Carl Monson

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Carl Monson
Born Carl J. Williams
(1932-09-02)September 2, 1932
Los Angeles
Died August 4, 1988(1988-08-04) (aged 55)

Carl Monson (September 2, 1932 – August 4, 1988) a.k.a. Carlos Monsoya, Charles Monsoya and Nosnom Lrak, was at the forefront of independent low budget sexploitation/grindhouse films or paracinema during the 1970s and 1980s. He is most well known for Blood Legacy (1971), Booby Trap (1973) and Death Feud (1986).


Monson got his start at the prestigious Pasadena Playhouse’s school of theatre, known as the Hollywood “Star Factory.” In 1964, with his first wife Laura Shelton, he founded the Curtain Call Theater in North Hollywood, a critically acclaimed invitational playhouse run by professional actors on a cooperative basis. The Curtain Call Theater was one of the first legitimate theatres to open in the NoHo Arts District which is now considered Hollywood's theatre district.

In addition to working in theatre, Monson also directed and wrote screenplays for low-budget sexploitation and grind house films during the 1970s and 1980s. He is most well known for Blood Legacy(1971), A Scream in the Streets (1973) and Savage Harbor (1987). He also founded and worked out of Bumblebee Productions with his second wife, Tricia Kross. He worked out of Bumblebee Productions until his death from heart failure August 4, 1988.

Selected filmography[edit]

Death Feud

  • a.k.a. Savage Harbor (1986), Screenwriter/Actor: Harold/Director/Producer

A Scream in the Streets

  • (1973), Director/Producer

Booby Trap

  • a.k.a. 10 Seconds to Murder (1973), Actor:Jack Brennan/Assoc. Producer

The Takers

  • (1972), as Carlos Monsoya, Actor: Laura's Husband/Director

Please Don't Eat My Mother

  • (1972), Actor: Officer O'Columbus/Director/Producer

Blood Legacy

  • a.k.a. Legacy of Blood (1971), Screenwriter/Director/Producer

The Acid Eaters

  • a.k.a. The Acid People (1968), Screenwriter

Laura Shelton[edit]

Monson's first wife was Laura Shelton (1935-2008) a.k.a. Carol Monson (born Carol Jean Ready on September 5, 1935 in Eastland, Texas). She was a frequent guest star on several popular 1960s television series including Wagon Train, Harrigan and Son, The Detectives starring Robert Taylor, The Beverly Hillbillies, My Favorite Martian, Have Gun, Will Travel and Death Valley Days. Carl and Laura had two children; Clay Monson (who makes a cameo appearance in Death Feud) and Cristen Monson Susong (a Broadway performer). Shelton and Monson divorced in 1973.

Shelton's life and career[edit]

Ms. Shelton was born to Beth Allene Judkins and Mack Ready, and was adopted by Hubert Haskell Shelton as a small child shortly after her mother remarried. Raised primarily in El Paso, Texas, she graduated from Austin High School in 1953. Ms. Shelton was married briefly to classmate Frank Grimmer while attending Texas Western College (now the University of Texas at El Paso). After divorcing and winning a contest to appear on a television game show, Ms. Shelton was offered a scholarship to the Pasadena Playhouse where her contemporaries included Oscar-winner Gene Hackman and Rue McClanahan. Ms Shelton was one of the last "Hollywood Debutantes" selected by the industry and presented at the Hollywood Debutant Ball by Joan Crawford and Bob Hope. While at Pasadena Playhouse, she met and married actor/director Carl J. Monson. In 1964, with Carl, she founded the Curtain Call Theater in North Hollywood. In addition to working in the theater throughout the 1960s, Ms. Shelton focused on her television career as Laura Shelton and her two children, Clay Monson born 1964, and Cristen Monson Susong born 1969. Her last stage appearance was as Elsa Schraeder in The Sound of Music starring Oscar-nominated Anne Blyth for Houston’s Theatre Under the Stars in 1969. After her marriage to Monson ended in 1973, Ms. Shelton moved from California back to El Paso to provide a home for her children.

Shelton's selected TV work[edit]

Death Valley Days

  • There Was Another Dalton Brother (1964), Emmy Johnson
  • The Red Petticoat (1961)

My Favorite Martian

  • The matchmakers (1963), Marsha Carson

The Beverly Hillbillies

  • Jed Becomes a Banker (1963) Secretary

FBI Code 98 (Feature Film 1963), Anita Davidson

The Detectives Starring Robert Taylor

  • The Queen of Craven Point (1961), Nancy
  • Personal Enemy (1961), Darlene

Miami Undercover

  • The Baby Sitter (1961), Mona Cries

Harrigan and Son

  • The Case of the Missing Case (1961), Fern Williams

Wagon Train

  • The Luke Grant Story (1960), Chris

Tricia Kross[edit]

Carl Monson later married Tricia Kross (ex-wife of Three Dog Night keyboard player, Jimmy Greenspoon). His second marriage produced no children, but Kross and Monson did create Bumblebee Productions.

External links[edit]