So after yesterday’s post, I was thinking about character actors and also Robin Hood. Naturally, my mind rolled around to Disney’s 1973 version. It’s a movie that gets a lot of criticism for employing familiar character actors to play character roles, but I don’t think it deserves to. All of the actors are terrific. They might be playing themselves, but they’re doing a bang-up job of it.
Anyway, I realized today that five characters in the movie are played by actors who had supporting roles on CBS programs. Five! All from CBS!
Phil Harris (Little John) played himself as the smooth-talking bandleader of The Jack Benny Program for sixteen seasons on radio (1936-1952).
Ken Curtis (Nutsy the Vulture) played scraggly deputy Festus Haggen on the last eleven seasons of Gunsmoke (1964-1975).
George Lindsey (Trigger the Vulture) played replacement gas station attendant Goober Pyle on the last four seasons of The Andy Griffith Show (1964-1968) and all of the weak replacement series Mayberry R.F.D. (1968-1971).
Pat Buttram (The Sheriff of Nottingham) played slimy local salesman Mr. Haney on Green Acres (1965-1971).
John Fiedler (Church Mouse) played meek patient Mr. Peterson on The Bob Newhart Show (1972-1978).
That’s kind of neat.