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Gerald Mohr (11 June 1914 – 9 November 1968) was an American radio, film and television character actor who appeared in over 4,000 radio plays, 73 films and over 100 television shows.
The New York City-born actor was educated in Dwight Preparatory School in New York, where he learned to speak fluent French and German, and also learned to ride horses and play the piano. At Columbia University, where he was on a course to become a doctor, Mohr took ill with appendicitis and was recovering in a hospital when another patient, a radio broadcaster, recognised that Mohr's pleasant baritone voice would be ideal for radio work. Mohr joined the radio station and became a junior reporter. In the mid-1930s Orson Welles invited him to join his formative Mercury Theatre. During his time with the company, Mohr gained theatrical experience on the Broadway stage in The Petrified Forest and starred in Jean Christophe.
It is estimated that Mohr made over 4,000 appearances in radio roles throughout the 1930s, 1940s and early 1950s. Most notably, he starred as Raymond Chandler's hardboiled detective, Philip Marlowe, 1948-1951, in 119 half-hour radio plays. He also was the star of The Adventures of Bill Lanc and frequently starred in The Whistler.
He began appearing in films in the late 1930s, playing his first principal villain role in the 15-part cliffhanger serial Jungle Girl (1941). Then, after three years' war service in the US Army Air Forces (1942-45), he returned to film work, starring as Michael Lanyard in three movies of "The Lone Wolf" series in 1946-47. He also made a cameo appearance in Gilda (1946), and Detective Story (1951), and co-starred in "The Magnificent Rogue" (1946) and The Sniper (1952). During 1949 he was co-announcer, along with Fred Foy, and episode narrator of twelve of the shows of the first series of The Lone Ranger TV series, starring Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels.
From the 1950s onwards, he appeared as guest star in over 100 television shows, including TV Westerns Maverick, Cheyenne, Bronco, Overland Trail (as James Addison Reavis, "the Baron of Arizona", in episode "The Baron Comes Back"), Sugarfoot, Bonanza and Rawhide. He also guest starred on The DuPont Show with June Allyson, Harrigan and Son, The Barbara Stanwyck Show, Perry Mason, 77 Sunset Strip, Hawaiian Eye, Lost in Space, and many other series of the era, especially those being produced by Warner Brothers Studios and Dick Powell's Four Star Productions.
Mohr also made guest appearances in a number of light comedy shows, including The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show (1951), How to Marry a Millionaire (1958), The Jack Benny Program (1961 & 1962), The Smothers Brothers Show (1965) and The Lucy Show (1968). He also had the recurring role of newsman Brad Jackson in My Friend Irma (1952). To many older members of TV audiences, Mohr is best remembered for his performance as "Ricky's friend" psychiatrist 'Dr. Henry Molin' (real life name of the assistant film editor on the show) in the classic February 1953 I Love Lucy episode, "The Inferiority Complex". Mohr is best remembered for his repeated line in the episode, "Treatment, Ricky. Treatment".
During 1954-55, he starred as Christopher Storm in 41 episodes of the third series of "Foreign Intrigue - Cross Current", produced in Stockholm for American distribution. During several episodes of "Foreign Intrigue", but most noticeably in "The Confidence Game" and "The Playful Prince", he can be heard playing on the piano his own musical composition, "The Frontier Theme", so called because Christopher Storm was the owner of the Hotel Frontier in Vienna. "Foreign Intrigue" was nominated for an Emmy Award in 1954 under the category "Best Mystery, Action or Adventure Program" and again in 1955 under the category "Best Mystery or Intrigue Series".
Mohr guest starred seven times in the 1957-1962 television series Maverick, twice playing Western outlaw Doc Holliday, a role he reprised once more in "Doc Holliday in Durango", a 1958 episode of the television western series Tombstone Territory starring Pat Conway and Richard Eastham. In one of the other "Maverick" episodes he portrayed Steve Corbett, a character based on Bogart's in Casablanca. That episode, "Escape to Tampico," used the set from the original film, this time as a Mexican saloon where Bret Maverick (James Garner) arrives to hunt down Mohr's character for an earlier murder.
Mohr excelled in playing the handsome, charming villain as, for example, in "Escape to Tampico" and also in the lead role of Joe Sapelli in The Blonde Bandit (1950).
Mohr appeared in mostly B-movies throughout his career and starred in My World Dies Screaming aka Terror in the Haunted House (1958) and A Date with Death (1959), both of which were filmed in the experimental Psychorama format, Guns, Girls, and Gangsters (1959), and The Angry Red Planet (1960).
During 1964 Mohr, together with his wife Mai, planned the formation of an international film company, headquartered in Stockholm, with Swedish and American writers. The company was to have featured comedy, adventure, crime and drama shows for worldwide distribution. By then fluent in Swedish, he also planned to star in a film for TV in which his character, a newspaperman, would speak only Swedish.
In 1964 he made a comedy Western, filmed in Stockholm and on location in Yugoslavia, called Wild West Story (see Swedish Wikipedia link) in which, unusually, the good guys spoke Swedish and the bad guys (Mohr, inter alia) spoke in English.
He also continued to market his powerful voice, playing Reed Richards (Mister Fantastic) in the Fantastic Four cartoon series during 1967 and Green Lantern in the 1968 animated series Aquaman. Also in 1968 he appeared in his last film role, as con-man 'Tom Branca' in William Wyler's classic musical Funny Girl before guest starring in the TV Western series The Big Valley. He then flew to Stockholm, Sweden, in September 1968, to star in the pilot of a proposed new TV series called Private Entrance, featuring Swedish film and TV actress Christina Schollin. Shortly after the completion of filming, he died of a heart attack in the evening of 9 November 1968, in Södermalm, Stockholm, at the age of 54. Mohr is interred in the columbarium of Lidingö Kyrkogård in Lidingo, Stockholms Lan, Sweden.
Description above from the Wikipedia article Gerald Mohr, licensed under CC-BY-SA, full list of contributors on Wikipedia.
|The Notorious Lone Wolf||Michael Lanyard / The Lone Wolf||1946|
|Sirocco||Major Jean Leon||1951|
|Detective Story||Tami Giacoppetti||1951|
|The Sniper||Police Sgt. Joe Ferris||1952|
|Dragonfly Squadron||Capt. MacIntyre||1954|
|The Angry Red Planet||Col. Thomas O`Bannion||1959|