Allan Melvin

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Allan Melvin
Allan Melvin.jpg
Allan Melvin promotional photo
Allan John Melvin

(1923-02-18)February 18, 1923
DiedJanuary 17, 2008(2008-01-17) (aged 84)
  • Actor
  • impressionist
Years active1947–1994
Amalia Faustina Sestero
(m. 1944⁠–⁠2008)

Allan John Melvin (February 18, 1923 – January 17, 2008)[1] was an American actor and impressionist, who was cast in hundreds of television episodes from the 1950s to the early 1990s, often appearing in recurring roles on various series. Some of those roles and series include portraying various characters on The Andy Griffith Show, as real estate salesman Pete Dudley in My Favorite Martian, as Corporal Henshaw on The Phil Silvers Show, Sergeant Hacker on Gomer Pyle, USMC, Alice's boyfriend Sam the Butcher on The Brady Bunch, and as Archie Bunker's friend Barney Hefner on both All in the Family and Archie Bunker's Place. He has also voiced Tyrone the Bulldog, an arch-villain (with his aliases The Jester, The Puzzler, Poochquin, Sheriff of Sherwood and many others) in the live action/animated series The Secret Lives of Waldo Kitty and was Magilla Gorilla on The Magilla Gorilla Show.

Life and career[edit]

Melvin was born in Kansas City, Missouri, to Marie and Richard Melvin but lived part of his childhood in New York City with his paternal grandparents, Helen (née Campbell) and Frank Melvin. Allan attended Columbia University, and after his graduation he served in the United States Navy during World War II. In 1944, he married Amalia Faustina Sestero in New York City.[citation needed]

While working at a job in the sound effects department of NBC Radio, he did a nightclub act and appeared and won on the Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts radio show. While appearing on Broadway in Stalag 17, he got his break into television by getting the role of Corporal Steve Henshaw[2] on the popular The Phil Silvers Show program.[3] "I think the camaraderie of all those guys made it such a pleasant way to work. They were so relaxed."[3]

During this period, in addition to his role on The Phil Silvers Show, Melvin was often cast in slightly loud, occasionally abrasive, but generally friendly second banana roles. Melvin was also adept at "tough guy" roles; in an example of his range as an actor, one episode of The Phil Silvers Show featured Melvin doing a recognizable impersonation of Humphrey Bogart.

In the 1960s, Melvin worked extensively at CBS for Sheldon Leonard and Aaron Ruben. He played Staff Sgt. Charlie Hacker who was Sgt. Vince Carter's rival for four seasons on Gomer Pyle, USMC. He also made eight appearances on The Dick Van Dyke Show. He also provided the voices of cartoon character Magilla Gorilla, the lion Drooper on The Banana Splits Adventure Hour, archvillain Tyrone in The Secret Lives of Waldo Kitty and Bluto on The All New Popeye Hour. Melvin also made eight guest appearances on The Andy Griffith Show in eight different roles, usually as heavies. He also made three guest appearances on Perry Mason in various roles, including reporter Bert Kannon in the 1966 episode, "The Case of the Sausalito Sunrise." Also in 1966 Allan played the space enforcer on the series Lost in Space, in the episode "West Of Mars".

Melvin is remembered for supporting roles on two popular 1970s sitcoms. He played Sam Franklin, the owner of a local butcher shop and boyfriend of the Brady's housekeeper Alice (played by Ann B. Davis) on The Brady Bunch, and Barney Hefner, Archie Bunker's neighbor and friend on All in the Family. In other contributions to 1970s pop culture, he appeared as a Mel's Diner patron on Alice and worked as a voice artist (under the name "Al Melvin"). He provided several characters’ voices for the TV show H.R. Pufnstuf and the voice of Prince Thun of the Lion Men on The New Adventures of Flash Gordon. He also provided the voice of Rocky Maninoff for Tennessee Tuxedo in the episode "Mixed-up Mechanics" in 1963.

Some of his most prolific work was in television commercials, for products as diverse as Kellogg's Sugar Frosted Flakes and Remington electric razors. In the latter commercial, he sang a few bars of Frank Loesser’s song "I Believe in You" with a modified lyric. He was also featured as Al the Plumber on Liquid-Plumr drain opener commercials for fifteen years.[4]

In the early 1980s, Melvin appeared as a regular in Archie Bunker's Place, in which he reprised the now more important role of Barney Hefner. After the series ended in 1983, Melvin's work was exclusively devoted to cartoon voice-overs. His voice acting career continued until 1994, with Scooby-Doo! in Arabian Nights being his final voice work (again as Magilla Gorilla) before retiring.


Allan Melvin died of cancer on January 17, 2008, aged 84,[5] and was buried at Westwood Memorial Cemetery, Los Angeles.[6] Melvin is buried just yards from former TV co-star Carroll O'Connor.


1964 The Sinkable Mrs. Brown Roles Notes
1955-59 The Phil Silvers Show Cpl. Steve Henshaw; Indian Chief; Benny 143 episodes
1961-66 The Dick Van Dyke Show Sol Pomerantz; Guard Jenkins; Gun Drummer' Harrison B. Harding; Sam Pomerantz; Sam Pomeroy 8 episodes
1962-64 Make Room for Daddy Officer Johnson; Policeman; Fake Termite Inspector 3 episodes
1962-67 The Andy Griffith Show Clarence 'Doc' Malloy; Clyde Plaunt; Escaped Prisoner; Fred Plummer; Hotel Detective Bardoli; Jake; Myrt's Accomplice; Neal; Recruiting Sergeant; Farmer from Lawman Barney 8 episodes
1963 Perry Mason Carl Jasper
1963 Beetle Bailey Sgt. Snorkel; Otto; Zero Note: He wrote two episodes of the show
1963-66 The Flintstones Quartz; Jane; Cop; Stony; Sergeant; Elephant; Sportscaster; Len Frankenstone; Bony Hurdle; Mr. Nate Slate; Hoss Cartrock; Sheriff Craig; Boudler; Thug #1; Pig; Superstone; Bugsy; Bartender; Mailman; Head #1; Tom; Car 7 Policeman; Rockarabian Men 13 episodes
1964-66 The Magilla Gorilla Show Magilla Gorilla, Punkin' Puss
1964 Hey There, It's Yogi Bear! Police Sergeant
1964-65 The Joey Bishop Show Art Miller 8 Episodes
1965 Sinbad Jr. and his Magic Belt additional Voices
1965 Secret Squirrel additional voices
1965-69 Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. Sgt. Charley Hacker 16 episodes
1966 Lost in Space Enforcer Claudio / Little Joe / Gambling Machine 2 episodes
1966 Alice in Wonderland or What's a Nice Kid Like You Doing in a Place Like This? Alice's Father; Humphrey Dumpty TV special
1968 The Adventures of Gulliver Bunko; Brunik the Wild Hermit
1968 With Six You Get Eggroll Police Desk Sergeant
1968-70 The Banana Splits Adventure Hour Drooper / Banana Vac
1969 Cattanooga Cats Bumbler; Bristle Hound
1969 Mod Squad Fred Croft episode: To Linc - With Love
1969-71 Love, American Style Various
1969-74 The Brady Bunch Sam Franklin 8 episodes
1970 Pufnstuf H. R. Pufnstuf; Henrich Rat; Living Island Boat; Orville Pelican; Polka-Dotted Horse; Stupid Bat; West Wind
1970 Mayberry R.F.D. Earl episode: Hair
1972-79 All in the Family Sgt. Pulaski (1 episode - S2E3: "Archie in the Lock-Up"); Barney Hefner (24 episodes) 25 episodes
1972 The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie Drooper episode: The Banana Splits in Hocus Pocus Park
1972 The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie Magilla Gorilla, Additional voices episode: Yogi's Ark Lark
1972-73 Wait Till Your Father Gets Home additional voices
1973-75 Yogi's Gang Magilla Gorilla, Additional voices
1974 These Are the Days additional voices
1974 Hong Kong Phooey additional voices
1976 Dynomutt, Dog Wonder additional voices
1977 CB Bears additional voices
1977-78 Fred Flintstone and Friends Magilla Gorilla, Additional voices
1977-80 Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels additional voices
1978 Hanna-Barbera's All-Star Comedy Ice Revue Drooper TV special
1978 The Scooby-Doo Show additional voices
1978 Fangface additional voices
1978-83 The All New Popeye Hour Bluto
1979 The Popeye Valentine Special: Sweethearts at Sea Bluto TV special
1979 The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show additional voices
1979-82 The New Adventures of Flash Gordon Thun the Lion Man; King Vultan 24 episodes
1979-83 Archie Bunker's Place Barney Hefner 94 episodes
1981 Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends Electro (Marvel Comics); additional voices
1981-82 The Kwicky Koala Show Joey Bungle 16 episodes
1982 Mork & Mindy/Laverne & Shirley/Fonz Hour additional voices
1982 Yogi Bear's All Star Comedy Christmas Caper Magilla Gorilla, Additional voices TV special
1984 Challenge of the GoBots additional voices
1984-87 The Smurfs additional voices
1985 Galtar and the Golden Lance additional voices
1985 Yogi's Treasure Hunt additional voices
1985-87 The Jetsons additional voices
1986-87 Foofur Chucky the Rat, Additional voices
1987 Popeye and Son Bluto, J. Wellington Wimpy
1987 DuckTales additional voices
1987 Yogi's Great Escape Bandit Bear TV movie
1988 The Good, the Bad, and Huckleberry Hound Magilla Gorilla, Additional voices TV movie
1988 The New Yogi Bear Show Growler Bear
1988 Adventures of the Gummi Bears additional voices
1990 TaleSpin Warden Slammer episode: Gruel and Unusual Punishment
1990 The Adventures of Don Coyote and Sancho Panda additional voices
1990-91 Wake, Rattle, and Roll Magilla Gorilla
1991 Yo Yogi! Magilla "Ice" Gorilla
1994 Scooby-Doo! in Arabian Nights Magilla Gorilla TV movie; his final role


  1. ^ ""Brady Bunch" actor Allan Melvin dies in Los Angeles at 84". 19 January 2008. Archived from the original on 23 January 2008. Retrieved 21 September 2019.
  2. ^ ""The Phil Silvers Show" - Corporal Steve Henshaw". Archived from the original on 19 September 2007. Retrieved 21 September 2019.
  3. ^ a b 'Brady Bunch' actor dies at 84, an Associated Press article via CNN
  4. ^ McLellan, Dennis. "Allan Melvin 1923–2008: Character actor on 'All in the Family,' 'Phil Silvers Show,'" Los Angeles Times, Saturday, January 19, 2008.
  5. ^ Reuters
  6. ^ The AV Club

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