View Full Version : Don DeFore and Dick Van Dyke?
How is Don DeFore, Hazel's "Mr. B" connected to Dick Van Dyke?
About three weeks into fifth grade a new boy had just moved to town and joined the class. Chris was seated next to me. As we talked I was bragging that my father, Don DeFore, was going to be co-starring in a new TV series called "Hazel." He was very excited but not so much for me but for himself. "Wow, my Dad just won a Tony award and we just moved to California because he's going to be in a TV show too." To which I replied, "What's a Tony Award?" "What's a Tony Award?" He asked mockingly. With great indignation he blurted, "My Dad is Dick Van Dyke!" "Who is Dick Van Dyke?" I asked. From that point on Chris Van Dyke and I remained good friends. He, Barry and I would hang out a lot at either our home in Brentwood on Mandeville Canyon or his up Westridge Road. Join DonDeFore@groups.facebook.com and also at www.defore.net
08-29-2011, 03:57 PM
Interesting story, Ron. Thanks for sharing. Have you heard any recent news on the release date from Shout! Factory for season 2 of Hazel? They indicated both on their website and on www.tvshowsondvd.com that it would be coming out sometime in 2011. Hazel is one of my top favorite shows of all time, seasons 1 through 4 that is. I really loved the show when your dad and Whitney Blake starred in it alongside Shirley Booth. I can't wait till season 2 comes out. It was the first season shot entirely in color.
On another note, the Mandeville Canyon area of Brentwood is beautiful. I know there was a famous TV house there that was used on countless shows like Mannix, Fugitive, Mission Impossible, Cannon and most famously served as the house of Jonathan and Jennifer Hart on the Aaron Spelling show "Hart to Hart". Are you familiar with this house? It has such a tranquil setting that I would love to tour this area.
08-31-2011, 05:03 PM
Don Defore was also very good in an unusual role for him, as an obnoxious braggart sort of character, as he played in an episode of My 3 Sons. This 3 Sons episode was filmed shortly after Don left Hazel, he looks practically the same, except he plays a different character altogether. He plays a buddy of Steve's, I believe a work buddy, and tries to force his daughter and Chip together, to be the perfect couple, even though they can't stand each other, he brags and gets in Steve's face. Anyway, Don was excellent. I also liked his role in Mannix where he played a Morton Downey type TV show host. This was filmed before Morton Downey's time, I suppose he was more based on Joe Pine as brash TV host. Don was good in this Mannix episode also. I liked him as Duke's buddy in "Without Reservations", I have a nice colorized version of this movie. Don's his usual pleasant self. I believe he was also in an Ellery Queen episode, though I don't remember the details of this, except, I think he turned out to be the murderer!!
But one of my all time favorite surprise sightings of Don Defore was when I remember watching the Republican Convention when President Reagan was running for office and for re-election, there to my pleasant surprise (I'm a big fan of Pres. Reagan from way back) was Don Defore waving a big sign for our man Reagan in the middle of the floor of delegates. It was almost surreal seeing "Mr. B" as an enthusiastic Reagan fan, though it would be in character (after all, they both had the same hair) waving his sign in the crowd. He was a great supporter of The Gipper. Don Defore, I salute you :cheer: (and you were right in your arguments with Hazel too).
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