Barton MacLane

Last updated
Barton MacLane
Barton MacLane Outlaws.JPG
MacLane in 1961
Born(1902-12-25)December 25, 1902
DiedJanuary 1, 1969(1969-01-01) (aged 66)
Resting place Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery in North Hollywood
Alma mater Wesleyan University
American Academy of Dramatic Arts
OccupationActor, playwright, screenwriter
Years active1927–1969
Charlotte Wynters MacLane
(m. 1939;his death 1969)

Barton MacLane (December 25, 1902 January 1, 1969) was an American actor, playwright, and screenwriter. Although he appeared in many classic films from the 1930s through the 1960s, he became best-known for his role as General Martin Peterson on the 1960s NBC television comedy series I Dream of Jeannie , with Barbara Eden and Larry Hagman. [1]



MacLane was born in Columbia, South Carolina, on Christmas Day, 1902. [2] He attended Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, where he excelled at American football. His first movie role, in The Quarterback (1926), was a result of his athletic ability. [3] He then attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

He made his Broadway debut in 1927, playing the assistant district attorney in Bayard Veiller's The Trial of Mary Dugan . [4] He then performed in the 1928 Broadway production of Gods of the Lightning [5] and was part of the original cast of Subway Express as Officer Mulvaney in 1929. He appeared in the Marx Brothers' 1929 film debut The Cocoanuts . MacLane made his first credited film appearance in the 1931 romantic drama His Woman . The following year, he wrote the play Rendezvous, which he sold to Arthur Hopkins. The play was performed on Broadway, with MacLane in a featured role. [6]

Film work: 1930s-1950s

MacLane in Smart Blonde (1937) Barton MacLane in Smart Blonde trailer.jpg
MacLane in Smart Blonde (1937)
Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, MacLane, Peter Lorre and Ward Bond in The Maltese Falcon (1941) Maltese-Falcon-Tell-the-Truth-1941.jpg
Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, MacLane, Peter Lorre and Ward Bond in The Maltese Falcon (1941)

The success of Rendezvous landed MacLane a contract with Warner Bros. and brought him to the attention of several renowned film directors, including Fritz Lang, Michael Curtiz, and William Keighley. As a result, throughout the remainder of the 1930s, MacLane was highly active in film, with major supporting roles in such productions as The Case of the Curious Bride , G Men , The Prince and the Pauper , and Lang's You Only Live Once and You and Me . He also played the role of detective Steve McBride, opposite Glenda Farrell in seven of the nine films featuring the fictional newspaper reporter Torchy Blane.

During the 1930s and 1940s, MacLane worked alongside Humphrey Bogart in several films. He played Lieutenant Dundy opposite Bogart's Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon , writer/director John Huston's acclaimed film noir based upon Dashiell Hammett's novel. MacLane again collaborated with both Bogart and Huston on the Academy Award-winning 1948 adventure film The Treasure of the Sierra Madre .

MacLane's many other film credits during the 1940s include The Big Street , Victor Fleming's Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde , Fritz Lang's Western Union , Reginald Le Borg's The Mummy's Ghost , and Frank Borzage's The Spanish Main . He also appeared in two Tarzan films starring Johnny Weissmuller, Tarzan and the Amazons and Tarzan and the Huntress . Some of MacLane's films during the 1950s include Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye , The Glenn Miller Story , and Three Violent People . In 1955 MacLane appeared as Jim Mablett in the movie Foxfire co-starring Jane Russell .

As he was the regular heavy and bad guy, juveniles started using the term "Don't give me that Barton MacLane", if they felt justly or unjustly being turned off by adults or authorities, e.g. cops, teachers and so on.

Television and final films

In the 1950s, MacLane began to appear regularly on television. Between 1953 and 1967, he guest starred on such programs as Conflict , Lux Video Theatre , Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse , Laramie , The Monkees , and Gunsmoke . In 1958 he played Sen. Harriman Baylor in the Perry Mason episode, "The Case of the Foot-Loose Doll". In 1960 he played Eugene Norris, Perry's friend and small-town sheriff, in "The Case of the Violent Village". In 1964 he played Archer Osmond in "The Case of the Ruinous Road".

During the 1960-1961 television season, MacLane was a series regular on twenty-seven episodes of NBC's western, Outlaws, in which he played Marshal Frank Caine. [1] :802 His last feature film was Buckskin (1968).

In 1965, MacLane was cast in the recurring role of General Martin Peterson on I Dream of Jeannie. He appeared in 35 episodes of the series between 1965 and 1969. Three of MacLane's episodes were aired after his death in January 1969. His character was replaced on later episodes of the series by General Winfield Schaeffer, portrayed by Vinton Hayworth, until his death in 1970. Coincidentally, Hayworth also died before all episodes featuring his character were broadcast.

Personal life

Maclane played several musical instruments, including the violin, piano, and guitar. In 1939, MacLane married actress Charlotte Wynters. From the 1940s until his death, he maintained a cattle ranch in eastern Madera County, California, where he made his home when he was not acting. He adopted a daughter. [3]


MacLane died of double pneumonia at age 66 on New Year's Day, 1969, at Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California. [7] He had been admitted two weeks prior to his death. [7]

MacLane was buried in Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery.


For his contribution to the television industry, MacLane has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6719 Hollywood Boulevard. [8]

Selected filmography

Television credits

1955 The Pepsi-Cola Playhouse Captain Hansen"The Man Nobody Wanted"
Schlitz Playhouse of Stars Chief Brooks"Two-Bit Gangster"
1956 Crossroads "The Strange Bequest"
Cheyenne Martin Storm"The Storm Riders"
The Kaiser Aluminum Hour Dan Royal"Man on the White Horse"
1957 Tales of Wells Fargo Clanton"The Target", with Kelo Henderson cast as Ike Clanton
Telephone Time Pete Devlin"Plot to Save a Boy"
Circus Boy Pinkerton Detective Nolan1 episode, "The Tumbling Clown"
1958 Kraft Television Theatre Potter"Code of the Corner"
77 Sunset Strip Brannigan"Girl on the Run"
1959 Black Saddle General Orester Fowler"Client: Braun"
Walt Disney Presents Bob Scanlon2 episodes: "The Robber Stallion" and "Wild Horse Revenge"
1959-1964 Perry Mason Senator Harriman Baylor / Sheriff Eugene Norris / Harold Minter / Archer Osmond4 episodes
1960Walt Disney PresentsRawls Kettrick The Nine Lives of Elfego Baca miniseries, episode "Friendly Enemies at Law"
Laramie Cameron Gault"Street of Hate"
Overland Trail Big Jed Braddock"Lawyer in Petticoats"
Tightrope Vince Baron"Gangster's Daughter"
1960-1961OutlawsMarshal Frank Caine27 episodes
1962LaramieMel Bishop"The High Country"
1963LaramieEd Bishop"The Wedding Party"
LaramieOwen Richards"Trapped"
1965-1969 I Dream of Jeannie General Peterson35 episodes, (final appearance)
1966 The Munsters Big Roy"Herman Picks a Winner"
Gunsmoke Herkimer Crawford"Honor Before Justice"
1967GunsmokeWillard Kerner"Noose of Gold"
Hondo Markham"Hondo and the Gladiators"

Related Research Articles

Ward Bond American actor

Wardell Edwin Bond was an American film character actor who appeared in more than 200 films and in the NBC television series Wagon Train from 1957 to 1960. Among his best-remembered roles are Bert, the cop, in Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life (1946) and Captain Clayton in John Ford's The Searchers (1956).

Robert Barrat American actor

Robert Harriot Barrat was an American stage, motion picture, and television character actor.

Douglas Fowley actor (1911-1998)

Douglas Fowley was an American movie and television actor in more than 240 films and dozens of television programs, He is probably best remembered for his role as the frustrated movie director Roscoe Dexter in Singin' in the Rain (1952), and for his regular supporting role as Doc Holliday in The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp. He is the father of rock and roll musician and record producer Kim Fowley.

Robert Warwick American actor

Robert Warwick was an American stage, film and television actor with over 200 film appearances.

John Ridgely was an American film character actor with over 175 film credits.

Regis Toomey actor (1898-1991)

John Regis Toomey was an American film and television actor.

James Ellison (actor) American actor

James Ellison was an American film actor who appeared in nearly 70 films from 1932 to 1962.

Tom Kennedy (actor) actor (1885-1965)

Tom Kennedy was an American actor known for his roles in Hollywood comedies from the silent days, with such producers as Mack Sennett and Hal Roach, mainly supporting lead comedians such as the Marx Brothers, W. C. Fields, Mabel Normand, Shemp Howard, Laurel and Hardy, and the Three Stooges. Kennedy also played dramatic roles as a supporting actor.

Paul Hurst (actor) American actor

Paul Causey Hurst was an American actor and director.

J. Farrell MacDonald American actor and director

John Farrell MacDonald was an American character actor and director. He played supporting roles and occasional leads. He appeared in over 325 films over a 41-year career from 1911 to 1951, and directed forty-four silent films from 1912 to 1917.

Eddy Chandler was an American actor who appeared, mostly uncredited, in more than 350 films. Three of these films won the Academy Award for Best Picture: It Happened One Night (1934), You Can't Take It with You (1938), and Gone with the Wind (1939). Chandler was born in the small Iowa city of Wilton Junction and died in Los Angeles.

Joe Sawyer was a Canadian film actor. He appeared in more than 200 films between 1927 and 1962, and was sometimes billed under his birth name. He was born in Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

Russell Hicks American actor

Edward Russell Hicks was an American film actor. Hicks was born in 1895 in Baltimore, Maryland. During World War I, he served in the U.S. Army in France. He later became a lieutenant Colonel in the California State Guard.

Minor Watson actor

Minor Watson was a prominent character actor. He appeared in 111 movies made between 1913 and 1956. His credits included Boys Town (1938), Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), Kings Row (1942), Guadalcanal Diary (1943), Bewitched (1945), The Virginian (1946), and The Jackie Robinson Story (1950)

Edward Gargan American actor

Edward Gargan was an American film and television actor, one of the most prolific bit players in the history of the film.

James Burke (actor) American actor

James Burke was an American film and television actor born in New York City. He made his stage debut in New York around 1912 and went to Hollywood in 1933. He made over 200 film appearances during his career between 1932 and 1964. He was often cast as a police officer, usually a none-too-bright one, such as his role as Sergeant Velie in Columbia Pictures' Ellery Queen crime dramas in the early 1940s. Burke can also be seen in The Maltese Falcon, At the Circus, Lone Star, and many other films. One of his memorable roles is his portrayal of a rowdy rancher in the 1935 comedy Ruggles of Red Gap.

Willard Robertson American actor

Willard Robertson was an American actor and writer. He appeared in 147 films between 1924 and 1948. He was born in Runnels, Texas, and died in Hollywood, California.

Selmer Jackson American actor

Selmer Adolf Jackson was an American stage film and television actor. He appeared in nearly 400 films between 1921 and 1963. His name was sometimes spelled Selmar Jackson.

James Millican was an American actor with over 200 film appearances mostly in western movies.

Charles C. Wilson (actor) American actor

Charles Cahill Wilson was an American screen and stage actor. He appeared in numerous films during the Golden Age of Hollywood from the late 1920s to late 1940s.


  1. 1 2 Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. pp. 490–491. ISBN   978-0-7864-6477-7.
  2. Ellenberger, Allan R. (2001). Celebrities in Los Angeles Cemeteries: A Directory. McFarland. p. 206. ISBN   9780786409839 . Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  3. 1 2 "Actor Barton MacLane, Madera Rancher, 66, Dies". The Fresno Bee The Republican. California, Fresno. United Press International. January 2, 1969. p. 25. Retrieved April 1, 2017 via Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  4. "The Trial of Mary Dugan - cast". Playbill Vault. Playbill. Archived from the original on 3 April 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  5. "Gods of the Lightning - cast". Playbill Vault. Playbill. Archived from the original on 3 April 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  6. "Barton Maclane Biography". IMDB.
  7. 1 2 "Movie Bad Guy, Barton MacLane, Dead At 66". The Evening Independent. Associated Press. January 2, 1969. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  8. "Barton MacLane". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Archived from the original on 3 April 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2017.