Friday, July 13, 2012

From my collection: Fresh faces of 1961

Here are four young performer who all aspired to Hollywood stardom. None of them really found it, though, but at least they were in there trying.

Michael Barrier appeared on The Rebel, The Untouchables, and, of course, Gunsmoke, as well as such feature films as The Satan Bug (1965). It wasn't much but at least Mr. Barrier, if he is still around, should be able to get an invite to a Star Trek convention having appeared in three episodes in 1967.

Phil Arthur, who Imdb states hailed from Plattsburgh, NY (born 1923) did very early television before appearing in four episodes of the Perry Mason show, all different characters, incidentally. Arnold had done his fair share of stock, including touring opposite legendary Hollywood star Miriam Hopkins with a 1960 version of “Look Homeward, Angel.”

John Edward Gersch, Jr. kindly reveals everything you could possibly wish to know about his late father John Brennan (ne John Edward Gerschefske, born 1933 in Oak Park, IL), who was one of those rowdy title charmers on spring break in the original Where The Boys Are (1964). A former Chicago disc jockey, Brennan, according to junior, parked cars and tended bars in Hollywood prior to landing a contract with MGM in 1959. He later worked for Disney in Florida before retiring to Arizona with his wife, a former Metro secretary. She died tragically after a car accident in 2005 and Brennan, unable to face a future without his wife of 46 killed himself by gunshot in 2007.

Our final hopeful, David Brandon, was in State Fair (1962), you know the one where Pat Boone sings a love song to a pig; and also turned up in the classic Mamie Van Doren blockbuster The Navy vs. the Night Monster (1966). Remember David, Mamie? Probably not. Along with Carol Christensen, David Brandon had won a contract with 20th Century-Fox in 1960 and would be schooled by the studio's drama teacher, famed Method guru Sanford Meisner. Carol and David were selected from a group of 300 hopefuls, 17 of which had earned a screen test.


  1. Hans J. Wollstein(aka Lightning Bryce) Obviously you are too fast.I am flattered by your write-up.Unfortunately you are not reading the bio correctly.My Mother did not die in an auto accident.She died by a mis diagonosis of a bad gallbladder by several doctors in Kingman ,AZ. My Mom,Mary Kenoyer,was a super star at MGM and don't u foget it Hans!!! It was 1956. They got married in 59.Some Came running was not a B movie.And its 4 young performers,plural, Hans.U can comment on my comments @, God Love Ya,Hans.

  2. I honestly don't understand this post. Where do I suggest that Some Came Running was a b picture? As for the rest, well, I don't know what to say, really. If I misread the original article I apologize.

  3. Hans, I too apologize for the B movie remark. I just assumed that, after reading your, about me , where you say you were specializing in classic Hollywood B-films,that you were saying that all of his films were B films.Some were and some weren't.It was just a surprise when I read all the mistakes in your critique.My Father was the one who was in the bad auto accident but did not die from that.He was badly injured.I am not angry with you Hans.Actually, I thank you for writing something positive about a good man, my best friend and my Dad.I grew up around many of Hollywoods Actors and Actresses.I am sometimes a little too detailed.Once again,Thank You and I have enjoyed your blog very much. John Edward Gerschefske Jr. Aka John Gersch Jr.