Route 66 has long been considered a ground-breaking television series, shot on location across the country, blending the dramatic series with the drama anthology, and providing co-creator and principal screenwriter Stirling Silliphant a canvas on which to hone his craft that would later win him an Oscar for his screenplay for In the Heat of the Night. But the series was first the brain-child of producer Herbert B. Leonard, who worked with Silliphant on another location-based dramatic series, Naked City, in the late 1950s. As related by Silliphant biographer Nat Segaloff in Stirling Silliphant: The Fingers of God, Leonard said that the germ for the series came from an actual cross-country road trip he and his brother had taken after World War II. It has been said that the series also owes a debt to Jack Kerouac's On the Road, though Leonard claimed in a 1962 TV Guide article that he had never read the book, perhaps because Kerouac at one time considered filing a lawsuit against Leonard, Silliphant, and the show's sponsor, Chevrolet. The concept was also set up by a 1959 episode of Naked City that starred George Maharis and Bob Morris, which ended with the two men planning to travel cross country to see more than their New York City life could afford them. But Morris died of a brain hemorrhage in 1960 and was replaced by Martin Milner as Maharis' traveling companion, and the original working title of The Searchers was too reminiscent of the John Ford western classic and therefore changed to Route 66, which had at one time been called the Mother Road.
That original working title is perhaps more reflective of the thrust of the series, as the characters Tod Stiles (Milner) and Buz Murdock (Maharis) frequently tell the people they meet that they are searching for a place where they fit in and can settle down, in some ways searching for who they really are, while very few locations for the episodes are in cities actually on the Mother Road. In fact, the fall 1961 episodes are all located in cities east of the Mississippi, whereas the actual road runs from Chicago to Los Angeles. But the idea of itinerant main characters traveling to a different location for each episode and becoming involved in the affairs of the people they meet was already a familiar TV trope, though usually found in westerns like Cheyenne, The Texan, Sugarfoot, and Bronco all of which featured a single protagonist who has no clear motivation for never settling down but takes odd jobs wherever he roams, much like Tod and Buz. These westerns usually try to inject a little drama into the format by having the protagonist come close to or actually falling in love, suggesting an impending marriage and potentially putting the series format in jeopardy. Route 66 tries the same trick, having Buz propose to a dying Broadway actress not knowing of her illness in "A Month of Sundays" (September 22, 1961) only to have her succumb in the episode's climax. He likewise falls for the ex-wife of a crop duster in "Fly Away Home" (February 10 & 17, 1961), prompting Tod to suggest to him that perhaps Phoenix is the place where he will put down roots. But it turns out to be a case of unrequited love, and even though the pilot is killed accidentally, the ex-wife isn't ready to open up to Buz. Tod gets his chance to settle down in "Once to Every Man" (October 27, 1961) when he is engaged to a ship builder's heiress, but he finds her too domineering, wanting to dictate every aspect of his life, so he breaks off the engagement and hits the road with Buz again.
Silliphant's scripts are also not always as innovative as Segaloff suggests. "The Opponent" (June 2, 1961) is a tired tale of a washed-up boxer who has to learn the hard way to hang up his gloves and move on with his life, a story played out in countless other feature films and TV series. "Birdcage on My Foot" (October 13, 1961) paints a non-Hollywood picture of heroin addiction, but western series like The Rebel had already broached the subject, and Dr. Kildare was also handling the same theme at the same time. "Sleep on Four Pillows" (February 24, 1961) tells the story of a daughter acting out by running away from her state senator mother as a cry for more attention, another topic being treated at the same time by shows like My Three Sons. And the street gangs depicted in episodes like "Most Vanquished, Most Victorious" (April 14, 1961) and "And the Cat Jumped Over the Moon" (December 15, 1961) are straight out of dozens of feature films from the 1950s, from The Asphalt Jungle to West Side Story.
But where the series shines brightest is in its use of location shots. We see Tod and Buz working in real factories and stockyards, on tugboats and ranches across the country rather than on Hollywood backlots. Milner commented in a July 22, 1961 TV Guide article that they could have easily shot the episode "Trap at Cordova" (May 26, 1961) on such a backlot with not much noticeably different from the real New Mexican town and its 1830 mission church. But episodes like "Goodnight, Sweet Blues" (October 6, 1961), which won an Emmy for guest star Ethel Waters, are stunning for their location shots showing life in black housing projects at the time. Besides the fact that this episode is filled with black actors and jazz musicians at a time when blacks were hardly ever seen anywhere on scripted TV shows, getting to see where they actually live is unprecedented and surprisingly bold.
The series is also bold in its depiction of the majority of American families as being dysfunctional or broken. Buz is a lifelong orphan, growing up in an orphanage and never knowing his parents. He thinks he may have found his mother in "The Mud Nest" (November 10, 1961) when he and Tod veer off the main highway and stumble into the rural town of Hester, Maryland, only to have the locals swear that Buz must be the long-lost son of Dorothea Colby. This leads Tod and Buz on a search through public records in Baltimore and interviews with various people who knew Dorothea, finally finding her living under an assumed name but only to have her tell Buz that her child died in infancy. Tod is a more recent orphan, his once wealthy father having died recently after his business failed and leaving him with a Corvette as his only inheritance.
The lack of family ties allows the two young men to travel freely, but they encounter many families in distress. "The Quick and the Dead" (January 13, 1961) finds a daughter and step-mother at odds over whether the father and husband should retire as a race car driver when his skills and reactions have obviously deteriorated with age. The aforementioned "Sleep on Four Pillows" shows a neglected daughter running away and hiding to shake her too-busy state senator mother and make her realize that she has been ignoring her duties as a mother. "Like a Motherless Child" (March 17, 1961) has a woman who gave up her son as a baby to pursue her own life only to regret her decision and latch onto numerous young men like Buz in an effort to assuage her guilt. "Don't Count Stars" (April 28, 1961) shows a young girl who has inherited her late father's hotel under the guardianship of an alcoholic uncle who means well but is frequently fouling up, such that the hotel's banker tries to get a judge to revoke the uncle's guardianship, thereby forcing the uncle to reveal that he is actually the girl's father and had placed her with his brother because he knew she would be better taken care of. "The Newborn" (May 5, 1961) tells the story of a rich rancher trying to take control of the grandson about to be born to an Indian woman that his son married without his consent, only to finally relent to her wishes that the baby grow up amongst her people. "First-Class Mouliak" (October 20, 1961) has the son of a Polish immigrant steelworker hide the accidental death of his girlfriend from his father because the latter has never listened to him, forcing him to go away to medical school when all the son really wanted was to grow up like his father amongst his own people. And the list goes on and on. At a time when America was on the verge of transitioning from the repressed, authoritarian society of the 1950s to a more open, individual-centered society in the 1960s, Route 66 tried to shine a light on the dysfunction of closed families and communities by disrupting the system via a pair of free agents with a broader perspective. Sometimes the stories end happily, sometimes not. Liberty and enlightenment are a double-edged sword, a lesson America has had to learn and relearn many times over.
The theme song for Route 66 was composed by Nelson Riddle, who is profiled in the 1960 post for The Untouchables.
The complete series has been released on DVD by Shout!Factory.
By the time he was cast as Tod Stiles on Route 66, Martin Sam Milner had an impressive 13-year resume in film. Born in Detroit, Michigan to a film distributor and Paramount Theatre dancer, when he was 9 years old the family moved to Seattle, Washington, where he begin acting in school productions and in a local children's theater. In his teenage years the family relocated again to Los Angeles, where his parents procured an acting coach and agent for their budding son. He landed his first film role as William Powell's second eldest son in Life With Father in 1947. Two years later he appeared with John Wayne in Sands of Iwo Jima. Milner graduated from North Hollywood High School and spent a year at USC studying theatre before leaving to concentrate on his acting career. In 1950 he made his first television appearance on an episode of The Lone Ranger and met Jack Webb while working on the feature film The Halls of Montezuma. The connection with Webb led to regular work on both the radio and television versions of Dragnet as well as a role in Pete Kelly's Blues in 1955. In 1950 he also landed his first recurring TV role as Drexel Potter on The Stu Erwin Show. In 1952 he began a 2-year stretch in the U.S. Army during which he directed training films and emceed and performed in touring shows. Though his career slowed slightly during this time, he still appeared in 6 feature films in 1952, 2 more in 1953, and had an uncredited role as a policeman in Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder in 1954. After his military career ended, his feature film work picked up again, appearing in The Long Gray Line, Mister Roberts, Pete Kelly's Blues, and Francis in the Navy all in 1955. He began mixing in occasional guest TV spots with his feature film work for the next couple of years, including three stints as Don Marshall on The Life of Riley in 1956-57. He also landed four major supporting film roles in 1957-59, appearing in Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Sweet Smell of Success, Marjorie Morningstar, and Compulsion. He became a household name the following year with the launch of Route 66.
When the series ended in 1964, Milner continued to receive TV guest spots on shows like Laredo, The Virginian, and Run for Your Life, as well as about one feature film role per year, but the quality of films was hardly stellar--Zebra in the Kitchen, Ski Fever, and Valley of the Dolls. But Webb came to his rescue when he cast him as the experienced L.A. police officer Pete Malloy in Adam-12, which debuted in the fall of 1968. Milner would make an appearance as Malloy on three other series as well--Dragnet 1967, The D.A., and Emergency! After Adam-12 completed 7 seasons, he starred in Irwin Allen's TV adaptation of The Swiss Family Robinson, but the series lasted only one season. Over the next 15 years he had a string of one-off TV guest spots on shows like Fantasy Island, MacGyver, and The New Adam-12 and roles on TV movies and mini-series before landing another regular role as Harris Cassidy on Life Goes On in 1992. Two appearances as Russell Murphy on RoboCop followed in 1994, with his last on-screen appearance coming in a 1997 episode of Diagnosis Murder. After retiring from acting the life-long angler hosted a San Diego radio show about fishing called Let's Talk Hook-Up. He died from heart failure on September 6, 2015 at the age of 83.
Maharais was born in Astoria, New York, one of seven children of Greek immigrants. His father had a chain of successful restaurants, but Maharis says that he later lost the businesses and that George and his family grew up in poverty, with his mother working as a cleaning lady. He attended Flushing High School but left before graduating to spend 18 months in the Marines. At the end of his service, he finished high school and then, after a brief stint as a singer in nightclubs and musical theater, studied acting with Lee Strasburg at the Actors Studio. He was sometimes seen as a younger version of Marlon Brando, and a 1962 TV Guide feature story ridiculed his method style as well as his anti-authoritarian and anti-intellectual attitude. His second television appearance, as it turns out, was a parody of Brando on an episode of Mister Peepers in 1955. His credits were fairly sparse through the rest of the 1950s, though he made three appearances in 1959 on Naked City, the last of which, "Four Sweet Corners," has been called a pseudo-pilot for Route 66. The TV Guide feature story quotes Naked City and Route 66 producer Herbert B. Leonard as having said that the latter series was created with Maharis in mind. Also around this time he was "discovered" by Otto Preminger, who is said to have offered him his choice of several supporting roles in Exodus, released in 1960. He also played the role of Bud Gardner on the soap opera Search for Tomorrow during the 1960-61 season, the same season that saw the launch of Route 66.
Route 66 made the hunky Maharis a teen idol and also helped launch his recording career as a singer. He released 7 albums and over a dozen singles on Epic Records beginning in 1962, with his first single, "Teach Me Tonight," making the top 25 on the charts. But his decision to leave the series midway through its third series has been the subject of controversy. Some reports said there was a contract dispute and that Maharis orchestrated to get out of his contract so that he could make feature films for more money. Maharis himself said he left for health reasons after contracting hepatitis from shooting on location. In any case, the move proved unsuccessful both for Maharis and the series. None of his films in the latter 1960s were hits, and he was back on television starring opposite Ralph Bellamy in the short-lived series The Most Deadly Game in 1970-71. Maharis said that his career was hurt by several revelations about his sexuality at this time. In 1967 he was arrested in Hollywood for lewd conduct with another man; a tabloid story about his relationship with another man who died just before the story ran resulted in fewer casting calls, and in 1974 he was again arrested for having sex with a male hairdresser in a gas station bathroom. There is even speculation that his sexual orientation may have been a factor in his leaving Route 66. In 1973 he was one of the first celebrities to pose nude for Playgirl magazine. And yet he continued to get guest spots on a number of series, including Mission: Impossible, Marcus Welby, M.D., McMillan & Wife, The Bionic Woman, Police Story, and 6 appearances on Fantasy Island. The appearances became much fewer in the 1980s on shows such as Matt Houston and Murder, She Wrote. His last credit was in the 1993 horror feature Doppelganger, but Maharis also kept busy over the years performing in Las Vegas and creating impressionistic paintings. He reportedly splits his time now between New York and Beverly Hills.
Notable Guest Stars
Season 1, Episode 12, "Sheba": Lee Marvin (shown on the left, starred in The Big Heat, Bad Day at Black Rock, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Cat Ballou, The Dirty Dozen, and Paint Your Wagon and played Det. Lt. Frank Ballinger on M Squad) plays cattle rancher Woody Biggs. Whitney Blake (Dorothy Baxter on Hazel) plays ex-convict Laura Church. Rico Alaniz (Mr. Cousin on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays her parole officer Pedro Regal. Stuart Nisbet (the bartender on The Virginian)plays a bartender.
Season 1, Episode 13, "The Quick and the Dead": Frank Overton (starred in Desire Under the Elms, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Fail-Safe and played Major Harvey Stovall on 12 O'Clock High) plays race-car driver Cord Webster. Betsy Jones-Moreland (Judge Elinor Harrelson in 7 Perry Mason TV movies) plays his wife Bea. Susan Kohner (daughter of Lupita Tover, starred in Imitation of Life, The Gene Krupa Story, and Freud) plays his daughter Katy. Harvey Korman (various characters on The Carol Burnett Show, the voice of The Great Gazoo on The Flintstones, Harvey A. Kavanuagh on The Harvey Korman Show, Leo Green on Leo & Liz in Beverly Hills, and Reginald J. Tarkington on The Nutt House) plays PR man Len Statler. Regis Toomey (starred in Alibi, Other Men's Women, The Finger Points, His Girl Friday, and The Big Sleep and played Joe Mulligan on The Mickey Rooney Show, Lt. Manny Waldo on Four Star Playhouse, Lt. McGough on Richard Diamond, Private Detective, Det. Les Hart on Burke's Law, and Dr. Barton Stuart on Petticoat Junction and Green Acres) plays Webster's manager Jeff.
Season 1, Episode 14, "Play It Glissando": Jack Lord (shown on the right, played Stoney Burke on Stoney Burke and Det. Steve McGarrett on Hawaii Five-O) plays trumpeter Gabe Johnson. Anne Francis (starred in Bad Day at Black Rock, Forbidden Planet, Don't Go Near the Water, and The Love God? and played Honey West on Honey West and Arliss Cooper on Dallas) plays his wife Jana. Harold J. Stone (John Kennedy on The Grand Jury, Hamilton Greeley on My World and Welcome to It, and Sam Steinberg on Bridget Loves Bernie) plays police Lt. Mangano. Barbara Bostock (Margot on The Farmer's Daughter and Carol Parker on Love on a Rooftop) plays nightclub singer Kitty Parker.
Season 1, Episode 15, "The Clover Throne": Jack Warden (starred in From Here to Eternity, 12 Angry Men, and Run Silent, Run Deep and played Matt Gower on The Asphalt Jungle, Major Simon Butcher on The Wackiest Ship in the Army, Lt. Mike Haines on N.Y.P.D., Morris Buttermaker on The Bad News Bears, and Harry Fox, Sr. on Crazy Like a Fox) plays date farmer Adam Darcy. Anne Helm (Molly Pierce on Run for Your Life) plays his ward Sweet Thing. DeForest Kelley (shown on the left, played Dr. McCoy on Star Trek) plays highway construction crew chief H. Norbert Willis. Stephen Roberts (Mr. Stan Peeples on Mr. Novak) plays highway supervisor Holcomb. Paul Barselou (various bartenders in 9 episodes of Bewitched) plays Darcy's lawyer and cousin Orin. 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 street vendor Cooper. Arthur Batanides (Sgt. Sam Olivera on Johnny Midnight) plays work gang convict Joe Goss.
Season 1, Episodes 16 & 17, "Fly Away Home, Parts 1 & 2": Michael Rennie (shown on the right, starred in The Day the Earth Stood Still, Les Miserables (1952), The Robe, Omar Khayyam, and The Lost World and played Harry Lime on The Third Man) plays crop-duster Summers. Dorothy Malone (starred in Scared Stiff, Pushover, Young at Heart, Artists and Models, Written on the Wind, Man of a Thousand Faces, Too Much, Too Soon, and Basic Instinct and played Constance Mackenzie Carson on Peyton Place) plays his ex-wife Christina. Cathy Lewis (Molly McGee on Fibber McGee and Molly and Deidre Thompson on Hazel) plays his boss Dora Windus. Bert Remsen (Detective Lawrence on Peyton Place, Mr. Pell on Gibbsville, Mario on It's a Living, and Jack Crager on Dynasty) plays airplane mechanic Skeats. Ford Rainey (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Window on Main Street) plays farmer Tom Russell.
Season 1, Episode 18, "Sleep on Four Pillows": Patty McCormack (Torey Peck on Peck's Bad Girl, Anne Brookes on The Ropers, Liz La Cerva on The Sopranos, and Connie Campolotarro on Have You Met Miss Jones?) plays runaway Jan Emerson. Penny Santon (Madame Fatime in Don't Call Me Charlie, Madam Delacort on Roll Out, Mama Rosa Novelli on Matt Houston, Muriel Lacey on Cagney and Lacey, and Teresa Giordano on Life Goes On) plays the family maid Stella Lombardi. Larry Gates (starred in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Some Came Running, and The Young Savages and played H.B. Lewis on Guiding Light) plays private investigator Baer. William Sargent (Jerry Carter on Peyton Place) plays his top lieutenant Gaxton. John Beradino (Special Agent Steve Daniels on I Led 3 Lives, Sgt. Vince Cavelli on The New Breed, and Dr. Steve Hardy on General Hospital) plays police Lt. Fielding. Francine York (Thelma on General Hospital and Lorraine Farr Temple on Days of Our Lives) plays a flirtatious cosmetics customer.
Season 1, Episode 19, "An Absence of Tears": Martha Hyer (shown on the left, starred in Down Three Dark Streets, Sabrina, Cry Vengeance, Houseboat, Some Came Running, and The Sons of Katie Elder) plays blind dance instructor Donna Stevens. Forrest Compton (Col. Edward Gray on Gomer Pyle: U.S.M.C. and Mike Karr on The Edge of Night) plays her husband Jeff. Rin Tin Tin II (Rin Tin Tin on The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin) plays her service dog Rex. Mary Webster (Rachel Verinder on The Moonstone, Jill Reed on Emergency-Ward 10, Anna on Circus, and Sarah Onedin on The Onedin Line) plays dance studio manager Midge Foster. Paul Richards (appeared in Playgirl and Beneath the Planet of the Apes and played Louy Kassoff on The Lawless Years) plays gambler Rudy. Lewis Charles (Lou on The Feather and Father Gang) plays cab driver Lew.
Season 1, Episode 20, "Like a Motherless Child": Sylvia Sidney (shown on the right, starred in An American Tragedy, The Miracle Man, Madame Butterfly, Sabotage, Blood on the Sun, and Les Miserables (1952) and played Binnie Baylor on Morningstar/Eveningstar and Clia on Fantasy Island) plays drink hostess Hannah Ellis. Jack Weston (Wilbur "Wormsey" Wormser on Red Brown of the Rocket Rangers, Chick Adams on My Sister Eileen, Walter Hathaway on The Hathaways, and Danny Zimmer on The Four Seasons) plays female chorus manager Jake Hunter. Ben Johnson (starred in Shane, The Wild Bunch, Chisum, and The Getaway and played Sleeve on The Monroes) plays stockyard foreman Alley Golden. Carmen Phillips (Lily on The Lieutenant) plays chorus girl Ina.
Season 1, Episode 21, "Effigy in Snow": Jeanne Bal (Pat Baker on Love and Marriage) plays ski shop manager Penny Foster. Scott Marlowe (Nick Koslo on Executive Suite, Eric Brady on Days of Our Lives, and Michael Burke on Valley of the Dolls) plays disturbed skier Armand Fontaine. George Macready (Martin Peyton on Peyton Place) plays his father. Mark Tapscott (Deputy Andy on The Tall Man and Bob Anderson on Days of Our Lives) plays a sheriff. Ulla Stromstedt (Ulla Norstrand on Flipper) plays a young skier.
Season 1, Episode 22, "Eleven, the Hard Way": Walter Matthau (shown on the left, starred in A Face in the Crowd, Charade, The Fortune Cookie, The Odd Couple, Hello, Dolly!, The Front Page, The Sunshine Boys, The Bad News Bears, and Grumpy Old Men and played Lex Rogers on Tallahassee 7000) plays small-town gambler Sam Keep. Edward Andrews (appeared in The Harder They Fall, Elmer Gantry, The Absent-Minded Professor, Son of Flubber, Advise and Consent, and The Glass Bottom Boat and played Cmdr. Rogers Adrian on Broadside and Col. Fairburn on The Doris Day Show) plays Broken Knee council leader Francis Oliver. Debbie Megowan (Dorine Peters on My Three Sons) plays his daughter Dora. Guy Raymond (Cliff Murdock on Harris Against the World and Mr. Peevey on The Ghost and Mrs. Muir) plays citizen Monty Knight.
Season 1, Episode 23, "Most Vanquished, Most Victorious": Beatrice Straight (starred in Network, Endless Love, and Poltergeist and played Louisa Beauchamp on King's Crossing) plays Tod's aunt Kitty Chamberlain. Royal Dano (appeared in The Far Country, Moby Dick, and The Outlaw Josey Wales) plays her physician Dr. Clemente. Frank DeKova (Chief Wild Eagle on F Troop and Louis Campagna on The Untouchables) plays shut-in Davey Briggs. Elizabeth Allen (Laura Deane on Bracken's World, Martha Simms on The Paul Lynde Show, Capt. Quinlan on CPO Sharkey, and Victoria Bellman on Texas) plays burlesque hostess Alice. John Dennis (Dutch Schultz on The Lawless Years) plays doorman Hank. John A. Alonzo (cinematographer on Vanishing Point, Harold and Maude, Lady Sings the Blues, Chinatown, Scarface, Steel Magnolias, and Star Trek: Generations) plays painter Juan Domingo.
Season 1, Episode 24, "Don't Count Stars": Dan Duryea (starred in The Little Foxes, The Pride of the Yankees, Scarlet Street, and Winchester '73 and played China Smith in China Smith and The New Adventures of China Smith and Eddie Jacks on Peyton Place) plays drunken uncle Mike McKay. Vaughn Taylor (starred in Jailhouse Rock, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Psycho, and In Cold Blood and played Ernest P. Duckweather on Johnny Jupiter) plays banker Frank Hammond. Mary Jackson (Emily Baldwin on The Waltons, Sarah Wicks on Hardcastle and McCormick, and Great Grandma Greenwell on Parenthood) plays Judge Mary Lindstrom.
Season 1, Episode 25, "The Newborn": Albert Dekker (starred in The Man in the Iron Mask, Beau Geste, Dr. Cyclops, The Killers, Gentlemen's Agreement, East of Eden, Kiss Me Deadly, Suddenly Last Summer, and The Wild Bunch) plays cattle baron Frank Ivy. Robert Duvall (shown on the right, starred in To Kill a Mockingbird, Bullitt, True Grit, MASH, The Godfather, The Godfather -- Part II, The Eagle Has Landed, and Apocalypse Now and played Augustus McRae on Lonesome Dove) plays his gunman Roman. Arlene Martel (Tiger on Hogan's Heroes and Spock's Vulcan bride on Star Trek) plays his son's widow Kawna. Bing Russell (Deputy Clem Foster on Bonanza) plays Ivy ranch hand Frank Satterfield. Denver Pyle (Ben Thompson on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, Grandpa Tarleton on Tammy, Briscoe Darlingon The Andy Griffith Show, Buck Webb on The Doris Day Show, Mad Jack on The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams, and Uncle Jesse on The Dukes of Hazzard) plays mission pastor Father Prior.
Season 1, Episode 26, "A Skill for Hunting": Gene Evans (starred in The Steel Helmet, Thunderbirds, Donovan's Brain, and Operation Petticoat and played Rob McLaughlin on My Friend Flicka and Spencer Parrish on Spencer's Pilots) plays trucking mogul Hump Humphrey. Joanna Moore (mother of Tatum and Griffin O'Neal, appeared in Touch of Evil, Son of Flubber, and Never a Dull Moment and played Peggy McMillan on The Andy Griffith Show) plays his wife Trinket. Harold J. Stone (see "Play It Glissando" above) plays Humphrey's business partner Gus Patton. Paul Genge (Lt. Burns on 87th Precinct) plays business rival Frank Baker. Bobby Jordan (Danny Dolan in 11 East Side Kids feature films and Bobby in 9 Bowery Boys films) plays a gas station attendant. Ted de Corsia (Police Chief Hagedorn on Steve Canyon) plays a poker player.
Season 1, Episode 27, "Trap at Cordova": Thomas Gomez (appeared in Ride the Pink Horse, Key Largo, The Woman on Pier 13, and Beneath the Planet of the Apes) plays Cordova town leader Miguel Delgado. Dianne Foster (starred in Night Passage, The Last Hurrah, and The Deep Six) plays his daughter Anita. James Brown (shown on the left, appeared in Going My Way, Sands of Iwo Jima, The Sea Hornet, and A Star Is Born (1954) and played Lt. Rip Masters on The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin and Det. Harry McSween on Dallas) plays Santa Fe Sheriff Canfield. Richard Keith (Little Ricky Ricardo on I Love Lucy and The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour and Johnny Paul Jason on The Andy Griffith Show) plays Cordova child Juan.
Season 1, Episode 28, "The Opponent": Darren McGavin (see the biography section for the 1960 post on Riverboat) plays washed-up boxer Johnny Copa. Ed Asner (shown on the right, appeared in The Satan Bug, The Slender Thread, The Venetian Affair, El Dorado, Change of Habit, They Call Me Mr. Tibbs!, JFK, and Up! and played Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda, and Lou Grant, Sam Waltman on Off the Rack, Principal Joe Danzig on The Bronx Zoo, Walter Kovacs on The Trials of Rosie O'Neill, George Lahti on Hearts Afire, Gil Jones on Thunder Alley, Carl Dobson on The Closer, Art Barnett on Center of the Universe, Wilson White on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Patrick on The Line, Hank Greziak on Working Class, and Dr. Wasserman on Michael: Tuesdays and Thursdays) plays his trainer Scully. Lois Nettleton (Sue Kramer on Accidental Family, Joanne St. John on In the Heat of the Night, and Evelyn on Crossing Jordan) plays Copa's girlfriend Susan. Al Lewis (Officer Leo Schnauser on Car 54, Where Are You? and Grandpa Munster on The Munsters) plays a boxing gym owner. Joey Archer (real-life boxer who ended the career of Sugar Ray Robinson, then had his career ended by Emile Griffith; voted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame) plays Youngstown, OH boxer Otto Zempski. David Clarke (Abel Bingley on The Waltons and Tiso Novotny on Ryan's Hope) plays tough-guy sidekick Mace.
Season 1, Episode 29, "Welcome to Amity": Susan Oliver (Ann Howard on Peyton Place) plays returning outcast Joan Maslow. Martha Scott (starred in Our Town, Stage Door Canteen, The Ten Commandments, Sayonara, Ben-Hur, and The Turning Point and played Jennifer Talbot on General Hospital, Helen Elgin on The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman, Mrs. Martha Hartley on The Bob Newhart Show, Margaret Millington on Secrets of Midland Heights, and Patricia Shepard on Dallas) plays her aunt Helen Watson. Joe Warren (Officer Joe Steinmetz on Car 54, Where Are You? and Senator Dickson on Dallas) plays machine shop boss Frank Krassek. Luke Halpin (starred in Flipper, Flipper's New Adventure, and Island of the Lost and played Sandy Ricks on Flipper) plays his son Bobby. Logan Ramsey (Warden Wilbur Poindexter on On the Rocks and Joseph Anthony on The Young and the Restless) plays funeral director Stanley Curry.
Season 1, Episode 30, "Incident on a Bridge": Nehemiah Persoff (starred in The Wrong Man, Al Capone and Some Like It Hot) plays missing killer Vladis Dvorovoi. Lois Smith (shown on the left, appeared in East of Eden, Five Easy Pieces, Fatal Attraction, Fried Green Tomatoes, Twister, and Minority Report and played Mrs. Oates on The Edge of Night, Aunt Betsy Cramer on One Life to Live, Ruth on Ruth & Erica, and Adele Stackhouse on True Blood) plays his beloved Anna Volovich. Allan Melvin (Cpl. Steve Henshaw on The Phil Silvers Show, Sgt. Snorkle on Beetle Bailey, Sgt. Charley Hacker on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., Sam Franklin on The Brady Bunch, and Barney Hefner on All in the Family and Archie Bunker's Place and was the voice of Magilla Gorilla on Magilla Gorilla, Drooper on The Banana Splits Adventure Hour, and Thun and King Vultan on Flash Gordon) plays Anna's fiance Nikolai Orlov. Herb Voland (appeared in The Shakiest Gun in the West, The Love God?, and Airplane! and played Fred Hammond on Love on a Rooftop, Neil Oglivie on Arnie, and Gen. Crandell Clayton on M*A*S*H) plays investigating police Lt. Hodges.
Season 2, Episode 1, "A Month of Sundays": Anne Francis (shown on the right, see "Play It Glissando" above) plays Broadway actress Arline Simms. Conrad Nagel (starred in Little Women (1918), What Every Woman Knows, Lawful Larceny, and Tess of the D'urbervilles) plays Butte pastor Father Prior.
Season 2, Episode 2, "Blue Murder": Gene Evans (see "A Skill for Hunting" above) plays rancher Jim Bludge. Suzanne Pleshette (shown on the left, starred in The Geisha Boy, The Birds, A Rage to Live, The Ugly Dachshund, Nevada Smith, and Support Your Local Gunfighter and played Emily Hartley on The Bob Newhart Show, Maggie Briggs on Suzanne Pleshette Is Maggie Briggs¸ Christine Broderick on Nightingales, Jackie Hansen on The Boys Are Back, and Claire Arnold on Good Morning Miami) plays his wife Blossom. Claude Akins (Sonny Pruett on Movin' On and Sheriff Elroy P. Lobo on B.J and the Bear and on Lobo) plays Bludge's brother Cam. Harry Townes (starred in The Brothers Karamazov, Screaming Mimi, and Sanctuary) plays Bludge's brother Frank. Emile Meyer (starred in Shane, Drums Across the River, Blackboard Jungle, Sweet Smell of Success, and Paths of Glory and played Gen. Zachary Moran on Bat Masterson) plays ranch hand Johnny.
Season 2, Episode 3, "Goodnight, Sweet Blues": Ethel Waters (shown on the right, legendary vocalist who starred in Cabin in the Sky, Stage Door Canteen, The Member of the Wedding, and The Sound and the Fury and played Beulah on Beulah) plays dying jazz singer Jennie Henderson. P. Jay Sidney (Pvt. Palmer on The Phil Silvers Show and Paul Stark on The Doctors) plays her physician Dr. Wally Farrow. Billie Allen (WAC Billie on The Phil Silvers Show and Ada Chandler on The Edge of Night) plays her neighbor Cora Adams. Coleman Hawkins (jazz legend known as "the father of the tenor sax") plays saxophonist Snooze Mobley. Roy Eldridge (legendary jazz trumpeter) plays drummer A.C. Graham. Jo Jones (real-life jazz drummer) plays trumpeter Lover Brown. Juano Hernandez (appeared in Intruder in the Dust, The Breaking Point, Kiss Me Deadly, The Pawnbroker, The Reivers, and They Call Me Mister Tibbs!) plays trombonist King Loomis. Frederick O'Neal (Officer Wally Wallace on Car 54, Where Are You?) plays lawyer and bassist Horace Wilson.
Season 2, Episode 4, "Birdcage on My Foot": Robert Duvall (see "The Newborn" above) plays heroin addict Arnie. Diana Millay (Laura Collins on Dark Shadows) plays Tod's girlfriend Charlotte Lee. Mike Kellin (appeared in At War With the Army, The Wackiest Ship in the Army, The Boston Strangler, and Midnight Express and played C.P.O. Willie Miller on The Wackiest Ship in the Army) plays police Lt. Calder.
Season 2, Episode 5, "First-Class Mouliak": Nehemiah Persoff (see "Incident on a Bridge" above) plays immigrant steelworker Jack. Robert Redford (shown on the left, starred in Barefoot in the Park, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting, and All the President's Men) plays his son Janosh. Martin Balsam (starred in 12 Angry Men, Psycho, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and Catch-22 and played Dr. Milton Orliff on Dr. Kildare and Murray Klein on Archie Bunker's Place) plays Jack's co-worker Mike. Nancy Malone (see the biography section for the 1960 post on Naked City) plays Jack's daughter Eva. Richard X. Slattery (Sgt. John McKenna on The Gallant Men, Capt. John Morton on Mister Roberts, and Capt. Buckner on CPO Sharkey) plays a police detective.
Season 2, Episode 6, "Once to Every Man": Murray Matheson (Felix Mulholland on Banacek) plays Gloucester ship-builder Leigh Adams. Janice Rule (starred in The Subterraneans, The Chase, Alvarez Kelly, and The Ambushers) plays his daughter Prudence. Ann Shoemaker (appeared in A Dog of Flanders, Alice Adams, Stella Dallas, My Favorite Wife, and The Fortune Cookie) plays Prudence's grandmother. Robert F. Simon (Dave Tabak on Saints and Sinners, Gen. Alfred Terry on Custer, Frank Stephens on Bewitched, Uncle Everett McPherson on Nancy, Capt. Rudy Olsen on The Streets of San Francisco, and J. Jonah Jameson on The Amazing Spiderman) plays shipyard foreman Jed Wharton. Nicholas Saunders (Sgt. Ross on Martin Kane and Capt. Barker on The Phil Silvers Show) plays Adams estate executor George Slocum.
Season 2, Episode 7, "The Mud Nest": Lon Chaney, Jr. (starred in The Wolfman, Of Mice and Men, High Noon, The Ghost of Frankenstein, The Curse of Dracula, Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman, and many others, and played Chief Eagle Shadow on Pistols 'n' Petticoats and Chingachgook on Hawkeye and the Last of the Mohicans) plays rural patriarch Mr. Colby. Harold Maharis (George Maharis' real-life brother) plays his son Hank. Paul Maharis (George Maharis' real-life brother) plays his son Mark. Cleopatra Maharis (shown on the right, George Maharis' real-life sister) plays his daughter. Ed Asner (see "The Opponent" above) plays Bureau of Missing Persons Lt. Tegeler. Sylvia Miles (appeared in Murder, Inc., Midnight Cowboy, and Wall Street and played Jackie Diamond on All My Children) plays burlesque dancer Hope Lansing. Betty Field (starred in Of Mice and Men, Victory, The Great Gatsby (1949), Picnic, Bus Stop, Birdman of Alcatraz, and Coogan's Bluff) plays surgeon Dr. Thompson. George L. Smith (Fred Haislip on The Doctors) plays sketch artist Eddie Hudson.
Season 2, Episode 8, "A Bridge Across Five Days": Nina Foch (starred in The Return of the Vampire, The Cry of the Werewolf, An American in Paris, The Ten Commandments, and Spartacus and played Madeline on Bull) plays discharged mental patient Lillian Aldridge. Davey Davison (Virginia Lewis on Days of Our Lives and Nurse Esther on General Hospital) plays her co-worker Jo. James Dunn (Earl Morgan on It's a Great Life) plays boarding house owner Mexia.
Season 2, Episode 9, "Mon Petit Chou": Macha Meril (appeared in Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed, Anatomy of a Marriage, and Belle du Jour and is currently married to composer Michel Legrand) plays French singer Perette Dijon. Lee Marvin (see "Sheba" above) plays her accompanist/manager Johnny Ryan. Bert Remsen (see "Fly Away Home, Parts 1 & 2" above) plays his assistant Higgy. Hildy Brooks (appeared in The Iceman Cometh, Islands in the Stream, The Rose, and White Palace) plays party girl Gloria Bowers.
Season 2, Episode 10, "Some of the People, Some of the Time": Keenan Wynn (shown on the left, starred in Annie Get Your Gun, Royal Wedding, Angels in the Outfield, The Absent-Minded Professor, Son of Flubber, Dr. Strangelove, The Great Race, and Point Blank and played Kodiak on Troubleshooters, Williard "Digger" Barnes on Dallas, Carl Sarnac on Call to Glory, and Butch on The Last Precinct) plays beauty contest mogul Maximillian Coyne. Shirl Conway (Liz Thorpe on The Doctors and the Nurses) plays his wife Carol. Lois Nettleton (see "The Opponent" above) plays contest ringer Jahala West. Jane Hoffman (Molly Sherwood on The Edge of Night) plays contestant's angry mother Mrs. Pearson.
Season 2, Episode 11, "The Thin White Line": Murray Hamilton (appeared in No Time for Sergeants, Anatomy of a Murder, and The Hustler and played Steve Baker on Love and Marriage and Capt. Rutherford T. Grant on B.J. and the Bear) plays research scientist Dr. Bernard Anderson. Ed Griffith (Johnny Beacon on Days of Our Lives) plays party thrower Harold. William Hinnant (Bruce Carter on Pete and Gladys) plays Harold's friend Ray. Anita Gilette (Franki on The Edge of Night, Liz Reynolds on Me and the Chimp, Alice Henderson on Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Dr. Emily Hanover on Quincy, M.E., Vi Long on Almost Grown, and Joan Gamble on Normal, Ohio) plays Tod's date Nancy. Fred J. Scollay (Mitchell Hobart on Dr. Kildare and Judge Andrew Barsky on Law & Order) plays police Officer Romero. Joe Warren (see "Welcome to Amity" above) plays police Lt. Walker. Al Lewis (see "The Opponent" above) plays bar owner Joe. Sylvia Miles (see "The Mud Nest" above) plays bar pianist Red. Leonardo Cimino (Alexei Vartova on Ryan's Hope) plays a hot dog street vendor.
Season 2, Episode 12, "And the Cat Jumped Over the Moon": Martin Sheen (shown on the right, starred in Catch-22, Apocalypse Now, Gandhi, The Dead Zone, Firestarter, Wall Street, and The Departed and played Josiah Bartlet on The West Wing, Martin Goodson on Anger Management, and Robert on Grace and Frankie) plays gang leader Packy Girard. James Caan (starred in Brian's Song, The Godfather, Freebie and the Bean, The Godfather, Part II, Funny Lady, Rollerball, Misery, and Bottle Rocket and played Ed Deline on Las Vegas, Sy Berman on Magic City, and Terry Gannon, Sr. on Back in the Game) plays former gang leader Johnny Berenson. Susan Silo (Rusty on Harry's Girls and has been a prolific voice actor on shows such as The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang, James Bond, Jr., and Where's Waldo?) plays Berenson's girlfriend Marva. Frank Campanella (appeared in The Producers, Heaven Can Wait, Dick Tracy, and Pretty Woman and played Paczka on Skag) plays a police captain.
Season 2, Episode 13, "Burning for Burning": Beulah Bondi (shown on the left, starred in Trail of the Lonesome Pine, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Our Town, It's a Wonderful Life, and The Life of Riley) plays chicken farm matriarch Agnes Brack. Pat Hingle (appeared in On the Waterfront, Splendor in the Grass, Hang 'Em High, Norma Rae, Sudden Impact, Batman(1989), Batman Returns, Batman Forever, Batman & Robin, and Talledega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and played Dr. Chapman on Gunsmoke and Chief Paulton on Stone) plays her son Frank. Inger Stevens (starred in The Buccaneer, A Guide for the Married Man, Madigan, and Hang 'Em High and played Katy Holstrum on The Farmer's Daughter) plays her dead son's wife Julie. Lenka Peterson (Nurse Grady on Ryan's Hope) plays family maid Beth.