Michael Burns (actor and historian)
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December 30, 1947 |
Mineola, New York, U.S.
|Spouse||Elizabeth Topham Kennan|
Michael Burns (born December 30, 1947) is an American professor emeritus of history at Mount Holyoke College. He is also a former television and film actor, particularly known for his role as the teenager "Barnaby West" on the NBC and ABC television series Wagon Train from 1960 to 1965.
Burns was born in Mineola, New York. He graduated summa cum laude in 1976 from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a B.A. and earned his M.A. in European history at the same institution. He entered Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1977, and earned his Ph.D. in Modern European history.
Burns was a well-known child actor, starring on the television program Wagon Train, as orphaned "Barnaby West" during seasons 4-8. He worked on the series with John McIntire, Robert Horton, Robert Fuller, Denny Scott Miller, Terry Wilson, and Frank McGrath. In 1967, Burns worked with Audie Murphy in western film, "40 Guns to Apache Pass".
Burns also co-starred with Glenn Corbett, Ted Bessell, and Randy Boone in a 19-episode NBC comedy/drama It's a Man's World in the 1962–1963 season. Burns played 14-year-old Howie Macauley, who lives on a houseboat called the Elephant on the Ohio River with his older brother Wes, played by Corbett. Bessell and Boone were the two other young men living with them. The program was hailed by its viewers and critics for its portrayal of restless youth but was quickly cancelled because of low Nielsen ratings.
Burns appeared with James Stewart in the film, Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation. He appeared as a guest star in over thirty-five series in the 1960s and 1970s, mostly Westerns, including CBS's Gunsmoke, NBC's The Virginian and The Road West, and ABC's The Legend of Jesse James and The Big Valley. During his twenties, Burns appeared in several films, including Journey to Shiloh (1968), The Private Navy of Sgt. O'Farrell (1968), That Cold Day in the Park (1969), Thumb Tripping (1972) and Santee (1973).
He became a professor of history at Mount Holyoke College in 1980 and authored books on the Dreyfus affair of the 1890s. Upon his retirement in 2002, he was honored by Mount Holyoke as professor emeritus.
While on the faculty at Mount Holyoke College, Burns married the college's then-president, Elizabeth Topham Kennan. He and his wife presently reside near Danville, Kentucky since 2002, where they have restored the Cambus-Kenneth Estate, a thoroughbred horse farm listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
- France and the Dreyfus Affair: A Documentary History (1998)
- Dreyfus : a family affair, 1789–1945 (1991)
- Rural society and French politics : Boulangism and the Dreyfus affair, 1886–1900 (1984)
- Michael Burns, "Local Hero: How a provincial laborer became a reformer in 19th-century France", The New York Times, October 8, 2000.
- Police Woman - Powers (1977)
- The Bionic Woman - Carl Franklin (1977)
- The Streets of San Francisco (1973–1976)
- Love, American Style (1972–1973)
- Santee - Jody (1973) With Glenn Ford
- Thumb Tripping - Gary (1972)
- Hawaii Five-O - William T. Shem Jr. (Episode 78, 1971)
- The Virginian (6 episodes 1966–1971)
- Gunsmoke - Arlie Joe (1968–1970)
- That Cold Day in the Park - The boy (1969)
- Dragnet 1969 - Joy Riders as Harold Rustin (1969)
- The Private Navy of Sgt. O'Farrell - Private Johnny Bannon (1968)
- Journey to Shiloh - as Eubie Bell (1968)
- The Big Valley - Danny Wiggins (1968)
- Daniel Boone as Cal Trevor in the episode "The Spanish Horse" (1967)
- Dragnet 1967 - Benjie "Blueboy" Carver in "The LSD Story" with Robert Knapp (1967)
- Dundee and the Culhane - Nugget Hughes in "The 1000 Feet Deep Brief" (1967)
- Bonanza as Donny Benson in the episode "Napoleon's Children" (1967)
- The Big Valley - Lon Morton (1966)
- Bonanza as Jamie in the episode "The Trouble with Jamie" (1966)
- Wagon Train - Barnaby West (28 episodes, 1960–1965)
- Kraft Mystery Theater as Little Bob Longstreet in the episode "Shadow of a Man" (1963)
- It's A Man's World - Howie Macauley (1962)
- "Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation" - Danny Hobbs (1962)
- The Twilight Zone as Paul Stockton in the episode "The Shelter" (1961)
- The Tall Man - Danny in "Ransom of a Town" (1961)
- Tales of Wells Fargo as Billy Matson in the episode "Frightened Witness" (1960)
- Shotgun Slade in the episode "The Missing Dog" (1960)
- Wrangler as Clary Browning in the episode "The Affair with Browning's Woman" (1960)
- The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis as Chrissie Tyler in the episode "A Taste For Lobster" (1960)
- "Citations search: "Michael Burns" (Google Books)". Retrieved 2007-11-09.
- "Three faculty members retire as emeriti", College Street Journal, Mount Holyoke College, May 24, 2002.