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 WQ 196: Who Were We?
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ccb
SS Quizmaster Emeritus

3799 Posts

Posted - 01/12/2006 :  21:20:55  Show Profile
We were two steadily employed character actors. Both of us appeared twice on the The Wild Wild West during its four-season run, playing different characters on four different episodes. The two of us never appeared together in the same episode of West.

Call us Messrs. A and B. Here's a few more clues about each of us.

Mr A: I was born in Staten Island, New York, on 23 November 1915. My name was then John Forkum. I began my career not as an actor but as an artist. Eventually I ended up as an animator with the Walt Disney Studios, responsible for drawing the owl scenes in Disney's Bambi, the Beethoven sequence in Fantasia, and a lot of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Pluto cartoons. After service in the Army, I became a disc jockey and news editor, a professional pianist, and made an early movie appearance as a Norwegian sailor in Hollywood Canteen (1944). I moved back into radio as both an actor and writer for such shows as The Whistler, Suspense,and Frontier Gentleman. Even though I turned down the role of Matt Dillon in radio's Gunsmoke for fear of being typecast in westerns, my most famous radio role (1958–1960) was as the lead in a popular western that was nationally broadcast during the same period as its television equivalent (1957–1963), starring a different actor who became tremendously famous in the role. Besides my two appearances in The Wild Wild West, I played hundreds of roles in radio, television, and movies. My last appearance before my death in 1992 was in the mini-series War and Remembrance (1989).

Mr. B: I began my work for the BBC, though my acting career in radio did not really take hold until after World War II. On radio I played many lead and supporting roles, including Sherlock Holmes (1949–1950) and Tulku, a faithful Tibetan servant to The Green Llama (1949). Although I too made the move to television both in Britain and in the United States, from 1958–1960 I played the role of servant to Mr. A's character in the same radio western. Between my own two guest appearances on The Wild Wild West I played a villain in the most successful motion-picture musical of the 1960s. I died on 2 July 1989, just two days before the death of another radio, television, and West alumnus, Vic Perrin ("Professor Winkler" in "The Night of the Winged Terror").

Mr. A and Mr. B: Who were we? Altogether, what four characters did we play, in which four episodes of, The Wild Wild West? And for good measure, on which radio western did we collaborate some five to seven years before West appeared on television?

Silver
SS novice field agent

882 Posts

Posted - 01/13/2006 :  06:35:26  Show Profile
Holy Cow! Quizmaster just decided to really give a tough one. Great work, as always. Off to investigate.

Silver
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orrin cobb
SS novice field agent

USA
959 Posts

Posted - 01/13/2006 :  08:23:12  Show Profile  Visit orrin cobb's Homepage
A. John Dehner
B. Ben Wright
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orrin cobb
SS novice field agent

USA
959 Posts

Posted - 01/13/2006 :  08:35:52  Show Profile  Visit orrin cobb's Homepage
John Dehner played Torres in TNOT Steel Assasin and John Avery in TNOT Casual Killer.
Ben Wright played Clarence in TNOT Sabatini Death and Col Allenby-Smythe in TNOT The Dragon Screamed.
Both were in the radio version of Have Gun Will Travel
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couldron
SS novice field agent

1438 Posts

Posted - 01/13/2006 :  09:35:23  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by orrin cobb

John Dehner played Torres in TNOT Steel Assasin and John Avery in TNOT Casual Killer.
Ben Wright played Clarence in TNOT Sabatini Death and Col Allenby-Smythe in TNOT The Dragon Screamed.
Both were in the radio version of Have Gun Will Travel



Good quiz as usual. I am surprised that they were still doing radio five to seven years before West I do rememeber listening to Roy Rogers before we got a television. After the television set, we no longer listened to the radio for those programs.
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ccb
SS Quizmaster Emeritus

3799 Posts

Posted - 01/13/2006 :  15:21:42  Show Profile
Holy Cow! Quizmaster just decided to really give a tough one. Great work, as always. Off to investigate.

So said Silver. And yet, before she had done really seriously Googling, the stealth player orrin cobb swooped in and nailed the thing tight. I think you will agree with me that for speed, accuracy, and comprehensiveness he mightily deserves the fabled Arabella.

For the record: In its six seasons on CBS-TV, Have Gun—WIll Travel produced 225 half-hour episodes. It starred Richard Boone as Paladin, "a knight without armor in a savage land," and featured Kam Tong as Hey Boy, who served Paladin in San Francisco's Hotel Carlton. One year after its television debut, the CBS-Radio version of the show was broadcast, beginning on 23 November 1958 and ending on 27 November 1960. The first of these 106 radio dramas were adaptations of scripts previously produced on television, several by West writer Ken Kolb; later, some original radio scripts were produced. John Dehner played radio's Paladin; Ben Wright, Hey Boy. Among the regulars on the radio program were other actors who would appear on The Wild Wild West, such as Vic Perrin, Harry Bartell (Professor Nielsen in "The Wizard Shook the Earth"), and Lou Krugman (the "blind" beggar in "The Deadly Bubble" and the major domo in "The Avaricious Actuary").

See you next weekend. Posting of that Quiz should be later that Friday, 20 January.
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orrin cobb
SS novice field agent

USA
959 Posts

Posted - 01/13/2006 :  17:35:43  Show Profile  Visit orrin cobb's Homepage
I vaguely remember in the very early 1960s the local CBS Radio affiliate airing episodes of "Gunsmoke". I believe William Conrad ( aka "Cannon") was still the radio voice of Matt Dillon.
John Dehner has always been a favorite character actor of mine, and his face was always somewhere on the tv screen or the big screen over the decades. One of my favorite roles of his was as the serio-comic historical narrator in the off-beat western spoof "The Hallejuah Trail", starring Burt Lancaster.
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