DAD: John Acton (Harry Holcombe) / Widower
DAD’S JOB: Court clerk and owner of the general store
KIDS: Julia (Virginia Dwyer)(22), Kevin (Ronnie Walken)(12)
WHERE’S MOM?: Dead.
STAND-IN “MOM”: Unknown – possibly Aunt Bessie (Jane Rose)
Okay, you boomers – if you didn’t see this show, picture Green Acres with Sam Drucker’s family as the focus. Easily forgettable, it was on from July to October of 1953 and then – – woosh – – -gone.
Update: Received a note from the son of the producer and director of Wonderful John Acton: “It was his first television show. Prior to that, he was a producer and director in radio, his most famous show being “Mr. District Attorney” which was very popular and ran from 1939 to 1952.
“Wonderful John Acton” was based on a real person, my father’s maternal grandfather who was a politician in Kentucky at the turn of the 20th century. I met one of the cast, Ian Martin, some years later when I was 12 or so. I have a claim to fame in that Christopher Walken’s character, Kevin Acton, was named after me. It was probably mom’s idea.
Unlike his radio career, my DAD’S foray into television met with little success. After “Wonderful John Acton”, he produced a show, “Mr. Citizen” which had a run of about a dozen episodes in 1955.”
Note: the charming Jacqui Chen of www.salmonlust.com points out that “Ronnie Walken” is, indeed, the original name of the ubiquitous Christopher Walken. Wonders never cease. Thanks, Jacqui!