Wesley Lau

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Wesley Lau
Wesley Lau as Dr. Thorgen in "Doomsday" episode of Mission Impossible (1969)
Born(1921-06-18)June 18, 1921
DiedAugust 30, 1984(1984-08-30) (aged 63)
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills)[1]
Alma materUniversity of Wisconsin
Yale Drama School
Spouse(s)Marie Louise Metcalf
Sirin Devrim

Wesley Lau (June 18, 1921 – August 30, 1984) was an American film and television actor.

Early life[edit]

Wesley Lau was born and raised in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. A World War II veteran of the United States Army Air Corps, Lau studied playwriting at the University of Wisconsin and received a Master of Arts degree at Yale Drama School,[2] later continuing his studies at The Actors Studio in New York.[3]

He took time off from college at one point to serve in World War II as part of the air corps. Although his goal in life was to be a writer, he ended up acting simply because he found more jobs as an actor than as a playwright when he arrived in New York City seeking work.


During his acting career, Lau was probably best known as Lt. Andy Anderson in the series Perry Mason. He appeared frequently during the latter part of the show's run, especially during times when longtime series regular Ray Collins, who played Lt. Arthur Tragg, was absent. (Collins died in 1965 before the series ended its run.) Lau first appeared on Perry Mason as defendant Amory Fallon in "The Case of the Impatient Partner" in September 1961. Less than a month later, he made the first of 81 appearances as Lt. Anderson, a role which ran from the fourth episode ("The Case of the Malicious Mariner") of the fifth season (1961–1962) through the last episode ("The Case of the Mischievous Doll") of the eighth season (1964–1965).

Other shows in which Lau made appearances include Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Gunsmoke, Have Gun-Will Travel, Peter Gunn, The Twilight Zone, The Time Tunnel, The Big Valley, Mission: Impossible, Cannon, and The Six Million Dollar Man. He would reunite with Raymond Burr in an episode of Ironside called "In the Forests of the Night".

Lau also appeared in motion pictures including the 1960 John Wayne film The Alamo.[4]


Lau died of heart failure[5] on August 30, 1984 and is buried at Forest Lawn - Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles.

Acting roles[edit]

Television series[edit]

"Mrs. Herman and Mrs. Fenimore" (1958), Police Detective
"And the Desert Shall Blossom" (1958), Tex, the Deputy
"The Dart" (1958)
"Destination Normandy" (1958)
"Typhoon Chasers" (1958)
"He Came for the Money" (1958), Clay
"Day of Glory" (1958), Commander Von Schoss
"Kill from Nowhere" (1959), Joe Scully
"The Death Frame" (1960), Eddie Carson
"Sons of Aaron Murdock" (1959), Lew Murdock
"Saturday Night" (1960), Stub
"Miguel's Daughter" (1959), Ab
"Young Love" (1959), Rod Allison
"The Blacksmith" (1960), Willy
"Client: Tagger" (1959), Jesse Britt
"Burden of Guilt" (1960), Trip Harris
"The Haunted U-Boat" (1959), Lt. Schneider
"The Mask" (1960), Lt. Harold Wilenski
"Leading Citizen" (1960), Morgan Bates
"The English Woman" (1960), Hank
"The Fugitive" (1962), Man
"Twenty Two" (1961), Airline Agent
"Desert Justice" (1960), Dave Walker
"Her Brother's Keeper" (1966), Carl Armory
"Revenge of the Gods" (1966), M/Sgt. Jiggs
"One Way to the Moon" (1966), M/Sgt. Jiggs
"Rendezvous with Yesterday" (1966), M/Sgt. Jiggs
"Chase Through Time" (1967), M/Sgt. Jiggs
"The Calico Kid" (1966) Jacobus Carson
"The Seventh Day" (1967) Reverend Egan Thomas
"Nobody Said Hello" (1966), Matt McLain
"The Gentle Tamers" (1968), Hoyt
"Vengeance Trail" (1967), Sheriff Ben Morris
"Willie Poor Boy" (1969), Dr. Albee
"The Poisoned Mind" (1971), Dr. Maggio
"Doomsday" (1969), Dr. Thorgen
"My Friend, My Enemy" (1970), Karl Maur
"The Field" (1971) (writer)
"Double Dead" (1972), Jim Thompson
"Hear No Evil" (1972), Ray Norman
"Valley of the Damned" (1973), Lt. Harry Wharton
"Ovation for Murder" (1973), Captain Gottschalk
"The Illusion of the Curious Counterfeit: Part 2" (1974), Captain Gottschalk
"Shattered Image" (1974), Captain Gottschalk

Feature-length films[edit]

  • I Want to Live! (1958) - Henry L. Graham
  • The Alamo (1960) - Emil Sande
  • The Foxes (1961, TV Movie)
  • The Venetian Affair (1967) - Neill Carlson
  • Ride to Hangman's Tree (1967) - Sheriff Gordon (uncredited)
  • Panic in the City (1968) - Police Lt. Brady
  • Journey to Shiloh (1968) - Col. Boykin
  • The Sweet Ride (1968) - Gene Bronson (uncredited)
  • Zabriskie Point (1970) - Company Executive (uncredited)
  • Crosscurrent (1971, TV Movie) - Inspector Poole
  • Skyjacked (1972) - Stanley Morris
  • No Place to Run (1972, TV Movie) - Bill Ryan
  • Call to Danger (1973, TV Movie) - Police Sergeant
  • Incident on a Dark Street (1973, TV Movie) - John Pine
  • Cry Panic (1974, TV Movie) - Joe Red
  • Homebodies (1974) - Construction Foreman
  • Lepke (1975) - First Detective (also as a writer)[6]


  1. ^ Wesley Lau at Find a Grave
  2. ^ Kelleher, Brian; Merrill, Diana (1987). "Wesley Lau – Lt. Andy Anderson". The Perry Mason TV Show Book. D. M. Brockman. Retrieved 1 October 2010.
  3. ^ Garfield, David (1980). "Appendix: Life Members of The Actors Studio as of January 1980". A Player's Place: The Story of The Actors Studio. New York: MacMillan. p. 278. ISBN 0-02-542650-8.
  4. ^ "The Alamo". Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  5. ^ http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/person/109328%7C154529/Wesley-Lau/
  6. ^ "Lepke". Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved 23 September 2015.

External links[edit]