereafter, but he found steady work making appearances on many TV shows and in TV movies throughout the 70s, including 5 appearances as Tony Alika on Hawaii Five-O. But his heart condition eventually killed him when he collapsed while playing tennis and died at the age of 61 on July 3, 1981.

Pippa Scott

Daughter of screenwriter Alan Scott (Top Hat, Swing Time, Follow the Fleet) and Broadway actress Laura Straub, Scott got the acting bug early and studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. When she returned to the States, she won a Theatre World Award for her performance in Child of Fortune. Her first TV appearance came at the age of 20 and her film debut followed the next year in the classic John Ford western The Searchers, though, as she noted in one interview, her character was killed off very early in the film. In 1958 she had a leading role as a high school teacher who has a relationship with a student in As Young As We Are and had a minor role that same year in the Rosalind Russell vehicle Auntie Mame before landing her first regular TV role the following year with Mr. Lucky.

After Lucky's cancelation, she was cast as Molly Wood on the first season of The Virginian but left after that initial season and did not find another regular role until playing opposite Jack Warden in the short-lived series Jigsaw John in 1976. After a 1984 appearance on Remington Steele, Scott had a 25-year gap in acting appearances until resurfacing in the film Footprints in 2009. For nearly 20 years she was married to Lee Rich, who co-founded Lorimar Productions, the production company for The Waltons, Dallas, Falcon Crest, and Knots Landing.

Tom Brown

Thomas Brown was born in New York City in 1913 and first appeared on stage in his mother's arms at the ripe old age of 6 months. From the age of 2 he was a child model in ads for Buster Brown Shoes, Arrow Collars, and Buick Automobiles. His film career commenced at age 11 in 1924, and in the 1930s he had leading roles in Ann of Green Gables, Bachelor of Arts, and Gentle Julia. He appeared in over 60 films before moving into TV roles in the mid-50s, but his role as Lt. Rovacs on Mr. Lucky was his first regular television role. After Lucky's demise, his most steady work was as the second incarnation of Al Weeks on General Hospital from 1963-65 and again from 1970-74. He also worked in single showings on The Untouchables, Peter Gunn, The Rifleman, and McHale's Navy, to name a few. From 1968-74 he had a recurring role as rancher Ed O'Connor in 13 episodes of Gunsmoke, and his last appearance was as an emcee on a 1979 episode of The Jeffersons. He died of cancer on June 3, 1990 at the age of 77.

Joe Scott

Though he appeared in more episodes than Pippa Scott (no relation), Joe Scott's role as Joe the croupier and then maitre' d was extremely low-profile, more like a piece of furniture than an actual character. He occasionally had a line or two of dialogue, such as telling Lucky that Rovacs was upstairs waiting to see him. His other TV roles, all but one during the 1960s, were similar: a croupier on The Twilight Zone and The Dick Powell Theatre, an unnamed jockey on National Velvet, an attendant and a gunman in two episodes of Peter Gunn, and a bartender and a drive-in attendant on two episodes of Burke's Law. He actually got to play named characters in single episodes of The Untouchables and Checkmate and ended his career as a bartender on The Mary Tyler Moore Show in 1975. It is not known whether he is still living.

Notable Guest Stars

Season 1, Episode 11, "Aces Back to Back": Peter Whitney (shown on the left, played Sergeant Buck Sinclair on The Rough Riders and Lafe Crick on The Beverly Hillbillies) plays horrible painter Andre Damon. Bernard Fein (Pvt. Gomez on The Phil Silvers Show) plays robber Spanish Charley. Robert Warwick (starred in Alias Jimmy Valentine, The Supreme Sacrifice, The Heart of a Hero, and Against All Flags) plays art appraiser Charles Colter. 

Season 1, Episode 12, "Maggie the Witness": Robert Carricart (Pepe Cordoza on T.H.E. Cat) plays hitman Willie. Arthur Batanides (Sgt. Sam Olivera on Johnny Midnight) plays hitman Bruce. Milton Frome (starred in Pardners, The Delicate Delinquent, and The Swinger and played Lawrence Chapman on The Beverly Hillbillies) plays attorney Pennypacker. Richard Devon (Jody Barker on Yancy Derringer) plays imposter attorney Billy.

Season 1, Episode 13, "The Two Million Dollar Window": Wesley Lau (shown on the right, played Lt. Andy Anderson on PerryMason and Master Sgt. Jiggs on The Time Tunnel) plays heist ringleader Slate. William Fawcett (Clayton on Duffy's Tavern, Marshal George Higgins on The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, and Pete Wilkey on Fury) plays an unnamed fisherman. William Boyett (Sgt. Ken Williams on Highway Patrol and Sgt. MacDonald on Adam-12) plays an unnamed health officer. Cyril Delvanti (Lucious Coin on Jefferson Drum) plays convict Gardenia O'Toole. 

Season 1, Episode 14, " The Leadville Gang": Will Wright (shown on the far left, played Mr. Merrivale on Dennis the Menace and Ben Weaver on The Andy Griffith Show) plays former train robber the Leadville Kid. Burt Mustin (shown on the left, played Foley on The Great Gildersleeve, Mr. Finley on Date With the Angels, Gus the fireman on Leave It to Beaver, Jud Fletcher on The Andy Griffith Show, and Justin Quigley on All in the Family) plays accomplice Billy Gregg. Raymond Hatton (starred in Oliver Twist (1916), The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Lord Jim, played Marshal Sandy Hopkins in 28 westerns and Rusty Joslin in 7 other westerns, and played The Mole on Dick Tracy) plays accomplice Joe Horn. Frank Ferguson (Gus Broeberg on My Friend Flicka, Eli Carson on Peyton Place, and Dr. Barton Stuart on Petticoat Junction) plays retired marshal Hyatt Krausmayer. Harlan Warde (John Hamilton on The Rifleman and Sheriff John Brannan on The Virginian) plays retirement home Dr. Adams. 

Season 1, Episode 15, "The Sour Milk Fund": Warren Stevens (starred in The Frogmen, The Barefoot Contessa, Deadline U.S.A., and Forbidden Planet, played Lt. William Storm on Tales of the 77th Bengal Lancers, and was the voice of John Bracken on Bracken's World) plays orchid-growing charity head Charles Van Clede. 

Season 1, Episode 16, " The Brain Picker": Lisa Gaye (shown on the right, played Gwen Kirby on How to Marry a Millionaire) plays blackmail victim Sherry Beaumont. Herbert Rudley (Sam Brennan on The Californians, Lt. Will Gentry on Michael Shayne, General Crone on Mona McCluskey, and Herb Hubbard on The Mothers-in-Law) plays her counselor Arthur Burnett. Charles Wagenheim (Halligan on Gunsmoke) plays go-between Charles Van Halsington III.

Season 1, Episode 17, " The Last Laugh": Frank Gorshin (shown on the left, starred in Hot Rod Girl, Invasion of the Saucer Men, Where the Boys Are, and That Darn Cat and played the Riddler on Batman) plays stand-up comic Jerry Musco. Brad Dexter (starred in Macao, Between Heaven and Hell, and Run Silent, Run Deep) plays his former boss Fred Scorby. Harvey Parry (Harrigan on Baretta) plays Scorby thug Dane. 

Season 1, Episode 18, " The Parolee": Jeremy Slate (starred in The Sons of Katie Elder, The Devil's Brigade, and True Grit and played Larry Lahr on The Aquanauts) plays exploited parolee Karl Lieder. Linda Lawson (shown on the right, jazz singer who played Renee on Adventures in Paradise, Pat Perry on Don't Call Me Charlie, and Laura Fremont on Ben Casey) plays his girlfriend Angie. Bartlett Robinson (Frank Caldwell on Mona McCluskey) plays liquor board head Joe Hardiman. Ric Roman (Capt. Briones on Zorro) plays thug Fenneman.

Season 1, Episode 19, "The Tax Man": Simon Scott (John Riggs on Markham, Gen. Bronson on McHale's Navy, Chief Barney Metcalf on Mod Squad, and Arnold Slocum on Trapper John, M.D.) plays crooked swimsuit maker George Darwin. Walter Burke (starred in All the King's Men, Jack the Giant Killer, and Support Your Local Sheriff! and played Tim Potter on Black Saddle) plays his accountant Tobias Foss. Robert H. Harris (Jake Goldberg on Molly and Raymond Schindler on The Court of Last Resort) plays IRS investigator Fenton Lorimer. Bill Baldwin (narrator on Harbor Command and Bat Masterson and played various announcers on The Bob Cummings Show, The Untouchables, The Addams Family, and The Beverly Hillbillies) plays second IRS agent Orval Whitley.
Season 1, Episode 20, " The Gladiators": William Smith (Sgt. Danny Keller on The Asphalt Jungle, Jimmy Delaney on Zero One, Joe Riley on Laredo, Falconetti on Rich Man,- Poor Man - Book II, Det. James "Kimo" Carew on Hawaii Five-O, Col Willie Shell on Emerald Point N.A.S., and Brodie Hollister on Wildside) plays Harvard graduate and boxer Leland Lamont. Kent Taylor (Carlos Murietta on Zorro and Capt. Jim Flagg on The Rough Riders) plays mobster Frankie Bragan. John Dennis (Dutch Schultz on The Lawless Years) plays thug Flipper. Nita Talbot (Marya on Hogan's Heroes, Judy Evans on Here We Go Again, Delfina on General Hospital, and Rose on Starting From Scratch) plays Bragan's girlfriend Kitten Conner. Jimmy Lennon, Sr. (legendary fight announcer who appeared in Alias the Champ, Racket Girls, Kid Galahad, and Rocky III and on The Monkees, Mission: Impossible, and Mod Squad) plays the fight announcer. Mushy Callahan (real-life boxing referee inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1989) plays himself.

Season 1, Episode 21, " Big Squeeze": Kevin Hagen (shown on the left, played John Colton on Yancy Derringer, Inspector Dobbs Kobick on Land of the Giants, and Dr. Hiram Baker on Little House on the Prairie) plays explosives expert Jojo Morgan. Percy Helton (Homer Cratchit on The Beverly Hillbillies) plays heist conspirator Pop Markel. Jack Elam (Deputy J.D. Smith on The Dakotas and George Taggart on Temple Houston) plays heist conspirator Phil Bricker. Irene Tedrow (Mrs. Elkins on Dennis the Menace) plays palm-reader Madame Maria. 

Season 1, Episode 22, " Cold Deck": Joe Maross (shown on the right, played Fred Russell on Peyton Place, Capt. Mike Benton on Code Red, and Dr. Blakely on Dallas) plays country club manager Jim Branco. Larry J. Blake (the unnamed jailer on Yancy Derringer and Tom Parnell on Saints and Sinners) plays bartender Dave Gray. Peter Leeds (Tenner Smith on Trackdown) plays crooked card player Len Porter. Howard Petrie (Hugh Blaine on Bat Masterson) plays card player John Dort. Paul Maxey (Matt Brockway on Lassie and Mayor John Peoples on The People's Choice) plays Lucky's patron Reynolds. 

Season 1, Episode 23, " His Maiden Voyage": Tammy Marihugh (Tammy Johnson on The Bob Cummings Show) plays kidnapped daughter Penny. Norman Alden (Johnny Ringo on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, Captain Horton on Rango, Tom Williams on My Three Sons, and Coach Leroy Fedders on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman) plays thug Mitch. Henry Beckman (Commander Paul Richards on Flash Gordon, Mulligan on I'm Dickens, He's Fenster, George Anderson on Peyton Place, Colonel Harrigan on McHale's Navy, Capt. Roland Frances Clancey on Here Come the Brides, Pat Harwell on Funny Face, Harry Mark on Bronk, and Alf Scully on Check It Out) plays thug Huey. 

Season 1, Episode 24, " I Bet Your Life": Mari Blanchard (shown on the left, starred in Abbott and Costello Go to Mars, Destry, Son of Sinbad, and She Devil and played Kathy O'Hara on Klondike) plays hit-woman Miss Grey. R.G. Armstrong (Police Capt. McAllister on T.H.E. Cat and Lewis Vendredi on Friday the 13th) plays compulsive gambler Mike Haley. Ross Elliott (Freddie the director on The Jack Benny Show and Sheriff Abbott on The Virginian) plays stockbroker Harold Young. James Maloney (Jim on 21 Beacon Street) plays building supervisor Mr. Hotchkiss. 

Season 1, Episode 25, " Hair of the Dog": Peter Whitney (see "Aces Back to Back" above) plays mobster Rosey Rosenthal. Gavin MacLeod (shown on the right, starred in Operation Petticoat, The Sand Pebbles, and Kelly's Heroes and played Joseph Haines on McHale's Navy, Murray Slaughter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda, and Capt. Merrill Stubing on The Love Boat) plays an unnamed clothing store salesman. 

Season 1, Episode 26, " Vote the Bullet": Dehl Berti (Vittorio on Buck James and John Taylor on Guns of Paradise) plays council candidate Anthony Vasconi. Stafford Repp (shown on the left, played Chief O'Hara on Batman) plays labor leader Big John Root. Charles Aidman (narrator on the 1985-87 version of The Twilight Zone) plays former candidate Art Cable. 

Season 1, Episode 27, " Hit and Run": Alan Hewitt (starred in That Touch of Mink, Days of Wine and Roses, The Misadventures of Merlin Jones, and The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes and played Det. Bill Brennan on My Favorite Martian) plays swindler Harvey Boone. Doris Singleton (Caroline Appleby on I Love Lucy, Susie on Angel, and Margaret Williams on My Three Sons) plays his wife Iris. Tom McKee (Comrade Brisson Laylock on I Led 3 Lives, Capt. Davis on The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, and Fire Chief Tucker on Rescue 8) plays assistant D.A. Allen Christian. Sarah Selby (Miss Thomas on Father Knows Best and Ma Smalley on Gunsmoke) plays socialite Mrs. Bullitt.

Season 1, Episode 28, " Taking a Chance": Joanna Barnes (Lola on 21 Beacon Street and Katie O'Brien on The Trials of O'Brien) plays movie star Laura Lawrence. Stanley Adams (Lt. Morse on Not for Hire) plays her press agent Danny Devlin. Billy Barty (Babby on Peter Gunn, Sparky the Firefly on The Bugaloos, Sigmund Ooze on Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, Inch on Ace Crawford, Private Eye, and the voice of Dweedle on Wildfire) plays an unnamed carnival little person. 

Season 1, Episode 29, "Last Journey": Eugene Mazzola (Joey Drum on Jefferson Drum) plays father-seeking boy David Parker. Olan Soule (Aristotle "Tut" Jones on Captain Midnight, Ray Pinker on Dragnet (1952-59), and Fred Springer on Arnie) plays his uncle Mr. Burton. John Marley (starred in Cat Ballou, Love Story, and The Godfather) plays mobster Glenn Markson. Clegg Hoyt (Mac on Dr. Kildare) plays launch pilot Pudge. 

Season 1, Episode 30, "Operation Fortuna": Jack Nicholson (shown on the right, starred in Five Easy Pieces, Easy Rider, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and Chinatown and played Jaime Angel on Dr. Kildare) plays clumsy waiter Martin. Richard Chamberlain (starred in Joy in the Morning, Julius Caesar, The Three Musketeers, and The Swarm and played Dr. James Kildare on Dr. Kildare and Dr. Daniel Kulani on Island Son) plays gang ring-leader Alec. Anne Helm (Molly Pierce on Run for Your Life) plays gang member Edie. Jolene Brand (Anna Maria Verdugo on Zorro) plays Andamo's childhood friend Clara Iglesias. Della Sharman (Nurse Betty Johnson on Dr. Kildare) plays Lucky's cashier Doris. Helen Kleeb (Mrs. Holland on Dennis the Menace and Mamie Baldwin on The Waltons) plays Martin's family maid.

Season 1, Episode 31, "Stacked Deck": Yvette Mimeaux (shown on the left, starred in The Time Machine, Where the Boys Are, and Toys in the Attic and played Vanessa Smith on The Most Deadly Game and Shane Bradley on Berrenger's) plays runaway young socialite Margot. Grant Williams (Greg MacKenzie on Hawaiian Eye) plays beatnik serial killer Conrad. 

Season 1, Episode 32, " Odyssey of Hate": Karl Swenson (Lars Hanson on Little House on the Prairie) plays Nazi promoter Frederick St. John. Patricia Donohue (Hazel on The Thin Man and Lucy Hamilton on Michael Shayne) plays his companion Ursula Heft. Ted Knight (shown on the right, played Ted Baxter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Roger Dennis on The Ted Knight Show, and Henry Rush on Too Close for Comfort) plays his body double Dr. Benjamin Furst. Eleanor Audley (Mother Eunice Douglas on Green Acres and Mrs. Vincent on My Three Sons) plays wealthy socialite Mrs. Dubois. Carol Bryan (Kitty Mathews on Oh, Those Bells) plays her niece Patricia. Robert Brubaker (Deputy Ed Blake on U.S. Marshal and Floyd on Gunsmoke) plays federal agent Barber. Warner Jones (Capt. Wilbur Scott on The Blue Angels) plays his assistant Paul.

Season 1, Episode 33, "Dangerous Lady": Virginia Vincent (Betty on The Joey Bishop Show, Dottie Clark on The Super, and Daisy Maxwell on Eight Is Enough) plays convict moll Honeybird. Lee Van Cleef (starred in For a Few Dollars More and The Good, The Bad and the Ugly) plays her husband Kruger. Jackie Coogan (starred in The Kid, Oliver Twist, A Boy of Flanders, Tom Sawyer, and Huckleberry Finn and played Stoney Crockett on Cowboy G-Men, Sgt. Barnes on McKeever & the Colonel, and Uncle Fester Frump on The Addams Family) plays mobster Joe Azevedo. 

Season 1, Episode 34, " Election Bet": King Calder (Lt. Gray on Martin Kane) plays gambler Mr. Toby. Joi Lansing (shown on the left, played Shirley Swanson on The Bob Cummings Show, Goldie on Klondike, and Gladys Flatt on The Beverly Hillbillies) plays his girlfriend Evelyn. Leo Gordon (Big Mike McComb on Maverick) plays an unnamed hit-man. Stan Jones (voicework on Challenge of the Superfriends, The Incredible Hulk, The Dukes, The Chipmunks, and The Transformers) plays Andamo's friend Ed. 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 sculptor Jake.