October 3, 1950|
Encino, California, USA
|Occupation||Child actor: Laramie|
Dennis Holmes (born October 3, 1950, in Encino, California) is a former child actor whose longest-running role was from 1961 to 1963 as the orphaned Mike Williams in more than fifty episodes of the NBC western television series Laramie, starring with John Smith, Robert Fuller, Spring Byington, and Stuart Randall.
On September 23, 1961, Holmes joined the Laramie cast in the episode "Dragon at the Door," which focuses on Japanese entertainers headed east. Their wagon breaks down near the Sherman Ranch, and they bring along with them the injured and unconscious Mike Williams, whom they had found on the trail. Holmes' role as Mike Williams supersedes that from the first two seasons of Andy Sherman, played by Robert L. Crawford Jr. Mike is allowed by a judge to live at the Sherman Ranch and Relay Station, pending the location of any next of kin, which never happens. Mike becomes like a much younger brother to series characters Slim Sherman (John Smith) and Jess Harper (Robert Fuller). Spring Byington, as the ranch housekeeper Daisy Cooper, joins the cast in "Ladies' Day", the second episode of the third season, and fills the role of surrogate grandmother for young Mike. Holmes's last appearance was in the episode "Trapped", which aired on May 14, 1963.
In 1950 Holmes made his first but uncredited movie appearance at 6 weeks old as the infant Butch, one of the children John Wayne rescues in the submarine under his command in the war movie Operation Pacific. Holmes' grandfather, Soldier Graham, was the gaffer on that film. In 1954, Holmes made his television debut as young Jimmy Evans on The Jack Benny Program, a role that he repeated seven years later in 1961. His next television appearances were in 1957 on Wire Service, The Walter Winchell File, and General Electric Theater, the latter as Tiny Tim in the episode "The Road to Christmas," with the host Ronald W. Reagan.
Subsequent television appearances followed on Leave It to Beaver, Father Knows Best, and as the youthful Vint Bonner title character on John Payne's NBC western, The Restless Gun, in the second-season premiere in 1958.
While under contract to 20th Century Fox Studios (1959-1961) he was cast as Robby Sharron in the 1959 film Woman Obsessed, with Susan Hayward as his mother, Mary, and Barbara Nichols, Stephen Boyd, James Philbrook, and Theodore Bikel in supporting roles. That same year he appeared as Spud McKinney in the film, "Hound-Dog Man," starring the singer Fabian, and, among others, Claude Akins, Stuart Whitman, L.Q. Jones, and Carol Lynley.
On October 20, 1959, Holmes appeared as Davey Morris in the episode "Night of the Kill" of the anthology series, Alcoa Theatre In 1960, he guest starred on Bonanza, Bachelor Father, The Andy Griffith Show, and on ABC's 77 Sunset Strip in the episode "The Valley Caper."
In 1961, prior to joining Laramie, Holmes appeared as Charlie Baker on Frank Aletter's CBS situation comedy Bringing Up Buddy and on Annie Fargé's Angel on the same network. He also guest starred on ABC's The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.
Holmes appeared as Tommy Brown on NBC's western The Deputy in the episode "The Return of Widow Brown." Norma Crane plays Tommy's mother, Amelia Brown, who is suspected of having hidden away loot taken eight years earlier from her husband's various crimes, for which he was lynched.
Holmes's last television appearances were in 1964 as Tim Anders in the second-season episode "Another's Footsteps" of NBC's The Virginian and as Danny Blake in "Those Who Stay Behind" on ABC's Wagon Train. He had also appeared in two previous Wagon Train episodes in 1958 and 1961.
Holmes's activities since 1964 are unknown.
- "Dennis Holmes". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved November 23, 2012.
- ""Dragon at the Door", Laramie". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved November 23, 2012.
- ""Ladies' Day," October 3, 1961". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved November 23, 2012.
- ""The Trail to Christmas" on General Electric Theater, December 15, 1957". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved November 25, 2012.
- "Woman Obsessed". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved November 23, 2012.
- "Hound Dog Man". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved November 23, 2012.
- ""The Return of Widow Brown" on The Deputy, April 22, 1961". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved November 23, 2012.