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Richard Carlson ACTOR


Richard Carlson, born on April 29, 1912, was an American director, screenwriter, and actor. He studied drama and literature at the University of Minnesota in college, and then went on to teach literature and acting before becoming an actor and screenwriter himself. Carlson started out performing in Broadway plays in the mid to late thirties. In 1938, David O. Selznick urged him to come to Hollywood to help write a movie. However, the film’s star, Janet Gaynor recommended that he appear in the movie, and so Carlson’s debut role was in the comedy “The Young at Heart” (1938) also starring Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Roland Young, Paulette Goddard and Billie Burke.

In 1939, he moved from his home state of Minnesota to California to become a freelance actor. His main genre choices during the start of his career were comedies and dramas. Some of these films include “Winter Carnival” (1939) starring with Ann Sheridan, Helen Parrish and James Corner, “Little Accident” (1939), “Too Many Girls” (1940) starring Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Ann Miller, Eddie Bracken and Frances Langford and “The Affairs of Martha” (1942) starring Marsha Hunt, Marjorie Main, Spring Byington, Barry Nelson and Margaret Hamilton. He also was seen in musicals like “No, No Annette” (1940) starring with Anna Neagle, Victor Mature, Roland Young, Zasu Pitts and Eve Arden and “Presenting Lily Mars” (1942) starring Van Heflin and Judy Garland, adventures such as “Highways by Night” (1942) c-starring with Jane Randolph and Jane Darwell, Barton MacLane, Paul Fix, Ray Collins, George Cleveland, Jack La Rue and Gordon Jones and “White Cargo” (1942) starring alongside Hedy Lamarr, Walter Pidgeon, Frank Morgan and Reginald Owen, and other films not limited to these varieties. Carlson was becoming pretty successful and starring in a great number of films, but his vigor was about to end.

As with many actors in his era, Carlson was sent to serve in World War II. This greatly interrupted his career as he had to go on a four year hiatus. He finally appeared in another film in 1947, “So Well Remembered”. After his long break, however, Carlson found it hard to return to the quality of work he was previously accustomed to. He additionally appeared in two low budgeted films in 1958, “Behind Locked Doors” and “The Amazing Mr. X” starring Turhan Bey, Lynn Bari and Cathy O'Donnell, but then did not return to the screen until 1950.

Fortunately, in the 1950's Carlson’s vitality started to return. His success began to rise when he appeared in “King Solomon’s Mines” (1950) starring with Deborah Kerr and Stewart Granger and “Flat Top” (1952). Although this time he found more success in horror and science fiction pictures. He even starred in three three-dimensional films: “The Maze” (1953) starring with Veronica Hurst and Hillary Brooke, “It Came from Outer Space” (1953) starring with Barbara Rush and Russell Johnson, and one of his most notable, "Creature from the Black Lagoon” (1954) co-starring Richard Denning and Julie Adams. During this decade, Carlson also decided to try his luck in television. His first television appearance was in “Pulitzer Prize Playhouse” (1950), and then he went on to star in his own spy/drama series, “I Led 3 Lives”, from 1953 until 1956. He also made numerous other movies such as “The Last Command” (1955) starring Sterling Hayden, Ernest Borgnine, Arthur Hunnicutt, J. Carrol Naish, Jim Davis, Virginia Grey, John Russell and Anna Maria Alberghetti and “The Helen Morgan Story” (1957) starring Ann Blyth and Paul Newman, as well as a great number more television appearances in shows like “Schlitz Playhouse” (1952-59) and “Mackenzie's Raiders” (1958-59), which he helped write. Additionally, he tried his hand at directing, starting in 1954 with the sci-fi film “Riders to the Stars” also starring Martha Hyer, Herbert Marshall and William Lundigan, and continuing for twelve pictures.

In the latter part of the actor’s career he had the lead in the horror/thrillerTormented” (1960), which was featured once on “Mystery Science Theatre 3000”. He furthermore appeared in many other pictures, one of them being his last directing job in “Kid Rodelo” (1966), and even more television shows. Carlson’s final film, which also starred king of rock and roll Elvis Presley, Mary Tyler Moore, Barbara McNair and Robert Emhardt, was the drama “Change of Habit” (1969). His very last role however, was in the TV series “Khan!” (1975).

Richard Carlson died four years after his ending role, on November 21, 1979, due to a cerebral hemorrhage. He is remembered however, for his fifty six feature film roles, forty seven TV characters, twelve directing positions, and six television and movie screenwriting jobs. For the actor’s contributions, he moreover has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for television.


1975    Khan

1973    Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law

1972    Cannon

1969    Lancer

1969    The Valley of Gwangi 

1969    Change of Habit

1969    The F.B.I.

1969    It Takes a Theif  

1968    The Power

1968    Bonanza

1966    The Doomsday Flight  

1966    Kid Rodelo

1965    Rawhide

1964    Perry Mason

1964    The Virginian

1964    The Christopers

1964    The Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea

1964    The Fugitive

1964    Arrest and Trial

1964    Della 

1963    Wagon Trail

1963    Burke's Law

1963    Going My Way

1962    Thriller

1962    Bus Stop

1960    The Loretta Young Show

1960    The Aquanuts

1960    Tormented 

1960    The Chevy Mystery Show

1959    Riverboat

1958    Mackenzie's Raiders

1958    The Unchained Goddess

1957    The Strange Case of the Cosmic Rays 

1957    The Helen Morgan Story

1957    Hemo the Magnificent

1957    Crossroads

1956    Climax!

1956    Kraft Theatre  

1956    Three for Jamie Dawn 

1955    The Last Command 

1955    Bengazi  

1955    An Annapolis Story  

1954    Lux Video Theatre

1954    The Best of Broadway

1954    G.E. True Theater

1954    Creature from the Black Lagoon  

1954    Riders to the Stars  

1953    I Led 3 Lives

1953    The Golden Blade

1953    The Magnetic Monster 

1953    The Maze  

1953    It Came from Outer Space 

1953    All I Desire  

1953    Seminole

1953    Hollywood Opening Night

1953    The Ford Television Theatre 

1952    Shlitz Playhouse

1952    Flat Top

1952    The Rose Bowl Story

1952    Celanese Theatre

1952    Whispering Smith Investigates 

1952    Retreat, Hell!  

1952    Whispering Smith vs. Scotland Yard

1952    Robert Montgomery Presents 

1951    The Blue Veil  

1951    A Millionaire for Christy

1951    Lights Out

1951    Cameo Theatre

1951    Your Show of Shows

1951    The Prudential Family Playhouse

1951    Valentino

1950    The Sound of Fury 

1950    The Ford Theatre hour

1950    Studio One in Hollywood

1950    Try and Get Me   

1950    King Solomon's Mines

1950    Pulitzer Prize Playhouse  

1948    The Amazing Mr. X  

1948    Behind Locked Doors  

1947    So Well Remembered  

1943    Presenting Lily Mars 

1943    The Man from Down Under   

1943    Young Ideas   

1943    A Stranger in Town

1943    For God and Country 

1942    My Heart Belongs to Daddy  

1942    Highways by Night  

1942    The Affairs of Martha 

1942    Fly by Night  

1942    White Cargo  

1941    Back Street 

1941    West Point Widow  

1941    The Little Foxes 

1941    Hold That Ghost 

1940    Too Many Girls 

1940    The Howards of Virginia   

1940    No, No Nanette

1940    The Ghost Breakers 

1940    Beyond Christmas    

1939    Little Accident  

1939    Dancing Co-Ed

1939    These Glamour Girls

1939    Winter Carnival 

1938    The Duke of West Point  

1938    The Young in Heart  

Matinee Classics - MacKenzie's Raiders starring Richard Carlson, Louis Jean Heydt, Morris Ankrum, Brett King, Jim Bridges, Charles Boax and Kenneth Alton
Matinee Classics - MacKenzie's Raiders starring Richard Carlson, Louis Jean Heydt, Morris Ankrum, Brett King, Jim Bridges, Charles Boax and Kenneth Alton
Matinee Classics - Richard Carlson
Matinee Classics - Creature From the Black Lagoon starring Richard Carlson, Julie Adams, Richard Denning, Antonio Moreno, Ben Chapman, BernieGozier, Henry A. scalante, Nesto Paiva, Perry Lopez, Ricou Browning, Rodd Redwing and Whit Bissel
Matinee Classics - It Came From Outer Space starring Richard Carlson, Barbara Rush, Charles Drake, Joe Sawyer, Russell Johnson and Kathleen Hughes
Matinee Classics - Seminole starring Rock Hudson, Barbara Hale, Anthony Quinn, Richard Carlson, Hugh O'Brian, Russell Johnson, Lee Marvin, Ralph Moody, Fay Roope, James Best and John Daheim
Matinee Classics - The Amazing Mr. X starring Turhan Bey, Lynn Bari, Donald Curtis, Cathy O'Donnell, Virginia Gregg and Richard Carlson
Matinee Classics - The Ghost Breakers starring Bob Hope, Paulette Goddard, Richard Carlson, Paul Lukas, Willie Best, Pedro de Cordoba, Virginia Brissac, Noble Johnson, Anthony Quinn, Tom Dugan, Paul Fix and Lloyd Corrigan

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