A family of actors always creates a curious desire in people
to see all of its members in one project.
Usually, for most acting dynasties such a movie
never happens, and such was the case for the McIntires.
They did come close to appearing together a few times--
Jeanette and John acted with son Tim in a Bonanza episode,
and Tim and sister Holly were in a Wagon Train with John.
Gunsmoke was the first series to eventually connect all four.
Jeanette Nolan was one of the regular guest stars
of radio Gunsmoke, John McIntire an occasional one,
and both Holly and Tim later appeared
in the b&w hour era of tv Gunsmoke.
'Old Charlie' may be just another Bonanza episode,
but Jeanette Nolan and John McIntire do deliver
a special emotional moment together when their characters
take stock of their long lives in one of the late scenes.
'Old Charlie' was yet another close cattle call
at corraling the whole herd of McIntires into one tv appearance.
As if to make up for Holly's absence, Tim was given two roles--
he played a young baddie who gets killed,
and then his older brother who shows up to avenge his death.
As though to emphasize the irony in family casting,
goodies Jeanette and John wrassle with the vengeful baddie
and break a bottle over his head. Now that is a family reunion.
Jeanette Nolan and John McIntire played Wild West couple
Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickok in an episode
of Frontier Gentleman called 'Aces and Eights.'
This version of Hickok's death had Antony Ellis' usual touches,
but for the most part it was a lackluster production,
as was the second production of the script later that year,
starring Virginia Gregg and Lawrence Dobkin.
All four actors seem to have sleepwalked through these roles;
however, the Nolan-McIntire version proved that there was always
a certain electricity in the air whenever the two were together,
even when they were asleep.
John McIntire took over as wagonmaster of Wagon Train in 1961.
Interestingly, this seems to have been foreshadowed by the title
of a moving Gunsmoke radio episode in which Jeanette Nolan starred.
It aired in May 24, 1959, and was called 'Wagon Show.'
Nolan and McIntire made many appearances together
on Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar, sometimes playing
Nolan and McIntire are married and members
of a deadly quadrangle in 'The James Clayton Matter.'
Jeanette does her patented yell, but there's an even better surprise:
If you've never heard John weep, whine,
and get emotionally out of control, this is the place to hear it,
from the usually more measured husband.
Together in an episode but unmarried or unrelated:
In 'The Walter Patterson Matter,' Jeanette and John
are about to get married after four years of wooing,
but the judge first needs to decide whether
it was murder or manslaughter.
In 'The Baltimore Matter,' John McIntire is a cop
and Jeanette is a moll.
In 'The Thelma Ibsen Matter,' Jeanette does two
nifty character voices; John is an old suitor of a young woman.
In 'The Starlet Matter,' Jeanette is a phone operator
and then a secretary; John plays a sarcastic
but cool cop character named Casca.
July 7, 2007
Copyright © 2007-2013 E. A. Villafranca, Jr.
All Rights Reserved
Look for Jeanette Nolan and John McIntire at