Cully Wilson (Lassie)
|First appearance||"The Water Boy" (1959)|
|Last appearance||"The Wayfarers" (1964)|
|Created by||Robert Maxwell • Jack Wrather|
|Portrayed by||Andy Clyde|
Cully Wilson is a fictional character in the CBS television series, Lassie. Cully is an eccentric farmer and nature lover, and becomes Timmy Martin's best friend. The character was portrayed by Andy Clyde. Cully makes his first appearance in the 1959 sixth season episode, "The Water Boy", and his last appearance at the top of the 1964 eleventh season in the three-part episode, "The Wayfarers".
Cully was created to fill the show's traditional "grandfatherly" role once occupied by George Cleveland (1954-1957) and by George Chandler (1957-1958). Cully proved an audience favorite and was scripted frequently into adventures with Timmy. Producers felt two adult males on the show would overwhelm the audience however and cut back Hugh Reilly's appearances as Timmy's father Paul Martin. Paul was sent to distant fields or away from home on business.
The Cully character was used to make positive statements about aging Americans. In one episode, for example, Paul ably defends Cully when neighbors want to put the "crazy old animal lover" into a home.
In Cully's last appearance of 1964, Cully becomes Lassie's guardian when the Martin family moves to Australia to teach agriculture. Cully suffers a debilitating heart attack however and Lassie is provided a home with Corey Stuart, a Forest Ranger. Cully disappeared from the series and was never referenced again.
- Jenkins, Henry. Lassie. Museum of Broadcast Communications, [n.d.].
- Collins, Ace. Lassie: A Dog's Life. Penguin, 1993.
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