Richard Carlson (actor)

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Richard Carlson
Richard Carlson 1952.JPG
Richard Carlson in 1952.
Born Richard Dutoit Carlson
(1912-04-29)April 29, 1912
Albert Lea, Minnesota, U.S.
Died November 25, 1977(1977-11-25) (aged 65)
Encino, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death
Cerebral hemorrhage
Resting place
Los Angeles National Cemetery
Alma mater University of Minnesota
summa cum laude
Occupation Actor, director, screenwriter
Years active 1937–75
Spouse(s) Mona Carlson (1939–1977, his death)
Children Richard Henry Carlson
Christopher Hugh Carlson
Parents Mabel Du Toit
Henry Carlson

Richard Dutoit Carlson (April 29, 1912 – November 25, 1977) was an American actor, television and film director, and screenwriter.

Career[edit]

Carlson was born in Albert Lea, Minnesota. His father was a lawyer.

He graduated from the University of Minnesota with an Master of Arts degree, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He appeared on the Broadway stage in the 1930s after studying and teaching drama in Minnesota. His first film role was in the 1938 David O. Selznick comedy The Young in Heart. He worked as a freelance actor, appearing in many different film studio works, beginning in 1939 when he moved to California. Before the war, he appeared mostly in comedies and dramas, including The Little Foxes and Too Many Girls with Lucille Ball in 1940.

Like many actors, Carlson served in World War II, interrupting his acting career. After returning he found it difficult to procure new roles, and his future in Hollywood remained in doubt until 1948. In that year, Carlson was cast in two low-budget film noir releases, Behind Locked Doors and The Amazing Mr. X. Despite this, real success in Hollywood eluded him until 1950, when he co-starred with Deborah Kerr and Stewart Granger in the highly successful jungle adventure film King Solomon's Mines, shot on location in Africa. Other films followed, including the World War II naval action film Flat Top.

Carlson slowly began to rebuild his career, finding work in the newly emergent science fiction and horror B films of the 1950s. He appeared in a number of horror and science fiction films, including three 3-D films: The Maze (1953) and the classics It Came from Outer Space (1953) with Barbara Rush, Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) with Julia Adams, and The Magnetic Monster. His success in the genre led him to the director's chair for the 1954 science fiction film Riders to the Stars, in which he also starred.

In addition to science fiction work, he had a recurring role as a writer of "science fact" in The Bell Laboratory Science Series.

On July 14, 1951, Carlson and then U.S. Senator Hubert Humphrey were the guests on the CBS live variety show, Faye Emerson's Wonderful Town, in which hostess Faye Emerson visited Minneapolis to accent the kinds of music popular in the city.[1]

In addition to writing and directing various film and television projects, Carlson was also was the star of the Cold War drama television series I Led Three Lives from 1953 to 1956.

He was featured in 1957 in The Helen Morgan Story. That same year, he was cast as two different ministers, Rabbi Avraham Soltes and Father William Wendt, in the episodes "The Happy Gift" and "Call for Help", respectively, of the syndicated religion anthology series, Crossroads.

In the 1958-1959 television season, Carlson portrayed Colonel Ranald Mackenzie in the syndicated western series, Mackenzie's Raiders, with Morris Ankrum and Brett King among those cast as "Raiders".

In 1959, Carlson was cast as Paul Drake in "The Faithless" of the NBC western series, Riverboat. In the story line, Drake is an escaped prisoner with medical training being transported on the river vessel, the Enterprise, back to jail. Having lost his religious faith, Drake refuses to render medical assistance to a two-year-old girl stricken with a communicable disease which threatens the entire vessel. William Phipps and Jeanne Bates play the parents of the child. Bethel Leslie portrays Cathy Norris.[2]

In the final two seasons of CBS's Perry Mason, Carlson made two guest appearances, both times as the murder victim. In 1964 he played Anthony Fry in "The Case of the Tragic Trophy;" in 1966, he played Clete Hawley in "The Case of the Avenging Angel."

Carlson's last movie role was in the 1969 Elvis Presley/Mary Tyler Moore film, Change of Habit. His last acting role was in a 1975 episode of the television series, Khan!.

He is sometimes compared to Hugh Marlowe, who is one year older and starred in the science fiction classics The Day the Earth Stood Still and Earth vs. the Flying Saucers.

Death[edit]

Carlson died of a cerebral hemorrhage on November 25, 1977 in Encino, California.[3] He was buried in Los Angeles National Cemetery, in West Los Angeles. For his contribution to the television industry, Richard Carlson has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6333 Hollywood Blvd.

Selected filmography[edit]

Film
Year Film Role Notes
1938 The Young in Heart Duncan Macrae
The Duke of West Point Jack West
1939 These Glamour Girls Joe
Dancing Co-Ed Michael "Pug" Braddock
1940 Beyond Tomorrow James Houston
The Ghost Breakers Geoff Montgomery
The Howards of Virginia Thomas Jefferson
No, No, Nanette Tom Gillespie
1941 Back Street Curt Stanton
Hold That Ghost Dr. Duncan "Doc" Jackson Alternative title: Oh Charlie
The Little Foxes David Hewitt
1942 Fly-by-Night Dr. Geoffrey Burton
The Affairs of Martha Jeff Sommerfield
White Cargo Mr. Langford
1943 Presenting Lily Mars Owen Vail
A Stranger in Town Bill Adams
The Man from Down Under "Nipper" Wilson
1947 So Well Remembered Charles Winslow
1948 The Amazing Mr. X Martin Abbott
Behind Locked Doors Ross Stewart
1950 King Solomon's Mines John Goode
The Sound of Fury Gil Stanton Alternative title: Try and Get Me
1951 The Blue Veil Gerald Kean
1952 Retreat, Hell! Captain Paul Hansen
Flat Top Lt. Rodgers
1953 The Magnetic Monster Dr. Jeffrey Stewart
Seminole Major Harlan Degan
It Came from Outer Space John Putnam
All I Desire Henry Murdoch
The Maze Gerald MacTeam
The Golden Blade Narrator Uncredited
1954 Riders to the Stars Dr. Jerome "Jerry" Lockwood Also directed
Creature from the Black Lagoon Dr. David Reed
1955 The Last Command William B. Travis Alternative title: San Antonio de Bexar
1957 The Helen Morgan Story Russell Wade
1960 Tormented Tom Stewart
1968 The Power Professor Norman E. Van Zandt
1969 The Valley of Gwangi Champ
Change of Habit Bishop Finley
Television
Year Title Role Notes
1953-1956 I Led Three Lives Herbert Philbrick
1954 General Electric Theater Archie Hawkins 1 episode
The Best of Broadway Mike Connor 1 episode
1959 Riverboat Paul Drake 1 episode
The Man and the Challenge
-
Director, 1 episode
Men into Space
-
Director, 1 episode
1960 The Aquanauts Ross Porter 1 episode
1961–1962 The Detectives Starring Robert Taylor
-
Director, 5 episodes
1962 Bus Stop George Whaley 1 episode
Thriller Guy Guthrie 1 episode
Going My Way Francis Delaney 1 episode
1964 Arrest and Trial Turner Leigh 1 episode
The Fugitive Allan Pruitt 1 episode
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea' Lars Mattson 1 episode
1968 Bonanza Arch Hollinbeck 1 episode
1969 It Takes a Thief Daniel K. Ryder 1 episode
The F.B.I. Harold David Dewitt 1 episode
Lancer Judah Abbott 1 episode
1971–1973 O'Hara, U.S. Treasury
-
Writer, 3 episodes
1972–1973 Cannon Owen McMahon; Mr. Archibald 2 episodes
1973 Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law Al Downes 1 episode
1975 Khan! 1 episode

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Faye Emerson's Wonderful Town". Classic Television Archives. Retrieved February 26, 2012. 
  2. ^ ""The Faithless", Riverboat, November 22, 1959". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  3. ^ Jarvis, Everett Grant (1996). Final Curtain: Deaths of Noted Movie and TV Personalities, 1912-1996 (8 ed.). Carol Pub. Group. p. 65. 

External links[edit]