This week’s character actor is Richard Anderson. Richard Anderson was born in Long Beach, NJ on August 8, 1926 to Olga and Harry Anderson. He grew to be 6’4” tall. Before beginning his television and movie career, he starred in High School plays and served in the army.
He began his movie career in 1947 when he appeared in “The Pearl.” And, like many actors, Anderson started out with small parts. He stared with many great actors and actresses, however. And to begin with, he played in many movies, mostly small parts, of course:
1950: 4 movies
1951: 10 movies
1952: 3 movies, Including “Just This Once.” I loved him in the part that I saw – isn’t he just adorable???
1953: 5 movies – including “Escape to Fort Bravo” Here’s the original trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uQ2cgQECgw
1954: 2 movies. He also played in an episode of “Captain Midnight.”
1955: 2 movies. One of the movies he played in that year was “It’s a Dog’s Life” where he plays a dog judge. I’m including a link, but the video quality is very poor. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzZDTYYv7Yc&feature=related
Anderson also got married in 1955 to Carol Lee Ladd.
1956: 4 movies, including “Forbidden Planet.” Here’s the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y4crGU7dkg. It does look like an interesting movie! He also played in an episode of “Chevron Hall of Stars.” And, sadly, his marriage to Carol Lee Ladd ended in divorce.
1957: 2 movies and some television shows, including Zane Grey Theater (Black is for Grief)
1958: Anderson’s career really took off! He appeared in too many shows and movies to mention in this “short biography.” One movie he appeared in, however, is “The Long, Hot Summer” with Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-6WchjnYEU
Western television shows in 1958 included:
Zane Grey Theater (Medal for Valor)
Zorro (3 episodes)
1960: Richard Anderson played in such western television shows as “The Rifleman (Lariat and Miss Berdie), “The Law of the Plainsman,” (Cavern of the Wind), “The Untouchables (The Frank Nitti Story), “The Stagecoach West”, and “Wanted Dead or Alive” (Three For One).
1961: Probably the highlight of Anderson’s year was getting married on October 30 to Katharine Thalberg. However, while he was busy getting married, he did manage to squeeze in a few Western appearances. Besides playing a woman killer in “The Rifleman’s” Flowers By the Door, he also played in “Wanted Dead or Alive” (Epitaph), and “Hong Kong (Murder by Proxy).
1962: It was another unforgettable year for Anderson as he and his new wife welcomed their first daughter, Ashley, into the world. He also played in another Rifleman episode, “Milly’s Brother.”
1963: Besides making his final Rifleman appearance in “The Bullet,” Anderson made other great appearances, such as in “The Virginian” (Strangers at Sundown), A Gathering of Eagles,
1964: Anderson and his wife welcomed their second daughter, Brooke, to the family. Also, this year, Richard Anderson got his first reoccurring role. He played Lt. Steve Drumm in Perry Mason. He appeared in 22 episodes all together from 1964-1966. That year, he also appeared in Gunsmoke, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., and The Fugitive.
1965: Anderson really concentrated most of his career this year on Perry Mason, but he did manage to throw in a few extra things such as an episode of “Death Valley Days” and a couple episodes of “The Fugitive, one of which can be seen below:
1966: Daughter number 3 joined the growing Anderson family this year. While he was busy with three daughters, he was also very busy in his career! Not only did Anderson play in several episodes of Perry Mason, but he also could be seen in “The Man from U.N.C.L.E., I Spy, 4 episodes of “12 O’clock High, The Fugitive, Felony Squad, The F.B.I, and The Big Valley! Whew, I bet he was busy!
1967: Anderson kept on with his busy career appearing in such things as “Bonanza,” “The Big Valley”, The Fugitive, and many others. He played in a few movies such as “Ride to Hangman’s tree”. He also appeared in:
“Cimarron Strip” – The Legend of Judd Starr 2 (Thanks Cowgirl for this clip)
1968: Anderson played in The F.B.I. (twice), Felony Squad (twice), Mannix, and The Wild Wild West.
(This is in another language – it’s funny to listen to it while watching Richard Anderson’s mouth move…)
Anderson also played in 2 episodes of “The Big Valley.” He played in “The Long ride,” as well as in an episode titled “Fall of a hero. Thank you Cowgirl for sharing these awesome clips with us!
1969: Anderson played in several television shows including “Felony Squad, “The Big Valley,” “Daniel Boone,” and “The Mod Squad.” The list, like many other years, is too large to include everything here!
Richard Anderson Part 3
1970: Besides playing in several movies and Gunsmoke, Anderson also had a recurring role in a television show called “Dan August,” a show he appeared in through it’s 1970/71 run. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvGuBRXul_o&feature=related)
1971: After finishing “Dan August, Anderson made a few more appearances, including an episode of “Alias Smith and Jones:
1972: Anderson played in a few more movies and another episode of “The F.B.I.” (as well as a couple other television shows.
1973: Sadly, Anderson and his wife divorced this year. On a happier note though, probably the best thing Anderson did in 1973 was star in two movies titled “The Six Million Dollar Man.”
1974-1978: Richard Anderson played in 98 episodes of the Six Million Dollar man. In 1975, he also did a movie titled “The Bionic Woman.” He played the same part in both shows: Oscar Goldman. Then in 1976-1978, he appeared in the television series of “The Bionic Woman.” This made Richard Anderson very busy in that for three years, he was playing in two shows at the same time!
1986: Anderson played in an episode of “Hardcastle & McCormick.” The following clip is in a different language, but you get a pretty good idea of what kind of character he played.
Anderson played in another episode of “Simon & Simon,” which by the way is a great detective show! He also landed himself a short recurring role as Buck Fallmont on “Dynasty.”
1987: Anderson is able to return to one of his most famed television shows in the NBC Sunday Night Movie “The Return of the Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman!”
Notice how much older he looks? Wow, it’s been quite a journey we’ve been on! From 1950 to his last great performance in 1998, at which time he has retired. Though I’ll always remember him for “The Rifleman,” Many others will remember him for other things. Some will always remember him from The Six Million Dollar Men/The Bionic Woman, others will remember him from Perry Mason, and yet others will remember him from Zorro. Yet, will he also be remembered as the narrator from “Kung Fu?”
Richard Anderson had a wonderful talent. He could play the your best friend one day and your worst enemy the next. There was nothing he played in that I wasn’t truly amazed at his excellent acting. We’ve traveled through 48 years of Richard Anderson’s acting, and during those 48 years, not a year went by that he didn’t bless us onscreen with his wonderful acting talent!
God bless you, Richard Anderson! May you live long and prosper!
Stay tuened for this week's Turtle Award nominees featuring Richard Anderson! Coming in the next couple of days.
Richard Anderson sure was adorable in that outfit in Zorro!
What an excellent actor!
You sure put a lot of work & effort into this post. What a great tribute to him. I know Richard Anderson would be very proud.
He did have a great acting record, what a asset to The Fugitive, one of my favorite shows.
I didn't realize he was the narrator to "Kung Fu: The Legend Continues". It has been a long time sine I have seen that show.
Although I loved him in The Rifleman & as a cowboy he was excellent as Oscar Goldman in the Six Million Dollar Man.
Thanks for all you hard work, you did good Michelle! I know others will enjoy this as much as I have.
Thanks, Michelle, for this interesting post. Richard Anderson was also a great villian in Gunfight at Dodge City which you posted about earlier in the week.
I looked for a clip with him in it, but I didn't find one...that's how I stumbeled across that video!