- Richard Deacon (actor)
deathdate=death date and age|1984|8|8|1921|5|14|63
Los Angeles, California
restingplace=Cremated, location unknown
Film, stage, television actor
Richard Deacon (
May 14, 1921– August 8, 1984), born in Philadelphia, was an American television and motion picture actor.
The bald and usually bespectacled
character actoroften portrayed imperious authority figures. He made appearances on " The Jack Benny Show" as a salesperson. He had a brief role in Alfred Hitchcock's film "The Birds" and a larger role in the original " Invasion of the Body Snatchers", having portrayed a physicianin the "book-end" sequences added to the beginning and end of this film after its original previews. His best-known roles are Mel Cooley on " The Dick Van Dyke Show", Fred Rutherfordon " Leave It to Beaver" (Mr. Baxter in the pilot episode, "It's a Small World") and as Roger "Cutes" Buell on " The Mothers-in-Law". In the 1956 motion picture "Carousel", adapted from the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein stage musical, he had a bit role as the policeman who admonishes Shirley Jones("Julie") and John Dehner("Mr. Bascombe") about Gordon MacRae("Billy Bigelow") in the famous "bench scene". It was one of the few films in which he did not wear glasses.
Deacon also appeared on "
The Addams Family" in April 1965, and puts Cousin Ittthrough a battery of psychological tests in "Cousin Itt and the Vocational Counselor." He also appeared as a guest on the 1970s game show " Match Game", and played "Horace Vandergelder" opposite Phyllis Diller's "Dolly Gallagher Levi" in a touring production of the musical "Hello, Dolly!". He also guest starred in many sitcoms in the 1960s, including " Mr. Ed" and " The Donna Reed Show", among others.
In real life, he was a gourmet
chef. In the 1970s and 1980s, he wrote a series of cookbooks and hosted a television series on microwave cooking. He would stand behind a desk and say to customers "I'm standing behind here because in a moment of spontaneity, I sold my pants".
Deacon died from
cardiovascular diseasein 1984.
Posthumously, he was revealed to have been
gay, and his interview with Boze Hadleighwas published in Hadleigh's "Hollywood Gays" [(ISBN# 1-56980-083-9/PN1995.9.H55H33), pp.67-76] , although during his lifetime he made no particular secret of his sexual orientation. "Most would be surprised. Only because what you see on TV — a serious guy in a suit, unsmiling — isn't how anyone thinks of gay males." [ [http://wcbstv.com/slideshows/local_slideshow_338150921/view?slide=19/ wcbstv.com] ]
*imdb name|id=0212586|name=Richard Deacon
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