Character Actors: Know The Face But Not The Name

Robert Strauss
1913 -1975

Character actors have memorable faces, but not such memorable names. 

Robert Strauss is familiar to those who watch gangster movies. His face was perfect for hardened gangster roles. He is shown in an episode of My Mother the Car, perhaps the worst show in television history, but Strauss saves the show as a criminal that holds a family hostage. It is mindless fare for the most part, but the acting of Strauss makes this show special.

The girl accomplice of Strauss is actress Barbara Bain, who is best known for her role in Mission Impossible. Dave Willock who was the storekeeper on The Waltons is the neighbor that is thrust into the middle of the kidnapping. 

Before the show starts, viewers are told there will be limited commercial interruptions, but it turns out to be false advertising.

Kathleen Freeman

Kathleen Freeman is best known for playing the role of Sister Mary Stigmata in The Blues Brothers in 1980 and in Blues Brothers 2000 in 1998. 

She played five different characters on Wagon Train, including Clara Pumfret, Dolly, Mrs. Benson, Lolly and Sairy Hogg.

Most of her roles were comedic, but she had the ability to turn any role into a comedic role. She was seen in eleven Jerry Lewis movies during her career. Freeman appeared in one episode of Gomer Pyle as the mother of Sgt. Carter.

The following page says that Freeman was born in 1923, while Wikipedia and say she was born in 1919. It still is a loving tribute to Kathleen Freeman, who knew how to light up a stage and knew how to make people laugh.


Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

2 thoughts on “Character Actors: Know The Face But Not The Name”

  1. Kathleen Freeman appeared in at least one more episode of Gomer Pyle, in which she played wife of Al Lewis (Grandpa Munster). In this episode, Sgt Carter accidentally puts a slight scratch on the bumper of Freeman’s car while leaving a parking space after a night on the town with Gomer. At Gomer’s insistence, he leaves a note on Freeman’s windshield before driving away. Next thing you know, Carter finds himself a defendant in a lawsuit for major damage to the car’s front end. Turns out Freeman has a second accident on her way home shortly afterward, and is afraid to tell her husband the truth because he had threatened to suspend her driving privileges if she has one more car wreck. So guess who gets the blame…and she has his note to back her up.

    1. That had to be a hilarious show. Sgt. Carter must have come unglued when he was charged for both accidents. Gomer Pyle is one of the hardest shows to find these days. I remember it was coming on one network about 4:30 AM at one time.

      Thanks for the comment.

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