Gene Evans

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Gene Evans
Gene Evans in Fixed Bayonets! trailer.jpg
Evans in Fixed Bayonets! (1951)
Eugene Barton Evans

(1922-07-11)July 11, 1922
DiedApril 1, 1998(1998-04-01) (aged 75)
Resting placeHighland Memorial Gardens in Jackson, Tennessee
Years active19471989

Eugene Barton Evans (July 11, 1922 April 1, 1998) was an American actor who appeared in numerous television series, made-for-television movies, and feature films between 1947 and 1989. [1]



Evans was born in Holbrook, Arizona, but reared in Colton, California. His acting career began while he was serving in the United States Army during World War II. He performed with a theatrical troupe of GIs in Europe. Evans made his film debut in 1947 and appeared in dozens of films and television programs. He specialized in playing tough guys such as cowboys, sheriffs, convicts, and sergeants.

Acting career

Evans appeared in numerous films produced, directed, and written by Samuel Fuller. In his memoirs A Third Face, Fuller described meeting Evans when casting his Korean War film The Steel Helmet (1950). Fuller threw an M1 Garand rifle at Evans, who caught it and inspected it as a soldier would have done. Evans had been a United States Army engineer in World War II. Fuller kept Evans and refused John Wayne for the role and fought to keep him despite Robert L. Lippert and his partner wanting Larry Parks for the role. [2] Fuller walked off the film and would not return until Evans was reinstated. [3] Evans also appeared in Fuller's Fixed Bayonets! , [4] Hell and High Water , [5] Shock Corridor [6] and lost 30 pounds to play the lead in Park Row . [7]

Evans portrayed the authoritarian but wise father, Rob McLaughlin, on the 1956-1957 television series My Friend Flicka . He next co-starred in 1958 as Major Al Arthur in Damn Citizen, a film based on the life of crusading State Police superintendent Francis Grevemberg of Louisiana. In 1960, Evans was cast as Otis Stockert in "The Frontiersman" on the Western series Wichita Town . That same year, he was cast as Boone Hackett in the episode "Die Twice" of the Western series Johnny Ringo . He was also cast in 1960 as army sergeant Dan Phillips in the episode "The Quota" of Riverboat , another Western series. In the storyline, Phillips shanghais Grey Holden (Darren McGavin) and a crew member of the river vessel Enterprise to meet the army's "quota" for new recruits. [8]

In 1961, Evans guest-starred as Sheriff Tom Wilson in "Incident on the Road Back" in Rawhide . He then was cast as Walter Kopek, an undercover agent of the United States Treasury Department in the 1963 episode "The Moonshiners" of GE True , hosted by Jack Webb. In this episode's plot, Kopek moves against a bootlegging operation in Florida run by the mobster Bill Munger (Robert Emhardt). [9]

Evans was cast as the historical Winfield Scott Stratton, a miner in Colorado, in the 1964 episode, "Sixty-seven Miles of Gold" on the syndicated anthology series, Death Valley Days , hosted by Stanley Andrews. James Best and Jack Albertson played Jimmy Burns and Pearlman, respectively. In the story line, Stratton strikes it rich as he signs over his mining claim to a syndicate. [10]

In 1966, Evans appeared on the drama series Perry Mason as Sheriff "Moose" Dalton in "The Case of the Scarlet Scandal". He starred as well in Peopletoys in 1974 with Leif Garrett, and in the fall of 1976, Evans starred on the adventure series Spencer's Pilots .

In January 1979, Evans appeared as Garrison Southworth in one episode of Dallas . He guest-starred in 10 episodes of Gunsmoke . In 1965, Evans guest-starred as Jake Burnett in the episode "Vendetta" of The Legend of Jesse James . Two years later, he appeared as Deedricks in the episode "Breakout" of Custer .

In January 1982, Evans performed in the role of war reporter Clayton Kibbee in an episode of CBS's M*A*S*H titled "Blood and Guts". He also appeared on stage in the late 1980s as the gruesome Papa in the stage production Papa Is All, directed by playwright Tommy F. Scott in Jackson, Tennessee. Evans retired to a farm in Tennessee following his role in the original film version of Walking Tall .

Evans died at age 75 of heart failure at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital in Jackson, Tennessee on April 1, 1998. He was interred at Highland Memorial Gardens, also located in Jackson. [11] [12]

Partial filmography


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  1. "Gene Evans", Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Retrieved April 22, 2017.
  2. Fuller, Samuel (2002). A Third Face: My Tale of Writing, Fighting, and Filmmaking. New York: Alfred A Knopf, 2002.
  3. Fuller, Samuel (2002). A Third Face: My Tale...; 258-259.
  4. Fixed Bayonets, film synopsis and cast and crew credits, Turner Classic Movies (TCM). Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  5. Hell and High Water, film synopsis and cast and crew credits, TCM. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  6. Shock Corridor IMDb. Retrieved April 22, 2017.
  7. Eder, Bruce. Synopsis of the 1952 film Park Row. AllMovie.
  8. "'The Quota', November 28, 1960". IMDb. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
  9. "The Moonshiners", G.E.True (S01E21), originally aired February 24, 1963. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  10. "Sixty-seven Miles of Gold on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  11. The Associated Press (1998). "Gene Evans, Actor, 75", obituary. The New York Times, April 4, 1998. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  12. Gene Evans at Find a Grave