Obit: Richard Bull

Veteran character actor Richard Bull has died at age 89.

Bull’s seven-decade career included appearances on countless classic TV shows from the 1950s onward, including Barnaby Jones, Felony Squad, Gomer Pyle USMC, Highway Patrol, Mannix and Voyage To The Bottom of the Sea.

Richard Bull had a recurring role in James Garner’s early 70s western, Nichols. He is best remembered as Nels Olesen on the long-running family drama Little House on the Prairie.

According to IMDB, Bull’s last credited role was a 2011 appearance on the Kelsey Grammer series Boss. Streaming Fun


If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you already know how much I love MeTV’s classic TV service, available on local broadcast stations coast-to-coast. They serve up a great lineup of classic TV shows from the 1950s to the 1980s, complete with full show credits and fun promos to boot.

Turns out MeTV also has some real gems available for streaming on their website. In addition to public domain cartoons, they’re also offering select episodes of programs from their vast library. Some of the shows are currently airing on MeTV, some have aired in the past.

Keep in mind MeTV rotates their online selection, adding and removing episodes often, so it’s a good idea to check back weekly to see what’s available. Here are the shows available for streaming as of 2/4/14:

  • Celebrity Bowling (online only)
  • The Dick Van Dyke Show (airs Friday nights on MeTV)
  • The Doris Day Show (online only)
  • H.R. Pufnstuf (airs Saturday mornings on MeTV)
  • The Invisible Man (online only)
  • The Land of the Lost (airs Saturday mornings on MeTV)
  • The Loretta Young Show (online only)
  • The Lucy Show (online only)
  • The Mothers-In-Law (online only)
  • Peter Gunn (airs Sunday late nights on MeTV)
  • The Rifleman (airs Mon-Sat on MeTV)
  • The Saint (airs Sunday late nights on MeTV)
  • Wanted: Dead or Alive (airs Mon-Sat on MeTV)

I was just watching an episode of Celebrity Bowling…what a hoot! This half-hour syndicated show originally aired from 1971-78 and featured quite an eclectic mix of celebrities. The show I watched had legendary cowboy Roy Rogers and longtime Variety columnist Army Archerd teamed up against Richard Dawson and Lyle Waggoner. Great 70s hair styles and outfits! Roy, Army and Lyle all wore red while “Dick” Dawson sported a stylish blue turtleneck, complete with sideburns and bling. Gotta love it!

You can catch these great classics and learn more about MeTV by visiting their website at

Classic TV Birthdays: February 4

Pamelyn Ferdin leads off today’s classic TV star birthdays. The 55-year-old former child star was a regular on Blondie (1968 version), Lassie (1972), The Paul Lynde Show and Space Academy. Ferdin guested on many classic TV series of the 60s and 70s, including The Brady Bunch (she was in the memorable episode where Jan wore the black wig), Family Affair and The Odd Couple. She also did voice work on the movie Charlotte’s Web and several Peanuts cartoons.

Also marking birthdays February 4: John Shuck (McMillan & Wife, Holmes and Yo-Yo, later Law & Order SVU) turns 74, Gary Conway (Burke’s Law, Land of the Giants) is 78, comedian David Brenner (guested on The Tonight Show, starred in a show cancelled before it ever aired: 1976’s Snip) is 78 and Janet Waldo is 90. Waldo guested on classic shows like The Andy Griffith Show, I Love Lucy and Petticoat Junction but is best known for her cartoon work. You probably remember her as the voice of Judy Jetson and Josie of Josie & The Pussycats.

Classic TV stars born today but since passed include Canadian-born twin actors Conrad and Bonar Bain. Conrad starred on Maude and Diff’rent Strokes, while Bonar guested on Maude and SCTV Network. Songwriter-composer Ray Evans (and partner Jay Livingston) composed the theme songs for classic TV favorites like Bonanza, The Doris Day Show and Mister Ed. He is also credited with the Bugs Bunny theme “This Is It.” William Talman is remembered for his long-time role as D.A. Hamilton Burger on Perry Mason.

Also born this day was London-born actress-director Ida Lupino, pictured above. The former film actress starred with then-husband Howard Duff in a 1950s sitcom Mr. Adams and Eve, later guesting on numerous 60s and 70s shows like Batman, Columbo, Family Affair, Police Woman and Switch. Lupino also directed episodes of Gilligan’s Island, Have Gun Will Travel and Thriller.

Several classic TV favorites passed away February 4, including Liberace. The legendary pianist, known for his flamboyant costumes and trademark candelabra, hosted The Liberace Show and guested on shows like Batman, The Jack Benny Program and The Tonight Show. Ossie Davis guested on Bonanza and Night Gallery, later appearing on Evening Shade and Touched by An Angel. Davis was also the husband of actress Ruby Dee.

Others passing this day: singer-actress Barbara McNair (guested on Hogan’s Heroes, Mod Squad, Vega$) and George Nader. He starred on several late 1950s/early 60s shows (The Further Adventures of Ellery Queen, The Man and the Challenge, Shannon) and guested on Burke’s Law and The F.B.I.

Obit: Arthur Rankin Jr.

The co-creator of classic Christmas cartoons Frosty The Snowman and Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer has died.

Arthur Rankin Jr. and his partner Jules Bass launched their animation production company in 1960. Their first series was released the same year, The New Adventures of Pinocchio. Later series included Tales of the Wizard of Oz, King Kong, Jackson 5ive and Thundercats.

Rankin-Bass Productions was best known for their classic holiday specials featuring a unique stop-motion style. In addition to 1964’s Rudolph and 1969’s Frosty, the company produced such classic TV favorites as Here Comes Peter Cottontail, The Little Drummer Boy, Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town and The Year Without a Santa Claus.

Rankin passed away last Thursday at age 89.