Don O'Kelly

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Don O'Kelly, (March 17, 1924 - October 2, 1966) was an American actor prominent in the 1950s and 1960s. Though credited as "Don Kelly" in earlier performances, his billing was changed to "Don O'Kelly" in 1960.


Don O'Kelly born Donald Patrick Kelly at Sheepshead Bay, New York, the son of an Irish-American father Robert J. Kelly and Norwegian-American mother Rachel Knudsen was an American actor in the 1950s and 1960s. He did mostly television work. Don O'Kelly began his career starring in "Tank Battalion" with Marjorie Helen (later Leslie Parrish-Bach).

Don Kelly enlisted in the United States Navy on June 17, 1941 just prior to World War II and saw active duty aboard the USS Stanton and USS Palmer. He saw convoy duty at San Juan, Puerto Rico; Iceland; England; Scotland; Africa (Invasion), then a brief leave in the US and back on convoy to the European Theater; Africa; Italy (all phases of the European campaign); convoy duty then to Scotland; Africa; Iceland; Southern France (Invasion) through Channel into Pacific and then on to the Carolinas; Siapan; Tinian; Marshalls; Gilbert; Iwo Jima; Okinawa, and the Sea of Japan(when World War II ended). Mr. Kelly saw active duty four years, three months, and 17 days and then went home, alive. Don Kelly received an Honorable Discharge after the war and upon separation joined his cousin's ice skating show. O'Kelly née Kelly used his GI Bill of Rights to study acting with the Strasberg company in Hollywood, CA. He was a prolific painter. Some of his art work is at the U.S.S. Elizabeth C. Stanton, AP69 Museum (affectionally known as "The Lucky Lizzie.")


Don O'Kelly was a familiar face to series television fans during the 1950s and 1960s. As a character and lead actor with starring film role in Tank Battalion with Marjorie Helen (later Leslie Parrish-Bach). His last starring role was in "The Hostage", made in 1966 and released in 1967, in which he received very favorable reviews. "The film owes its vitality primarily to the dynamic forces of the murderer, Bull, played by Don O'Kelly (Citing Hollywood Reporter's film review 8/23/66 "Hostage an exciting film").

TV and film credits[edit]

  • The Hostage (1967) ... Bull
  • Shoot Out at Big Sag (1962) ... Fargo
  • Frontier Uprising (1961) ... Kilpatrick
  • Tank Battalion (1958) ... Sgt Brad Dunne aka Korean Attack
  • The Notorious Mr. Monks (1958) ... Dan Flynn
  • Bombers B-52 (1957) ... Master Sergent Darren McKind aka No Sleep Till Dawn (UK)
  • The Crooked Circle (1957) ... Joe Kelly
  • The Big Land (1957)... Billy Tyler aka Stampeded (UK)
  • The Wild Wild West (1965) episode The Night of a Thousand Eyes ... Peavey
  • Gunsmoke (1965) episode Eliab's Aim ... Dealer
  • Ben Casey (1964) episode One Nation Indivisible ... George Zybsko
  • Bonanza (1964) episode The Lila Conrad Story
  • The Virginian (1963) episode The Evil That Men Do ... Deke
  • The Dakotas (1963) episode Fargo ... Paul Young
  • The Gallant Men (1963)episode The Leathernecks ... Captain Barlow
  • 77 Sunset Strip (1963) episode Crashout ... Arnie Martin
  • The Gallant Men (1962) episode One Moderately Peaceful Sunday
  • 77 Sunset Strip (1962) episode Terror in a Small Town ... Sheriff Farger
  • The Beachcomber (1962) episode The Fugitive ... Womack
  • Ripcord (1961) episode High Jeopardy ... Johnny Grimes
  • 77 Sunset Strip (1961) episode The Turning Point ... Nate Minton
  • Bat Masterson (1961) episode Meeting at Mimbers ... Tom Smith
  • Riverboat (1960) episode Zigzag ... Clyde
  • The Deputy (1960) episode Lady for a Hanging ... Hunter
  • Bat Masterson (1960) episode The Last of the Night Raiders ... Jack Doolin
  • The Twilight Zone (1960) episode The Mighty Casey ... Monk
  • Overland Trail (1960) episode Fire in the Hole ... Red
  • Bourbon Street Beat (1960) episode Neon Nightmare ... George Johnson
  • Lawman (1960) episode The Truce
  • M Squad (1960) episode Race to Death ... Joe Calhoun
  • Laramie (1960) episode Duel at Alta Mesa
  • The Alaskans (1960) episode The Trial of Reno McKee ... Carl
  • The Alaskans (1960) episode Black Sand
  • Have Gun – Will Travel (1960) episode The Day of the Bad Man ... Amos Saint
  • Bonanza (1960) episode El Toro Grande
  • The Restless Gun (1959) episode A Very Special Inspector ... Blair Weeks
  • Tales of Wells Fargo (1959)episode The Daltons ...Bob Dalton
  • Black Saddle (1959) episode Client: Reynolds ... Harry Briggs
  • Lawman (1959) episode The Souvenir ... Virgil Carey
  • Disneyland (6 March 1959) episode The Slaughter Trail ... Jed
  • Texas John Slaughter (1959) episode (#1.5) The Slaughter Trail ... Jed
  • Disneyland (20 March 1959) episode Man from Bitter Creek ... Jed
  • Texas John Slaughter (1959) (#1.6) Man from Bitter Creek ... Jed
  • Sugarfoot (1959) episode The Giant Killer ... Tracy
  • The Texan (1959) episode A Quart of Law
  • Maverick (1958) episode Holiday at Hollow Rock ... Ira Swain
  • 77 Sunset Strip (1958) episode The Court Martial of Johnny Murdo ... Sergeant Bannock
  • Lawman (1958) episode The Oath ... Lou Menke
  • Broken Arrow (1958) episode War Trail ... Captain Baker
  • Have Gun – Will Travel (1958) episode The Teacher ... Coley
  • Maverick (1958) episode Trail West to Fury ... Jett
  • Wire Service (1957) episode Misfire
  • Frontier (1956) episode A Somewhere Voice ... Jim
  • Death Valley Days (1956) episode The Sinbuster
  • Frontier (1956) episode The Well ... Jim

Personal life[edit]

He was married to Ruthie Kelly, who is now retired and lives in The Villages of Central Florida. They had three sons, Michael David Kelly (who had three children: Elizabeth, Alexander and Ruby and grandson Tristen); Brent Robert Kelly (who had three children: Lori, Nicholas and Elissa); and Raymond Joseph Kelly (who had three children Heather (now married to Michael Weathers. The Weathers have one daughter Raegan) and Carissa (now married to Frank Jenkins. The Jenkins have two children Daysia and Jaylen) and Raymond's youngest daughter Maria. Unfortunately, Don O'Kelly died of stomach cancer shortly after "The Hostage" was released and just prior to leaving on a national tour promoting the film.


External links[edit]