Saturday, April 08, 2006

UnSung Hero Joseph Kearns

Joseph Kearns was born in Utah but his family moved to California when he was very young. There must have been a fondness in his heart for the state as he graduated from the University of Utah years later. Mr. Kearns was a very versital actor in radio having appeared on Suspense as a regular and on such comedies as Burns and Allen and The Jack Benny Show. On Jack Benny he was the guard who was stationed at Mr. Benny's secret vault. The jokes were that Jack kept him there so long that he was not up on current events. When Jack told him the war was over he was reffering to World War II. Joseph ask him who won? The North or the South?He thought Jack ment the Civil War. He was in many movies such as "The Girl Most Likely",the Jimmy Stewart movie "Anatomy of a Murder" and had an uncredited voice over in another Jimmy Stewart movie. It was as the voice of an Angel in the Christmas favorite "It's A Wonderful Life." During all this time he was not quite famous. Then, as it did for alot of charactor actors, television gave him is most famous role of Mr. Wilson on the show Dennis The Menace. Saddly he passed away too early at the age of 55 in 1962 of a cerebral hemorrhage. This, combined with the star Jay North was getting older, spelled the end for the series. They tried to keep going with Gale Gordon as Mr. Wilson but by 1963 the show was canceled. Gale Gordon went on to "The Lucy Show."
My cousin Steve said that he recently heard a Gildersleeve episode with Willard Waterman as Gildy fighting with Gale Gordon as Rumson Bullard. Joseph Kearns appeared in a guest role. On Dennis the Menace Waterman played Mr. Quigley. Thus bridging the gap between Kearns and Gordon on DENNIS.
The above photo was from this site. Posted by Picasa

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