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PeteLeo
08-20-2005, 04:52 AM
Here's a twisted little game my friends and I have played on and off for about twenty years. It's called "Survivors and Dead Ducks" (and it has nothing to do with that lousy "reality" show).

The playing field consists of all of the TV series that have been on American networks for at least one full season since regular series broadcasts began back in the late Forties. The "Survivors" are those series whose cast members are still living today (or, at least, the majority of the cast members are still with us). The "Dead Ducks" are -- of course -- those series whose casts have moved along to the next level of existence. You try to find the oldest "Survivors" series and the youngest "Dead Ducks" one.

Here're a couple of examples: can anyone beat "Father Knows Best"? It debuted in 1954 (that's fifty-one years ago, folks, half a century), and of its core cast, only star Robert Young has passed on (after trying to kill himself a few times, he died of natural causes in 1998 at age 91). Jane Wyatt must be about 93 herself, but the last I heard she was still percolating. Elinor Donahue is nearly seventy and still acts now and again (I think she looks a lot better than "Miss Crump" as Andy Griffith's first galpal), Billy Grey is only a year or so younger than Elinor (though he looks like something you might unwrap in an Egyptian museum) and shows up on panel shows that discuss the horrors of having been been child actors, repeatedly apologizing for the "chauvinism, sexism, and racism" of his generation (hey, we forgive you, Billy), and "Kitten" (Lauren Chapin), who probably should have checked out first, given her post-"Father" lifestyle (drug addiction, prostitution, prison, mental hospitals, the whole magilla), seems to be among us yet at about sixty. That was one tough group of thesbians, right? I mean, Young tried to off himself and couldn't do it.

Then there are the "Dead Ducks" (this is the sick side of the game), shows whose casts have crossed the Styx as quickly as if they were on waterskis. A classic case from just after the "Father" era is "Bonanza." Pa, Hoss, and Little Joe checked out in quick order, with only Adam escaping the curse, it seems (because he was booted off the series early due to his insufferable egotism, maybe?). But "Bonanza" premiered in 1959, which is fast becoming another half century ago. How about "My Favorite Martian," which first showed up in 1963? Uncle Martin is now exploring the mysteries on the Other Side, as are Tim O'Hara, Mrs. Brown (am I the only one who found the middle-aged Pamela Britton quite sexy in those old reruns?), and the guy who played the police detective boyfriend.

Okay, let's move on to a somewhat more recent famous series that was probably inspired by "Martian's" success: "Bewitched" (1964). Man, this one's a regular slaughterhouse, with Samantha, Darren (both of them), Mrs. Kravitz (again, both of them), Mr. Kravitz, Endora, Maurice, Uncle Arthur, Larry Tate, McMahon, various other relatives and clients, and, last but certainly not least, Serena (Pandora Spox), all fading away within a very few years of the program's end (I believe Sandra "Mrs. Kravitz II" Gould lived the longest of that bunch post-series, 1999). I can think only of the two kids who played Tabitha, the two Louise Tates (once more, Kasey Rogers made for a thoroughly delicious mature secondary character), Dr. Bombay, and Steve Franken (who portrayed various cousins and the occasional poodle man from outer space) who still survive. Oh, and the moppet who appeared as Adam for about half a season.

Among the "Survivors," perhaps "Your Show of Shows" (1950) trumps "Father," but I'm not sure of the regular line-up of performers in the ensemble cast aside from Sid Caesar (extant), Carl Reiner (extant), Howard Morris (extant), and Imogene Coca (extinct).
As for the "Dead Ducks," I think that most of the cast of "Carter Country" (1977) has passed away, but that very show makes a connection (through star Victor French) with an even more recent life-sucking series . . ."Highway to Heaven"! It came on in 1984, right? And it had only two continuing characters (French and "Bonanza's" own Michael Landon), right?

Can anyone come up with contenders either older than "Your Show of Shows" or younger than "Highway to Heaven"?

(Hey, the title of the thread tells you how sick it is, doesn't it?) PeteLeo.

PeteLeo
05-29-2006, 01:22 AM
Nobody's even willing to give this challenge a try? PeteLeo.

newpoppop
08-17-2009, 02:59 PM
I can't beat Father Knows Best, but Leave it to Beaver from 1957 has to be a contender. As far as I know, only Hugh Beaumont from the main cast has passed on.

BoxofDaylight
08-17-2009, 04:31 PM
The woman who played the wealthy nurse that took Andy to a French restaurant for escargot was the prettiest of all his Mayberry girlfriends, IMO. She became the mother of an young Academy Award winner. name the mother and Oscar-winning offspring (and the father of that child).

walshb
08-17-2009, 04:41 PM
Someone has far too much time on their hands, Pete?

newpoppop
08-17-2009, 05:45 PM
The woman who played the wealthy nurse that took Andy to a French restaurant for escargot was the prettiest of all his Mayberry girlfriends, IMO. She became the mother of an young Academy Award winner. name the mother and Oscar-winning offspring (and the father of that child).

Might it be Farrah, and Tatum O'Neal, Ryan's daughter?

PeteLeo
08-18-2009, 02:01 AM
Someone has far too much time on their hands, Pete?

Hey, man, look at the date of my original post -- over four years ago. I had pretty much forgotten all about it. PeteLeo.

PeteLeo
08-18-2009, 02:22 AM
Might it be Farrah, and Tatum O'Neal, Ryan's daughter?

Tatum's mom was the very good-looking Joanna Moore, who also played "Peggy" in several '62 episodes of the Griffith show. Looking back, it's amazing how socially liberal "The Andy Griffith Show" was in its first couple of seasons (aside from the not having any non-white characters thing, of course). "Ellie" (Elinor Donahue) was a pharmacist, Peggy (Joanna) was an independently wealthy sportswoman (who actually out-shot Andy in a skeet contest), Sue Ann Langdon was a county nurse who seemed to be in charge of all things medical, and a bit later Helen Crump was a very opinionated and highly-educated teacher. Ellie once ran for local office, and when Andy saw how his "natural" chauvinism was turning Opie into a little piglet, he changed his tune and supported her. There was even an episode in which the menfolk of the town were proven to be every bit as gossipy as the women (or moreso).

And all this in a small Southern town more than a decade before stereotypical dreck like "Carter Country" reclaimed the "stupid racist redneck" title for the South in modern entertainment.

Anyone ever watch "Squidbillies"? PeteLeo.

Petey
08-18-2009, 03:36 AM
"Hogan's Heroes" cast is dwindling now too. I think maybe Robert Clery, Richard Dawson and Larry Hovis are still around, but Ivan Dixon, Bob Crane, Werner Klemperer, and John Bannerman are all kaput!

Kinda morbidly fascinating what with the way Crane died and just having a sit-com set in a prison camp that starred two concentration camp survivors...(Clery and Bannerman)

walshb
08-18-2009, 07:19 AM
Hey, man, look at the date of my original post -- over four years ago. I had pretty much forgotten all about it. PeteLeo.

Well, I am glad someone has revived your interest!

Counter Jab
08-18-2009, 12:10 PM
The woman who played the wealthy nurse that took Andy to a French restaurant for escargot was the prettiest of all his Mayberry girlfriends.

Agree with that 100%

Remember Susan Oliver as the petty thief that was jailed overnite? (she told Barney he looked like Frank Sinatra)
After dinner that night Andy had one of his rare, comtemplative moment, cigarettes and went back to the courthouse only to catch her trying to escape. Perhaps the only episode in which I believe ol' Andy was sporting a major 'woodie'! :p :D

Counter Jab
08-18-2009, 12:10 PM
"Hogan's Heroes" cast is dwindling now too. I think maybe Robert Clery, Richard Dawson and Larry Hovis are still around, but Ivan Dixon, Bob Crane, Werner Klemperer, and John Bannerman are all kaput!

Kinda morbidly fascinating what with the way Crane died and just having a sit-com set in a prison camp that starred two concentration camp survivors...(Clery and Bannerman)

Dawson's no longer with us...

Counter Jab
08-18-2009, 12:13 PM
I believe the entire Scooby Doo cast are still alive & kicking...

Counter Jab
08-18-2009, 12:23 PM
Mrs. Brown (am I the only one who found the middle-aged Pamela Britton quite sexy in those old reruns?)PeteLeo.

How about Connie Hines, who played Wilber's wife in "Mr. Ed"?
Even as a kid I'm thinking...what a rack!!!

Mike DeLisa
08-18-2009, 12:35 PM
I recently read an article about Will Hutchins, who is now doing something interesting (I guess).

He starred in Sugarfoot way back in 1957 -- I have at least one episode on 16mm: Here is my description from the CBZ boxing-themed TV list (http://www.cyberboxingzone.com/boxing/tv.htm) -- with Pat Comisky as co-star!


Sugarfoot, "Fernando" (Feb. 16,1960). Stars Will Hutchens as Tom Brewster who was a naive, sarsaparilla drinking Easterner who came West seeking to become a lawyer via correspondence school. If he defeats the boxing champ, Fernando will use his winnings to save an old mission. But Fernando and his trainer find they've taken on more than just a bout - a local gambler is after the land the mission is built on.Guest Starring Pat Comiskey, Nico Minardos, Merritt Bohn, Harry Bellaver.





Now if I can only find out what happened to Sky King's niece Penny!

Mike DeLisa
08-18-2009, 12:38 PM
Just ggogled a little to see about my favorite TV show of all time -- Hank -- seems the star was murdered some 30 years ago!

http://www.tvparty.com/rechank.html

BoxofDaylight
08-18-2009, 02:28 PM
http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/memoryalpha/en/images/thumb/d/dd/Vina.jpg/292px-Vina.jpg

Yeah, I saw that "Andy Griffith Show" episode just the other day. But I cannot look at Susan Oliver in any role without seeing her "aged" with that crooked neck, if you know what I mean.
http://www.sherylfranklin.com/images/trek/women/classic/vina014.jpg

BoxofDaylight
08-18-2009, 09:25 PM
And here's Miss Peggy:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3452/3244798273_4b0221924d.jpg

Petey
08-18-2009, 09:57 PM
Box,

But the "After" Christopher Pike was no centerfold either...

PeteLeo
08-19-2009, 02:20 AM
Dawson's no longer with us...

Are you sure? I haven't heard anything about Richard passing away. I'll have to check the IMDb.

I'm pretty certain Larry Hovis died a few years ago. PeteLeo.

PeteLeo
08-19-2009, 02:23 AM
Just ggogled a little to see about my favorite TV show of all time -- Hank -- seems the star was murdered some 30 years ago!

http://www.tvparty.com/rechank.html

I remember "Hank." Unless I'm mistaken, it was the first U.S. episodic series to actually "wind up" its plotline in the final episode, even before "The Fugitive." I caught it in reruns sometime in the early Seventies. PeteLeo.

Counter Jab
08-19-2009, 10:04 AM
Are you sure? I haven't heard anything about Richard passing away. I'll have to check the IMDb.

I'm pretty certain Larry Hovis died a few years ago. PeteLeo.
You're correct Pete, IMDb shows him as still with us...

mrbig1
09-05-2009, 07:29 PM
How about Connie Hines, who played Wilber's wife in "Mr. Ed"?
Even as a kid I'm thinking...what a rack!!!
I could not believe they put her and those giant bombers on T.V. back then. She had to have double D's. That girl was soooooooooo hot.

mrbig1
09-19-2009, 08:22 PM
Dawson's no longer with us...
Sir, I believe Richard Dawson is still with us.

Mike DeLisa
09-19-2009, 10:49 PM
I remember "Hank." Unless I'm mistaken, it was the first U.S. episodic series to actually "wind up" its plotline in the final episode, even before "The Fugitive." I caught it in reruns sometime in the early Seventies. PeteLeo.


You got it -- Hank was given a scholarship to school in the last episode, thus ending his days as a "drop in."

DscribeDC
10-05-2009, 01:40 PM
Anybody noticed that IFC has started airing The Prisoner again?