One good thing about the Internet is it allows you to stop those irritating tickles of the mind caused by half-remembered faces in movies or lines in books and short stories.
Case in point: I was watching an episode of “The Fugitive” recently and recognized one of the actors playing a Tucson detective, but I couldn’t remember where else I had seen him. A few days later, I saw his face again in the 1953 “House of Wax,” also playing a police officer. But this still wasn’t where I had seen him before.
Prior to the Internet, finding his name and list of credits would have required consultation with several print sources, none of which I have handy. These may or may not have listed an actor with such a minor part, and certainly no single source would have included both his film and TV credits.
Internet Movie Data Base to the rescue! There, I found the character’s name from “House of Wax” (Sgt. Jim Shane) and that he was played by Dabbs Greer. By clicking on Greer’s name, I found he was a versatile character actor who had appeared in literally hundreds of film and television roles spanning five decades.
But the role I remembered him for was the elderly Paul Edgecombe in “The Green Mile.” I never realized he was the same actor who played Rev. Alden on the “Little House on the Prairie” television show, a staple of my Monday night viewing as a kid.
Greer died earlier this year. I would post his photo, but my blog site is being cantankerous today. You can see him as Rev. Alden here.
End of irritating mental tickle.