Who Are The Worst Actors In TV History

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Frank Soyke, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    That's not a fair assessment. First off, Webb was relying chiefly on a stock company of players he had known since the days when Dragnet was on radio and who had been solid reliable performers back then and on the B/W version of the show. People like Virginia Gregg, Stacy Harris (whom Webb named his daughter after), Peggy Webber, Vic Perrin, Harry Bartell etc. were all good performers who understood what Webb wanted and played their roles accordingly. The problem was that in the 60s show these faces became too familiar because of overuse, and that wasn't their fault that was Webb's for showing perhaps a little too much loyalty. But don't blame their performances, they were simply doing what Webb told them to do which was to read their lines cold off teleprompters for the first time and to show little emotion.

    Anthony Eisley was overused too much as the baddie of the week on Dragnet, but he also was a reliable semi-regular on "The FBI" as the New York SAC and proved he could play one of the good guys as well.
     
  2. Roy Wall

    Roy Wall Supporting Actor

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    May not be a fair assessment but that's how the series came across...IMO.
     
  3. JMFabianoRPL

    JMFabianoRPL Stunt Coordinator

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    When I think of Charlotte, I now think of:

     
  4. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    The problem though is that the source of the crticism should in that case be with Webb's direction, not the actors if that's how it "came across" because even if you brought in a different ensemble of players, they would have read the lines and reacted the *same* way because that's what Webb demanded. And this I think reveals the shortcomings of a thread like this where we end up confusing "bad acting" with other problems in the end product. The "Dragnet" repertory company may have been overused but they were not a gang dragged off the street and they were not "the most atrocius actors available".
     
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  5. Roy Wall

    Roy Wall Supporting Actor

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    My wife's answer would be Bo Hopkins and Monte Markham. :)
     
  6. Guy Foulard

    Guy Foulard Second Unit

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    [​IMG]
    "Whut did you say about me, you varmint?"
     
  7. Roy Wall

    Roy Wall Supporting Actor

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    Yeah...William Holden's expressions are priceless in his conversations with Bo....they say it all. :)

    The immortal line was something like..."I'll hold 'em till Hell freezes over or you say differnt."
     
  8. Roy Wall

    Roy Wall Supporting Actor

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    All opinions aside...Dragnet has it's place in TV history.
     
  9. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    This thread is mean! Just plain mean! And you all forgot Adrian Zmed!
     
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  10. Frank Soyke

    Frank Soyke Screenwriter

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    On that reasoning, I'll give you that point. The bottom line is that if it was in fact Webb's direction, as you say, that made them act so wooden, what was his motive? Why would he want to have actors come off as so stupid and inauthentic? Webb was one of the geniuses of early television, so why wouldn't his actors to come off as believable,rather than robots reading off cue cards? Doesn't that make the series (at least this version) look like a joke? And repertory actors or not, I hang tough that some of these actors were downright lousy. I've seen many a repertory players in my life that are terrible. Being part of a repertory company is nothing but a title. it doesn't assure quality... see Lyle Waggoner
     
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  11. mannix

    mannix Stunt Coordinator

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    [*]max wright ,alf and buffalo bill
    [*]andy dick ,news radio
    [*]ed o'neill , married with children
    [*]doris Roberts, everybody loves Raymond and angie
    [*]bea Arthur , maude and the golden girls
    [*]david schwimmer ,friends
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    [*]tony randall, the odd couple
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    [*]Richard deacon ,dick van dyke show and leave it to beaver
    [*]carol burnett, the carol burnett show
    [*]Vicki Lawrence , mamas family
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  12. Frank Soyke

    Frank Soyke Screenwriter

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    Wow, and you guys think I'm a hater? Although I disagree with some of these, I can make peace with most of them,,,, but Tony Randall.. Are you serious???
     
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  13. Brian McP

    Brian McP Second Unit

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    Hey!! -- lay off Ed, Bea, Tony, Richard, Carol, Vicki -- as well as Tim Conway, Bo Hopkins and Monte Markham!

    All of them have given steller performances in movies and television (Tony Randall in both "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?" and "The Odd Couple" -- brilliant beyond belief.)

    The rest? Well, you all may have a point there.....
     
  14. Frank Soyke

    Frank Soyke Screenwriter

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    I could never hate on Bo Hopkins after his portrayal of Joe, leader of the Pharoahs in American Graffiti. Although it was a fairly small role, the interactions between he and Dreyfuss are integral to the movie.
     
  15. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    The books that have been written on Dragnet go into great detail about the reasons behind Webb's approach. Personally, I appreciate the fact that in the 60s version Webb got away from the tight close-up obsession that IMO makes the 50s version tough to sit through at times (the scripts played much better on radio IMO) and I also think Harry Morgan is superior to Ben Alexander in terms of a good foil for Webb. The real problem with 60s Dragnet was that because of pressure demands from the LAPD, too many episodes became more like training films instead of stories about solving crimes. That was not the fault of the repertory company who did the same good efficient job that defined the Dragnet style since the days of radio.

    And let me single out some of them for special praise. Harry Bartell who appeared in both versions of the geat Christmas story episode as Father Rojas and who always gives me a warm feeling when he offers reassurance in Spanish to the little boy Paquito. And also Peggy Webber, whose performance in the original 50s episode "The Big Mother" is a tearjerker of epic proportions (she was such a gifted voice artist that on radio she had played Joe Friday's elderly mother despite being only in her early 20s!).
     
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  16. mannix

    mannix Stunt Coordinator

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    john cryer ,two and a half men
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  17. Roy Wall

    Roy Wall Supporting Actor

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    Yes...I've been mean...I sending myself to my room without breakfast. :)
     
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  18. Vic Pardo

    Vic Pardo Screenwriter

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  19. rikrks

    rikrks Auditioning

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    Mary Jane Croft in The Lucy Show.... it doesn't get much worse
     
  20. jimmyjet

    jimmyjet Producer

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    just about every actor that talks about shatner says the same thing about him, personally.

    but as an actor, i thought he portrayed a wonderful role as kirk.

    and i recall liking tj hooker.

    i wonder if some people arent mixing up acting ability with whether they like the real person ?
     

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