The Gettysburg Times from ,  on February 24, 1962 · Page 9
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The Gettysburg Times from , · Page 9

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Saturday, February 24, 1962
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THE GETTYSBURG TIMES, SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 1962 The Real McCoys Success Came Easy For Dick Crenna In 'the world of entertainment ·where being logical doesn't always make good sense, one of the worst things tttat can happen to an actor--short of being an utter, downright failure--is to be too successful. This is the bemused opinion of Dick Crenna, who regrets the fact that he never tasted financial defeat during the two decades or so he has been acting in radio and on television. "If I had only bombed out a "It was too "easy," he recalls. "I-walked in and did a few things for them and was signed up. I was with tttat one show for 11 years." From there he went to big money network shows -- "The Hardy Family." ""Mayor of the Town" and others. Despite his busy radio career, Dick managed to graduate from Belmont High School in Los Angels witih top honors in 1944 and gained a new sponsor--the U. S. dopey high school kid. Here again I was" fortunate--one -role that identifies an actor so completely has loused up many a career." IN FIFTH SEASON Dick tried out for the part of "Luke" on "The Real McCoys," which is now in its fifth season, and got it without any trouble. He has made money out of the show and has profited acting-wise by working witih a smooth old pro like three-times Academy Award Winner Brennan. In 1959 Dick re- Walter Brennan, who stars as Grandpa Arnos McCoy, tries to team how to play the piano under fhe tutelage of Kate, left (Kathy Nolan), Hassie (Lydia Reed) and Luke (Richard Crenna) while they all join in song in "The New Piano" on ABC-TV's "The Real McCoys" Thursday (8-:30-9 p.m. EST). few times," Dick begins, then pauses . . . "But what the heck. That's the way it goes. . ." As his friend, Mort Sahl would Bay: "Onward." Dick today is familiar to mil- Eons of televisions viewers as **Luke McCoy," Walter Brennan's grandson on ABC-TV's long- run "The Real McCoys." He is remembered by radio fans as the pixilated high school student, "Walter Denton" on the popular **Our Mass Brooks." STARTED AT 11 A native of Los Angeles, Dick got into show business at the age rf H after his distraught mother learned !he was a*' excellent mimic --«o good in feet that he was imitating the guests at t)he 'hotel ·Where she was a switchboard operator and daily jeopardizing her Job. Dick auditioned 'or a radio spot tfsfti a program called "Boy Scout Jfembores" and -was hired. Army. Dick soon found he was miscast as a signal corps-man and put his talents to better use as an entertainer witih the Armed Forces Radio Service. WAS IN SERVICE He came out of the service in 1947 and started hitting the high priced radio show circuit again and wound up opposite Eve Arden on the "Our Miss Brooks" show in 1948. Four years later, when it took to the television trail, 'he went right along. When he wasn't squeaking "Gee, .Miss Brooks," Dick found time to ge a B.A. degree in English at the University of Southern California at age 28. Whe the popular series went off television, Dick look a year-long vacation in Europe and returned ·ready for something new. "I left 'Walter Denton' over there," he explained. "The role didn't type me, strangely enough. No one associated me permanently with a ceived the Best Supporting Actor Emmy nomination. Now enters the part about whether or not success 'has spoiled Dick Cranna. "It hasn't spoiled me," he explains. "Even as a Hollywood child actor, I don't think I was ever spoiled and that's pretty rare. Pushy parents make pushy kids and Hollywod parents are often t)he pushiest. My folks were just fine and I grew up as normal as ... well . . . anyone, I guess. Of course," he added grinning, "I don't know how normal that is." COLLECT PAINTINGS Dick's success all the way down the line has provided a lovely Hollywood home for his pretty wife, Penni, and their two youngsters. They collect oil paintings, antiques, go hunting, play golf and do a lot of skeet shooting. "But," adds Dick, "I wish it ·hadn't been this easy. I feel I THE GETTYSBURG TIMES Video Every Week--All Riehta Reserved--H. T. Oickinxon Co_ Inc. February 26 Thru March 4 Channels 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13 FROM THE EAST COAST RE-Dennis Weaver as host was made PORTER: Although the pilot for the new Bob Banner hour-long series. "TV Tonight," starring have missed something. When I hear an actor talking about what a rough time he had getting to the top, I don't know what to say. It all came easy for me and I don't want to 'be hypocritical and say 'I know what you mean, buddy,' because I don't." Asked what he thinks might have happened to him if he had had a rugged time in the entertainment world during his career- climb, Dick frankly admits: "I think I would have been a big star. I really do. I know I would have become a bigger, better actor." EYED COMEDY Dick continued: "What I've always wanted to be. and not many people know this, is a stand-up comedian in night clubs. But I think that takes a lot of 'personal hardships and kicking around-even downright suffering and starving." While Dick may have never suffered for his art, there is no doubt that he has not been lax when it comes to studying it-especially TV directing and writing. His big ambition--to be a director--was realized last season. He directed two segments of "The Real McCoys." Impartial observers described these episodes as amongst the series best. This season finds him directing six episodes. I talked to Walter Brennan about my directing," Dick said, "and he thought it would be too much for me--being an actor and a director both." GOT "GO-AHEAD" Brennan reluctantly gave Crenna the go-ahead, however, and today comments: "It turned out Dick was a natural. He did everything right. He has the makings of a fine director." Stich compliments, although intended to reassure Orenna that he was doing a top-notch directing job, instead gave him the old ifeeling that directing, like acting ·and job.?, came too easy for him and there was no sweat involved. Dick is still pondering his problem--whether he has talent or ·whether he's been lucky. /Those who know him from his radio days and those who have been associated with him in television are quite adamant that he is a skilled actor and a fine director. Sighs Dick: "There's one thing I didn't skip 'through and come up rose covered, a-nd that's writing scripts. I wrote a few scripts for the series, submitted them, and tad them turned down by the director because he said they were good tries but weren't just right." Asked who turned Wiem-down, Dick grinned sheepishly . . . "Aw . . . some show business know- named Dick Crerwva." recently in New York City, the rest of the series will be done on the West Coast. . . . Eddy Hanson has been signed to do the music ;core for "Sentimental Journey," a documentary TV special to be telecast in March. . . . Television and Broadway comedian Orson Bean guests as a well-meaning, pitiful embezzler in a "Naked City" episode Wednesday, Feb. 28. ... Carol Burnett and Jesse White star in an upcoming teleplay of "The Twilight Zone." . . . 'Bomb Aboard--Call the FBI" has been set as the title of the dramatic TV "special." FROM THE WEST COAST REPORTER: Lucille Ball is returning to the sceen after an absence of nearly two years to star opposite Bob Hope in "Critic's Choice" -for Warner Bros. . . . Veteran film star Neil Hamilton, whose career dates back to silent picture clays, makes a guest star appearance in an upcoming episode of "Mister Ed." . . . "At This Very Moment," a one-hour, all-star entertainment program with Academy award- winner Burt Lancaster as host, will be presented on the ABC-TV Network Sunday, April 1, by the American Cancer Society and the Eleanor Roosevelt Cancer Foundation, which is affiliated with it. Although primarily an entertainment show, it will also dramatize 25 years of progress in cancer control. . . . Alex North will compose and conduct the music for the series devoted to the Presidential years of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. . . . But Kennedy will direct and write an upcoming episode of "Lawman." He often plays character roles on the Sunday night western series. . . . E. W. Swackhamer, associate producer of "Henncscy," is taking on his first directing assignment with "Big Bertha" episode. Previous episodes this season were directed by Producer-star Jackie Cooper. K E E N A N WYNN as egocentric and troubled magnate O. J. Stanley, and Suzanne Pleshctte as his 19-year-old daughter Carolyn, Appear on "Ben Casey" Monday, Feb. 26 (ABC-TV, 10-11 p.m., EST). In "Behold a Pale Horse," Dr. Casey's interest in accident victim Stanley's case goes beyond the obvious medical aspects when he observes the battle his patient is waging to keep his daughter from marriage. CHAMPAGNE LADY Norma Zimmer of "The Lawrence Welk Show" claims: "I just love calisthenics!" Good thing, too. Her athletic husband, Randy, puts Norma and their two boys, Ronny, 13, and Mark, 9, through their paces every morning, 'It is Randy's belief," says Norma with just a trace of a twinkle, "that the family benda together ends together." '- \ , ·. i I

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