Lawman (1958–1962)
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The Actor 

An aging actor rides into town and collapses at The Birdcage. First thought to be a penniless drifter, it is soon discovered he is wounded and pursued by a woman with desires for him against the objections of her husband and brother.


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Episode cast overview:
John Russell ... Marshal Dan Troop
Peter Brown ... Deputy Johnny McKay
Peggie Castle ... Lily Merrill
John Carradine ... Geoffrey Hendon
Mary Anderson ... Martha Carson
Dan Sheridan Dan Sheridan ... Jake Summers
Warren J. Kemmerling ... Bill Carson (as Warren Kemmerling)
Harry Harvey ... Dr. Wilson (as Harry Harvey Sr.)
Raymond Mayo ... George
Harry Seymour Harry Seymour ... Piano Player


A tired man on a hard ridden horse arrives and enters the Birdcage asking for whiskey. Jake serves him a bottle. He takes a couple of drinks and interacts with the piano player. Jake asks for payment which the man does not have. As Jake tries to throw him out, Lily stops Jake and finds the man bleeding. Troop and Johnny help him into Lily's office and bring a doctor to tend to the arm wound. Lily learns the man was a well respected actor in the past being chased by a husband and brother who think he took liberties with the husband's wife. Overhearing the wife talk to him, Lily learns the actor is innocent. The wife is pursuing him. The actor performs at the Birdcage to pay his way. The husband and brother arrive. Troop tells them no guns. When the husband draws, Troop wounds him in the arm. The wife fires a derringer at the actor but appears to miss. The couple and brother leave town on Troops's orders. Inside the Birdcage they learn the actor has been mortally wounded but continues ... Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

27 May 1962 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This was actor Harry Seymour's 170th and final role (as the piano player) after a 37 year career. See more »


Lily Merrill: You're an actor.
Geoffrey Hendon: Is it so obvious?
See more »

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User Reviews

Richard Matheson scripts, John Carradine acts
28 January 2011 | by kevinolzakSee all my reviews

"The Actor" was one of the final episodes, scripted by famed science fiction author Richard Matheson ("I Am Legend," "The Incredible Shrinking Man"), providing a role tailor-made for the legendary John Carradine. Once celebrated actor Geoffrey Hendon, now down on his luck and performing Shakespeare in exchange for free drinks (something that Carradine enjoyed in real life), arrives at Lily Merrill's saloon demanding whiskey, for which he has no money to pay. Before he can be forcibly ejected from the premises, Lily notices that the stranger is not drunk, but wounded (not fatally). It seems that a female admirer (Mary Anderson) mistakenly became enamored of Geoffrey's fervid style of acting, which didn't sit well with her jealous husband, who follows the bloody trail in an attempt to finish the job. Carradine makes his character's death wish quite moving, yearning to hear the applause as he takes his final bow. Peggie Castle's Lily is sympathetic to the actor's charm, and he reveals his gratitude for her kindness with a monologue typical of Carradine's own travels (he had recently completed "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" for old friends John Wayne and director John Ford). His lifelong devotion to The Bard was mostly confined to the stage, but he had previously appeared in 1954's "An Evening of Hamlet" on THE ADVENTURES OF OZZIE AND HARRIET, "More Than Kin" on 1958's THE RESTLESS GUN, 1960's "Tolliver Bender" on WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE, later playing The Soothsayer in a 1983 TV production of ANTONY & CLEOPATRA, featuring Timothy Dalton and Lynn Redgrave. He last paid tribute to Shakespeare (and his idol John Barrymore) in a bravura cameo in a 1985 episode of FAME ("Leroy and the Kid"). Unusual subject matter for Richard Matheson, then busy doing Roger Corman Poe features for AIP, and a nice tribute to John Carradine.

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