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"The Actress"

Episode 94

Writer:  Teleplay by Lawrence Dobkin
Story by Chuck Connors

Director:  Joseph H. Lewis

Original Air Date:  1/24/1961

 

Cast

Chuck Connors as Lucas McCain

Johnny Crawford as Mark McCain

Paul Fix as Marshal Micah Torrance

 

An old friend of Lucas McCain is lying on his deathbed.  He asks Lucas to fetch his wife from a neighboring town, so he can see her once more before he dies.  Astonished at the news of the wife's existence, Lucas goes after her but is surprised to find that the prospective widow is a dazzlingly beautiful young actress who is more interested in flirting with Lucas than in grieving over her husband.

Guest Cast

Morris Ankrum as Jacob Black

Morris Ankrum, born Morris Nussbaum, was a character actor in American radio, television and film.  He appeared in more than 250 roles during a career spanning 30 years.  Although he began his career in academia, Ankrum eventually made his way into acting via the drama department at the University of California, Berkeley.  He taught drama and acting at the Pasadena Playhouse prior to signing with Paramount Pictures in the 1930s.  He is best-remembered for his work in the western and science-fiction genres.  He is also recognized for his recurring role as the Judge in the television crime drama "Perry Mason" (1957–1966).  Ankrum made two appearances in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Aaron Pelser in "Shivaree" (episode 19) and Jacob Black in "The Actress" (episode 94).  In addition to THE RIFLEMAN, Ankrum appeared in the TV westerns, "The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin" (1954–1959), "Lawman" (1958–1962) and "Gunsmoke" (1955–1975).

Herb Armstrong as Hotel Clerk

Herb Armstrong was an American actor who worked primarily in television.  He appeared in more than 50 shows in a career spanning more than 40 years.  He acted in several popular series, including "Peter Gunn" (1958–1961), "The F.B.I." (1965–1974) and "Barnaby Jobes" (1973–1980).  Armstrong made one appearance in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying the hotel clerk in "The Actress" (episode 94).  In addition to THE RIFLEMAN, Armstrong also appeared in "Gunsmoke" (1955–1975).

Joe E. Benson as [uncredited]

Joe E. Benson became an actor as a side career.  He appeared in a single move, "Redneck Zombies" (1989) and guest–starred in one episode of "Perry Mason" (1957–1966), portraying the deputy in "The Case of the Crippled Cougar" (1962).  Benson had known Chuck Connors personally, and according to the producers, they hired him on the star's recommendation. Benson appeared in 34 episodes of THE RIFLEMAN, mostly playing uncredited parts.  In a small number of episodes, Benson played credited roles, including Mills in "The Actress" (episode 94), Merar in "The Score is Even" (episode 105) and a prison guard in "Requiem at Mission Springs" (episode 164).

Diana Millay as Beth Block

Diana Millay is an American actress who began her career as a child model and later was under contract with the John Robert Powers modeling agency.  Beginning in high school, she appeared in summer stock, playing leading or featured roles in many classic American plays.  After seven seasons, she made the leap to Broadway, where she appeared in "Fair Game" with Sam Levene and Ellen Burstyn; "Drink to Me Only," co-starring Tom Poston; "Roger the Sixth" opposite Alan Alda; and also "The Glass Rooster" and "Boeing Boeing."  She toured the US and Canada in a production of "The Seven Year Itch," co-starring Eddie Bracken.

Millay is best known for her acting career in television, which spanned the mid-1950s through the early '70s.  She appeared in more than 200 television programs and is best-remembered for her role as Laura Collins in 67 episodes of the daytime drama "Dark Shadows" (1966–1969).  She also appeared in the long-running serial "The Secret Storm" (1954–1974), playing Kitty Styles in the first episode of Season 1.  She guest-starred in numerous popular shows, including three appearances in the legal-crime dramas "Perry Mason" (1957–1966), starring Raymond Burr, and one appearance in "Arrest and Trial" (1963–1964), starring Ben Gazzara and Chuck Connors.  She also appeared in several popular family comedies, including "Father Knows Best" (1954–1960), starring Robert Young and Jane Wyatt; "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis" (1959–1963), starring Dwayne Hickman and Bob Denver; "My Three Sons" (1960–1972), starring Fred MacMurray and Don Grady; as well as the comedy series "The Tab Hunter Show" (1960).  Millay appeared in a variety of other TV genres, including the short-lived Civil War drama "The Americans" (1961), starring Darryl Hickman and Richard Davalos; the adventure series "The Aquanuts" (1960–1961), starring Keith Larsen, Jeremy Slate and Ron Ely; and the popular espionage series "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." (1964–1968), starring Robert Vaughn and David McCallum.  Her credits include the role of Cynthia Raine in the 1961 TV movie "Las Vegas Beat," an adventure mystery starring Peter Graves.

Diana Millay appeared in one episode of THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Beth Block in "The Actress" (episode 94).  Most of her screen credits were for guest turns in westerns, and she appeared in most of the iconic series, including "The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp" (1955–1961), "Gunsmoke" (1955–1975), "Wagon Train" (1957–1965), "Tales of Wells Fargo" and "Maverick" (both running from 1957–1962), "Rawhide" (1959–1966), and "Bonanza" (1959–1973).  Eventually, Millay turned from acting to writing, publishing several books, including I'd Rather Eat Than Act (1996, 2004), The Power of Halloween (2003) and How to Create Good Luck.

Ralph R. Moody as Doc Burrage

Ralph Moody was an American actor who appeared in over 50 movies and 100 television shows.  Often cast in Westerns as indians, his many television credits include "The Lone Ranger" (1949 1950), "The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin" (1955–1959), "Dragnet" (1952 1959), "The Texan" (1959), "Have Gun – Will Travel" (1958–1961), "Perry Mason" (1958–1964), "Gunsmoke" (1959–1966), "Dragnet 1967" (1967–1970) and "Bonanza" (1960 1971).

Moody appeared in 12 episodes of THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Jonathan Dodd in "The Visitor" (episode 58), Roy Merrick in "The Spoiler" (episode 61), and Eban Muchen in "The Hangman" (episode 76).  Moody also played the recurring character of Doc Burrage in nine episodes, including "Six Years and a Day" (episode 91), "The Actress" (episode 94), "Dark Day at North Fork" (episode 100), "The Mescalero Curse" (episode 106), "Man From Salinas" (episode 130), "Quiet Night, Deadly Night" (episode 146), "Mark's Rifle" (episode 150), "Conflict" (episode 155), "Requiem at Mission Springs" (episode 164).

Kathleen Mulqueen as Judge Hanavan's wife/sister/daughter

Kathleen Mulqueen was an American character actress, working primarily in film and television in the 1950's and 60's.  Her film appearances include the Paddy Chayefsky film, "Marty" (1955), "Texas Lady" (1955), "These Wilder Years" (1956), "The Outsider" (1962) and "The Night Walker" (1965).  She appeared in four episodes of THE RIFLEMAN—"The Sharpshooter" (the pilot episode) as Nancy Hanavan, "The Angry Gun" (episode 12) as Mrs. Peterson, "Eddie's Daughter" (episode 46) as Woman and "The Actress" (episode 94) as Judge Hanavan's wife/sister/daughter.  She appeared in dozens of television series of different genres, notably, playing the semi-regular character, Grandma Wilson, in "Dennis the Menace" (1959–1963).

Charles Tannen as Jack Carson

Charles Tannen, born Charles David Tannen, was an American television and film actor who appeared in more than 200 movies and television shows during his 30-year career.  He had uncredited roles in numerous films, including the romantic drama "The Dark Angel" (1935), starring Fredric March and Merle Oberon; the biographical drama "Young Mr. Lincoln" (1939), starring Henry Fonda; the crime drama "The Street with No Name" (1948), starring Mark Stevens and Richard Widmark; the landmark sci-fi drama "The Day the Earth Stood Still" (1951), starring Michael Rennie and Patricia Neal; and the sci-fi horror film "The Fly" (1958), starring David Hedison and Vincent Price.  Although his uncredited roles outnumber the credited ones, Tannen was cast in significant parts in several Henry Fonda films, including Charles Ford in the westerns "Jesse James" (1939) and "The Return of Frank James" (1940), and Joe in the film adaptation of John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath" (1940).

Tannen guest-starred in many television shows of the 1950s through the 70s, including the family comedy "Father Knows Best" (1954–1960), the crime drama "77 Sunset Strip" (1958–1964), the mystery action series "Peter Gunn" (1958–1961), the family comedy "Mister Ed" (1958–1966), the legal drama "Perry Mason" (1957–1966), the long-running family drama "Lassie" (1954–1974), Rod Serling's iconic anthology series, "The Twilight Zone" (1959–1964), and the comedy "Petticoat Junction" (1963–1970).  Tannen made six guest appearances in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Barney the barber in "The Boarding House" (episode 22), the bartender in "Sins of the Father" (episode 70), Josh Moore in "The Jailbird" (episode 73) and "Woman from Hog Ridge" (episode 78), Mr. Penn in "Miss Milly" (episode 84), and Jack Carson in "The Actress" (episode 94).  He guest-starred in many other westerns, including "The Roy Rogers Show" (1951–1957), "Maverick" (1957–1962), "Zane Grey Theater" (1956–1961), "Have Gun – Will Travel" (1957–1963), "Laramie" (1959–1963), "Death Valley Days" (1952–1975), "Bonanza" (1959–1973), "Tales of Wells Fargo" (1957–1962), "Gunsmoke" (1955–1975), "Cheyenne" (1955–1963) and "Rawhide" (1959–1966).

 

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