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Old 10-08-2009, 02:32 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 12, 2008
Location: Sonoma County, California
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Default The case of Robert John Pittman

I read here that Robert John Pittman may have passed away. I do not believe this.

I did know he was in Hawaii for some time. I wrote the 9/12/2008 blog below “Robert John Pittman – Seymour” … as I stated I met Robert in 1980 when I was doing some plays & TV in LA. We became fast friends and spent a lot of time together for ~ 5 months. Robert used another name as an adult. He showed me his wallet ID information shortly after we met to make the point. He said that although Robert John Pittman was his name he now considered it his performer name. Robert explained it was just easier to do it this way … he said this with the perpetual smile he always wore. Being such I will not disclose this adult name. Robert had a lot of amusing to funny stories about the TV series … some gossipy but all positive and he considered the TV experience good for him … he joked about the “child actor category” he found himself involved with but he considered it natural as his older half-sister had been a child actor also. He did state more than once that during productions Jay North was always roped off from the other kids and that no one was allowed to talk to him. Robert said sometimes, as Robert being a little kid that Robert felt anxious that he could not get close to this other kid except when shooting a scene.

Robert’s immediate family is a story of exceptionally talented persons in both film and particularly television: his half-sister (by the same mother) is actress Sherry Jackson who was the older sister on the TV sitcom “Make Room For Daddy” and she was also one of Ma & Pa Kettle’s kids in the movie series along with countless other TV and movie roles. His mother, unfortunately whom I never met, was a TV screen writer. At the time Robert and I knew each other his mother was involved with the production of a TV movie about Elvis Presley where Shelly Winters played Elvis’ mother. That’s all I remember on that. His dad was the prolific actor/director Montgomery Pittman who started in TV work during what is now known as the Golden Age of Television: the 1950s. His dad directed lots & lots of television productions but I remember him best for Twilight Zone episodes directing great actors like Jack Elam and Lee Marvin. Robert said his dad passed away at the time of the Dennis the Menace series. Robert came to the Dennis the Menace series as an experienced TV child actor having been previously directed by his father on another show. The combined stories in a book of Robert’s fascinating family would make a significant contribution to television history.

What caused my below 9/12/2008 blog is that by accident I saw, changing TV channels this past year, Dennis the Menace with Robert. I decided to contact Robert. Last year using the adult name I know Robert by and his actor name + Internet search engines + a combination of my other memory items I did locate Robert’s adult-name current address. I confirmed via a college buddy, a postal worker, that it was indeed an active address with that particular name (and the name also matched Robert’s age). This was this last year.

I wrote Robert a letter last year and offered a lunch rendezvous next time I was in his area. I never got a response. [I did not entirely expect a response … mind you my letter was in-part greatly an apology …. our friendship ended on an unpleasant note entirely due to my fault/my poor behavior.] I sent the letter and I believe Robert read it. In turn, the letter never came back from the postal service as ‘undelivered’ for either this particular address or this particular name.

Reading an email of a good friend’s rumored death caused me to ask a retired police officer friend of mine to verify his death. Marcia found neither obituaries nor death records for the State of Hawaii or the greater Los Angeles area for Robert John Pittman or his other adult name that I know him by.

For bloggers who knew Robert as an adult and therefore to them to verify my blog credibility: Robert and I were in our 20s when we met. As a young adult Robert was handsome ~ 5’10” slender built with curly brown hair ~ 2” long / never parted. Robert, as an adult, also kept the endearing sleepy-eyed looks that little Seymour had.

Considering Robert’s private nature I will no longer blog on him … it’s just that reporting a death erroneously or “I heard story” of such a superb old acquaintance is far-fetched for me. With a great deal of certainty Robert John Pittman is alive.

PS My sincere apologies to Robert for my writing all this. Looks like I am full of apologies Robert. I was only considering TV fans in writing this. I wish the best for you Robert..

………. Rufus
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Old 10-08-2009, 02:42 PM   #2
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The information I received regarding Mr. Pittman came from Dr. Jeanne Russell who played Margaret Wade on the show. I wrote to her asking her to confirm the passing of Billy Booth (Tommy Anderson) and she did. I asked about Robert John and she said he died years ago and believed he was living in Hawaii at the time. She had no further details on his passing. If you wish to contact her yourself, You can do so at I hope that Dr. Russell was in error because I really liked him. He was a gifted actor and was great as Seymour.
You can't see it with your eyes, hold it in your hand
But like the wind it covers our land
Strong enough to rule the heart of any man
This thing called love
It can lift you up never let you down
Take your world and turn it all around
Ever since time nothing's ever been found
That's stronger than love

Written by Jerry (Reed) Hubbard
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