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Dubbins in Bonanza (1960)
|Born||Donald George Dubbins
June 28, 1928
Brooklyn, New York City
New York, USA
|Died||August 17, 1991
Greenville, South Carolina
Cause of death
|Occupation||Actor of stage, film, and television|
|Spouse(s)||Carolyn M. Kline (1 child)
Jeanne Lighty Schaults (1963-1991, his death)
Don Dubbins, originally Donald George Dubbins (June 28, 1928 - August 17, 1991), was an American actor of film and television who in his early career usually played younger military roles, particularly in such classic pictures as From Here to Eternity (1953) and The Caine Mutiny (1954).
Screen giant James Cagney took a liking to Dubbins and procured roles for him in two 1956 films, These Wilder Years and Tribute to a Bad Man. In the former, Dubbins played Cagney's long-lost adopted son; in the latter, he was in a romantic triangle with cattle boss Cagney for the affections of a senorita. In 1957, Dubbins played a callow young United States Marines private in Jack Webb's The D.I. In 1958, Dubbins was cast in From the Earth to the Moon, a science fiction picture based on Jules Verne's novel of the same title.
Dubbins appeared in many television series, including seven episodes of CBS's Perry Mason in many typecasts, from a scheming nephew and murder victim in "The Case of the Counterfeit Crank," to Bill Vincent, one of Hamilton Burger's deputy district attorneys. He appeared in four episodes each of CBS's Gunsmoke and Rawhide, in the latter in the first-season episode "Incident of the Dog Days".
In the spring of 1959, Dubbins was cast in different roles in two consecutive episodes of the ABC/Warner Brothers western series, Sugarfoot with Will Hutchins in the title role. In "The Mountain" (March 31, 1959), he played "good guy" Vic Bradley, an escaped convicted murderer for whom Sugarfoot brings news of a new trial based on additional evidence uncovered in the case. Miranda Jones plays Bradley's Indian wife, Jean. The couple is hidden away in a mine shaft in a mountain, and much of the episode deals with Sugarfoot and Jean seemingly lost in a cave-in. Bradley's brother-in-law, Dixon White Eagle (Don Devlin), on his deathbed from a snake bite, confesses to the crime for which Bradley had been convicted, the killing of an old miner. In "The Twister" (April 14, 1959), Dubbins plays the outlaw Sid Garvin who comes into a quiet town looking for his estranged brother, a schoolteacher who calls himself "Roy Cantwell" (Fred Beir), who has hidden away $20,000 in loot from a Garvin robbery. Sugarfoot, a friend of Cantwell's, tries to defuse the situation after Garvin takes three children hostage at the school. Meanwhile, a tornado wipes out the schoolhouse and virtually the entire town though most of the inhabitants made it to safe shelter. Cantwell would not be around to rebuild; he dies from a shot fired by his brother, who with his loot finally in hand perishes in the storm. Betty Lynn returned for another appearance in the series, this time as Alice Fenton, Cantwell's friend who takes over the teaching duties after his death. Child actor Stephen Talbot delivers a compelling role as Ab Martin, Cantwell's prize pupil who at the end of the episode recites to his dying teacher part of Patrick Henry's 1775 address at St. Johns' Church.
In 1960, Dubbins appeared in the episode "Elegy" of CBS's The Twilight Zone. That same year he guest starred on the CBS western series, Johnny Ringo, starring Don Durant. He and Mel Torme appeared together in NBC's crime drama, Dan Raven, starring Skip Homeier. He played the character Grant in the 1960 episode "The Challenge} of the ABC/Warner Brothers western series, The Alaskans, starring Roger Moore. In 1961, Dubbins played a deputy who inadvertently killed his outlaw-brother in an episode of Stagecoach West, a Four Star Television series which aired on ABC. He was cast as Willoughby in the 1961 episode "The Efficiency Expert" of the NBC family drama, National Velvet. Dubbins subsequently appeared on two CBS anthology series, The Lloyd Bridges Show and GE True, hosted by Jack Webb. He was subsequently cast with Walter Brennan in ABC's western series, The Guns of Will Sonnett.
He was cast in the 1965 pilot episode of I Dream of Jeannie, and returned for one of the series' final episodes (as a different character) in 1970. In 1966, Dubbins appeared with Robert F. Simon as guest stars in the episode "Long Journey to Leavenworth" in the NBC series The Road West, starring Barry Sullivan, Andrew Prine, and Glenn Corbett. In 1967, he appeared also as a guest star in the episode "Rescue" in the fourth season of the science fiction series, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
Dubbins appeared twice on NBC's Little House on the Prairie with Michael Landon and five times on CBS's Barnaby Jones crime drama with Buddy Ebsen. Dubbins was cast in several episodes of Jack Webb's Dragnet 1967 series on NBC. He played the part of Billy Carter in "The Incident of the Dog Days" of CBS's Rawhide.
The Brooklyn-born Dubbins retired to Greenville, South Carolina, where his last acting was at the Warehouse Theater as Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman. Dubbins succumbed to cancer at the age of sixty-three. His remains laid to rest in Greer, South Carolina's Hillcrest Memorial Gardens.
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