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September 1, 2014

TV Obits: Greer, Richards, Jenson

by Bob Sassone, posted May 4th 2007 8:35AM

Dabbs GreerA roundup of TV people from in front of the camera and behind the scenes who have passed away.

  • Dabbs Greer: Name a TV show, and Greer made an appearance on it. He was the ultimate character actor, having appeared on several shows over the years, including The Dick Van Dyke Show, I Spy, Diagnosis: Murder, Ally McBeal, Spin City, L.A. Law, Empty Nest, The Andy Griffith Show, The Twilight Zone, The Brady Bunch, The Rifleman, Lizzie McGuire and so many others. One of those character actors who played a half dozen different roles on various shows. He was a regular on Picket Fences, Maybe It's Me, and Little House on the Prairie. He died in Pasadena at age 90.
  • Roy Jenson: Jenson appeared on several TV shows over the years, including Magnum, P.I., The Dukes of Hazzard, Charlie's Angels, The Rockford Files, Kojak, Fantasy Island, Vegas, Kung Fu, Daniel Boone, Mannix, and many others, as well as movies like Chinatown and Every Which Way But Loose. He died in Los Angeles of cancer at age 80.
  • Jill Richards: Richards was an actress for a short time, appearing on shows like Dragnet and The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickock, but was more famous when she became a fashion designer for celebrities, including Nancy Reagan and Victoria Principal. She died from complications of Alzheimer's Disease at age 85.
  • Tom Poston: The veteran comic/actor died on May 1 at age 85 (read our obit here).
  • Tommy Newsom: The ex-Tonight Show bandleader died at age 78 (read our obit here).

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willie

DABBS GREER WAS ALSO IN THE VERY FIRST EPISODE OF "THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN" AS A CRIMINAL WHO SUPERMAN PICKS UP AND BODYSLAMS. I RECOGNIZED HIM AT THE TENDER AGE OF 14 AND I AM 44 NOW.

May 07 2007 at 9:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Scott

Dabs Greer was great as the Reverend on "Picket Fences". He had more of a sense of humor than the priest, played by the equally great Roy Dotrice. Mr. Greer's performance made his character more human and less rigid than it otherwise would have been. He appeared on PF in more than 20 episodes, and was outstanding in all of them.

I realize he's better known for other roles, but this was the one that I was most familiar with. You can see his performance again on June 19, when the first season of "Picket Fences" comes out on DVD. Even though I have all the episodes on tape, I'm looking forward to that release. That series had some of David E. Kelley's best writing, and an excellent cast, including Mr. Greer.

May 04 2007 at 10:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Toby OB

It was his work on 'Picket Fences' that made me realize how great Dabbs Greer really was as a character actor and how much I had been taking him for granted. But he had to be as much in demand as was William Schallert, who is usually credited as the hardest-working character actor in the business.

Run down his credits at the IMDb.com, and he seems to have played a lot of ministers and scout leaders. Perhaps it was a quality in him as a person that made casting directors think of him in these roles. (As Maxwell Smart would say, it was a force for niceness.)

We're running out of the great character actors, the ones who actually are characters. Treasure their appearances while you can!

May 04 2007 at 10:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dee

Dabs Greer gave me many tearful moments on Little House. I especially remember his wedding (the actress who played his wife died in real life shortly after so that relationship was never explored) and when he showed up at the last minute to marry Laura. Damn, I miss those good character actors who weren't perfect looking and made every moment they were given memorable. Godspeed.

May 04 2007 at 8:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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