Co-Stars Need Respect Too
These Are But A Few Of The Super Co-Stars That Make The Stars of Their Shows Shine Even Brighter . . .
I have a serious question for you. What do Arnold, the pig, Frank Cady, Gale Gordon, Harry Morgan, Hugh Beaumont, Jane Withers, Lloyd Hanes, Neil Hamilton, Paul Brinegar, Paul Fix, Roger Ewing, Ronnie Schell, and Tom Lester have in common?
They are all co-stars. Not sidekicks as you would imagine. But co-stars, which are a slight cut above sidekicks. Co-stars have been around for eons of time. Even our buddies, the cavemen, had co-stars, those who knew had an inkling about entertainment. I can easily visualize the first time that a talented caveman went on the ground, (not stage, for he had not invented the stage yet), for his first comedy performance. Ugg, the star, holds up his fancy club, grins at the anxious cave people audience who are now grunting and growling for entertainment, then he his his co-star, Ogg, on the head sending him falling to the ground like a stone. The audience loves it. Ugg, sensing that he is onto something, but doesn't know what, revives Ogg and gives the audience a repeat-performance which makes the first stand-up comedy team of Ugg and Ogg. And without Ogg's willingness to be punished, laughed at and knocked out cold, the term co-star, would not have went past cavemen days.
Remember class, there are some important things that co-stars have to keep in mind, always, if they are to taste and enjoy success while in the mysterious world of show business.
2. A co-star has to learn that his or her lines are not as funny or dramatic as the leading man or woman. A co-star's lines, if funnier or more-dramatic, would go against everything sacred in the world of show business. There isn't any place for superstar co-stars, just co-stars.
3. A co-star always yearns to hear, " . . .and starring, (INSERT THE CO-STAR'S NAME)," instead they only hear, " . . .and co-starring, (INSERT THE CO-STAR'S NAME), and that is how it is. Now in some rare cases, if the leading man or woman has enough clout with the directors aqnd producers of the show, they can persuade the powers-that-be to give his or her co-star an episode where he or she really outshines the star. And this is, like I said, a rare event. And it takes an humble-hearted star. I wish I were talking about Alan "Hawkeye" Alda, M*A*S*H, but I am not. Backround news told one year why Wayne "Trapper John" Rogers really left the show. It was revealed that Alda wanted full-control of the production and disregarded what Rogers had contributed in cast meetings.
4. A co-star never postures himself or herself with the star at film premieres or television show opening parties. The star is supposed to be in the spotlight, not the co-star. I wish I could tell you that being a co-star is glamorous, successful, and fun, but I would be telling a lie. It takes self-discipline, hard work and an ability to be obscure when the reporters' cameras are clicking.
Now for the moment you have all been waiting for, background facts you may not have known about some of Hollywood's most-successful co-stars, and I think that they all deserve a big round of applause.
Arnold was originally from Union Star, Missouri. The trainer of Arnold was Frank Inn, who trained virtually all of the animals seen in the rural television comedies of the time period, including Petticoat Junction and Beverly Hillbillies. Arnold won three Patsy Awards for Inn during the 1960s. Inn died in 2002 and at his request, the ashes of Arnold and of the dog Higgins (who had played "Dog" on Petticoat Junction and had the title role in the 1974 film Benji) were placed in his coffin and buried with him.
Frank's birth name was Frank Randolph Cady. He was born September 8, 1915 in Susanville, California. His character, Sam Drucker, owned Drucker's store and was seen frequently on both Green Acres with Eddy Albert and Eva Gabor as well as Petticoat Junction with Bea Bernadette. Cady had a cameo appearance on the Andy Griffith Show as "Sam," the photographer from the Mayerry Gazette who wanted to shoot a photo of Barney Fife who had captured "Avery Toliver," an escaped convict.
was born February 20, 1906 in New York City, New York. Gordon passed away June 30, 1995, in Escondido, California from lung cancer. Gordon's birth name was Charles T. Aldrich, Jr. Gordon was a master character actor and co-star as he could easily play the stuffy, blustery characters on "Our Miss Brooks," (1952) and the various Lucille Ball sitcoms. In his early film appearances, he usually played stuffy military officers, but Gordon was at his best when he had to deliver the "slow burn" take. Gale Gordon will be best-remembered for his television work and long association with Lucille Ball having appeared in several of her shows for two decades since 1962.
Was born April 10, 1915. Harry Morgan was one of the most prolific and versatile actors in television history, having starred or co-starred in 11 different television series; he was best known for his roles as Col. Sherman Potter on M*A*S*H from 1975 through 1983 and officer Bill Gannon on Jack Webb's second presentation of Dragnet from 1967 through 1970. Always using the name Harry Morgan, the slight actor made his film debut in 1942 in To The Shores Of Tripoli. Although he played significant roles in Dragonwyck (1946), The Glenn Miller Story (1953), Inherit The Wind (1960), and Support Your Local Sheriff (1969), Morgan also had a co-starring in Frankie and Johnny, the movie/musical with Elvis Presley.
Born Eugene Hugh Beaumont, February 16, 1909 in Eudora, Kansas, Beaumont's love of acting carried him to the iconic role as Ward Cleaver, the co-star with Barbara Billinglsey, (June Cleaver), Tony Dow (Wally Cleaver) and Jerry Matthers (the Beaver) in the super-famous "Leave It To Beaver." Beaumont was seen in a few early 'B' movies in Hollywood's infant years, but found his greatest satisfaction and fame as Ward Cleaver. Beaumont was also a licensed Methodist Church minister. Beaumont passed away May 14, 1982, he was 73.
Jane Withers (a.k.a. "Josephine") was born April 12, 1926 in Atlanta, Georgia. In her early days in film she played the part of an outspoken, nasty little girl who gave Shirley Temple a hard time in Bright Eyes (1934) and later in her own films Patty O'Day (1935), Little Miss Nobody (1936) and The Holly Terror (1937). On her own radio program, Jane was known to listeners as "Dixie's Dainty Dewdrop." Withers will always be best known for her role as "Josephine," the lady plumber who co-starred with a can of Comet cleanser in all of Comet's television and print ads.
starred as Pete Dixon in Room 222, a controversial semi-sitcom of 1969 through 1974. Denise Nicholas played the role of Liz McIntyre, Michael Constantine, Principal Seymour Kaufman, Karen Valentine as Alice Johnson, teachers, counselors of Whitman High School taught the students to be tolerant of each other's differences, but many times, a situation arose that involved the war in Vietnam, equality among races, and how the parents of these "hip" kids of 1969 were not in-tune to how these kids thought. Hanes was the main co-star among Room 222's cast of co-stars. If a leading actor could be named, it would be Michael Constatine.
Born James Neil Hamilton on September 9, 1899 in Lynn, Massachusetts and passed from us on September 24, 1984 at age of 85 in Escondido, California. Although his bio is sketchy concerning his most influential work on show business, Hamilton will be remembered most for his catch-phrase, "To the Bat Phone, Chief O'Hara," which he used frequently on ABC's Batman starring Adam West, Batman, and Burt Ward, Robin.
PAUL "WISHBONE" BRINEGAR
was born December 19, 1917, in Tucumcari, New Mexico, as Paul Alden Brinegar. Brinegar will be fondly remembered as "Wishbone," the gruffy, impatient cook who took care of Eric "Gil Favor" Fleming, trail boss, Clint "Rowdy Yates" Eastwood, ram-rod, and Sheb "Pete Nolan" Wooly on the adventurous cattle drives we enjoyed on CBS's Rawhide. After Rawhide left the airways, Brinegar kept busy by dabbling with film production and some background work with commercials. He played Lamar Pettybone, a good friend of Matt Houston, played by Lee Horsely, on the show, Matt Houston, an oil-rigger turned private eye. Paul Brinegar passed away on March 27, 1995, Los Angeles, California, from emphysema.
was born March 9th, 1901 in the lower east Hudson River town of Dobbs Ferry, New York. Although he had a background in acting, he was best-known for his role as Michah Torrance, the sheriff of North Fork, Kansas, where Lucas McCain (Chuck Connors, The Rifleman) and son, Johnny Crawford, (Mark), called home. In this early television western, a social problem was often brought to light, Micah's battle with alcohol, which was very taboo for this time frame.
was born January 12, 1942, and is a former actor originally from Los Angeles, California. He is best remembered for his characterization of part-time deputy marshal Clayton Thaddeus "Thad" Greenwood in thirty-six episodes (October 2, 1965 - September 25, 1967) of the long-running CBS Television series, Gunsmoke with James Arness. Among Ewing's last Gunsmoke appearances were on episodes entitled "The Prodigal", "Nitro" (Parts 1 and 2), "Ladies from St. Louis" and "Mistaken Identity".Before he was cast as Thad, Ewing appeared on Gunsmoke once in the role of Ben Lukens in the episode "Song for Dying", which aired on February 13, 1965.
Perhaps Ronnie Schell will always be best remembered for playing Private Duke Slater on the Jim Nabors vehicle, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. He played this role for three years, starred as a disc jockey for one season in his own sitcom, Good Morning, World, with Joby Baker, a co-star DJ and short-tempered station manager, Billy De Wolff. He then returned to Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. as a Corporal for its fifth and final season. He used this experience to humorously refer to himself in his stand-up routine as "America's slowest-rising young comic." Schell was seen in a few skits on the then-controversial Smothers Brothers Show.
is best-known for his role as Don Hollinger, a magazine writer for the hit ABC show, That Girl, that starred the lovely Marlo Thomas as Ann Marie. Her famous "Donnn-aaald," was her famous line that she said to get Hollinger to agree with whatever scheme she was hatching to help someone she had met in New York. Bessell played this role superbly. Straight. Clean-cut. Conservative. And became, at one time, one of "America's most-beloved co-stars. With co-star, Ronnie Schell, Bessell also played "Private Frankie Lombardi on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., In 1989, he shared an Emmy for directing an episode of Fox television's "Tracey Ullman Show." At the time of his death, he was preparing to direct a movie version of the Television series "Bewitched". He died of an aortal aneurysm at the age of 61.
Tom Lester, born Thomas William Lester, September 23, 1938, in Jackson, Mississippi. He was brought up on his grandfather's farm, shucking corn, fishing, hunting, and picking cotton. He graduated from the University of Mississippi, majoring in Chemistry. He taught science and biology at a school in Purcell, Oklahoma, before moving to Hollywood. His most beloved role was that of Eb Dawson, Oliver Douglas (Eddy Albert) and wife Lisa (Eva Gabor's) hired hand on the Haney Place that the Douglas' bought from Mr. Haney played by acting legend, Pat Buttram. Dawson was also seen frequently on Petticoat Junction as the two shows, Green Acres and Petticoat Junction, both CBS vehicles sometimes would share a storyline. And in one season, Petticoat Junction was joined by the cast of another CBS "monster hit," The Beverly Hillbillies. Lester spends his time now days between Laurel, Mississippi, and Hollywood. He speaks to youth groups and at religious gatherings at times about his faith. He's shared the stage three times with Billy Graham, and feels his notoriety from the show enables him to spread the word of God.
These, my friends, are but a few of the noted co-stars that I loved and admired in my childhood television-viewing days that spilled over into my teen and adult years as well. Somehow after writing this article about co-stars, I feel better at presenting them and a bit of their background to you.
Before this was published, I really didn't like the term "co-star," but let's face it. In life, we are all co-stars to someone who is better, more-talented and creative than we are. I find my own self somewhat of a co-star, or maybe an "extra," this website. I am content with this place.
I seriously doubt if I reach the title of "Hub Star," because I simply couldn't cope with all the pressure, interviews, premiers, and lack of personal time.
Bravo to all co-stars, famous or non-famous.