Wagon Train as Duke Shannon (1961-1964)
|I was so bad in my first part on
Train that the producers were
going to fire me. Ward Bond liked me
because I was an athlete and talked them
into giving me a second chance. Thank
110 episodes later I had gone to the
best acting school a misplaced
baskteball player could ever wish for.
By watching and working with Peter Falk,
Robert Ryan, Dana Wynter, Dennis Hopper,
John McIntire and his wife Jeanette
Nolan, Bette Davis, Franchot Tone and
hundreds of other accomplished actors,
plus many fine directors including
Sydney Pollock, I had started to feel
more relaxed in front of a camera.
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billed as Scott Miller on
Train. This was not my idea. I
liked Denny just fine, and besides, I
was used to it! But in those days,
renaming actors was the common practice.
Not that I didn't try to hold onto
Denny. But they had decided that if a
man's name ended in a "y" it wasn't
masculine enough. What about Cary Grant
and Gary Cooper? Anthony Quinn and Harry
Carey? Fell on deaf ears.
So all these men sat around a table
suggesting new names for me. Most of
which I hated. Finally, I said, "okay,
pick your 10 favorites and I'll take
them to the people most responsible for
naming me - my parents.
My folks picked Scott.
As soon as
Wagon Train was over, I went back to
Mona McClusksy as Mike McClusky (1965)
with Juliet Prowse, playing her husband,
was a dirty job but somebody had to do
it. Filming 26 episodes of her show.
Mona McClusky blurred the lines
between work and play. It was a joy that
went by too fast. The producer, writer
and director of the pilot, Don McGuire,
also wrote the script for
at Black Rock and the first
Don was a gifted man and I miss him!
During the filming of Mona, every Monday
was set aside for rehearsals. They were
spent laughing until it hurt. The reason
- executive producer George Burns would
do his comedy routines, much to the
delight of cast and crew. I told you
I've been lucky.
With Juliet Prowse
|In 1996 I played McBride in a two
Quinn Medicine Woman called "Dead
From Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman
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I had a recurring role as Sheriff Owen
Dove: The Series.
Bordertown was a 1989 series that
told the story of a town stretching
across the U.S. border with Canada and
of the two different styles of law
enforcement each presented. I made two
appearances on the show, which was
filmed in Canada.
From Battlestar Galactica
was fun! I played a clone named Ser 5-9
in the two part episode of
Battlestar Galactica named "Gun
On Ice Planet Zero."
|In 1965 I played another character
named Duke, this time Duke Williams in
Gilligan's Island, in an episode
called "Big Man on a Little Stick. "
I returned to the Island in 1967 to play
Tongo the Ape Man in the episode "Our
Vines Have Tender Apes." This character
was like a whimpy Tarzan who fainted at
the sight of any animal.
From Gilligan's Island