Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Today is Ben Murphy's birthday; he turns 70 years old.

Murphy starred in series like 'Lottery!', 'Berrenger's', 'The Winds Of War', 'The Name Of The Game', 'Gemini Man', and 'Dirty Dozen: The Series'. But I think we all know with which series he'll forever be pardnered......

Say it with me, Team Toobworld:


As I often mention here in the IT, it would be nice if TV characters had nice long lives off-screen, even if the actors who portrayed them passed away. But then again, if there's ever a threat of another actor coming along who might play that same role, it would be better to consider the character dead as well. That way our memory is of the original actor only, unsullied by any new interpretation.

Ben Murphy's partner on 'AS&J' wasn't that lucky. After Pete Duel took his own life during the run of that Western, he was replaced by the actor who had been providing the opening narration for the series, Roger Davis. But it just wasn't the same.

I tried to come up with a convoluted splainin about how the soul of Hannibal Heyes had been transferred into the corpse of a gunslinger/gambler known as "Smiler" (also played by Davis.) It ran for pages in my original website, the Tubeworld Dynamic, and it involved characters played by Alan Hale on 'The Wild Wild West' and 'Alias Smith And Jones' and of course I had to bring my all-time favorite TV character, Dr. Miguelito Quixote Loveless, into the mix as well.

But as much as I liked it, the essay stretched credulity to the breaking point. So I ditched it in favor of the more reasonable splainin - there were two versions of 'Alias Smith And Jones'. Both featured Ben Murphy as Kid Curry, but the Hannibal Heyes played by Pete Duel could be found in Earth Prime-Time, while the one with Roger Davis as outlaw under the alias of "Joshua Smith" could be found in the TV dimension of remakes.

Kid Curry is long since dead in the Toobworld timeline, but when he died depends on the good health of Mr. Murphy.

According to a book I have ("Alias Smith & Jones: The Story Of Two Pretty Good Bad Guys" by Sandra K. Sagala and JoAnne M. Bagwell), the televised story of Kid Curry and Hannibal Heyes began in 1880. Which means that if we consider Kid Curry to be the same age as the actor who played him - standard custom here at Toobworld Central, unless told differently in the script - then he was 29 years of age. So that means he was born in 1851.

Even though the chance is rare, there's always the possibility that Kid Curry might one day show up again on TV. ('The Adventures Of Brisco County, Jr.' would have been a perfect showcase for him!) So that means - to my way of thinking, at any rate - that as long as Ben Murphy is alive and well, then so is Kid Curry. (I mean, Thaddeus Jones.)

So the Kid would have turned 70 in 1921, one year into the run of 'Boardwalk Empire' and 'Downton Abbey' won't reach that point in time for at least another season.

I hope he enjoyed the 20th Century.....

Happy birthday, Ben Murphy!

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