Thursday, February 12, 2009


Phil Carey has passed away at the age of 83. Most of the obituaries I've seen have focused on his role as Asa Buchanan, the transplanted Texan whose family eventually took over most of the major venues in Llanview, Pennsylvania. (It amazes me how many women fell under Asa's spell over the years, all the while his first wife was locked away in the attic, I think. But it's Victor Newman on my Mom's favorite soap, 'The Young & The Restless', who really surprises me with the number of women who are caught up in whatever machismo he's peddling.)

Carey died of lung cancer, which has taken out so many other men who, like Carey, projected such a strong, powerful image; as someone who should have been invincible: John Wayne, Chuck Connors, my Dad........ Some of my blogging buddies also remembered Carey as Captain Parmalee in 'Laredo', but that show never crossed my radar, much as I love TV Westerns. (I'll have to check to see if they have any episodes at the Paley Center.) Carey shows up in one of my TV history books with a picture from his 1950's series 'Tales of the 77th Bengal Lancers'. That one was before my time and not something that would have been widely available in syndication even back in the 1960's.
But on a personal level, my first introduction to Philip Carey was in February of 1971. At the time, I was big into a show called 'Room 222' and it was one of the many shows for which I monopolized the family TV.

However, on this particular night, my Dad said that he'd been hearing about this show from the guys at the Post Office, one that had only begun about a month before. And he wanted to check it out. Reluctantly I went along with his request, convincing myself in advance that no matter what it was like, I would hate it because it was keeping me from watching 'Room 222'.

The show was 'All In The Family' and the episode was "Judging Books By Covers", in which Archie's friend Roger was a big "fruit". He said as much to his buddy Steve down at the bar. Steve was a big, strapping former pro football player (Maybe for the Condors? LOL!) who finally had to step in as Archie continued his rant about Roger. Steve told him that he knew Roger, and he knew Roger wasn't gay. And who better to know than himself - as Steve finally revealed to Archie, he was gay.
I think my Dad regretted introducing me to the show, but it was too late for all of us; 'All In The Family' became a staple in the household after that. I think I gave up 'Room 222' for good soon after as well; the allure of sitcoms changed with 'All In The Family'. (Philip Carey showed up in an episode of 'Room 222', coincidentally.)

I didn't see Phil Carey again until May of 1980 when I was visiting my friend Beth back in Connecticut. (At least not in anything that made an impression on me. Based on the many credits listed below, I know I've seen him many times over.)
Beth's sister Mary was saddled with entertaining me at their mother's condo while Beth was at work; so while she worked on some photo albums, she explained to me about all of the characters and plotlines on 'One Life To Live' (still one of her favorite shows). I still remember to this day that most of that hour concerned Dorian Lord and her husband and Cassie, but that oilcat billionaire Asa showed up during the episode and I remembered him from 'All In The Family' episode from nearly a decade before.

(And thanks to Mayr's tutorial, I became hooked into "OLTL" for at least the next eight years, maybe longer.....)
Here are Mr. Carey's television credits:

"One Life to Live" .... Asa Buchanan

"All My Children" .... Asa Buchanan [crossover!]

"Little House on the Prairie" .... Commander Kaiser
- The Halloween Dream (1979)

"The Betty White Show" .... Larry
- Joyce's Wedding (1977)

"The Bionic Woman" .... Major Andrews
- The Vega Influence (1976)

"The Blue Knight"
- A Slight Case of Murder (1976)

Crackle of Death (1976) (TV)

"Police Story" .... Captain Ben Johnson
- The Execution (1975)

"McCloud" .... Howard Barnett
- The Man with the Golden Hat (1975)

"Kolchak: The Night Stalker" .... Sgt. Mayer
- Firefall (1974)

"Police Woman" .... Walter Grainger
- Anatomy of Two Rapes (1974)

"Wide World Mystery" .... Detective Arnburg
- Hard Day at Blue Nose (1974)
- Shadow of Fear (1973)

"Banacek" .... Art Gallagher
- Rocket to Oblivion (1974)
Scream of the Wolf (1974) .... Sheriff Vernon Bell

"Room 222" .... Benjamin Evans
- I've Got the Hammer, If You've Got the Thumb (1973)

"Bright Promise" (1969) TV series .... Bob Corcoran

"McMillan & Wife" .... Arthur Kendall
- The Night of the Wizard (1972)

"Gunsmoke" .... Bannion
- Trafton (1971)

"All in the Family" .... Steve
- Judging Books by Covers (1971)

The Rebel Rousers (1970) .... Rebel

Once You Kiss a Stranger... (1969) .... Mike

- Goodbye to Yesterday (1969) .... Vic Richards
- Barbara Who (1968) .... Dick Richards
[That has to be a misprint. I'm betting they're the same character.]

Three Guns for Texas (1968) .... Capt. Edward A. Parmalee
[This is a couple of episodes from 'Laredo' stitched together.]

"Cimarron Strip" .... Kallman
- Knife in the Darkness (1968)

"Felony Squad" .... Tillery Gage
- No Sad Songs for Charlie (1967)

"Custer" .... Benton Conant
- Massacre (1967)

"Laredo" .... Capt. Edward Parmalee
[It's the Toobworld Central contention that Parmalee was the great-grandfather of Asa Buchanan from 'One Life To Live'.]

"Daniel Boone" .... Gordon Lang
- The Necklace (1967)

"The Virginian"
- We've Lost a Train (1965) .... Captain Edward Parmalee [crossover!]
- Siege (1963) TV episode .... Duke Logan

"Kraft Suspense Theatre" .... Edgar Martin
- My Enemy, This Town (1964)

"G.E. True" .... Pete Foley
- Nitro (1963)

"77 Sunset Strip"
- Flight 307 (1963) .... Charles 'Brick' Garrett
- The Night Was Six Years Long (1963) .... Chris Benton
- Flight from Escondido (1962) .... Captain Shore
- Violence for Your Furs (1962) .... Mac Maguire

"The Nurses" .... Ernie Bass
- The Thunder of Ernie Bass (1963)
[Hard to imagine he might be related to Ernest T. Bass of 'The Andy Griffith Show'!]

"The Gallant Men" .... Sgt. Matt Barragan
- The Leathernecks (1963)

- Johnny Brassbuttons (1962) .... Marshal Frank Nolan
- One Way Ticket (1962) .... Cole Younger

"Bronco" .... Josh Glendon
- Until Kingdom Come (1962)

"Lawman" .... Barron Shaw
- Change of Venue (1962)

"The Roaring 20's" .... Tim McCool
- Kitty Goes West (1961)

"Tales of Wells Fargo" .... Joe Squire
- The Dodger (1961)

"The Asphalt Jungle" .... Tennessee
- The Professor (1961) .... Tennessee

"The Rifleman" .... Dr. Simon Battle
- Death Trap (1961)

"Stagecoach West" .... Major Ralph Barnes
- The Root of Evil (1961)

"Thriller" .... Darryl Hudson
- Man in a Cage (1961)

"Zane Grey Theater" .... John Baylor
- One Must Die (1961)

"Michael Shayne" .... Brad Harper
- Shoot the Works (1960)

"Philip Marlowe" .... Philip Marlowe

"Lux Playhouse" .... Robert Garvin
- A Deadly Guest (1959)

"Lux Video Theatre"
- Edge of Doubt (1957)

"The Ford Television Theatre"
- Torn (1957) .... Dr. Douglas Gregg
- Duffy's Man (1956) .... Duffy's Man
- Panic (1956) .... Wayne Douglas
- Twelve to Eternity (1955) .... Bill Adams
- Second Sight (1955) .... Dr. Ed Marshfield

"Tales of the 77th Bengal Lancers" .... Lieutenant Michael Rhodes

"Celebrity Playhouse"
- I'll Make the Arrest (1956) .... Police Lt. Mike O'Shean
- Known But to God (1955) .... Police Lt. Joe Karns

"Four Star Playhouse"
- Eddie's Place (1955) .... Dr. Ed Marshfield

"Schlitz Playhouse of Stars"
- Two Lives Have I (1953)

As Red Skelton used to say: "Good night and may God bless....."

Toby O'B


Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

I'm not sure the "We've Lost a Train" episode from The Virginian constitutes a crossover. It's actually the pilot for the Laredo series; Parmalee & Co. appeared on The Virginian before getting their own show from 1965-67.

Toby O'B said...

Fair enough, Ivan. But it would still link the two shows together, and that's the important thing!

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

Fine by me. It's your world. me boyo...I'm just livin' in it. :-)