Brian Kelly (actor)

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Brian Kelly
Flipper Brian Kelly 1966.jpg
Brian Kelly, circa 1966.
Born(1931-02-14)February 14, 1931
DiedFebruary 12, 2005(2005-02-12) (aged 73)
Resting place New Jersey, U.S.
Alma mater University of Notre Dame (1953)
Years active1958–1970
Laura Devon
(m. 1962;div. 1966)

Valerie Anne Romero
(m. 1973)
Parent(s) Harry F. Kelly
Anne Veronica O'Brien
Relatives Brian d'Arcy James (nephew)

Brian Kelly (February 14, 1931 February 12, 2005) was an American actor best known for his role as Porter Ricks, the widowed father of two sons on the NBC television series Flipper , and as Scott Ross in the ABC adventure series Straightaway , with co-star John Ashley.

NBC American television and radio network

The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American English-language commercial terrestrial television network that is a flagship property of NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast. The network is headquartered at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, with additional major offices near Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia. The network is one of the Big Three television networks. NBC is sometimes referred to as the "Peacock Network", in reference to its stylized peacock logo, introduced in 1956 to promote the company's innovations in early color broadcasting. It became the network's official emblem in 1979.

<i>Flipper</i> (1964 TV series) 1964 TV series

Flipper is an American television program first broadcast on NBC from September 19, 1964, until April 15, 1967. Flipper, a bottlenose dolphin, is the pet of Porter Ricks, Chief Warden at Coral Key Park and Marine Preserve, and his two young sons, Sandy and Bud. The show has been dubbed an "aquatic Lassie", and a considerable amount of children's merchandise inspired by the show was produced during its first run.

American Broadcasting Company American broadcast television network

The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) is an American commercial broadcast television network that is a flagship property of Walt Disney Television, a subsidiary of the Disney Media Networks division of The Walt Disney Company. The network is headquartered in Burbank, California on Riverside Drive, directly across the street from Walt Disney Studios and adjacent to the Roy E. Disney Animation Building. The network's secondary offices, and headquarters of its news division, is in New York City, New York, at their broadcast center at 77 West 66th Street in the Upper West Side of Manhattan.


Early years

Kelly was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Republican Governor of Michigan Harry F. Kelly and the former Anne Veronica O'Brien. Kelly had three sisters and two brothers, one of whom was his fraternal twin. His nephew (sister's son) is actor Brian d'Arcy James. [1] He was of Irish descent.

Detroit Largest city in Michigan

Detroit is the largest and most populous city in the U.S. state of Michigan, the largest American city on the United States–Canada border, and the seat of Wayne County. The municipality of Detroit had a 2017 estimated population of 673,104, making it the 23rd-most populous city in the United States. The metropolitan area, known as Metro Detroit, is home to 4.3 million people, making it the second-largest in the Midwest after the Chicago metropolitan area. Regarded as a major cultural center, Detroit is known for its contributions to music and as a repository for art, architecture and design.

Michigan U.S. state in the United States

Michigan is a state in the Great Lakes and Midwestern regions of the United States. The state's name, Michigan, originates from the Ojibwe word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake". With a population of about 10 million, Michigan is the tenth most populous of the 50 United States, with the 11th most extensive total area, and is the largest state by total area east of the Mississippi River. Its capital is Lansing, and its largest city is Detroit. Metro Detroit is among the nation's most populous and largest metropolitan economies.

Republican Party (United States) Major political party in the United States

The Republican Party, also referred to as the GOP, is one of the two major political parties in the United States; the other is its historic rival, the Democratic Party.

Kelly served in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War. Kelly graduated in 1953 from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. He attended the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor for a year before settling on acting. During his college years, Kelly modelled and acted in radio and television commercials in Detroit.

United States Marine Corps Amphibious warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for conducting expeditionary and amphibious operations with the United States Navy as well as the Army and Air Force. The U.S. Marine Corps is one of the four armed service branches in the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States.

Korean War 1950s war between North and South Korea

The Korean War was a war between North Korea and South Korea. The war began on 25 June 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea following a series of clashes along the border.

University of Notre Dame Private Catholic university in Notre Dame, Indiana, United States

The University of Notre Dame du Lac is a private Catholic research university in Notre Dame, Indiana, outside the city of South Bend. The main campus covers 1,261 acres (510 ha) in a suburban setting and it contains a number of recognizable landmarks, such as the Golden Dome, the Word of Life mural, the Notre Dame Stadium, and the Basilica. The school was founded on November 26, 1842, by Edward Sorin, who was also its first president.

Acting career

Kelly headed to Hollywood in the late fifties after choosing acting as his career. Following minor roles in Adventures in Paradise , The Beverly Hillbillies , and The Rifleman , Kelly starred in two short-lived television series, NBC's 21 Beacon Street (1959), with Dennis Morgan and Joanna Barnes, [2] and ABC's Straightaway (1961-1962) with costar John Ashley.

<i>Adventures in Paradise</i> (TV series) television series

Adventures in Paradise is an American television series created by James Michener, which ran on ABC from 1959 until 1962,

<i>The Beverly Hillbillies</i> American sitcom

The Beverly Hillbillies is an American situation comedy television series broadcast on CBS from 1962 to 1971. The show had an ensemble cast featuring Buddy Ebsen, Irene Ryan, Donna Douglas, and Max Baer Jr. as the Clampetts, a poor backwoods family from the Ozarks region who move to posh Beverly Hills, California after striking oil on their land. The show was produced by Filmways and was created by writer Paul Henning. It was followed by two other Henning-inspired "country cousin" series on CBS: Petticoat Junction and its spin-off Green Acres, which reversed the rags-to-riches, country-to-city model of The Beverly Hillbillies.

<i>The Rifleman</i> American Western television program

The Rifleman is an American Western television program starring Chuck Connors as rancher Lucas McCain and Johnny Crawford as his son Mark McCain. It was set in the 1870s and 1880s in the fictional town of North Fork, New Mexico Territory. The show was filmed in black and white, in half-hour episodes. The Rifleman aired on ABC from September 30, 1958, to April 8, 1963, as a production of Four Star Television. It was one of the first prime time series on US television to show a single parent raising a child.

Kelly with Tommy Norden (left) and Luke Halpin (right) in Flipper, 1964 Flipper Kelly Halpin Norden 1964 crop.jpg
Kelly with Tommy Norden (left) and Luke Halpin (right) in Flipper , 1964

In 1964, Kelly took over the Chuck Connors role from the 1963 family film Flipper, playing Porter Ricks, Chief Warden at Coral Key Park and Marine Preserve and recently-widowed father of Sandy Ricks (Luke Halpin) in the 1964 sequel Flipper's New Adventure. He continued the role in the family-oriented action and adventure television program Flipper that same year. In the TV series, Porter would also have a second son, Bud (Tommy Norden). Kelly is remembered today for his strong and convincing portrayal of a morally responsible single dad. Kelly was quoted at the time as saying that he loved the role because of its family-friendly qualities. The success of Flipper, which was filmed in Miami and the Bahamas, led to a brief movie career, including a lead in Around the World Under the Sea (1966).

Chuck Connors Athlete and actor

Kevin Joseph Aloysius "Chuck" Connors was an American actor, writer, and professional basketball and baseball player. He is one of only 13 athletes in the history of American professional sports to have played both Major League Baseball and in the National Basketball Association. With a 40-year film and television career, he is best known for his five-year role as Lucas McCain in the highly rated ABC series The Rifleman (1958–63).

<i>Flipper</i> (1963 film) 1963 American feature film directed by James B. Clark

Flipper is an American feature film released on August 14, 1963 written by Arthur Weiss based upon a story by Ricou Browning and Jack Cowden. Produced by Ivan Tors and directed by James B. Clark, it portrays a 12-year-old boy living with his parents in the Florida Keys, who befriends an injured wild dolphin. The lad and his pet become inseparable, eventually overcoming the misgivings of his fisherman father.

Luke Halpin American actor

Luke Austin Halpin is an American former actor. He became a child actor at the age of eight but is perhaps best known for his role as Sandy Ricks in the feature films Flipper and Flipper's New Adventure, as well as for reprising his role for the NBC television series adaptation, also called Flipper.

In 1970, Kelly sought to change his image by playing the role of Robin Stone in The Love Machine , based on the novel by Jacqueline Susann. Just prior to filming, he was involved in a motorcycle accident which left his right arm and leg paralyzed. John Phillip Law took over the role. [3] Kelly—whom Susann had called "the perfect Robin Stone" [4] —won a legal settlement in the case but the accident ended his acting career. [5]

<i>The Love Machine</i> (film) 1971 film by Jack Haley, Jr.

The Love Machine is a 1971 Eastmancolor drama film adaptation of Jacqueline Susann's best-selling 1969 novel of the same name. Directed by Jack Haley Jr., the film stars Dyan Cannon, Robert Ryan, Jackie Cooper, David Hemmings, Shecky Greene, and John Phillip Law.

<i>The Love Machine</i> (novel) novel by Jacqueline Susann

The Love Machine is the second novel by Jacqueline Susann, the follow-up to her enormously successful Valley of the Dolls (1966). Published by Simon & Schuster in 1969, the book was a New York Times #1 best seller.

Jacqueline Susann American writer and actress

Jacqueline Susann was an American writer and actress. Her first novel, Valley of the Dolls (1966), is one of the best-selling books in publishing history. With her two subsequent works, The Love Machine (1969) and Once Is Not Enough (1973), Susann became the first author to have three consecutive #1 novels on The New York Times Best Seller List.

He used money from the settlement to build homes and then to produce films. He served as executive producer of Blade Runner (1982) [5] and associate producer of Cities of the Wild (1996).

Marriages and death

Kelly was married to actress Laura Devon from 1962 until their 1966 divorce. In 1972, he married Valerie Ann Romero, with whom he had a daughter Hallie in 1975, and a son Devin in 1980. Kelly died two days shy of his 74th birthday on February 12, 2005 of pneumonia in Voorhees Township in South New Jersey.



1963 Thunder Island Vincent Dodge
1964 Flipper's New Adventure Porter Ricks
1966 Around the World Under the Sea Dr. Craig Mosby
1968 Shoot, Gringo... Shoot! Chad Stark
1982 Blade Runner N/AExecutive Producer


1958 Flight Episode: "Mercy Commando"
Panic! Randy BurkeEpisode: "Fingerprints"
1959 21 Beacon Street BrianEpisodes: "The Rub Out", "The Hostage"
Adventures in Paradise Captain RiversEpisode: "The Haunted"
1960 Insight Father BergenEpisode: "Fisher of Men"
19611962 Straightaway Scott Ross24 episodes
1963 The Beverly Hillbillies 2nd Policeman
Officer Kelly
Episodes: "Elly's Animals", "Jed Plays Solomon"
19641967 Flipper Porter RicksNominated-TV Land Award for Favorite Pet-Human Relationship (2003)
1970Company of KillersNick Andros
Berlin Affair  [ de ]Paul Strand
1973Drive Hard, Drive FastMark Driscoll


  2. "21 Beacon Street (1959)". Internet movie Data Base. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
  3. p.360 Seaman, Barbara Lovely Me: The Life of Jacqueline Susann 2003 Seven Stories Press
  4. The Love Machine (1971). IMDb. [n.d.] Retrieved January 6, 2017.
  5. 1 2 "Brian Kelly - Actor in Flipper". The Independent . 25 March 2005. Retrieved 20 November 2012.

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