Who Are Those Guys #4

June 28, 2011

Or, more accurately, Who Is That Gal?

A reader and avid fan of The Fugitive has submitted a guest post in this category.  He’s identified all of the other uncredited supporting players in the series’ pilot, including such familiar actors as Harry Townes, Dabbs Greer, Barney Phillips, Abigail Shelton, and Donald Losby.  (Whoever made up the end titles that week must’ve been in a stingy mood.)

But one actress, who appears very briefly in “Fear in a Desert City” as Losby’s baby sitter, remains elusive.  Here she is.  Anyone recognize her?

Also, it has occurred to me that this topic would work a lot better if I were to embed clips rather than simply post screen grabs.  I think some of your guesses could get closer if the actors’ voices were audible.  However, that’s going to require me to figure out a couple of new pieces of software first, so for now….

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16 Responses to “Who Are Those Guys #4”

  1. Mike Gordeuk Says:

    Could she be the actress who portrayed Clara Edwards for years on the Andy Griffith Show?
    That terrible mess they made of her hair in that photo distorts her looks to an extent, otherwise I could be sure.

  2. Stephen Bowie Says:

    Mike, it’s not Hope Summers, although she’s definitely that type of actress. My correspondent and I went through several similar possibilities — Maudie Prickett, Elizabeth Harrower, Philippa Bevans — but I don’t think we’ve found her yet.


  3. I think it’s Maudie Prickett..

  4. mike Rice Says:

    Its Jean Stapleton who played Edith Bunker to Carroll O’Connor’s Archie in Normal Lear’s All in the Family. Even in these stills the body language and eye cocking register what is to come a few years later in All in the Family. Stapleton’s role in the Fugitive goes un-noted in the internet movie data base online. I recall seeing a film set in a school, probably Up the Down Staircase in 1967, just a year before the series began. Only, the audience I was with and I had already seen Jean Stapleton as Edith in the Lear series. Edith appears as some sort of administrative type in the school setting and the entire audience starts laughing the minute she enters, undermining the scene in the film somewhat. Stapleton hit Broadway in the Corn is Green in 1948. She appeared memorably in Damn Yankees (1954) and Bells Are Ringing (1961) both on Broadway and in the movies made of same. I have a copy of Damn Yankees I regularly thumb up just to hear Tab Hunter sing the sentimental Goodbye Old Girl. I don’t recall seeing Edith but she was certainly there. Stapleton’s appearance in All in the Family rocketed her to permanent fame, most of it in TV. She’s stll alive at 88.IMDB mentions that she and O’Connor appeared together first in a 1961 episode of the Defenders. I think I first spotted O’Connor as a truck driver in Kirk Douglas’ best movie, Lonely are the Brave. O’Connor played a lawyer in Point Blank the film that lifted Lee Marvin to the top movie rungs. But this is about Stapleton who Norman Lear first spotted in Damn Yankees in 1954. My brother turned me on to The Fugitive and a host of other sixties TV shows I might have missed. He showed me McHale’s Navy with its subtle but racist,hilarious Anti-Japanese Jingoism you can still see in reruns, the extraordinary the Fugitive evoking the wounded Richard Kimball stumbling through a paranoid American life in which each wince and troubled look backward evinced another stab in the back to upright American culture. We were the original TV generation from Buffalo Bob forward. We saw every great TV show as satiric comedy. The shows were comment on rapidly changing American life. We mocked my younger sister who fell for the sentimental scene at the end of every episode of Fury, when Joey and Jim got the horse to perform some semi-human stunt with a hollow American apple pie pay-off. We howled when Zorro made the sign of the Z on Lieutenant Garcia’s corpulent torso. We’re only teenagers, but we roar each week as the homosexual nemesis Doctor Smith threatens the young son of the Swiss Family Robinson of Lost in Space, while Robbie the Robot intones “Danger, Danger Will Robinson!” in the background. The Through the Looking Glass moment in American TV is when CBS presents four days of the Kennedy Assassination which probably changed the country inexorably. News events boldly entered the household for the first time. CBS got hard up for film pieces as the days rolled by and began repeating them. One featured a string-tied sergeant of arms in the Senate who spoke to a CBS camera, saying “I went to the Senator (Ted Kennedy) and I said, ‘Senator, Senator, your brother the President has been shot!’, a bumbling TV performance that we instantly thought hilarious. A friend of ours did a parody of it while the film was rolling on a nearby TV in a restaurant. The proprietress of the place, finding the parody distasteful, instantly threw him out. Which only made us howl louder. See, the older America didn’t get it. We lived through TV, on it, off it, with it, and occasionally on the medium ourselves. We already knew TV was absurd and that America was becoming more absurd with it. Walter Cronkite had shed a tear on TV a day before. A druggist who watched Jack Ruby shoot Lee Harvey Oswald live that Sunday on the TV in the rear of his pharmacy, rushed into the street and shouted “They’ve shot Oswald!” to a service station operator who was washing a windshield on a car across the street. It was all apart of the weekend that amazed and changed America forever. But the TV generation already knew. A combination of Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-in and All in the Family stopped me from watching network television altogether in the early 70s. Stopped watching, that is, after Mary Tyler Moore and the Bob Newhart show in which he played a psychaitrist. I hated the trendy Rowan and Martin joke pile because the comics made fun of stereotypes rather than obeying the tradition of self-deprecation in comedy that, say, Rodney Dangerfield exemplified. Lear took that comedy a step further. What was most distressing about All in the Family was that TV stepped down to shooting cheap, three camera videotape that took place inside with standard sets, a modess operandi that dulled TV comedies for years to come. I thought most of the jokes were not funny. The three camera live shoots with audience were dismaying to me, because there was clearly a lot of prompting from producers to get the watching audience and the laugh track to pump up the comic volume of these shows. I hated all of Normal Lear and the new trends in comedy that were starting to appear. I hated videotape comedies that never went outside.They were claustrophobic to me. I missed Doctor Smith. Mary Tyler Moore, Bob Newhart and possibly Jack Klugman’s Quincy were the last comedy shows I watched. I think I watched James Garner’s Rockford Files comedy too, probably every one of them before network TV had run out its string for me. I managed and eventually owned a cable company in those years and could easily see that mainstream TV’s broad audience was breaking down audience values by piling too much junk into the mix to boost audience and advertising rates. Mass advertising and PR, a fledgling industry in 1920, had become a tyranny. Network promos and promotions snarled from your TV and still do. The Advertising tyranny knocked over the small Mom and Pop businesses of Middle America and substituted the sameness of the big box stores. The advertisers were the Haves of the emerging new class which tore down traditional american values and enterprise, and made zeks of those who had failed to assemble advertising and PR power. I don’t expect western civilization to recover from it.

  5. Stephen Bowie Says:

    Sorry, it’s not Jean Stapleton, either. She was established as a stage actress on the East Coast at that point, and not doing bit parts in Los Angeles.


  6. I still vote for Maudie Prickett.

  7. John Nelson Says:

    Though the lengthy reply from Mike Rice was starting to make me a believer in the Jean Stapleton guess, I must admit that my first thought was that it was definitely Maudie Prickett. The other reply that mentioned her trademark hair style was obscured was probably to keep her from looking so familiar in that she was a semi-regular at the same time on Shirley Booth’s “Hazel” series. Put me down for Maudie Prickett!!

  8. mike Rice Says:

    After all the talk, I’m now convinced too that the character is Maude Prickett. I looked her up in IMDB and found that while she made 36 episodes of Hazel between 1961 and 1966, she also worked in other series TV in which she played small parts during this period. She was on Bob Hope, Jack Benny, Lassie, Room For One More, My three Sons, Daniel Boone, during the same period she appeared on Hazel. She had only one acknowledged part on a series in 1963 outside of Hazel, an appearance on Mr. Ed. That was the year this first episode of the Fugitive, appeared, on September 17th, 1963, according to IMDB.com. It starred Brian Keith and Vera Miles. I happened to remember that I had several episodes of the Fugitive on .avi formatted DVDs, for which I have a normal DVD player that plays those as well. I was on a DVD sharing email list a few years ago. Two people on that list sent me ten disks between them, full of Fugitive episodes, including Fear in a Desert City, which appears to be the first episode of the 120 aired. I was able to freeze frame both images exactly on my projector.The second freeze frame above precedes the first one in the real time of the episode. They are seconds apart. Next to Richard Kimball’s right arm in the first still above is the furred arm of Vera Miles, who, along with Brian Keith, starred. The Fugitive has come to Tucson, gotten a job in a bar where he first encounters Miles playing piano in the joint, while Keith, who we later discover is her husband, wearing a cowboy hat, sits at the bar drinking. Outside after closing, Keith angrily confronts his ex-wife in the parking lot, trying to run Kimball and she over with his Lincoln when the conversation becomes angry. Kimball takes her home to her apartment where she lives with their son. We get a frontal look inside at Maude Prickett with her distinctive lantern-like nose and stereotypical over-concerned look that was her trademark, staring at the TV. This is Maude’s only scene in the episode. She’s in curlers and a bathrobe, puts a short jacket over the bathrobe as she leaves, indicating she lives in the apartment complex herself. She tells Vera miles she’ll collect her money tomorrow. There’s another confrontation.in Kimball’s apartment where Keith shows him a snub 38 like the one Jack Webb carried on Dragnet. Kimball takes Miles and her son to a carnival. Later, Kimball tries to get Mles and her son out of town on a bus. Keith arrives, gets in a fistfight with Kimball, pulls the gun and is shot to death by two Air Force MPs who happened to be in the bus terminal. At the funeral, Lt. Gerard approaches Miles and they talk about Kimball. In a scene that shows Kimball six months later somewhere else, he strokes a kitten while William Conrad completes the epilogue voiceover. Only a few actors are identified in the credits that follow the show. IMDB has more, but Maude gets no credit either way.

  9. Larry Granberry Says:

    Maudie Prickett also had a brief scene in “North by Northwest,” playing a hotel maid questioned by Cary Grant.

  10. mike Rice Says:

    If you google youtube and plug the fugitive fear in a desert city, you’ll get a number of short takes from the episode, many of them in Spanish. But the scene in the bar parking lot and Kimball escorting Vera Miles home to her apartment where Maudie Prickett has her short scene is not among those I found. Scene 1-5 is an expository scene which shows Kimball working in the tavern, Miles at the piano keys and Brian Keith fondling his drink at the bar.

  11. Ronny G Says:

    Judging by the screen grabs, my first guess was also Maudie Prickett. She guest-starred several times on my favorite TV show, “Bewitched.” She played Tabitha’s pre-school teacher in one episode, and appeared a few seasons later as Tabitha’s elementary school teacher.

  12. EM Says:

    Definitely Maudie Prickett.

    I recognized the face and the voice right away when watching the episode of THE FUGITIVE on DVD, but had to track down the name. It just couldn’t be anyone else.

  13. Mike Cline Says:

    DEFINITELY Maudie Prickett…

    No question about it.

    She did a first season SUPERMAN episode (THE DESERTED VILLAGE) in 1951 and appeared semi-regularly as Jack Benny’s secretary in the late 1950s.

    Semi-regular role as “Rosie” on HAZEL.

  14. Dennis Says:

    It is Maudie Prickett She was Aunt Nora on the Andy Griffith episode “Family Visit” and did tons of TV back in the day.

  15. Nell Says:

    It’s the actress who played Bea’s sis, Nora, on Andy Griffith Show. Don’t know her name, but she was the one who played the maid in North by Northwest, too.

  16. Samuel Manzno Says:

    The babysitter lady is Maudie Prickett. She was also in an original Superman tv series episode in the first season in 1951. Iam sure it is her. My name is Sam. She was a great actress.


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