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John Dehner (1915-1992), American Animator, Pianist, and Actor in Radio, Films, and Television


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The Twilight Zone - Season 1 

7. "The Lonely" - Nov 13, 1959: post-2-0-74938600-1448257307_thumb.png <--- "Allenby, I don't much care what's in it ... but for the thought ... for the decency ... thank you."

The Twilight Zone - Season 3

12. "The Jungle" - Dec 1, 1961: post-2-0-19392800-1448257335_thumb.png <--- [Jungle sounds in the background, man is scared ... Oh, Rod, how could you have let them?]

[Note: This gets my vote as the single worst episode to date. I read a review on AV Club that said it was "scary" - even if you agree with that (and I suppose there are some tense moments when the man is walking around New York City, hearing growling animals), then it's still the only redeeming quality. Unless you're watching the entire series, "The Jungle" is best left in darkness.]

The Twilight Zone - Season 5 (Back To Half-Hour Episodes)

32. "Mr. Garrity And The Graves" - May 8, 1964: post-2-0-11938200-1448257374_thumb.png <--- "As you have all seen, I have just brought a dog back to life."  

[Note: John Dehner in a very slick episode with a couple intractable flaws: 1) people do not carry five hundred dollars on their person in the old west (duh!) and 2) the ending is just wrong and forced; otherwise, it was a clever story that didn't even need the supernatural to work.]

John Dehner is someone whose face you recognize, but you don't know his name (how many dozens, if not hundreds, of actors and actresses fit this mold?)

I don't want to simply parrot Wikipedia, but he was an animator, professional pianist (making him near-and-dear to my heart), and an actor in radio, films, and television, having nearly a fifty-year career.

He was in three "Twilight Zone" episodes (all quoted above), among countless other things - I hope these little blurbs will stimulate memories of actors like Dehner (né John Forkum in the former name for Staten Island: Richmond (believe it or not, it was officially called the "Borough of Richmond" until 1975!). Unfortunately, among these episodes is perhaps my least favorite (or, more accurately, "most hated" in the entire series: "The Jungle" - my comments about it are above, and they stand as written. I cannot believe Rod Serling had the final say in this, as he was *in no way* the type of man who would foster these stereotypes about people of color - if he was alive today, I bet he'd jump at the chance to get his side of the story in). Incidentally, the other two episodes were very good to excellent.

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I, for one, was already very familiar with the name of John Dehner, whose television work I loved when I was a kid. I didn't know he was an animator or a pianist, though. For some reason, one line he spoke still lingers in my memory. It was in a western (he did a lot of those), and he played a suave crook who may have been a banker or may only have been masquerading as one (hard to say after 50-some years). The line was "If you can't trust your banker, who can you trust?" It may have been on "Maverick", or possibly "The Wild, Wild West".

On 11/22/2015 at 2:37 PM, DonRocks said:

It's funny how knowledge builds upon itself - I was looking at "The Man in the Funny Suit," which somehow led me to "The Balance of Terror," which led me to "The Enemy Below," and I noticed that this was Doug McClure's film debut (this post could just as easily go in the Film Forum).

I knew the name Doug McClure well, but I didn't know why, so I went to his Wikipedia page, and started reading - although he's most famous for his role in "The Virginian," I've never watched TV westerns (not even "Gunsmoke"), so that wasn't it. But I kept reading, and lo and behold, he played in "Mr. Denton on Doomsday."

John Dehner appeared in seven episodes of "The Virginian"!

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