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Allan Melvin

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Allan Melvin
Allan Melvin
Veteran character actor Allan Melvin appears as Sam Franklin, Alice's boyfriend and local butcher shop owner on The Brady Bunch.

Birthname

Allan John Melvin

Born

(1923-02-18)February 18, 1923

Birthplace

Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.

Died

January 17, 2008(2008-01-17) (aged 84)

Deathplace

Los Angeles, California, U.S.

Occupation

Actor, Voice actor, Impressionist

Years active

1955–1994

Spouse

Amalia Faustina Sestero
(1944–2008, his death)

Character played on The Brady Bunch

Sam Franklin in 8 episodes )

Allan John Melvin (February 18, 1923 – January 17, 2008[1]) appeared Alice's boyfriend Sam Franklin, the neighborhood butchery shop owner, on The Brady Bunch. Allan, a gifted character actor throughout his five decade acting career, appeared in several television shows, including the roles of Corporal Henshaw on The Phil Silvers Show;; and Archie Bunker's friend Barney Hefner on All in the Family and Archie Bunker's Place.

Life and career

Born in Kansas City, Missouri to Richard and Marie Melvin and raised in New York City by his paternal grandparents Frank and Helen (née Campbell) Melvin, he attended Columbia University.[2] After graduation he served in the United States Navy and married his wife, Amalia Faustina Sestero, in March 1944 in New York City.

While working at a job in the sound effects department of NBC Radio, he did a nightclub act and appeared and won on the Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts radio show. While appearing on Broadway in Stalag 17, he got his break into television by getting the role of Corporal Steve Henshaw[3] on the popular The Phil Silvers Show program.[2] TV fans of this era usually best remember his role as Henshaw, Sergeant Bilko's right hand man on that show. "He was proudest of that show," Amalia Melvin said. "I think the camaraderie of all those guys made it such a pleasant way to work. They were so relaxed."

During this period, in addition to his role on The Phil Silvers Show, Melvin was often cast in slightly loud, occasionally abrasive, but generally friendly second banana roles. Melvin was also adept at "tough guy" roles; in an example of his range as an actor, one episode of Sergeant Bilko featured Melvin doing a recognizable impersonation of Humphrey Bogart.

In the 1960s, Melvin worked extensively at CBS for Sheldon Leonard and Aaron Ruben. He played Staff Sergeant Charlie Hacker who was Sergeant Vince Carter's rival for four seasons on Gomer Pyle, USMC. He also made eight appearances[4] on the Dick Van Dyke Show. He also provided the voices of cartoon character Magilla Gorilla, the lion Drooper on The Banana Splits Adventure Hour, arch villain Tyrone in The Secret Lives of Waldo Kitty and Bluto on The All-New Popeye Hour. Melvin also made eight guest appearances on The Andy Griffith Show in eight different roles, usually as heavies. He also made three guest appearances on Perry Mason in various roles.

Melvin is remembered for supporting roles on two popular 1970s sitcoms. He played Sam Franklin, the owner of a local butcher shop and boyfriend of Alice Nelson (the Bradys' housekeeper) on The Brady Bunch, and Barney Hefner, Archie Bunker's neighbor and friend on [in the Family]. In other contributions to 1970s pop culture, he appeared as a Mel's Diner patron on Alice and worked as a voice artist (under the name "Al Melvin"). He provided several characters' voices for the TV show H.R. Pufnstuf and the voice of Vultan, King of the Hawk Men on The New Adventures of Flash Gordon.

Some of his most prolific work has been in television commercials, for products as diverse as Kellogg's Sugar Frosted Flakes and Remington electric razors. In the latter commercial, he sang a few bars of Frank Loesser's song "I Believe in You" with a modified lyric. He was also featured as Al the Plumber on Liquid-Plumr drain opener commercials for fifteen years.[5]

In the early 1980s, Melvin appeared as a regular in Archie Bunker's Place, a successor to All in the Family, in which he played the now more important role of Barney Hefner. When this series ended in 1983, Melvin's work was exclusively devoted to cartoon voice-overs.

Allan Melvin died of cancer on January 17, 2008, aged 84.[6]

References

  1. Brady Bunch actor Allan Melvin dies in Los Angeles at 84, an Associated Press article via the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)
  2. 2.0 2.1 'Brady Bunch' actor dies at 84, an Associated Press article via CNN
  3. Corporal Steve Henshaw profile.
  4. In many roles: Harrison B. Harding, Sam and/or Sol Pomeroy and/or Pomerantz and Guard Jenkins As per IMDB on 2008-10-15
  5. McLellan, Dennis. "Allan Melvin 1923–2008: Character actor on All in the Family,' 'Phil Silvers Show,'" Los Angeles Times, Saturday, January 19, 2008.
  6. Allan J. Melvin at Find a Grave

External links

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