Thursday, March 5, 2015

My Gay Relatives: Jon Lormer

Jon (John) Austin Lormer, 1906-1986.
I never met my distant cousin Jon Lormer, now deceased. The funny thing is, I’d seen him and heard him in action several times. So I had at least some awareness of his existence. But until about a year ago, I had no idea we were related.

John Austin Lormer was born in Canton, Stark County, Ohio, on May 7, 1906. His father was Robert Austin “Bud” Lormer (1880-1958), the son and grandson of English immigrants to the USA. Bud was born in Massillon, Stark County, Ohio. After a stint in the Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the Spanish-American War, Bud worked at Dueber Hampden Watch Works in Canton where he met Bird Smith, a jewel setter. They married in 1905.

John’s mother, Lydia Birdella “Bird” Smith Lormer (1878-1966), was also born in Massillon, Stark County, Ohio, the daughter of John E. Smith (1851-1929) and Elemina “Ellen” Shanower Smith (1849-1938). [UPDATE: In another post on this blog I discuss a photo I believe pictures Jon Lormer's maternal grandparents, John and Ellen Smith—click here.] Ellen’s parents were John Abraham Shanower (1814-1859) and Mary “Polly” Roush Shanower (1820-1896), my great-great-great-grandparents. So John Lormer and I are second cousins twice removed.

In 1924 John Lormer graduated from McKinley High School in Canton. A school yearbook from the period when his younger brother Donald attended McKinley High School suggests that John was involved in school plays, a hint of things to come.

By 1925 John was living in Cleveland, Ohio, and working as first teller in the Lakewood branch of the Cleveland Trust Bank. At the same time he studied stagecraft at the Bradley School of Dramatic Art in Cleveland. Evidently he had a back-up plan in mind in case acting didn’t work out, because he also attended the Case School of Applied Science, now the Case School of Engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

His apprenticeship on stage began at the Cleveland Play House. Though the Cleveland Play House was just over a decade old at the time, today it's the longest-running professional regional theater in the USA and it celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.

Jon Lormer, about 1930.
One of John Lormer’s first parts was the lead in Elmer Gantry at the Little Theater in Cleveland. He later managed that theater and worked at the Ohio Theatre with Bob McLaughlin’s stock company, as well as at the Colonial, Hanna, Metropolitan, and Alhambra stock companies in Cleveland.

He changed the spelling of his first name from John to Jon for professional reasons. I don’t know the details of what prompted the change. Perhaps there was another actor with a similar name. Perhaps he thought the spelling of Jon was more distinctive.

During the late 1920s he traveled east to New York City where he directed and assisted with stage productions there. Plays he appeared in include Gods of the Lightning by Maxwell Anderson and Harold Hickerson, based on the Sacco-Vanzetti case, and Wild Birds by Dan Totheroh. He appeared with such well-known actors of the day as Jacob Ben-Ami, Fritzi Leiber, Georgette Cohan, Charles Gilpin, and Patricia Collinge. He’s reported to have been in the 1929 motion picture Glorifying the American Girl, an early sound and Technicolor movie produced by Florenz Ziegfeld to show off his Ziegfeld Follies performers.

By 1929 Jon had moved to Bayonne, New Jersey, where he was leading man with the Bayonne Art Players, Inc. He starred in the plays Two Girls Wanted by Gladys B. Unger, Abie’s Irish Rose by Anne Nichols, and Crime. In February 1929 he sang to the music of Vincent Youmans in Hit the Deck.

I don’t know how Jon Lormer formed a partnership with the young dancer Waldo de Castro. They most likely met in New York City where Waldo had appeared in recitals at the Forrest and Hampden Theaters. Waldo’s earlier career included performing at the Folies Bergere in Paris, France, and the Teatro Reale in Madrid, Spain, where he was a principal dancer. In New York he appeared in the 1924 Sigmund Romberg musical Artists and Models on Broadway and in musical revues such as Broadway’s 1927 A Night in Spain in which he played the female dancer.

Waldo de Castro, about 1930.
By 1930 Jon Lormer and Waldo de Castro were touring together in a joint recital. Jon presented half of the recital, performing a series of character sketches in the form of monologues he’d written himself. In the recital’s other half Waldo de Castro performed dances from his native Spain and other European countries, while clad in colorful costumes appropriate to each dance. This might seem like an unlikely pairing of performance types to an audience of today, but back in 1930 when vaudeville was not yet dead, such a presentation would probably not have seemed quite so unusual.

Jon and Waldo presented their recital in Jon’s hometown of Canton, Ohio, on May 5, 1930. Waldo’s performance included typical Spanish numbers and humorous imitations of well-known dances, including the Garrotin Flamenco from Seville, a dance from Manuel de Falla’s ballet El Amor Brujo, the “Alegrias Toreadas” by Spanish composer Joaquín Valverde Durán, “Jarabe Tapatio (Mexican Hat Dance)” by F. A. Partichela, and the “Dance of Fate” from Carmen by Georges Bizet. The next day in its review of the recital, the Canton Repository singled out as “most unusual” Waldo’s performance of “Cadiz” by Isaac Albeniz, in which he portrayed La Argentina (Antonia Mercé y Luque), a world-renowned Spanish dancer known for her rendition of “Cadiz.”

Jon’s second act consisted of character sketches. He used no make-up, costumes, or props in his monologues, only his voice and gestures to communicate his characters to the audience. His performance included his original pieces “Old Man’s Folly,” “One That Was Hanged,” “The Rehearsal,” “A Chip,” “Trapped,” and a sketch suggested by de Maupassant’s short story “The Necklace” titled “Reward.” He also performed a characterization of the female character “Tosca,” which the newspaper review called “extremely well done.”

By the time I learned about Jon and Waldo appearing on stage in performances that included female roles, my gaydar was going off bigtime. Were Jon Lormer and Waldo de Castro simply just stage partners, touring the USA with their two-part recital? Or could they have been lovers? I don’t have an answer about their relationship behind the scenes. But I do have more evidence that suggests they were both gay.

May 4, 1930, Canton Daily News ad for the recital with Lormer and de Castro.
In August 1930 Jon and Waldo announced that they were accepting registrations from both adults and children for the fall term of the school of dance and drama that they were opening in Canton, Ohio. There Jon taught classes in elocution and the dramatic arts. Waldo taught classical ballet, ballroom dancing, Spanish dancing, and dances of other nations.

That fall of 1930 was busy for Jon Lormer. In September he accepted directorship of the Rainbow Players Club, a Canton organization that performed plays, often in conjunction with Parent-Teachers associations and Boy Scout troops. Then a recital by the dance and drama students of Jon and Waldo’s school took place October 13, 1930, at Lehman High School auditorium. All the costumes used in the recital were made under Jon’s direction at the school. And on November 8, Jon performed two of his monologues, “Reward” and “Ticklish,” at a morning musicale of the Canton Women’s Club.

Then came the weekend of November 15-16. Jon and Waldo, both 23 years old, were arrested in Canton by probation officer Frank Schumacher, along with Earl Leon Crubaugh, a 39-year-old music teacher. The three were charged with “contributing to the delinquency of boys of juvenile age.” By Monday, November 17, both Jon Lormer and Earl Crubaugh were out of jail on bond.

Jon’s uncle, Ira Manderbaugh—husband of Lillian Smith Manderbaugh, the sister of Jon Lormer’s mother—was a captain of police in Canton at this time. From 1928 through 1932 Ira Manderbaugh battled with Canton Chief of Police Earl W. Hexamer in a departmental feud that sometimes made newspaper headlines. Chief Hexamer believed Manderbaugh routinely neglected his duty and specifically charged that Manderbaugh failed to properly handle vice conditions in giving orders to vice squads. I don’t know whether Captain Manderbaugh played any part during his nephew’s arrest or influenced his release, but Manderbaugh was in a position where he might have.

I also don’t know what specific actions led to Jon and Waldo’s arrests. I don’t know the ages of the “boys of juvenile age” whose delinquency they contributed to—I prefer to think they were about 17 years old rather than, say, 13. I don’t know if anything sexual occurred among the adults and the “boys of juvenile age.” I don’t know how active Jon and Waldo were in getting themselves into this situation. I prefer to think that the much older Earl Crubaugh was the leader. Earl never married. He seems to have lived with his mother in Alliance, Stark County, Ohio, for the rest of her life and then remained alone until his death on December 3, 1963.

Or were Jon and Waldo set up? Were they accustomed to a more relaxed atmosphere in the New York theater world and not discreet enough for the gatekeepers of Canton, Ohio?

After the arrest why wasn’t Waldo released on bond with the other two? Was Waldo considered a flight risk and denied bond because he was a foreign national? Did Jon’s parents or other relations pay Jon’s bond and refuse to pay Waldo’s? Was this incident the end of Jon and Waldo’s relationship, whatever that relationship was?

It seems to have ended their dance and drama studio. I find no more reference to the studio, and I don’t suppose any parent in Canton, Ohio, was willing to enroll a son or daughter in a school run by anyone publicly exposed for such a crime.

Waldo continued to perform Spanish and other European and character dances around North America at least through 1939. I don’t know what happened to him after that.

After I learned of the arrest of Jon Lormer and Waldo de Castro, I wondered whether Jon’s acting career had completely collapsed and he had faded into obscurity. The only later information I had about Jon said that he was living in California in the 1970s. I didn’t see anything special about this, since I knew his birth family had moved in the late 1940s to the San Francisco area, where his parents, Bud and Bird Lormer, are buried in Golden Gate National Cemetery.

But I began to find references to a Jon Lormer—sometimes spelled Lorimer, other times spelled Lormier—who had been a television actor throughout the 1960s and ’70s. A check of this Jon Lormer’s Wikipedia entry showed a birthdate that matched the birthdate of my cousin Jon. The television actor Jon Lormer’s Internet Movie Database entry revealed his birthplace as Canton, Ohio. After that I easily found an obituary that clearly established that this Jon Lormer and my cousin were one and the same.

No online source gives a thorough picture of Jon Lormer’s career. IMDB lists many of his credits, but the list is incomplete. Fortunately I’ve found other sources that together give a fuller picture of his career after he left Canton.

Jon seems to have remained in Canton through at least 1932. By 1935, he was back in New York with his acting career in full swing. In the first half of 1936 he had parts in three Broadway shows: he played Joe Lash in American Holiday by Edwin L. Barker and Albert Wineman Barker, he played the Third Knight in T. S. Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral, and he played the Policeman in Class of ’29 by Orrie Lashin and Milo Hastings, all produced by the Popular Price Theatre of The Federal Theatre Project of the WPA.

After the USA entered World War II, Jon Lormer was shipped off to Europe on June 15, 1942. He spent the war in the Army Signal Corps, stationed in England and France. On June 3, 1946, following the war’s end, he departed Le Havre, France, on the ship Tufts Victory, and returned to New York City.

There he joined the American Theatre Wing Professional Training Program. He served as the head of the Theatre Training Division until 1956. Meanwhile, his stage career continued. He branched out into television beginning in 1948 and appeared on many early live television shows, including Studio One, Ford Theatre, and Playhouse 90.

The early 1950s found him in Hollywood. From then until his death in 1986 he appeared in television shows and feature films, only occasionally returning to the legitimate stage.

Jon Lormer as the Scientist in "The Legacy" episode of the live television series Planet of the Apes, 1974.
It was Jon Lormer’s television appearances that really struck me. I’d seen shows he’d been in. If you watched television during the 1960s and 1970s, you very likely saw him on one show or another. I’d seen him in an episode of tv’s Planet of the Apes, I’d seen him in Star Trek, I’d seen him in the tv movie The Legend of Lizzie Borden starring Elizabeth Montgomery. I’d even seen him in the 1982 motion picture Creepshow where he played Nathan Grantham in the “Father’s Day” segment. I went to that movie with my cousin Carol Shanower-Strazinsky when it was released. Neither of us knew that we were watching our second cousin twice removed.

Although I’d seen Jon Lormer perform many times, I’d never remembered him in particular. He was what I’d guess they call a character actor. He had speaking parts in nearly all of his projects, but he was never a lead on television. His looks seem to have made him fit to play judges, doctors, and preachers, roles he was cast in again and again. In a number of shows he had recurring roles, most notably on Peyton Place where he played Judge Irwin A. Chester in eighteen episodes. But he was usually cast in small parts, there for just one or two scenes.

Jon Lormer on the set of the television series Peyton Place, 1966.
Nevertheless, his resume remains impressive in both length and breadth. He played all sorts of parts throughout his career, usually sporting his white comb-over. He was in movies that are still worth watching, such as Pollyanna (1960) with Hayley Mills and I Want to Live! (1958) with Susan Hayward. He was also in clunkers, such as A Fine Madness (1966) with Sean Connery and Doctors’ Wives (1971) with Dyan Cannon. When he was sixty-nine years old he played the father to sixty-eight-year-old Katharine Hepburn in Rooster Cogburn (1975). Name a television Western either well-known or obscure—Jon Lormer was probably cast in it—and likely more than once. He’s unique in having been on an episode of The Twilight Zone as a different character in each of its four seasons on television.

While Jon Lormer’s professional career from the late 1950s onward is pretty well documented, his private life in those decades is virtually unknown, at least to me. He didn’t marry. I wonder what sort of relationships he had and whether he found a partner to share his life.

Jon had two younger brothers, Donald Marshall Lormer (1908-1986) and Robert Wilmer Lormer (1916-1972). Donald had seven children, six of whom lived to adulthood. Four of those are still alive. One niece of Jon Lormer stayed in touch with her uncle while he was alive. When Jon Lormer died of cancer in Burbank, California, March 1986, that niece attended his funeral. I’d love to speak with her, my third cousin once removed, about her uncle Jon, but I haven’t been able to contact her.

In any case, I’m proud to be a cousin of Jon Lormer. I’ve assembled a list of his credits from a variety of sources. A number of the early dates I’ve had to be a bit vague on and the list of early plays is certainly not complete. But as far as I know, what follows is the most comprehensive resume of his acting career:

Gods of the Lightning (play) by Maxwell Anderson and Harold Hickerson (circa 1920s)

Elmer Gantry (play) by Patrick Kearney (circa 1920s) role: Elmer Gantry; Little Theater, Cleveland, Ohio

Wild Birds (play) by Dan Totheroh (circa 1920s)
Crime (play, circa late 1920s) Bayonne Art Players, Bayonne, New Jersey

Two Girls Wanted (play) by Gladys B. Unger (circa late 1920s) leading role; Bayonne Art Players, Bayonne, New Jersey

Hit the Deck (musical play) music by Vincent Youmans, lyrics by Clifford Grey and Leo Robin, book by Herbert Fields (circa late 1920s) leading role; Bayonne Art Players, Bayonne, New Jersey

Abie’s Irish Rose (play) by Anne Nichols (circa late 1920s) leading role; Bayonne Art Players, Bayonne, New Jersey

Stepping Heels (movie, circa late 1920s)

Nothing but the Truth (play) by James Montgomery (April 20, 1928) leading role; benefit performance for the Firestone Park Presbyterian Church, Akron, Ohio

Glorifying the American Girl (movie) produced by Florenz Ziegfeld (1929)

Cradle Snatchers (play) by Russell Medcraft and Norma Mitchell (circa late 1920s-1930s) vaudeville Keith Circuit with Bertha Belmore

The Mother Heart (play, circa 1930s) vaudeville circuit tour with Ida Kramer

Treasure Island (play) by Jules Eckert Goodman (opened May 14, 1938) role: Long John Silver; Hippodrome, New York City

American Holiday (play) Edwin L. Barker and Albert Wineman Barker (Feb 21, 1936 - Mar 1936) role: Joe Lash; Manhattan Theatre, Broadway, New York City

Murder in the Cathedral (play) by T. S. Eliot (Mar 20, 1936 - Apr 1936) role: Third Knight; Manhattan Theatre, Broadway, New York City

Class of ’29 (play) by Orrie Lashin and Milo Hastings (May 15, 1936 - Jun 1936) role: Policeman; Manhattan Theatre, Broadway, New York City

Young Loves (play, circa 1930s-1940s) New York City

The Sun and I (play) by Barrie and Leona Stavis (February 26, 1937 – May 22, 1937) roles: Ishmaelite Slave Merchant & Shilah; Adelphi Theatre, Broadway, New York City

Hippolytos (play, circa 1930s-1940s) New York City

The First Year (play, circa 1930s-1940s) on tour

The Thirteenth Chair (play) by Bayard Veiller (circa 1930s-1940s) on tour

Stage recitals of monologues, including “Ticklish,” “Tosca,” “One Man’s Folly,” “One That Was Hanged,” “The Rehearsal,” “A Chip,” “Trapped,” and “Reward,” written by Jon Lormer (1930s-1940s) New York City and on tour, including at the Hotel Northern in Canton, Ohio, on May 5, 1930, and at the Canton [Ohio] Women’s Club on November 8, 1930

Fireworks on the James (play) by John Cournos and Elizabeth McCormick, based on Chekhov’s Platonov (May 14, 1940) Provincetown Playhouse, Provincetown, Massachusetts; planned two-week run cut short after one week

The Classic Comics (play) “A Midsummer’s Night Dream” segment (March 3, 1948) role: Starveling, Equity Library Theater, New York City
(click review at right to see larger)

The Classic Comics review, Billboard, March 20. 1948.

Big Knife (play) by Clifford Odets (after 1949) New York City

The Ford Theatre Hour (TV series)
Subway Express” (1950)

Nash Airflyte Theatre (TV series)
The Boor” (1950)

The Philco Television Playhouse (TV series) 
(circa early 1950s)

The Big Story (TV series) 
(circa 1950s)

Sure As Fate (TV series)
Macbeth” (1951) role: King Duncan

Martinsville, U.S.A. (TV series)
Unknown (1951)

Studio One in Hollywood (TV series)
A Bolt of Lightning” (1951) role: Mr. Huntington

Miss Susan (TV series)

The Goldbergs (TV series)
Dreams” (1955) role: Henry Carey
The Jury” (1955) role: Juror (uncredited)

Crime Syndicate (TV series)
(circa 1950s)

Lamp Unto My Feet (TV series)
(circa 1950s)

The Goldbergs (TV series)
unknown episode” (circa 1955) role: unnamed juror
unknown episode” (circa 1955) role: Mr. Carey
unknown episode” (circa 1955) role: Mr. Carey

Finian's Rainbow (muscal play) by E. Y. Harburg and Fred Saidy (July 9, 1956, through rest of week) Brandywine Music Box, Wilmington, Delaware; role: Mr. Shears

Playhouse 90 (TV series)
(circa 1956-60)

Search for Tomorrow (TV series)
(circa 1950s)

Cheyenne (TV series)
Town of Fear” (1957) role: Dan Slater

Girls on the Loose (movie, 1958) role: Doctor

The Millionaire (TV series)
The Tony Drummond Story” (April 9, 1958) role: Job Foreman

Zane Grey Theater (TV series)
A Handful of Ashes” (May 2, 1958) role: Doc

Have Gun - Will Travel (TV series)
Three Sons” (May 10, 1958) role: Judge Cates

From Hell to Texas aka Hell Bent Kid (movie, 1958) role: Grizzled Man (uncredited)

The Matchmaker (movie, 1958) role: Mr. Duckworth, Jeweler (uncredited)

The Californians (TV series) 

Overland Mail” (1958)

Lawman (TV series)
The Prisoner” (October 12, 1958) role: Harry Tate
The Joker” (October 19, 1958) role: Harry Tate

The Jury” (November 9, 1958) role: Harry Tate
Bloodline” (November 30, 1958) role: Harry Tate
The Outsider” (January 4, 1959) role: Harry Tate
The Big Hat” (February 22, 1959) role: Harry Tate

Matinee Theatre (TV series)
(circa 1955-58)

Wanted: Dead or Alive (TV series)
The Giveaway Gun” (October 11, 1958) role: Jack the Stableman (uncredited)
Railroaded” (March 14, 1959) role: Mark Crow (uncredited)

The Walter Winchell File (TV series)
Hot Night in Manhattan” (1958) role: Store Owner
Death Comes in a Small Package: File #37” (1959) role: Watchman

I Want to Live! (movie, 1958) role: San Quentin Doctor (uncredited)

Rescue 8 (TV series)
Find That Bomb!” (1958) role: Motel Manager

Sugarfoot (TV series)
Deadlock” (February 4, 1958) role: Mike Feeny
The Wizard” (October 14, 1958) role: Sam McClain
Outlaw Island” (November 24, 1959) role: Doc Basher
“The Shadow Catcher” (September 26, 1960) role: Paul Loring

Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys! (movie, 1958) role: George Melvin (uncredited)

Maverick (TV series)
Day of Reckoning” (February 2, 1958) role: Somers
The Lonesome Reunion” (September 28, 1958) role: Newspaperman
Brasada Spur” (February 22, 1959) role: Belle Morgan's Personal Waiter (uncredited)
The Town That Wasn't There” (October 2, 1960) role: Sam Bradford

The Loretta Young Show (TV series)
The Woman Between” (November 23, 1958) role: Dr. Gibbs
The Best Season” (April 17, 1960) role: Doctor (credited as John Lormer)
Switchblade” (1960) role: Corey Bellman Sr.

Lassie (TV series)
The Teacher” (September 21, 1958) role: School Board Member (uncredited)
The Contest” (September 20, 1959) role: Silas Huff
The Grasshopper and the Ant” (January 24, 1960) role: Silas Huff
The Odyssey: Part 1” (February 18, 1962) role: Henry DeShaw
Guide Dog” (April 5, 1964) role: Jim Stanton 
The Eighth Life of Henry IV” (1967) role: George Ramsey

Lassie: Joyous Sound (TV movie, 1973) role: Man With Yorkshire Terrier (uncredited)
A Joyous Sound: Part 2” (1973) role: Man in the Park

Gunsmoke (TV series)
Young Love” (January 3, 1959) role: Jesse Wheat
Jailbait Janet” (February 27, 1960) role: Clerk

He Who Steals” (1965) role: Mr. Hoyt (uncredited)
McCabe” (November 30, 1970) role: Judge Clairborne

New Doctor in Town” (October 11, 1971) role: Cody Sims
Trafton” (October 25, 1971) role: Storekeeper (uncredited)

Alias Festus Haggin” (March 6, 1972) role: Judge Clayborne

77 Sunset Strip (TV series)
The Secret of Adam Cain” (January 16, 1959) role: Hotel Clerk #1 (uncredited)

The Real McCoys (TV series)
Son of the Mystic Nile” (January 25, 1959) role: Sam Watkins
The Big Skeet Shoot” (June 4, 1959) role: Announcer
The Politician” (1959) role: Sam Watkins
The Perfume Salesman” (1959) role: Sam Watkins
The Television Set” (1959) role: Sam Watkins
Weekend in Los Angeles” (1960) role: Sam
The Delegates” (1960) role: Sam Watkins
The Berry Crisis” (1961) role: Farmer

Peter Gunn (TV series)
Pecos Pete” (February 9, 1959) role: Coroner 

See No Evil” (February 1, 1960) role: Judge (credited as John Lormer)  

Jon Lormer on the Perry Mason episode "The Case of the Glamorous Ghost," 1962.

Perry Mason (TV series)
The Case of the Jaded Joker” (February 21, 1959) role: Coroner
The Case of the Stuttering Bishop” (March 14, 1959) role: Doctor
The Case of the Calendar Girl” (April 18, 1959) role: Autopsy Surgeon (scenes deleted)
The Case of the Frantic Flyer” (January 9, 1960) role: Autopsy Surgeon
The Case of the Clumsy Clown” (November 5, 1960) role: Autopsy Surgeon
The Case of the Provocative Protege” (November 12, 1960) role: Autopsy Surgeon
The Case of the Renegade Refugee” (December 9, 1961) role: Autopsy Surgeon
The Case of the Glamorous Ghost” (February 3, 1962) role: Dr. Oberon
The Case of the Melancholy Marksman” (March 24, 1962) role: Medical Examiner
The Case of the Hateful Hero” (October 25, 1962) role: Autopsy Surgeon
The Case of the Elusive Element” (April 11, 1963) role: Autopsy Surgeon
The Case of the Devious Delinquent” (December 5, 1963) role: Medical Examiner

Northwest Passage (TV series)
“The Counterfeiters” (1959) role: Jonathan Henderson (uncredited)

(click link to watch)

Richard Diamond, Private Detective (TV series)
Pack Rat” (February 22, 1959) role: Gerald Wilkerson 

Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond (TV series)
The Captain's Guests” (May 26, 1959) role: Realtor Caleb Leach

"Who Are You?” (1960) role: Joe Fisher
“Legacy of Love” (December 20, 1960) role: Resident

The David Niven Show (TV series)
"The Vengeance” (June 30, 1959) role: Jake

Riverboat (TV series)
About Roger Mowbray” (September 27, 1959) role: Dr. Landers

Career (movie, 1959) role: Process Server (uncredited)

The Gazebo (movie, 1959) role: Dr. Weiner, Police Surgeon (uncredited)

Shotgun Slade (TV series)
Mesa of Missing Men” (1959) role: Bascomb
Misplaced Genius” (1961)

Destination Space (TV movie, 1959) role: Professor Logan

(click link to watch) 

Trackdown (TV series)
The Trick” (1959) role: Will - The Blacksmith (uncredited)

Jon Lormer in "The Scapegoat" episode of Bonanza, 1964.

Bonanza (TV series)
“The Newcomers” (September 26, 1959) role: Doc Riley (credited as John Lormer)
The Scapegoat” (October 25, 1964) role: Collings
The Thirteenth Man” (January 21, 1968) role: Lamar Forbes (credited as John Lormer)
The Bottle Fighter” (May 12, 1968) role: Winter
The Real People of Muddy Creek” (October 6, 1968) role: Jody
Is There Any Man Here?” (February 8, 1970) role: Preacher

Laramie (TV series)
Duel at Alta Mesa” (1960) role: Wally

Pollyanna (movie, 1960) role: Mr. Geary (uncredited)

Bourbon Street Beat (TV series)
Interrupted Wedding” (June 20, 1960) role: Organist

Tate (TV series)
The Return of Jessica Jackson” (September 14, 1960) role: Indian Chief

Thriller (TV series)
The Mark of the Hand” (October 4, 1960) role: Dr. Emil Berland (replaced by Marc Lawrence) (scenes deleted)

The Jim Backus Show (TV series)
Mike O'Toole, Angler” (1960) role: Goodman

Dan Raven (TV series)
The Night Is Numbered” (1960) role: Kallen

Rawhide (TV series)
Incident of the Last Chance” (June 10, 1960) role: Harry Gillespie
The Lost Herd” (1964) role: Clayton (uncredited)

The Rebel (TV series)
Night on a Rainbow” (May 29, 1960) role: Doctor
The Legacy” (November 13, 1960) role: Judge Adam Ricker (credited as John Lormer)

Where the Boys Are (movie, 1960) role: Motel Manager (uncredited)

Death Valley Days (TV series)
Extra Guns” (November 24, 1960)

Route 66 (TV series)
A Fury Slinging Flame” (December 30, 1960) role:  Mr. White
In the Closing of a Trunk” (March 8, 1963) role: Man #2

Twilight Zone (TV series)
Execution” (April 1, 1960) role: Minister
Dust” (January 6, 1961) role: First Townsman (credited as John Lormer) 

“The Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank” (February 23, 1962) role: Mr. Strauss
Jess-Belle” (February14, 1963) role: Minister  

Outlaws (TV series)
Beat the Drum Slowly” (1960) role: Pop Morton
The Sisters” (1962) role: Judge

Two Faces West (TV series)
The Accused” (1961)

Naked City (TV series) 

New York to L.A.” (April 19, 1961) role: Minister

Stagecoach West (TV series)
The Dead Don't Cry” (1961) role: Liveryman

Ada (movie, 1961) role: James Ordman - Committee Man (uncredited)


Jon Lormer as the man on the riverboat in the movie The Comancheros, 1961.

The Comancheros (movie, 1961) role: White-Haired Man on Riverboat (uncredited)

Tales of Wells Fargo (TV series)
The Dodger” (October 7, 1961) role: the Clerk
End of a Minor God” (April 7, 1962) role: Bert Hensley

The Untouchables (TV series)
Death for Sale” (April 27, 1961) role: Clary
Fall Guy” (January 11, 1962) role: Finley Connors
Pressure” (June 14, 1962) role: Lawton Hollis, School Superintendent

Dennis the Menace (TV series)
Dennis and the Good Example” (March 26, 1961) role: Mr. Bergstrom
Wilson's Little White Lie” (1963) role: Mr. Nelson (uncredited)

Bronco (TV series)
Destinies West” (February 26, 1962) role: Doc Emory 

The Tall Man (TV series) 
Phoebe” (May 26, 1962) role: Medford (credited as John Lormer)
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (movie, 1962) role: The Doctor (uncredited)

The Andy Griffith Show (TV series)
Bailey's Bad Boy” (January 15, 1962) role: Fletch Dilbeck
The Cow Thief” (October 29, 1962) role: Tate Fletcher  
Opie's Fortune” (November 16, 1964) role: Parnell Rigsby

Saints and Sinners (TV series)
Slug It, Miss Joyous” (1963) role: Templar

General Electric True (TV series)
“The Black-Robed Ghost” (March 10, 1963)

Empire (TV series)
Nobody Dies on Saturday” (April 16, 1963) role: Sam Richmond

The Third Man (TV series)
Meeting of the Board” (1963)

Temple Houston (TV series)
Billy Hart” (November 28, 1963) role: Matt Turner

Ben Casey (TV series)
Hang No Hats on Dreams” (May 13, 1963) role: Sam Carstairs
Journeys End in Lovers Meeting” (April 19, 1965) role: Dr. Martinson

The Virginian (TV series)
Vengeance Is the Spur” (February 27, 1963) role: Tom the Blacksmith
Series retitled The Men from Shiloh for final 1971 season
Nan Allen” (February 6, 1971) role: Dr. Walker     
The Angus Killer” (1971) role: Doctor

Arrest and Trial (TV series)
Somewhat Lower Than the Angels” (1964) role: Vicar

Dead Ringer (movie, 1964) role: Alonzo (uncredited)

One Man's Way (movie, 1964) role: John Hellman

A Tiger Walks (movie, 1964) role: Mr. Wilson, Butcher (uncredited)

Dr. Kildare (TV series)
A Day to Remember” (April 2, 1964) role: Mr. Teale

Kisses for My President (movie, 1964) role: Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (uncredited)

Youngblood Hawke (movie, 1964) role: Dr. Eversill (uncredited)

The Fugitive (TV series)
Tug of War” (October 27, 1964) role: Pastor
End of the Line” (December 21, 1965) role: Conductor

The Young Marrieds (TV series)
(circa 1964-66)

General Hospital (TV series)
(circa 1960s?)

Two on a Guillotine (movie, 1965) role: Minister at Funeral (uncredited)

Wendy and Me (TV series)
Jeff Takes a Turn for the Nurse” (February 22, 1965) role: Doctor

Zebra in the Kitchen (movie, 1965) role: Judge

Branded (TV series) 

The Mission: Part 1” (March 14, 1965) role: Col. Harry S. Snow
The Mission: Part 2” (March 21, 1965) role: Col. Harry S. Snow
“The Mission: Part 3” (March 28, 1965) role: Col. Harry S. Snow
Now Join the Human Race” (September 19, 1965) role: Judge Markham

Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color (TV series)
The Further Adventures of Gallegher: A Case of Murder” (1965) role: Pete
The Further Adventures of Gallegher: The Big Swindle” (1965) role: Pete
The Further Adventures of Gallegher: The Daily Press vs. City Hall” (1965) role: Pete

Hank (TV series)
Candidate” (October 15, 1965) role: Professor Grimley

Jon Lormer as Dr. Theodore Haskins in the Star Trek pilot episode "The Cage," 1964.
Star Trek (TV series)
The Cage” (filmed in 1964, this pilot for the series wasn’t broadcast until 1986) role: Dr. Theodore Haskins (uncredited); filmed his scenes on Monday, December 7, 1964, and Tuesday, December 8, 1964, at Desilu Culver Stage 16
“The Menagerie, Part 1” (November 17, 1966; incorporated scenes from the pilot episode “The Cage”) role: Dr. Theodore Haskins (uncredited)
The Return of the Archons” (February 9, 1967) role: Tamar; filmed his scenes on Monday, December 12, 1966, at Desilu Stage 10
For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky” (November 8, 1968) role: Old Man

Dawn of Victory (short, 1966) role: Nicodemus

Laredo (TV series)
Meanwhile Back at the Reservation” (February 10, 1966) role: Banker

The Singing Nun (movie, 1966) role: The Bishop (uncredited)

A Fine Madness (movie, 1966) role: Dr. Huddleson

Dimension 5 (movie, 1966) role: Professor

The Sand Pebbles (movie, 1966) role: Hamilton (uncredited)

Peyton Place (TV series)
Episode #2.146” (August 22, 1966) role: Judge Chester (uncredited)
Episode #3.5” (September 26, 1966) role: Judge Irwin A. Chester (uncredited)
Episode #3.6” (September 28, 1966) role: Judge Irwin A. Chester
Episode #3.7” (October 3, 1966) role: Judge Irwin A. Chester
Episode #3.11” (October 17, 1966) role: Judge Irwin A. Chester (uncredited)
Episode #3.12” (October 19, 1966) role: Judge Irwin A. Chester (uncredited)
Episode #3.16” (November 2, 1966) role: Judge Irwin A. Chester (uncredited)
Episode #3.21” (November 21, 1966) role: Judge Irwin A. Chester
Episode #3.22” (November 23, 1966) role: Judge Irwin A. Chester
Episode #3.26” (December 7, 1966) role: Judge Irwin A. Chester
Episode #3.27” (December 12, 1966) role: Judge Irwin A. Chester
Episode #3.31” (December 26, 1966) role: Judge Irwin A. Chester
Episode #3.74” (May 30, 1967) role: Judge Chester
Episode #3.75” (June 5, 1967) role: Judge Irwin A. Chester
Episode #4.15” (October 30, 1967) role: Judge Irwin A. Chester
Episode #4.28” (December 21, 1967) role: Judge Irwin A. Chester
Episode #4.92” (September 11, 1968) role: Judge Chester
Episode #5.3” (September 23, 1968) role: Judge Chester

Daniel Boone (TV series)

When a King Is a Pawn” (1966) role: Doctor
The Renegade” (September 28, 1967) role: Eli Jimson

The Flaming Rocks” (February 1, 1968) role: Yellow Knife

The Wild Wild West (TV series)
The Night of the Infernal Machine” (December 23, 1966) role: Judge Vickerman
The Night of the Spanish Curse” (January 3, 1969) role: 2nd Elder
The Night of the Bleak Island” (March 14, 1969) role: Boatman

A Man Called Shenandoah (TV series)
“The Impostor” (April 4, 1966) role: guest star

The F.B.I. (TV series)
The Satellite” (April 2, 1967) role: Earl Page

Doctor, You've Got to Be Kidding! (movie, 1967) role: Emergency Room Doctor (uncredited)

Don’t Go Gentle (play) by William Inge (1967) UCLA Theater, Los Angeles, California

The Invaders (TV series)
Valley of the Shadow” (1967) role: Minister

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (TV series)
Fatal Cargo” (November 5, 1967) role: Dr. Pierre Blanchard

Batman (TV series)
How to Hatch a Dinosaur” (November 9, 1967) role: Professor Dactyl

Judd for the Defense (TV series)
Citizen Ritter” (1967) role: Judge

The Big Valley (TV series)
“The Stallion” (January 30, 1967) role: Wilson
“The Time After Midnight” (October 2, 1967) role: Dr. Russell
Days of Wrath” (January 8, 1968) role: Doc Saxton
They Called Her Delilah” (September 30, 1968) role: Dr. Thomas J. Merar
Run of the Cat” (October 21, 1968) role: Dr. Merar
A Stranger Everywhere” (December 9, 1968) role: Senator Roberts

Run for Your Life (TV series)
One Bad Turn” (January 10, 1968) role: Judge Wallace Barnes

Lancer (TV series)
Blood Rock” (October 1, 1968) role: Preacher

If He Hollers, Let Him Go! (movie, 1968) role: Chaplain

Jon Lormer as Charles Gant in "The Counterfeiter" episode of Mission: Impossible, 1968.

Mission: Impossible (TV series)
The Counterfeiter” (February 4, 1968) role: Charles Gant
Nicole” (March 30, 1969) role: Minister

Ironside (TV series)
Officer Bobby” (March 14, 1968) role: Tommy
Gentle Oaks” (November 25, 1971) role: Walter Cook

The Outcasts (TV series)
They Shall Rise Up” (1969) role: Creasy

The Guns of Will Sonnett (TV series)
The Trial” (February 28, 1969) role: Judge

The Learning Tree (movie, 1969) role: McCormack

Mannix (TV series)
Death in a Minor Key” (February 8, 1969) role: Boylan
War of Nerves” (March 14, 1970) role: Hotel Clerk
“A Step in Time” (September 29, 1971) role: Dr. Kenbrook

Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (TV series)
Once Again a Star” (October 31, 1969) role: Manager

The Young Lawyers (TV series)
Pilot” (1969) (credited as John Lorimer)
Down at the House of Truth, Visiting” (1971) role: Dean Stewart

Love, American Style (TV series) 

(circa 1969-74)

The Cliff (TV movie, 1970)

Medical Center (TV series) 

The V.D. Story” (March 25, 1970) role:  Dr. Riedmont

Getting Straight (movie, 1970) role: Vandenburg

The Bold Ones: The Senator (TV series)
Power Play” (November 1, 1970) role: Holden Stowe

The Bold Ones: The Lawyers (TV series)
The People Against Doctor Chapman” (1970) role: Judge

Family Affair (TV series) 
Wish You Were Here” (December 10, 1970) role: Mr. Bradley

My Three Sons (TV series)
Dodie's Dilemma” (1970) role: Judge Markham
TV Triplets” (1972) role: Blake Willerson

Winesburg, Ohio (play) by Christopher Sergel, based on the book by Sherwood Anderson (1971) Performing Arts Center at Santa Barbara High School, Santa Barbara, California

Adam-12 (TV series)
Log 175: The Con Artists” (1971) role: George Sawyer

Doctors' Wives (movie, 1971) role: Elderly Doctor

This Is the Life (TV series)
A Will to Live” (1971) role: Bradford

The Smith Family (TV series)
The Weekend” (1971)


Jon Lormer in the "Lady in Waiting" episode of Columbo, 1971.

Columbo (TV series)
Lady in Waiting” (December 15, 1971) role: Hearing Officer

Alias Smith and Jones (TV series)
Wrong Train to Brimstone” (February 4, 1971) role: Farmer
Return to Devil's Hole” (February 25, 1971) role: 2nd Desk Clerk
Jailbreak at Junction City” (September 30, 1971) role: Telegrapher (uncredited)
The Biggest Game in the West” (February 3, 1972) role: Parsons
The Long Chase” (September 16, 1972) role: Proprietor

The Rookies (TV series)
The Good Die Young” (1972) role: Mr. Baxter

Summer and Smoke (play) by Tennessee Williams (January 23 - October 21, 1973) role: Reverend Winemiller, Peachtree Playhouse, Atlanta, Georgia (January 23-28); New Locust Theater, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (March 30 - April 1); Palm Beach, Florida; Kennedy Center, Washington, DC; Westport, Connecticut; Music Hall for the Performing Arts, Detroit, Michigan (through September 9, 1973); and the Hartford Theater, Los Angeles, California (three weeks beginning October 1)

The Man (movie, 1972)

The Delphi Bureau (TV series)
The Face That Never Was Project” (1973) role: Senator Hicks

The Wide World of Mystery (TV series)
Frankenstein: Part 1” (January 16, 1973) role: Charles DeLacey
Frankenstein: Part 2” (January 17, 1973) role: Charles DeLacey

Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law (TV series)
Seed of Doubt” (1973) role: Dr. Edwards

The Gun and the Pulpit (TV movie, 1974) role: Luther

Dirty Sally (TV series)
Horse of a Different Color” (
June 21, 1974) role: Miller  

Lincoln (TV mini- series)
Mrs. Lincoln's Husband” (
September 6, 1974) role: Senator Sutton   

Harry O (TV series)
Gertrude” (September 12, 1974) role: Mr. Olsher
Victim” (March 4, 1976) role: Old Man

Paper Moon (TV series)
“Second Prize” (September 19, 1974) role: Farmer

Planet of the Apes (TV series) 
The Legacy” (October 11, 1974) role: Scientist

The Legend of Lizzie Borden (TV movie, 1975) role: Bailiff

Katharine Hepburn and Jon Lormer on the set of the movie Rooster Cogburn, 1975.
Rooster Cogburn (movie, 1975) role: Rev. Goodnight

The Waltons (TV series)
The Nurse” (December 11, 1975) role: Lafe Basham

Conspiracy of Terror (TV movie, 1975) role: Mr. Slate

The Blue Knight (TV series)
Odds Against Tomorrow” (1975) role: Louis

Barney Miller (TV series)
Werewolf” (October 28, 1976) role: Mr. Fuller

Phyllis (TV series)
Phyllis and the Jumper” (1976) role: Rumsey

Arthur Hailey's the Moneychangers (TV mini-series, 1976) role: Depositor

Mary Tyler Moore (TV series)
Mary and the Sexagenarian” (1977) role: Ronny Williams

James at 16 (TV series)
Mrs. Carson” (1977) role: Minister

Loose Change (TV mini-series, 1978) role: Mike

Rhoda (TV series)
Two's Company” (March 5, 1978) role: Mr. Steiner

With This Ring (TV movie, 1978) role: Reverend

Greatest Heroes of the Bible (TV series)
Joshua and the Battle of Jericho” (November 1978)

The Incredible Hulk (TV series)
Haunted” (February 7, 1979) role: Dr. Rawlins

The Golden Gate Murders (TV movie, 1979) role: Archbishop

Little House on the Prairie (TV series)
The Preacher Takes a Wife” (October 22, 1979) role: Jeremy Tyler

Marvin's Garden” (January 3, 1983) role: Mr. Jedediah Thoms

The Dukes of Hazzard (TV series)
People's Choice” (November 30, 1979) role: the Preacher

Life and Times of Eddie Roberts (TV series)
People's Choice” (January 7, 1980)

Nero Wolfe (TV series)
The Golden Spiders” (1981) role: the Butler

Quincy M.E. (TV series)
“Seldom Silent, Never Heard” (March 4, 1981) role: William Anders

The Boogens (movie, 1981) role: Greenwalt, the old man

Lou Grant (TV series)
Double-Cross” (December 7, 1981) role: Max Matheson

Magnum, P.I. (TV series)
Ghost Writer” (December 24, 1981) role: Barker, the Butler

Harper Valley P.T.A. (TV series)
Firechief Follies” (1982) role: Colonel

Jon Lormer as Nathan Grantham in the "Father's Day" segment of the movie Creepshow, 1982.
Creepshow (movie, 1982) segment: “Father’s Day,” role: Nathan Grantham

Father Murphy (TV series)
Outrageous Fortune” (1982) role: Station Agent

The Healing (Video, 1983) role: Jamie

Highway to Heaven (TV series) 
Help Wanted: Angel” (November 21, 1984) role: Martin Lamm

Beyond the Next Mountain (movie, 1987, released posthumously) role: Watkin Roberts

Additions and corrections are welcome.


  1. You never know what your second cousin twice removed is up to.

    Except, of course, now.

  2. I wish I knew more about what he was up to. We'll see. It's surprising what turns up sometimes.

  3. Thanks. I enjoy catching these great actors in their erstwhile days,and finding out more about them and whatever happened to them.

  4. He was also on the Goldbergs, 1955 I believe, at least 3 episodes. He was an unnamed juror in one and the rest as Mr Carey, the Goldbergs next door neighbor.

    1. You're likely correct. Thank you! This list isn't complete, unfortunately. I keep finding more credits for Jon Lormer. Just added a bunch.

  5. A lot of innuendo from someone who never knew him

    1. I infer from your use of the word "innuendo" something negative. I disagree vehemently with what I think you're suggesting. Did you know him? If you did, please post your interactions with Jon Lormer here in the comments.

  6. While watching The Andy Griffith Show Season five (Opie's Fortune), I noticed that "Parnell Rigsby" (played by Jon Lormer) was hung like a horse. You can easily see quite a lengthy member hanging down the right leg of his jeans. And those jeans hugged his beautiful, muscular ass very nicely as well! He had such a gorgeous, slender physique.

  7. Mostly innuendo and conjecture. No reason to Sully a great actors name by accusing him of being a homosexual. Especially when you admit you don't even know him. What purpose could that serve? Why not just ask us persons acting career and his accomplishments?

    1. I didn't sully Jon Lormer's name. There's nothing wrong with being homosexual. The purpose this post serves is to celebrate not just Jon Lormer's acting career, but his life and his accomplishments. I do wish I'd known him, but unfortunately, like a lot of my family, he died before I had a chance.

  8. I have seen him in many many shows. I didn't realize until I set my DVR to record anything with him just how prolific his acting career was. In fact I watched him this morning in an old Maverick. I was also born in Massillon so I was interested in him as soon as I had seen he was born in Canton. He was a very good actor.

  9. You put an awful lot of effort into your research particularly in compiling that resume. A labour of love I imagine, I'm very impressed. It's funny how one can become intrigued by someone that they've seen in a favourite movie-creepshow-and then begin researching them. I've found your article very interesting. Thank you!

  10. You're welcome. Glad you liked the post.

  11. My wife and I were both born in Aultman hospital, Canton, Ohio, yet didn’t meet until many years later in Phoenix. Jon Lormer was my wife’s grandmothers uncle. There is an unmistakable resemblance between her mother and Jon. When my wife was younger, her family visited Jon on the set of Bonanza and got to have lunch with him in the studio cafeteria. She said he and the other cast members were most gracious to them with the exception of Lorne Greene who my wife described as a big jerk. We have followed Jon in mostly reruns for years but had no idea of much of the new information you have researched and shared. Thank you so much for that (cousin?).

  12. Please be advised that Jon lived in the Breckenridge subdivision of northeast Atlanta GA during the 1970s, where l was his neighbor. The Andy Griffith Show reruns ran daily on WTBS and l recognized Jon as Parnell Rigsby. He lived in seclusion but l met him once.

  13. I never really knew who he was as an actor. I remember seeing him in so many different parts over the years. Not realizing just how many to be sure. Quite a list. I know he came from a time being Gay was not accepted. If he was or wasn't was his business. He needs to be remembered for his acting and not who he shared his life with. People seem to think actors lives need to be an open book. They deserve their privacy just like the rest of us. Rest in peace sir.