Gene Evans

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Gene Evans
Gene Evans in Fixed Bayonets! trailer.jpg
Born Eugene Barton Evans
(1922-07-11)July 11, 1922
Holbrook, Arizona, U.S.
Died April 1, 1998(1998-04-01) (aged 75)
Jackson, Tennessee, U.S.
Cause of death Heart failure
Resting place Highland Memorial Gardens, Jackson, Tennessee
Years active 1947–1989

Eugene Barton "Gene" Evans (July 11, 1922 – April 1, 1998) was an American actor who appeared in numerous television series, made-for-television movies, and feature films between 1947 and 1989.[1]

Background[edit]

Evans was born in Holbrook, Arizona, but reared in Colton, California. His acting career began while he was serving in the United States Army during World War II. He performed with a theatrical troupe of GIs in Europe. Evans made his film debut in 1947 and appeared in dozens of films and television programs. He specialized in playing tough guys such as cowboys, sheriffs, convicts, and sergeants.

Acting career[edit]

Evans appeared in numerous films produced, directed, and written by Samuel Fuller. In his memoirs A Third Face, Fuller described meeting Evans when casting his Korean War film The Steel Helmet (1950). Fuller threw an M1 Garand rifle at Evans, who caught it and inspected it as a soldier would have done. Evans had been a United States Army engineer in World War II. Fuller kept Evans and refused John Wayne for the role and fought to keep him despite Robert L. Lippert and his partner wanting Larry Parks for the role.[2] Fuller walked off the film and would not return until Evans was reinstated.[3] Evans also appeared in Fuller's Fixed Bayonets!,[4] Hell and High Water,[5] Shock Corridor[6] and lost 30 pounds to play the lead in Park Row.[7]

Evans portrayed the authoritarian but wise father, Rob McLaughlin, on the 1956-1957 CBS television series My Friend Flicka. He next co-starred, in 1958, as Major Al Arthur in Damn Citizen, a film based on the life of crusading State Police superintendent Francis Grevemberg of Louisiana, played by Keith Andes. In 1960, Evans was cast as Otis Stockert in "The Frontiersman" on the NBC Western series Wichita Town, with Joel McCrea. That same year, he was cast as Boone Hackett in the episode "Die Twice" of the CBS Western series Johnny Ringo, with Don Durant. He was also cast in 1960 as United States Army Sergeant Dan Phillips, with James Griffith as Corporal Sam Giler, Ron Hagerthy as Phelan, and Stuart Randall as the historical General Winfield Scott, in the episode "The Quota" of another NBC western series, Riverboat. In the storyline, Phillips shanghais Grey Holden (Darren McGavin) and a crew member of the river vessel Enterprise to meet the army's "quota" for new recruits.[8]

In 1961, Evans guest-starred as Sheriff Tom Wilson in "Incident on the Road Back" in the Rawhide series on CBS. He then was cast as Walter Kopek, an undercover agent of the United States Treasury Department, in the 1963 episode "The Moonshiners" on the CBS anthology series GE True, hosted by Jack Webb. In this episode's plot, Kopek moves against a bootlegging operation in Florida run by the mobster Bill Munger (Robert Emhardt). James Griffith, with whom Evans had appeared on Riverboat, is also a cast member in this same episode, playing the character Stan Woolman.[9]

In 1966, Evans appeared on the CBS courtroom drama series Perry Mason as Sheriff "Moose" Dalton in "The Case of the Scarlet Scandal". He starred as well in Peopletoys in 1974 with Leif Garrett; and in the fall of 1976, Evans starred on the 11-episode CBS adventure series Spencer's Pilots, along with Christopher Stone, Todd Susman and Britt Leach.

In January 1979, Evans appeared as Garrison Southworth in one episode of CBS's Dallas. He guest-starred in 10 episodes of CBS's Gunsmoke with James Arness, including several of the best-remembered segments, including "The Snow Train", "Tatum", and "Thirty a Month and Found". In 1965, Evans guest-starred as Jake Burnett in the episode "Vendetta" of ABC's western series The Legend of Jesse James starring Christopher Jones. Two years later, he appeared as Deedricks in the episode "Breakout" of another ABC western, Custer, starring Wayne Maunder in the title role.

In January 1982, Evans performed in the role of war reporter Clayton Kibbee in an episode of CBS's M*A*S*H titled "Blood and Guts". He also appeared on stage in the late 1980s as the gruesome Papa in the stage production Papa is All, directed by playwright Tommy F. Scott in Jackson, Tennessee and including William Morgan and Jamie Boyd in the cast. Evans retired to a farm in Tennessee following his role in the original film version of Walking Tall.

Evans died at age 75 of heart failure at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital in Jackson, Tennessee, on April 1, 1998. He was interred at Highland Memorial Gardens, also located in Jackson.[10][11]

Partial filmography[edit]

Television[edit]

  • The Lone Ranger – episode - Devil's Pass - Beef Corson (1950)
  • The Lone Ranger – episode - The Star Witness - Henchman Nat (1950)
  • The Lone Ranger – episode - Behind the Law - Henchman Link (1951)
  • Wagon Train - episode - The Sarah Drummond Story - Jeb Drummond (1958)
  • Death Valley Days – 4 episodes (1959-1964)
  • Rawhide – 4 episodes (1959-1965)
  • Bonanza – episode - The Fear Merchants - Andy Fulmer (1960)
  • Alfred Hitchcock Presents - episode - The Kerry Blue - Ned O'Malley (1962)
  • The Virginian - episode - The Accomplice - Sheriff Luke Donaldson (1962)
  • Bonanza – episode - Journey Remembered - Lucas Rockwell (1963)
  • Gunsmoke - episode - Extradition: Parts 1 & 2 - Charlie Hacker (1963)
  • Wagon Train - episode - The Duncan McIvor Story - Sgt. Jake Orly (1964)
  • Daniel Boone – episode - The First Stone - Joshua Craig (1965)
  • Branded – episode - The Bounty - Matthew Paxton (1965)
  • The Legend of Jesse James – episode – Vendetta - Jake Burnett (1965)
  • The Iron Horse – episode – Sgt. Stoddard – The Pride of the Bottom of the Barrel (1966)
  • The Virginian - episode - Trail to Ashley Mountain - Blanchard (1966)
  • Ironside – episode - Message from Beyond - Al Hayes (1967)
  • Gunsmoke - episode - A Hat - Clint Sorils (1967)
  • Gunsmoke - episode - The First People - Thomas Evans (1968)
  • Daniel Boone – episode - The Man - Stark (1969)
  • Dragnet 1966 – TV movie - Captain Hugh Brown (1969)
  • Bonanza – episode - The Trouble with Trouble - Montana Perkins (1970)
  • The Virginian - episode - With Love, Bullets and Valentines - Harv Plimpton (1970)
  • Gunsmoke - episode - Snow Train: Parts 1 & 2 - Billy (1970)
  • Mannix – episode - Murder Times Three - Dan Brockway (1971)
  • Longstreet – episode - Wednesday's Child - Fred Decker (1971)
  • Nichols – episode - Deer Crossing - Durand (1971)
  • Gunsmoke - episode - Phoenix - Jess Hume (1971)
  • Alias Smith and Jones - episode - The Men That Corrupted Hadleyburg - Phillips (1972)
  • Gunsmoke - episode - Tatum - Bodie Tatum (1972)
  • Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid – Mr. Horrell (1973)
  • Ironside – episode - Downhill All the Way Parker (1973)
  • Gunsmoke - episode - The Iron Blood of Courage - Shaw Anderson (1974)
  • 'Gunsmoke – episode -Thirty a Month and Found - Will Parmalee (1974)
  • Spencer's Pilots – 6 episodes - Spencer Parish (1976)
  • The Rhinemann Exchange - TV Mini-Series Colonel Barton (1977)
  • The Incredible Hulk - episode - Rainbow's End - Jimmy Kelly (1978)
  • Lassie: A New Beginning – TV movie - Sheriff Marsh (1978)
  • The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries – episode – Oh Say Can You Sing (1978)
  • The Eddie Capra Mysteries - episode - How Do I Kill Thee? (1978)
  • Lassie: A New Beginning – episode - Oh Say Can You Sing – Sheriff Marsh (1978)
  • Charlie's Angels - episode - Cruising Angels - Webner (1979)
  • Fantasy Island – episode - Tattoo: the Love God/Magnolia Blossoms - Confederate Asking for money (1979)
  • Casino - TV movie - Captain K.L. Fitzgerald (1980)
  • Vega$ - episode - Murder by Mirrors - Marcus Hinton (1981)
  • Hart to Hart - episode - Murder in the Saddle - Ray Dudley (1981)
  • M*A*S*H - episode - Blood and Guts - Clayton Kibbee (1982)
  • Simon & Simon - episode - Betty Grable Flies Again - Arch McBride (1983)
  • Murder, She Wrote - episode - We're Off to Kill the Wizard - Nils Highlander (1984)
  • The A-Team - episode - Bounty - Darrow (1985)
  • Murder, She Wrote - episode - Trial by Error - Otto Fry (1986)
  • Simon & Simon - episode - The Last Harangue - Freight Yard Supervisor (1986)
  • Simon & Simon - episode - Deep Water Death - Captain Kyle Bates (1987)
  • Scarecrow and Mrs. King – episode - Mission of Gold - Gus Weinstein (1987)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Gene Evans", Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Retrieved April 22, 2017.
  2. ^ Fuller, Samuel (2002). A Third Face: My Tale of Writing, Fighting, and Filmmaking. New York: Alfred A Knopf, 2002.
  3. ^ Fuller, Samuel (2002). A Third Face: My Tale ...; 258-259.
  4. ^ Fixed Bayonets, film synopsis and cast and crew credits, Turner Classic Movies (TCM). Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  5. ^ Hell and High Water, film synopsis and cast and crew credits, TCM. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  6. ^ Shock Corridor IMDb. Retrieved April 22, 2017.
  7. ^ Eder, Bruce. Synopsis of the 1952 film Park Row. AllMovie.
  8. ^ "'The Quota', November 28, 1960". IMDb. Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  9. ^ "The Moonshiners", G.E.True (S01E21), originally aired February 24, 1963. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  10. ^ The Associated Press (1998). "Gene Evans, Actor, 75", obituary. The New York Times, April 4, 1998. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  11. ^ Harris, Ralph (2013). "Gene Evans", Find a Grave memorial (106086901) with related photographs, originally created March 3, 2013. Retrieved May 13, 2017.

External links[edit]