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Interesting Actors on Classic TV Westerms

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TopBilled, is this the episode with Dianne Foster?  If so, it's a great story.

 

Yes, it is. Kind of daring the way she was touching and practically molesting her stepson in several scenes. Definitely an adult western.

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"GUNSMOKE" - today, on MeTV -

 

A terrific performance from an appealing actor, who died tragically young. Lee Kinsolving -

 

He played twin brothers, one of whom decided to kill the other out of envy and jealousy -

 

and, of course, because he wanted so much to be like his twin brother - 

 

who was extroverted and a go-getter -

 

anyway, the surviving twin brother lived to regret everything he had done -

 

in the end, he is lovingly embraced by their father, who was played by the great Paul Fix -

 

Lee Kinsolving brought all of his trademark brooding intensity to the role -

 

such a shame, truly, that he did not live to have a substantial career in the movies -

 

he did make one that you might know well enough - "The Dark At The Top Of The Stairs".

 

RIP, Lee Kinsolving. 

 

120855515_138551196834.jpg

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A terrific performance from an appealing actor, who died tragically young. Lee Kinsolving -

 

It's not a Western, but I saw Lee Kinsolving in the Twilight Zone episode "Black Leather Jackets" in the past few weeks, also on ME-TV. I wasn't aware of his early death.

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"GUNSMOKE" - today on MeTV -

 

This episode, which dealt with a young man's attempts to be a stabilizing influence on his brother and a no-holds-barred friend, had a very interesting performance from an actor by the name of William Arvin.

 

If an actor can be said to symbolize handsome goodness, it was William Arvin.

 

His brother was played to perfection by Michael J. Pollard, who was such a quirky presence in moves and on TV.

 

The violence in this particular episode seemed unusual for a 50's TV Western.

 

It started off with a very strong suggestion of rape, which was never acknowledeged to be a rape.

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Great photo of Lee.  I was a big fan of his and remember Black Leather Jackets very well.  A girl in my apartment building knew him through her mother and told me he'd left acting for the art world.  I don't consider his acting career a failure, he simply found something else that fulfilled him more.  I also did not know he'd died so young. 

 

He reminded me of Robert Walker, Jr. who was also making his mark at about that time. 

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Great photo of Lee.  I was a big fan of his and remember Black Leather Jackets very well.  A girl in my apartment building knew him through her mother and told me he'd left acting for the art world.  I don't consider his acting career a failure, he simply found something else that fulfilled him more.  I also did not know he'd died so young. 

 

He reminded me of Robert Walker, Jr. who was also making his mark at about that time. 

Yes, Lee Kinsolving had great potential.

 

Perhaps he didn't find acting to be very satisfying.

 

I have also read that he owned a bar in uptown Manhattan.

 

I always remember him in "The Dark At The Top Of The Stairs". 

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I've been watching "The Rifleman" on MeTV for the past few months.

 

These are half-hour episodes that are televised as two back-to-back episodes.

 

As Lucas McCain and Mark McCain, Chuck Connors and Johnny Crawford are a superb duo.

 

They are quite persuasive as a father and son who care a great deal for each other.

 

(The wife/mom seems to have died a long time ago.)

 

But it is so unusual especially in present-day TV and movies to witness the very real love between a father and son.

 

Chuck Connors and Johnny Crawford don't push it, either.

 

They don't have to; they come by it - naturally.

 

One of today's episodes dealt with a young princess and her younger brother who were escaping their royal confines and trying to get themselves to California.

 

They were given refuge by Lucas and his son, Mark, but the McCains did suspect that they were dealing with royalty.

 

What made this episode - so very special - was the eagerness of Lucas and Mark to make Jennifer and Charles (the princess and prince) an everyday part of their lives.

 

Lucas and Mark are kind of a lonely father and son, really, and two extra-special houseguests were quite a welcome novelty.

 

As the orincess, Annie Farge and, as the prince, Michael Petit, were totally and completely adorable.

 

But, that oh-so-intriguing relationship between father and son brings a very enviable resonance to whatever storyline that the two of them happen to be involved in.

 

My hat is off - and tossed high - for this richly rewarding Western series.

 

     Chuck_Connors_Johnny_Crawford_The_Riflem 

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Today, on MeTV, there was an episode of "Gunsmoke" in which John Drew Barrymore gave an astonishingly charismatic performance as a duplicitous bounty hunter.

 

His close-ups were genuinely breathtaking.

 

Why this man didn't become a movie star is beyond me.

 

He was supported very effectively by the stars, of course, and by Dennis Hopper and Anne Helm and Phillip Coolidge. 

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Today, on MeTV, there was an episode of "Gunsmoke" in which John Drew Barrymore gave an astonishingly charismatic performance as a duplicitous bounty hunter.

 

His close-ups were genuinely breathtaking.

 

Why this man didn't become a movie star is beyond me.

 

He was supported very effectively by the stars, of course, and by Dennis Hopper and Anne Helm and Phillip Coolidge. 

 

John Drew was a movie star, or at least had the beginnings of movie stardom, in the early 50s. Perhaps his recklessness and self-destructive nature sabotaged all that-- but he was an attractive man and a fine actor.

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Today, on MeTV, there was an episode of "Gunsmoke" in which John Drew Barrymore gave an astonishingly charismatic performance as a duplicitous bounty hunter.

 

His close-ups were genuinely breathtaking.

 

Why this man didn't become a movie star is beyond me.

 

He was supported very effectively by the stars, of course, and by Dennis Hopper and Anne Helm and Phillip Coolidge. 

 

I assume the reason he didn't become a bigger star was due to his off screen behavior.  From Wiki:

 

"However, Barrymore's social behavior obstructed any professional progress. In the 1960s, he was occasionally incarcerated for drug use, public drunkenness, and spousal abuse."

 

I saw him on Kung Fu and is acting was fine.  

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Yesterday, I tuned into the end of a "Wagon Train", which seemed to be a Western version of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice".

 

Then, the cast list came on - and buried in the supporting cast list was the name - Claude Jarman.

 

If only I hadn't missed this one - and I did not know that he dropped "Jr.".

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Today, on MeTV, an episode of "Gunsmoke" that starred Jean Arthur, Scott Marlowe and Milburn Stone in a frenzied tale of a mother who was trying to re-connect with her son.

 

The problem here was that the son was an outlaw - and his wife died in childbirth and the son didn't want the baby.

 

The three actors made the most of their material.

 

The more that I watch episodes of "Gunsmoke", the more that I realize what an exceptional TV series it was.

 

 

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Today, on MeTV, an episode of "Gunsmoke" that starred Jean Arthur, Scott Marlowe and Milburn Stone in a frenzied tale of a mother who was trying to re-connect with her son.

 

The problem here was that the son was an outlaw - and his wife died in childbirth and the son didn't want the baby.

 

The three actors made the most of their material.

 

The more that I watch episodes of "Gunsmoke", the more that I realize what an exceptional TV series it was.

 

Yes...there's a reason it ran for 20 years. I think the episode you mentioned was the first western Jean Arthur had made in over ten years, since SHANE. A very big deal was made about her guest appearance.

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Today, on MeTV, there was an intense episode of "Gunsmoke", which featured an engaging performance from Ben Cooper, who played a young graduate of a fancy law school from back East, who objected to Marshal Dillon's refusal to respect the rights of Dodge City's residents.

 

He was representing a man who was obviously no-good and proved it by robbing Miss Kitty and then kidnapping her.

 

He came to realize that life in the West did not correspond to life in the East.

 

Marshal Dillon was very tolerant of him and, at times, even amused by the young man.

 

James Arness and Ben Cooper were a memorable duo.

 

Too bad, that the character wasn't incorporated into the town's populace.

 

 

 

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I don't really care for "Wagon Train".

 

But today's episode had an interesting performance from Ann Blyth as a down-on-her-luck daughter, who was searching for her famous mother who had abandoned her a long, long time ago.

 

Interestingly, the mother, who wanted nothing to do with the daughter, was also played by Ann Blyth.

 

Miss Blyth, who had a lovely singing voice, got to sing two songs,too.

 

She had terrific support from Ward Bond, who wanted to bring the daughter and mother together.

 

   

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Today, on MeTV, there was an intense episode of "Gunsmoke", which featured an engaging performance from Ben Cooper, who played a young graduate of a fancy law school from back East, who objected to Marshal Dillon's refusal to respect the rights of Dodge City's residents.

 

He was representing a man who was obviously no-good and proved it by robbing Miss Kitty and then kidnapping her.

 

He came to realize that life in the West did not correspond to life in the East.

 

Marshal Dillon was very tolerant of him and, at times, even amused by the young man.

 

James Arness and Ben Cooper were a memorable duo.

 

Too bad, that the character wasn't incorporated into the town's populace.

 

This was Cooper's first performance as this character.  They did attempt to make him a cast regular but after a half-dozen episodes he just hadn't meshed with the show and was gone.  Cooper was/is a fine actor; it was "just one of those things" that didn't work out. 

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This was Cooper's first performance as this character.  They did attempt to make him a cast regular but after a half-dozen episodes he just hadn't meshed with the show and was gone.  Cooper was/is a fine actor; it was "just one of those things" that didn't work out. 

What a shame, Ben Cooper was such an engaging performer.

 

Of course, he was lot more educated than anybody in Dodge City.

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Today, on MeTV, on another "Gunsmoke" episode, Ben Cooper returned as - Breck Taylor, I believe.

 

He shared the episode with Ken Curtis - as Festus, right?

 

They became involved in what appeared to be a "bushwacking" case - but, which turned out to be something else entirely.

 

Anyway, Breck and Festus caught the supposed criminals, brought them back to Dodge City and had to contend with a lynching mob.

 

Ben Cooper and Ken Curtis worked very well together, I thought, because the two of them are so very different from each other.

 

Their scenes together were miracles of subtle underplaying.

 

At the end of the episode when Marshal Dillon returned to town, he said to Breck that he thought that Breck was going to keep peace in the town.

 

So, they must have been planning on Breck Taylor as a new kind of law and order in Dodge City.

 

Ben Cooper was such an engaging performer - well, as I said, he should have become a regular.

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Today, on MeTV, on "Gunsmoke", there was an extraordinarily beautiful young actor by the name of Roger Ewing, who looked so much like James Arness that I am wondering if he actually was the son of James Arness.

 

Would anybody know?

 

Young Mr. Ewing was given superb support by the great character actor, Jack Elam, who was such a despicable human being that he seemed to have "a warning sign" on him.

 

And it looks like Mr. Ewing's character,  Thaddeus, is going to become a regular.

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It seems Roger Ewing didn't do much acting after his semi-regular role on Gunsmoke. IMDb says he retired and became a photographer, and now dabbles in politics in California. He turned 74 this year.

 

 

roger-ewing14.jpg

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It seems Roger Ewing didn't do much acting after his semi-regular role on Gunsmoke. IMDb says he retired and became a photographer, and now dabbles in politics in California. He turned 74 this year.

 

 

roger-ewing14.jpg

He was, to put it simply, a great beauty!

 

cas-thad.jpg

 

 

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I was speaking to Jarrod about the lack of any overt sex on this show.

 

Jarrod brought up the topic of Standards and Practices at the time of "Gunsmoke".

 

So, it is very interesting to me that Roger Ewing (as Thaddeus or Thad) is developed - quite openly - as a "male virgin".

 

It probably could not have happened on any other show.

 

But Ewing's "virginity" is very appealing.

 

I am not being negative about it.

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Today, on MeTV, on "Gunsmoke", an absolutely gripping episode about a young Indian who became obsessed with killing the man (Neville Brand) who had murdered his father and sister.

 

The young Indian was played - beautifully - by Teno Pollick - and nearly in the nude, too.

 

Teno Pollick was one of the more serious loves in Tony Perkins' life.

 

Teno was extremely protective of his relationship with Tony and could become easily jealous of any looming liasions.

 

Tony's mother, who liked Teno, promised to leave him a great deal of money in her will.

 

It is generally believed that she was trying to keep Teno in line.

 

But, when she died, she left Teno nothing.

 

He felt very betrayed by Tony's mother.

 

Anyway, Teno was memorable in this "Gunsmoke" episode.

 

 

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