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My favorite lesser-known actor

Updated on September 28, 2015
John Denher
John Denher | Source

Why I'm making this page about John Dehner

I'm making this page about John Dehner because he is my favorite lesser-known actor. I think he is just as good an actor as any of the more well know actors, and even better than some like Gregory Peck or Clark Gable. Yet, he never got top billing, and thus, it seems that few people recognize his name today and I feel that talent like his should be recognized. So I'm not saying that he is my absolute favorite actor period, but that he is my favorite among the lesser known actors. I'm sure you've seen him, perhaps many times on T.V. or in the movies, but do you remember his name? Perhaps his picture will help. Anyway please vote in the poll below. Then read about his career.

Have you ever heard of John Dehner before coming to this page?

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The early career of John Dehner - (info. gleaned from Wikipedia)

  • John Dehner started out working as an animator for Walt Disney.
  • He later became a radio disc jockey,
  • He was also a concert pianist.
  • He had an extensive career as a radio actor. Among his many radio rolls was that of Paladin in the radio version of Have Gun - Will Travel.
  • For more see the Wikipedia article

Actor, John Dehner

actor, John Dehner
actor, John Dehner

The Television and film career of John Dehner - (info. gleaned mostliy from Wikipedia and the links listed below:)

The following 35 appearances form only a partial list of John Dehner's accomplishments in Television and film. For more, check the internal links and the links in the link list below:

  1. In 1952, he appeared as Doutreval of Dijon in Scaramouche,
  2. In 1953, he appeared in an episode of The Adventures of Kit Carson.
  3. He played Henry Plummer, the sheriff-turned-outlaw, in an episode of the 1954-1955 syndicated Stories of the Century,
  4. He guest starred on the 1955-1956 NBC Western anthology series, Frontier.
  5. In 1955, He appeared in the movie, Man of the West, starring Gary Cooper and Lee J. Cob. (For more see the Wikipedia article)

Man of The West
Man of The West

Western auteur Anthony Mann and aging Western icon Gary Cooper team up in this stark tale of a trio of train passengers stranded in the middle of the desert after a railway holdup. John Dehner, Jack Lord, and Royal Dano costar as Tobin's angry gang members.


6.. Also in 1955, he guest starred in the CBS Cold War drama, Crusader.

7. In 1956, he played Mr. Bascombe, the mill owner and intended robbery victim, in the film version of Carousel.

8. In 1957, he gave two memorable performances on ABC's Maverick.

9. Also in 1957, he played Pat Garrett, to Paul Newman's Billy the Kid, in Gore Vidal's The Left Handed Gun,

The Left-Handed Gun [VHS]
The Left-Handed Gun [VHS]

The Left Handed Gun was adapted by Gore Vidal from his own TV play, The Death of Billy the Kid. 33-year-old Paul Newman stars as 21-year-old William Bonney, the hotheaded gunslinger known as Billy the Kid. Avoiding the usual Hollywood glamourization of this controversial character, Newman portays Bonney pretty much as he was: an illiterate, homicidal cretin. ... In the end, Bonney must face down the other important father-figure in his life, Pat Garrett (John Dehner).


10. Also in 1957, he was in the film Texas Rangers with Gale Storm, and TV Series Marshall Dillon episode "Crack Up".

11. In 1958, he played a prosperous area rancher in "Twelve Guns" on NBC's Cimarron City'

12. In 1959, he was Captain Allenby in the Twilight Zone episode "The Lonely."

13. Also in 1959, he played Colonel Tedesco in the Playhouse 90 original drama "The Killers of Mussolini" by A.E. Hotchner,

14. He appeared as various characters in a several episodes of The Rifleman starring Chuck Conners.. Click the link below to see photos of him in that series.

15. He also guest starred in the western series, The Virginian, and in 1971, he replaced Lee J. Cob as a regular in the final season as a character named Morgan Starr. (see the Wikipedia article).

  • 16. He was the governor in Zoro.

    17. in 1960, he guest starred in episode "Three" of the crime drama The Brothers Brannagan.

    18. Also in 1960, he played Arvid Lacey in the Rawhide episode "Incident at Sulphar Creek"

    19.Also in 1960, he played an army colnel in "The Mission, season 2, episode 2 of Bonanza. He was not credited in the opening credits.

    20. From 1960-63, he appeared on 5 episodes of 77 Sunset Strip.

    21. In 1961, he starred in two Twilight Zone episodes, first in "The Jungle", as an engineer who receives an African curse, and then in "Mr. Garrity and the Graves," as a con man claiming to be able to bring people back from the dead.

    22.On March 4, 1962, he appeared as legendary Sheriff Ben Wyatt on ABC's Lawman. In the episode, "The Long Gun."

    23 In 1962-1963, he guest-starred in NBC's The Wide Country, about rodeo performers.

    24. In 19.63, he played Colonel Harvey, a medicine show con-man, on the "Aunt Bee's Medicine Man." episode of The Andy Griffin Show.

    25. In 1966, he played assassin "Iron Man" Torres in an episode of The Wild Wild West.

    26. He appeared as an old WWI French an episode of Combat entitled "The General and the Sargent".

    27. During the same time period, he also appeared on another, shorter lived WW II television drama "The Gallant Men."

    28. In 1968, he appeared as a guest star on the Doris Day show.

    29. Also in 1968 he appeared on "Soap Opera," Season 6, Episode 26 of "The Beverly Hillbillies, as a Soap star mistaken by "Dr.Granny" as a patient."

    30. In 1970, he appeared in the movie, "The Cheyenne Social Club" opposite Jimmy Stewart.

31. From 1971 to 1973 he was a regular on the Doris Day show, playing the paper's main editor, Cyril Bennett, for 48 episodes.

32. In 1978, John Dehner played Henry Wheelock in the movie, "The Boys from Brazil," which starred Gregory Peck, as the fiendish Nazi Dr. Josef Mengele, Alive and hiding in South America, who gathers a group of former colleagues (including Dehner) for a horrifying project: to clone Hitler.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
John Denher on the RiflemanAnother rifleman appearanceJohn Dehner on BonazaAnother rifleman appearanceAnother rifleman appearanceJohn Dehner As Torres in the Wild Wild WestJohn Denher as Morgan Star on the VirginianAnother Bonanza appearance
John Denher on the Rifleman
John Denher on the Rifleman | Source
Another rifleman appearance
Another rifleman appearance | Source
John Dehner on Bonaza
John Dehner on Bonaza | Source
Another rifleman appearance
Another rifleman appearance | Source
Another rifleman appearance
Another rifleman appearance | Source
John Dehner As Torres in the Wild Wild West
John Dehner As Torres in the Wild Wild West | Source
John Denher as Morgan Star on the Virginian
John Denher as Morgan Star on the Virginian | Source
Another Bonanza appearance
Another Bonanza appearance | Source

33. In 1981 he gave an outstanding low-key performance as a demented "collector of everything," (including human beings) in "Hearts Under Glass," episode 6 of season 3 of the T.V. series, "Hart To Hart" with Robert Wagner, Stephanie Powers and Lionel Straider.

34. In 1982, he played the commissioner in the movie, "Airplane II, the sequel," in which a mad bomber is on board, the first lunar shuttle is about to self-destruct, the engines are not working, and - worst of all - the flight crew discovers they are completely out of coffee!

Airplane II: The Sequel
Airplane II: The Sequel

It's the high flying lunacy of Airplane! all over again.

  • 35. In 1983, Dehner was Henry Luce in the movie, "The Right Stuff," based on Tom Wolfe's book. It's the tale of how that future began, a thrilling epic of intrepid test pilot Chuck Yeager and the seven pioneering astronauts of the Project Mercury space program.

Do You agree?

Please vote in the poll immediately below and then give a reason for your the next comment capsual.:

Do You agree?

Do you agree that John Dehner was a great actor who deserves more reconition?

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Any additonal Comments? this is NOT the place to tell why you voted as you did in the last pole--the previus comment capsual is for that.

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    • Just4Luck profile image


      6 years ago from Slovenija

      Thanks for some nice memories.

    • pumpum profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens!!!


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