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February 5, 1928
Philadelphia, PA, U.S.
February 13, 2017 (age 89)|
Santa Fe, New Mexico
(m. 1961; his death 2000)
Rebecca Welles (born Reba Tassell; February 5, 1928 – February 13, 2017) was a former American television and film actress.
Rebecca Welles was born Reba Tassell on February 5, 1928 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Lena (née Schiller; 1901-1973) and Samuel Tassell (1896-1963). Her only sibling was fashion designer Gustave Tassell. In 1944, she was the recipient of a $500 tuition award from the Theatre Guild to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She went on to spend two years at the academy and to act in stock theater in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Welles' first TV appearance was in the episode "A Chill on the Wind" on Studio One in 1951, where she was credited under her birth name, but subsequently worked under the surname "Welles". (A newspaper source in February 1951 says of Welles, "Last November she had a walk-on in the Studio One drama of A Letter to Cairo.)
Active from 1951 to 1964, Welles made appearances on about fifty TV shows, including 77 Sunset Strip, Gunsmoke, Boots and Saddles, Bat Masterson, Alcoa Theatre, and four episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. She made five appearances on Perry Mason, including three roles as defendants: in 1959 she played Carol Delaney in "The Case of the Stuttering Bishop", and Carol Taylor in "The Case of the Frantic Flyer." She played Rita Norge in the 1957 episode, "The Case of the Runaway Corpse." In her other two appearances she played the role of murderer Edith Bristol in the 1961 episode, "The Case of the Waylaid Wolf," and murderer Leslie Eden in the 1964 episode, "The Case of the Illicit Illusion." In addition, Welles appeared in four feature films, including Good Morning, Miss Dove (1955) and Desire Under the Elms (1958). She made her last onscreen appearance in a 1964 episode of Arrest and Trial.
In the "Bat Masterson" episode Brunette Bombshell, Welles was the first woman to receive an off screen over the knee spanking in a television show.The episode Brunette Bombshell shows her going face down across Gene Barry's knee and as he spanks her the camera moves up so you can not see his hand spanking her bottom.You can only see him smiling as he drops his hand down.This was because both Gene Barry and Rebecca Welles were married at the time and he did not think it was proper to spank another man's wife. However, he had no trouble taking her across his knees. Barry is quoted as saying of the episode; "Rebecca Welles was a spoiled brat.She could have used an attitude adjustment badly but I did not believe it was my duty to administer a spanking to another man's wife."
In a reversal of sorts, Welles was the inspiration for an episode of Big Town on CBS-TV. A newspaper article in The Bridgeport Telegram on February 21, 1951, reported, "Susan Douglas stars as Miss Cinderella ... which was inspired by the experience of Reba Tassell, the TV Cinderella girl who made such a hit on Studio One last month."
|1955||Good Morning, Miss Dove||Polly Burnham||Uncredited|
|1956||The Brass Legend||Millie Street||Credited as Reba Tassell|
|1958||Desire Under the Elms||Lucinda Cabot|
|1951||Studio One||1 episode|
|Lights Out||1 episode|
|The Web||1 episode|
Credited as Reba Tassell
|Robert Montgomery Presents||Arlene||1 episode|
|1956–1960||Alfred Hitchcock Presents||Various roles||4 episodes|
|1957||Wire Service||Julia Thomas||1 episode|
|Gunsmoke||Nan Mellors||1 episode|
|The Web||1 episode|
|Boots and Saddles||Laurie||2 episodes|
|The Millionaire||Amy||1 episode|
|1957–1964||Perry Mason||Various roles||5 episodes|
|1958||Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer||Sandra Mantell||1 episode|
|State Trooper||Betty Dolan||1 episode|
|Trackdown||Julie Corbin||1 episode|
|M Squad||Mrs. Kenneth Darrell||1 episode|
|Northwest Passage||Maureen Carver||1 episode|
|Frontier Doctor||Maria Belotti, Circus Owner||1 episode|
|26 Men||Ruth||1 episode|
|Rescue 8||Madge||1 episode|
|The Lineup||Jane Abbott||1 episode|
|1959||The Thin Man||Maria||1 episode|
|Wagon Train||Jean Yates||1 episode|
|Bat Masterson||Isabel Fowler||1 episode|
|The Californians||Cora Sue Sommers
|Bronco||Lynne Henderson||1 episode|
|The Lawless Years||Jane Cooper
|1960||Philip Marlowe||Julie French||1 episode|
|Alcoa Theatre||Phoebe Hanes||1 episode|
|The Dennis O'Keefe Show||Paula Hamilton||1 episode|
|The Man from Blackhawk||Janet||1 episode|
|Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond||Adelle Bernheim||1 episode|
|The Brothers Brannagan||Sally Ross||1 episode|
|General Electric Theater||1 episode|
|1961||Checkmate||Fay Razon||1 episode|
|The Case of the Dangerous Robin||1 episode|
|The Untouchables||Rose Raineri||1 episode|
|The DuPont Show with June Allyson||Polly||1 episode|
|Hawaiian Eye||Vera Ormsby||1 episode|
|77 Sunset Strip||Ellen Martone||1 episode|
|1962||The New Breed||1 episode|
|Follow the Sun||Beverly Willis||1 episode|
|1963||Burke's Law||Susan Rivers||1 episode|
|1964||Arrest and Trial||Reba Thayer||1 episode|
- Sheppard, Eugenia (July 5, 1964). "Verve in Latest No-Dress Dress". The Kansas City Times. Missouri, Kansas City. Publishers Newspaper Syndicate. p. 19. Retrieved June 14, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- Gaver, Jack (October 11, 1944). "Broadway". Dunkirk Evening Observer. New York, Dunkirk. United Press. p. 7. Retrieved June 13, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- Butterfield, C.E. (February 8, 1951). "Television Is Developer Of Own Talent". The Bee. Virginia, Danville. Associated Press. p. 25. Retrieved June 13, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Television Topics". The Bridgeport Telegram. Connecticut, Bridgeport. February 21, 1951. p. 58. Retrieved June 13, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- California, Marriage Index 1960-1985
- "Rebecca "Reba" Tassell Weis (1928-2017) - Find A Grave". www.findagrave.com.
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