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Old 09-28-2008, 07:42 PM   #1
RD4
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Default My Father Was Mr. B

Wow - I just discovered this forum - I guess I, and those that enjoyed Hazel, hit the jackpot - my father was Don DeFore - "Mr. B." So if anyone has any specific questions - fire away. I'll also start reading some of the questions already posted and as I have time I will attemp to answer.

Glad to join the group,

Ron DeFore
www.defore.net
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Old 09-29-2008, 11:46 AM   #2
TeeVeeCloset
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Let me be the first to say a big welcome to you Mr. Defore to the sitcoms online boards where we as a big and small community debate and discuss various topics of little interest to some and big interest to some as well....lol.......on the ozzie and harriet board we have discussed at length as to why Don left the show and when?.....according to Ozzie's autobiography he stated that Don wanted more compensation and asked Ozzie directly instead of going through proper channels. As a big admirer of Don & Ozzie, I personally felt that was a bit harsh of Ozzie to fire Don over such a matter. If you could shed any light it would be interesting and again welcome to the boards...I checked out your website and it is quite impressive!
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Old 10-01-2008, 12:21 PM   #3
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Glad you found this place. Please come over to the Ozzie and Harriet board. too. We'd love to have you join in with us.
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Old 10-03-2008, 05:30 PM   #4
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Your father was a great actor! Hazel is one of my all-time favorite television shows and I only wish that either Sony or Shout Factory would release season 2 on DVD soon! Personally, I preferred the seasons where your father and Whitney Blake were on the show. After they left, I lost interest. Were you old enough to know your Dad was a TV star back when the show was filiming in the early 1960s? Did your Dad ever come home and tell you funny stories about being on the set?
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Old 10-12-2008, 11:02 PM   #5
RD4
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In answer to the question, "did I know my father was a star..." My mother's story is that one day I came home from school and asked her, "gee, is Dad really THE Don DeFore?" It was fun growing up with all of that, but again, this was Brentwood and to all my friends it wasn't all that unusual. Went to school with Greg Federson, Barry Van Dyke, Steve Whitmore, Annie Widmark, Tony Caruso, Danny and Paul Morgan, and a number I can't think of right now. And thanks for the welcome - I will check in on the Ozzie and Harriet board.
Ron DeFore
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Old 10-13-2008, 10:32 AM   #6
Lee G
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Don DeFore was a good actor, always a pro in everything he did. I'm most familiar with him from Hazel, I know he was also in Ozzie & Harriet for a time. Wasn't he in a western show as well? He appeared in a number of movies before finding success in Ozzie's show and then as George Baxter in Hazel.
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Old 10-14-2008, 11:32 AM   #7
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Welcome! As you can tell by my postername, I LOVE Hazel. I too am waiting patiently for the next season to come out!
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Old 10-31-2008, 02:04 PM   #8
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TV My appreciation

To Don's son, Ron, I just want you to know I have been watching your father every week for the past 22 years, sometimes twice a week. During the '60's I watched the show when it was first on, I remember lying on my Dad's back as he laid on the floor watching the show with me. We both liked Hazel. The mid to late '80's was when I first got cable and that was when I was first able to actually record Hazel, my very favorite show along with George Reeves' Superman. As you can see from my name on this site, I'm always in the mood to watch a Hazel episode. For about 15 years I watched Hazel twice a week. I'm still watching Hazel now every Saturday morning. I really enjoy your Dad in the show, he was the best Mr. B. Several years ago I transferred all the Hazel episodes over to DVD in episode guide order using SP speed. With DVDs I no longer have to worry my valuable Hazel tapes might get ruined in the VCR if it ever decided to eat a tape. That never happened, but I used to worry about it every week when I watched.

Did you know your Dad now appears on the cover of the very latest "Critics' Choice" video magazine? It's advertising his Christmas themed movie "It Happened on 5th Ave." http://www.ccvideo.com/item.cfm?itemid=WBD009828

I also have your Dad in episodes of Mannix, Ellery Queen, & Ozzie & Harriet, and a colorized version of "Without Reservations" and several other movies. He was great. Also I appreciate all he did for Ronald Reagan's election campaign. I remember seeing him attending the GOP conventions. It goes without saying Pres. Reagan was the very best President. Your Dad seems to have been great not only on TV but off screen as well. Good to finally be able to say this to you. (Also read your Wash. Post TV book article some years ago on your efforts to assemble a collection of your father's work on video. Hope this went well.) Very nice to know you appreciate your father's work.
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Old 10-11-2013, 12:11 PM   #9
RD4
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Default Answers to questions

Sorry for the delay in my response - I've been producing an historical video of my firm that I'm going to show to them tonight...

As suggested, I will chime in on the Ozzie & Harriet message board and I don't have an answer yet to TeeVeeCloset's question about why my Dad left the show. I was only about 7 at the time so I've posed the question to my older siblings who may remember. However, there's the old adage: there's two sides to every story." Ozzie's memory of why is probably quite different than my Dad's especially because my Dad was very good at embellishing a story, and it's only human nature that each side would have different recollections. I'll let you all know if I get an answer.

As far as politics (hope this doesn't turn off any Democrats here :-)...my father was one of the few conservatives in "Hollywood." He raised us kids very conservatively, built a house in Brentwood which, back in the 50's, was considered "out in the country." In fact in the early days we had a cow, chickens, ducks, etc. in the backyard! He was friends with Reagan, produced one of his first political events at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, was a Reagan Delegate to both Republican National Conventions, and was appointed to Regan's Presidential Advisory Board to the Peace Corps in the early 1980s.
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Old 10-17-2013, 01:56 PM   #10
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Kudos to your dad for having the courage to be a conservative in Hollywood. I applaud him for his support of the Republican party. I've read several articles about your father and it appears that he was a very good man, indeed. Thanks for posting to this web forum, Ron.
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Old 10-30-2013, 06:05 PM   #11
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I saw the original pilot of Hazel with another actor and it's just not the same show. Your father gave the cast the right chemistry needed to make it a hit. I enjoy watching his great performance as Mr. B very much. His banter with Shirley Booth's character was hilarious.

I guess you're the boy who likes recess in this 1962 peak into the life of your family:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXOgFX8VGm4
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Old 11-19-2013, 11:33 AM   #12
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Biggrin Your Dad Was a "Doozy!"

Ron:

I missed very few episodes of "Hazel" on NBC. While I confess at the time I was probably more interested in the new Fords (including the red '63 Galaxie 500/XL convertible George drove!--I was 11 back then), I always loved how Hazel and your father tangled about everything from watching his weight to remodeling the kitchen (shame they cut out all of the music when Hazel and Dorothy used the tape recorder in the Antenna TV showings).

There was such a warmth among the characters that you don't find in today's sitcoms, and as I grew older, I watched the reruns more for the characters than the cars. And your dad was a major part of it--indeed, he was a "doozy."

In fact, my user name was partially inspired by Whitney Blake's character. "Missy" is the nickname I gave my younger daughter Melissa when she was little, and a reminder of how much I loved--and still love--"Hazel"!
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