Parley Baer

Show Count: 625
Series Count: 15
Role: Old Time Radio Star
Old Time Radio
Born: August 5, 1914, Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.
Died: November 22, 2002, Los Angeles, California, U.S

Parley Edward Baer (August 5, 1914 – November 22, 2002) was an American actor in radio and later in television and film.

Early life and radio work

Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, Baer had a circus background, but began his radio career at Utah station KSL. With a fairly high pitched voice often accompanied by a Western twang, he became one of the busiest radio performers in the late 1940s and 1950s.

His first network show was The Whistler which was soon followed by appearances on Escape (notably narrating "Wild Jack Rhett" and as the title patriot in an adaptation of Stephen Vincent Benet's "A Tooth for Paul Revere"), Suspense, Tales of the Texas Rangers (as various local sheriffs),Dragnet, The CBS Radio Workshop, Lux Radio Theater, The Six Shooter, and Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar, to name a few.

In 1952, he began playing Chester, the unofficial deputy to Marshal Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke, eventually ad-libbing the character's full name, “Chester Wesley Proudfoot”. (The character's name was changed to “Chester Goode” in the television series, which featured an entirely different cast.) Baer's portrayal of Chester was generally considered his finest and most memorable role and, as he often said, the one he found most fulfilling. Baer worked on several other radio shows produced by Norman MacDonnell, including the situation comedy The Harold Peary Show (akaHonest Harold) as Pete the Marshal, Rogers of the Gazette (loosely based on the early life of Will Rogers) as Doc Clemens, Fort Laramie, and The Adventures of Philip Marlowe.

Other recurring roles included Eb the farm hand on Granby's Green Acres (the radio predecessor to television's Green Acres), Gramps on The Truitts, and Rene the manservant on the radio version of The Count of Monte Cristo. His later radio work included playing Reginald Duffield and Uncle Joe Finneman on the Focus on the Family series Adventures in Odyssey in the 1980s and 1990s.

Films and television

As an on-camera performer, Baer was recognizable by both his voice and his balding, paunchy appearance, often as fussy or obstinate officials or neighbors. Extended television roles included obnoxious by-the-book Mayor Stoner on The Andy Griffith Show, the neighbor Darby on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, frequent guest appearances on The Addams Family as insurance man and city commissioner Arthur J. Henson, and in the late 1990s, Miles Dugan on The Young and the Restless.

Baer guest starred in the 1950s on NBC's The Dennis Day Show and It's a Great Life, on CBS's Hey, Jeannie!, on ABC's The Law and Mr. Jones with James Whitmore, on the syndicated crime drama Johnny Midnight with Edmond O'Brien, and on the NBC children's western series, Fury with Peter Graves and Bobby Diamond. He made six guest appearances on Perry Mason during the last five seasons of the CBS legal drama.

He appeared as well on the ABC sitcom Harrigan and Son, on the ABC/Warner Brothers crime drama, The Roaring 20s, on NBC's crime drama Dan Raven starring Skip Homeier, and on the NBC family drama, National Velvet. Baer was cast twice on Walter Brennan's sitcom, The Real McCoys. He also guest starred on the CBS sitcoms, Dennis the Menace, with Jay North, and Angel, starring Annie Fargé. In the latter, he carried the lead as Dr. Mathews in the single episode "The Dentist", with Maudie Prickett as his dental secretary.

In 1961, Baer guest starred on Marilyn Maxwell's short-lived ABC drama series, Bus Stop. On April 13, 1962, he appeared, along with Frank Ferguson and Royal Dano in ABC's crime dramaTarget: The Corruptors in the episode "Journey into Mourning". He was cast as hotel owner Mr. Kringelein in the 1962 film, Gypsy, opposite Natalie Wood and Rosalind Russell.

In 1963, Baer appeared with Charles Aidman and Karl Swenson in the three-part episode "Security Risk", a story of international blackmail and intrigue, on the CBS anthology series, GE True, hosted by Jack Webb.

In 1964, Baer was cast as a sheriff in an episode of Mickey Rooney's short-lived Mickey sitcom. He was seen in four episodes of Hogan's Heroes and eight episodes of Bewitched in various roles as advertising clients of McMann and Tate.

Later guest appearances included Three for the Road, Three's Company (as a cooking competition judge), The A-Team, Star Trek: Voyager, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The Dukes of Hazzard,Night Court, Little House on the Prairie, The Golden Girls, and Mad About You. He also played the role of the minister who married J.R. and Sue Ellen Ewing for their second marriage on Dallas.

Baer's film roles included parts in several live action Disney features, including Follow Me, Boys! (again as a mayor), The Ugly Dachshund, and Those Calloways. He also appeared in Two on a Guillotine and Dave (as the Senate majority leader).


He also voiced Ernie Keebler in the cookie commercials before he suffered a stroke in 1997 which affected both speech and movement. He recovered sufficiently to make a handful of appearances at old-time radio conventions before he died from related complications on November 22, 2002 at the age of eighty-eight.

In perhaps his greatest theatrical performance, Baer was especially proud of his brief appearance in a little known film, White Dog, a powerful story about racism. Baer plays a character seen at first as a kindly grandfather only to reveal himself as a hateful bigot who has trained the title character to attack black skin. Baer remarked, "Often racism, like true evil, presents itself with a smile and a handshake".

Personal life

In 1946, he met and married circus aerialist and bareback rider Ernestine Clarke. They were together for fifty-four years until her death. They had two daughters, Kim and Dale.

Baer was a long-term member of St. Nicholas Episcopal Church in Encino, California, where he served in many capacities, including head usher.

Source: Wikipedia

CBS Radio WorkshopCBS Radio Workshop
Show Count: 76
Broadcast History: 27 January 1956 to 22 September 1957
Cast: Various, Aldus Huxley, William Conrad, Parley Baer, Lurene Tuttle, Jack Kruschen, Joseph Kearns, Vic Perrin, Sam Edwards, Gloria Henry, Charlotte Lawrence
Director: Jack Johnstone, William N Robson, Dee Engelbach, Elliott Lewis, Antony Ellis
Producer: William Froug
The CBS Radio Workshop was an experimental dramatic radio anthology series that aired on CBS from January 27, 1956, until September 22, 1957. Subtitled “radio’s distinguished series to man’s imagination,” it was a revival of the earlier Columbia Experimental Laboratory (1931), Columbia Experimental Dramatic Laboratory (1932) and Columbia Workshop broadcasts by CBS from 1936 to 1943, and used some of the same writers and directors employed on the earlier series'.
Count Of Monte Cristo, TheCount Of Monte Cristo, The
Show Count: 3
Broadcast History: 1944-1945, 19 December 1946 to 26 June 1947, 1947-1948 and 12 June 1949 to 1 January 1952
Cast: Carleton Young, Anne Stone, Ferdinand Munier, Joseph Kearns, Barbara Lee, Vic Rodman, Paul Marion, Parley Baer, William Conrad, Jay Novello, Virginia Gregg, Howard McNear, John Dehner
Director: Thomas Freebairn-Smith, Jaime del Valle
Damon Runyon Theater, TheDamon Runyon Theater, The
Show Count: 52
Broadcast History: 1948 to the mid 1950s
Cast: John Brown, Anne Whitfield, Gerald Mohr, William Conrad, Alan Reed, Herb Vigran, Frank Lovejoy, Sheldon Leonard, Eddie Marr, Luis Van Rooten, Joe DuVal, Willard Waterman, Ed Begley, Jeff Chandler, Sam Edwards, Hans Conried, Parley Baer
Director: Richard Sanville
Producer: Vern Carstensen
Starring John Brown as Broadway, the narrator of Damon Runyon’s dramatic stories of old Manhattan New York and the gangster life in the 1920’s and 1930’s. The stories could be tragic, and often quite sad as you become moved by the strength of the characters.
Granby's Green AcresGranby's Green Acres
Show Count: 6
Broadcast History: 3 July 1950 to 21 August 1950
Cast: Bea Benaderet, Gale Gordon, Parley Baer, Louise Erickson
Director: Jay Sommers
Producer: Jay Sommers
Six Shooter, TheSix Shooter, The
Show Count: 40
Broadcast History: 20 September 1953 to 24 June 1954
Cast: James Stewart, Harry Bartell, Virginia Gregg, Parley Baer, Lou Merrill, Sam Edwards, Jess Kirkpatrick, Frank Gerstle, Elvia Allman, Bert Holland, B J Thompson, Shep Menken, Howard McNear
Director: Jack Johnstone
"The man in the saddle is angular and long-legged, his skin is sun-dyed brown. The gun in his holster is gray steel and rainbow mother-of-pearl, its handle unmarked. People call them both "the Six Shooter."
Broadcast: 5th October 1953
Added: Oct 08 2009
Broadcast: 26th February 1950
Added: Aug 29 2010
Broadcast: 28 October 1956
Added: Jun 13 2001
Broadcast: 19th July 1955
Added: May 15 2010
Broadcast: 20th January 1952
Added: Jan 16 2011
Broadcast: 9th March 1952
Added: Mar 09 2009
Broadcast: March 9, 1951
Added: Mar 05 2021
Broadcast: 2nd February 1953
Added: Feb 04 2013
Broadcast: April 22, 1949
Added: Apr 20 2021
Broadcast: 25th September 1956
Added: Sep 02 2010
Broadcast: 24th January 1956
Added: Jan 20 2011
Broadcast: 22nd November 1955
Added: Aug 26 2010
Broadcast: 15th October 1949
Added: Apr 13 2007
Broadcast: December 14, 1951
Added: Oct 30 2014
Broadcast: 22nd October 1951
Added: Oct 27 2009
Broadcast: 30th October 1949
Added: Oct 30 2007
Broadcast: June 15, 1958
Added: May 28 2019
Broadcast: 9th October 1956
Added: Oct 08 2010
Broadcast: 29th September 1957
Added: Oct 04 2010
Broadcast: 5th November 1952
Added: Mar 14 2013
Broadcast: 23rd September 1953
Added: Mar 21 2009
Broadcast: 7th October 1956
Added: Oct 27 2009
Broadcast: 19th August 1956
Added: Aug 19 2008
Broadcast: 9th January 1949
Added: Jan 09 2007
Broadcast: 24th March 1952
Added: Mar 23 2010
Broadcast: Not Broadcast
Added: May 08 2007
Broadcast: 9th October 1949
Added: Oct 08 2007
Broadcast: 15th January 1950
Added: Jan 15 2006
Broadcast: January 30, 1953
Added: Oct 01 2019
Broadcast: 4th November 1954
Added: Dec 04 2009
Broadcast: 15th August 1946
Added: Sep 06 2008
Broadcast: 14th September 1949
Added: Sep 14 2008
Broadcast: May 10, 1951
Added: May 08 2011
Broadcast: 23rd January 1953
Added: Jan 12 2010
Broadcast: 19th February 1953
Added: Jan 17 2014
Broadcast: 13th July 1958
Added: Aug 20 2011
Broadcast: 20th July 1958
Added: Aug 20 2011
Broadcast: 1st November 1955
Starring: Ben Wright, Parley Baer
Added: Jun 25 2010
Broadcast: 2nd November 1958
Added: Aug 01 2011
Broadcast: 29th July 1956
Added: Jul 29 2005
Broadcast: 4th January 1950
Added: Jan 04 2009
Broadcast: November 8, 1948
Starring: Parley Baer
Added: Jul 30 2023
Broadcast: 22nd June 1949
Added: May 11 2009
Broadcast: 15th February 1950
Added: Feb 15 2009
Broadcast: 5th September 1956
Added: May 29 2010
Broadcast: 13th April 1952
Added: Jul 09 2011
Broadcast: February 10, 1949
Added: Feb 11 2017
Broadcast: 26th January 1953
Added: Aug 01 2009
Broadcast: 17th December 1951
Added: Dec 28 2009
Broadcast: 20th September 1955
Added: Jun 10 2010
Broadcast: 8th July 1956
Added: Jul 08 2005
Broadcast: 2nd March 1951
Added: Mar 02 2009
Broadcast: 3rd December 1953
Added: Nov 29 2013
Broadcast: 16th June 1957
Added: Sep 18 2010
Broadcast: 2nd April 1952
Added: Aug 17 2012
Broadcast: 7th February 1956
Added: Mar 29 2010
Broadcast: 8th May 1958
Added: Aug 06 2011
Broadcast: 18th December 1949
Added: Dec 18 2007
Broadcast: 5th April 1955
Added: Apr 08 2010