|Born||Peter Paul Fix
March 13, 1901
Dobbs Ferry, New York, U.S.
|Died||October 14, 1983
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death
|Woodlawn Memorial Cemetery, Santa Monica|
(1949–79, her death)
|Relatives||Son-in-law Harry Carey, Jr.|
Peter Paul Fix (March 13, 1901 – October 14, 1983) was an American film and television character actor, best known for his work in Westerns. Fix appeared in more than a hundred movies and dozens of television shows over a 56-year career spanning from 1925 to 1981. In the 1950s, Fix was best known for portraying Marshal Micah Torrance alongside Chuck Connors and Johnny Crawford in The Rifleman.
Fix was born Peter Paul Fix in Dobbs Ferry, New York, to brewmaster Wilhelm Fix and his wife, the former Louise C. Walz. His mother and father were German immigrants who had left their Black Forest home and arrived in New York City in the 1870s. (The name "Fix" is of Latin/Germanic origin, and is derived from St. Vitus and means "animated" or "vital").
A veteran of the United States Navy during World War I, Fix became an incredibly busy character actor who obtained his start in local productions in New York. By the 1920s, he had moved to Hollywood, and performed in the first of almost 350 movie and television appearances. In the 1930s, he became friends with John Wayne. He was Wayne's acting coach and eventually appeared as a featured player in about twenty-seven of Wayne's films.
Fix worked in early films such as Lucky Star (1929) and Ladies Love Brutes (1930), and became a regular performer for the film's director, Frank Borzage, on a further eight occasions. Fix later appeared as Richard Bravo in the 1950s cult classic, The Bad Seed (1956), The Sea Chase (1955) playing Heinz the cook, and in George Stevens' Giant (1956), playing Elizabeth Taylor's father.
Though Fix is best-remembered for his recurring role as Marshal Micah Torrance on ABC's The Rifleman, he also worked in many other series in guest-starring roles. On February 28, 1958, he appeared with Edd Byrnes as Frank Wilson, Sr., and Frank, Jr., respectively in the episode "The Golden Gun" on the ABC/Warner Brothers, western series, Colt .45, starring Wayde Preston. Ron Hayes, Charles Fredericks, and Stuart Randall also appeared in this episode. Seven months later, Byrnes was cast in the new 77 Sunset Strip ABC/WB production.
On December 25, 1958, Fix appeared in the episode "Medal for Valor" on CBS's Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater. Fix plays Rufus Stewart, a businessman who hires David Manning, played by Richard Basehart, a man with an ill wife who is in need of medical treatment, to substitute in the American Civil War for Stewart's son, Adam', portrayed by Richard Anderson. Manning, who won a Medal of Honor, returns from three years in the United States Army with an affidavit certifying that he was a military substitute so that he can claim western land. Rufus Stewart reneges on the promise because the son, the local sheriff, is running for the United States House of Representatives. Oddly, Rufus winds up being shot to death in a confrontation that he caused, and Adam agrees to provide the affidavit to Manning. The episode does not reveal if the sheriff was elected to Congress but considers the political liability of one having hired a substitute in the war.
Fix guest starred on the short-lived detective series, Meet McGraw and on the western series of Rory Calhoun and John Payne, The Texan and The Restless Gun, which aired, respectively, in the same time slot on Mondays on CBS and NBC.
Fix played the historical role of U.S. President Zachary Taylor in the 1960 episode "That Taylor Affair" of the NBC western series, Riverboat, with Darren McGavin. Arlene Dahl was cast in this episode as Lucy Belle.
In 1961, Fix appeared as Ramsey Collins in the series finale, "Around the Dark Corner", of the NBC crime drama Dante. That same year he played Dr. Abel in the episode "The Haven" on CBS's The DuPont Show with June Allyson. Other television credits included Adventures of Superman (1953–1954, with Anthony Caruso and Elisha Cook, Jr.) and the adventure series, Northwest Passage.
Fix played Dr. Mark Piper, Dr. Leonard McCoy's predecessor in the second pilot episode of Star Trek, "Where No Man Has Gone Before". When NBC picked up Star Trek as a series in 1966, Fix was replaced as the Enterprise medical officer by DeForest Kelley in the role of Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy.
Fix appeared as the presiding judge in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962). He played the sheriff in The Sons of Katie Elder. In 1966, he appeared in the film El Dorado. In 1972 he appeared in the film Night of the Lepus. In 1979, he appeared in Wanda Nevada. Fix co-wrote the screenplay for the John Wayne film Tall in the Saddle.
Fix made five appearances as District Attorney Hale on Perry Mason (1957–1963), showing great skill as an examiner who did not ask objectionable questions unlike Hamilton Burger who often experienced a judge's ire for asking leading questions. He guest starred on such television series as The Twilight Zone (1964), The F.B.I. (1965–1973), Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1966), The Time Tunnel (1966), The Wild Wild West (1966–1967), Daniel Boone (1969), Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law (1971), and The Rockford Files episode "The House on Willis Avenue" (as Joe Tooley). He appeared on the NBC series Kentucky Jones (1964) as Judge Perkins in the episode "Spare the Rod". He played an aging suicidal novelist on the "Emergency!" episode, "Kidding" where John Gage (played by Randolph Mantooth) was in charge of a small group of intellectual 10-year olds on a tour of Rampart General Hospital. He played the role of New Mexico rancher Pete Maxwell in the 1973 film Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. In 1974, he made an appearance as an old friend of Steve Austin's in the TV series The Six Million Dollar Man in the episode "Population Zero".He also appeared as Kronus,a retired fleet commander in the TV series"Battlestar Galactica".
Personal life and death
Fix died of renal failure in Los Angeles, at the age of eighty-two.
- The First Kiss (1928)
- Ladies Love Brutes (1930)
- Three Girls Lost (1931)
- Bulldog Courage (1935)
- The Prisoner of Shark Island (1936)
- After the Thin Man (1936)
- King of Gamblers (1937)
- It Can't Last Forever (1937)
- Paid to Dance (1937)
- Penitentiary (1938)
- King of Alcatraz (1938)
- Star Reporter (1939)
- Queen of the Mob (1940)
- Down Mexico Way (1941)
- Captive Wild Woman (1943)
- The Fighting Seabees (1944)
- Tall in the Saddle (1944) ( also co-writer )
- Hitler – Dead or Alive (1945)
- Red River (1946)
- Back to Bataan (1945)
- Force of Evil (1948)
- Wake of the Red Witch (1948)
- The Fighting Kentuckian (1949)
- California Passage (1950)
- Island in the Sky (1953)
- The High and the Mighty (1954)
- Johnny Guitar (1954)
- Blood Alley (1955)
- The Sea Chase (1955)
- The Bad Seed (1956)
- To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)
- The Outrage (1964)
- The Sons of Katie Elder (1965)
- El Dorado (1966)
- Incident at Phantom Hill (1966)
- The Ballad of Josie (1967)
- Young Billy Young (1969)
- Night of the Lepus (1972)
- Cahill U.S. Marshal (1973)
- "Colt .45". ctva.biz. Retrieved December 22, 2012.
- "Zane Grey Theatre: "Medal for Valor", December 25, 1958". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
- "Meet McGraw". Classic TV Archives. Retrieved September 9, 2009.
- ""That Taylor Affair", Riverboat, September 26, 1960". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
- Tall in the Saddle cast & crew details,imdb
- Paul Fix at the Internet Movie Database
- Paul Fix at Memory Alpha (a Star Trek wiki)
- Paul Fix at Battlestar Wiki, an encyclopedia of the Battlestar Galactica sagas
- Paul Fix at Find a Grave