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Poster: Mr. Television
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Writer Cameron "Cam" Garrett Brooks (Robert Young) returned to his
hometown of Millsburg in search of materials for stories. He moved
into the Majestic Hotel and resumed an old friendship with Lloyd
Ramsey ( Ford Rainey), editor of the local newspaper. The people he
knew as well as those he met at the hotel, served as subjects for his
stories. Tim Matheson starred as 13-year-old Roddy Miller in an
undetermined number of episodes. Constance Moore appeared ten times as
Cam's blonde female friend Christina "Chris" Logan, who had remained
behind years earlier, when she was known as "Tina", as he had left
Millsberg for points undisclosed.
The series aired a sentimental holiday episode "Christmas Memory" on
December 18, 1961, in which Cam recalls a foolish dispute with his
late wife over the gift of a butter churn. In the spring the Majestic
was temporarily closed for renovations, Cameron took a room in the
home of Wally and Peggy Evans ( James Davidson, Carol Byron). Film
star Coleen Gray guest starred as Miss Wycliffe in the series finale,
"A Job for the Summer", which aired on May 23, 1962.
Robert Young, the star of this series had just completed a six year
run in the highly popular Father Knows Best. He was looking for a
different type of series to display his talents, but Window on Main
Street was not successful and so Young subsequently went into
retirement -until 1969 when Marcus Melby came along.
Window on Main Street (1961)
Given that one of his reasons for wanting out of Father Knows Best
was the taxing grind of producing a weekly television series, it may
seem odd that Robert Young jumped right back into that fire only a
year later with the same producer, Eugene Rodney, principal
scriptwriter, Roswell Rogers, and musical supervisor, Irving Friedman,
that he had worked with on the series he couldn't wait to be rid of.
And the sentimental, moralizing tone of his new series, Window on Main
Street, was remarkably similar to the one he'd just finished as well.
Only this time, freed from the constraints of a family-themed show to
explore any topics they chose, Young, Rodney, and Rogers failed to
find an audience.
The premise is that Young plays writer Cameron Garrett Brooks, who
returns to his hometown of Millsburg after his wife and child die in a
car accident involving icy conditions, which we learn in "Christmas
Memory" (December 18, 1961). He takes up residence in the Majestic
Hotel with a second-story balcony view of Main Street, allowing him to
watch the comings and goings of the town's residents and inspiring him
with ideas for his next book. As he tells old friend and newspaper
editor Lloyd Ramsey (played by Ford Rainey), his plan is to tell the
remarkable stories of the town's ordinary citizens. Ramsey tries to
dissuade him from the venture, arguing that much has changed in the
town since he left years ago and that what he remembers about the town
is gone, but Brooks holds steadfast to his idea. He also discovers a
love interest in the first episode, "The Return" (October 2, 1961),
which plays out as something of a mystery when he receives half a
letter that he wrote before leaving Millsburg to conquer the world. In
that letter, written to a young girl who followed him to a secluded
spot where he could envision his future, he promised to one day return
and reward her with a kiss from a man who by then would be a famous
author. The fame and fortune have eluded Brooks, and he fails to
recognize that the young girl is now Ramsey's assistant at the
newspaper Chris Logan (played by Constance Moore), herself also a
widow with a teenage son Arny (Brad Berwick).
Reconciliation with the past and widow(er)s are recurring plot devices
in the series, as shown in the fourth episode, "The Chambermaid"
(October 23, 1961) in which Brooks is surprised to learn of the high
society past of his hotel chambermaid Vinia Webster (Mary Adams),
herself also a widow forced into a menial job after her husband's
death when she learned that the lifestyle he lavished on her was not
supported by wise financial decisions. But despite coming down in the
world and initially hating her job, Vinia eventually comes to cherish
it because it makes her feel useful. When her nephew and his wife come
to town to spirit her away to a relaxing retirement home, she declines
the offer because she feels that she is needed more by the occupants
of the hotel where she works. Another resident who must become
reconciled with his past is newly minted doctor John "Buzz" Neldrum in
"A Doctor Comes to Town" (October 16, 1961). Buzz was a wild child in
his youth and has a hard time convincing residents who knew him then
that he can be trusted with their health now. When he can secure only
a single patient after several weeks, he is about to pack up and
accept an offer to work in another doctor's practice in West Virginia
until that one patient makes him feel that she would be lost without
him. Immediately others in the town begin to see that he is a
Things have a way of always working out in Millsburg, where even
aspiring criminals wind up solid citizens. In "The Dollar Nineteen
Cent Thief" (December 4, 1961) confused young man Elroy Paulsen breaks
into Brooks' hotel room intending to steal whatever money he can find
after watching his father slave for years but never save enough money
to buy the boat he's always wanted. Young Elroy figures it's better to
grab what you want now, only he is so inept that he can find only the
$1.19 Brooks left on his desk for his dry cleaning, completely missing
a $10 bill buried under some papers. After Brooks refuses to be
frightened by the young robber, he winds up introducing him to
Ramsey's daughter, who stops by to remind Brooks to be on time for her
performance in a school operetta, and when Elroy has a chance to talk
to her, he decides he would rather go see her sing and find a real job
rather than be misled into a life of crime. Brooks' calm demeanor and
interest in steering Elroy down the right path is enough to turn the
tide in the town where crime doesn't stand a chance against virtue.
Nor do doubt and depression stand a chance in Millsburg. In "A Day in
the Life of an Editor" (November 27, 1961) Ramsey struggles with how
to reply in print to a young boy's letter asking where God came from.
After much thought and research at the library, Ramsey has to go to
the boy's house and tell him he doesn't have an answer but in so doing
the boy provides him with the elusive answer by saying that "God just
is." And when Brooks himself sinks into despair when remembering a
past Christmas he spent with his now dead wife, he is brought back to
the sunny side of the street when he remembers the words of janitor
and department-store Santa Ludwig that Christmas isn't just the week
leading up to December 25th but the entire year, words that he has to
remind Ludwig to follow when the Santa gets down because his time
playing St. Nick has passed for another year.
Of course the great irony in all of this positivity is that Young
himself, as delineated in the biography section of the 1960 post on
Father Knows Best, was a nearly lifelong alcoholic and clinically
depressed, suffering a nervous breakdown in 1966 and attempting
suicide in 1991, at which point he explained that he felt like a phony
all those years portraying characters who always had their lives
together while he did not. Perhaps doing shows like Father Knows Best,
Marcus Welby, M.D., and Window on Main Street were his escape from
what he felt was a hypocritical life, but in the case of Window on
Main Street viewers weren't buying it.
The music for the series was provided by Irving Friedman, who was
profiled in the 1960 post on Father Knows Best.
The series premiered on Monday, October 2, 1961, following the second
and final season of the sitcom, Pete and Gladys, and preceding The
Danny Thomas Show. The program filled the time slot vacated the
previous season by the unsuccessful sitcom, Bringing Up Buddy,
starring Frank Aletter. Window on Main Street was paired opposite The
Price Is Right starring Bill Cullen on NBC and Chuck Connors in The
Rifleman on ABC.
Father Knows Best was still on the CBS schedule on Wednesdays in prime
time repeats during the 1961-1962 season; so Young was featured in two
network comedies the same season.
Along with his Father Knows Best producer Eugene B. Rodney, Young
worked in the writing and production of some of the episodes of Window
on Main Street.
The actor whom Louis B. Mayer once described as having "no sex
appeal" was born in Chicago, grew up in California, and broke into
movies in 1931 after being discovered by an MGM talent scout while
touring with a theatre stock company. Young's first appearance was in
a Charlie Chan movie and his early career included being an extra in
Keystone Cops movies. He had an extremely prolific career in films
through the 30s and 40s, appearing mostly in B grade films or in
supporting roles. However, he had a few juicier parts, such as in
Alfred Hitchcock's Secret Agent, in the first Mr. Belvedere film
Sitting Pretty, The Enchanted Cottage, and H.M. Pulham, Esq., but by
the end of the 40s the number of roles began to wane and he switched
to radio with Father Knows Best in 1949. After five years on radio,
the series moved to television with Young the only actor from the
original cast that made the transition to the small screen.
Despite Young's desire to leave the series in 1960, he was back on the
air with a new series in the fall of 1961 titled Window on Main
Street, which unfortunately lasted only a single season. After that
disappointment, Young had scant film and TV appearances throughout
much of the rest of the 1960s as Young, a nearly lifelong alcoholic
and clinically depressed, suffered a nervous breakdown in 1966.
However, he triumphantly returned to television in the fall of 1969 in
the lead role of Marcus Welby, M.D., which ran for seven seasons.
After the series ended, he did two Father Knows Best reunion TV movies
in 1977 and two Marcus Welby reunion TV movies in 1984 and 1988,
retiring from acting after the last of these. He unsuccessfully
attempted suicide in 1991, the same year in which he reportedly
recovered from his 45-year bout with depression. He died of
respiratory failure on July 21, 1998 at the age of 91.
Born in Sioux City, Iowa, Moore grew up in Dallas, Texas from the age
of 6 months and early on wanted to become a singer. She succeeded in
landing a singing job with CBS Radio at which point she was noticed by
a scout for Universal Studios and signed to a contract. She made her
first appearances on film at age 17 in 1937 and by the following year
had starring roles in B-grade fare such as Border Wolves, State
Police, and Swing That Cheer. In 1939 she played the only female role
in the Buck Rogers serial opposite Buster Crabbe and played W.C.
Fields' daughter in You Can't Cheat an Honest Man. She was a prolific
film actress through much of the 1940s, using her vocal talents in
films such as Atlantic City and Show Business in 1944 but retired from
film acting in 1947 after the birth of her second child with Hollywood
agent John Maschino. However, in the mid 1950s she returned to limited
acting roles, this time on television, starting with theatre anthology
programs. By 1960 she was making occasional guest appearances on shows
such as The Donna Reed Show, Laramie, and Markham before landing the
recurring roles as Robert Young's love interest Chris Logan on Window
on Main Street.
After the series' one-year run, she made only two more appearances on
TV--in a 1965 episode of The Young Marrieds and a 1967 episode of My
Three Sons. In her post-acting life she took up painting still lifes
and in the mid-70s served as the chairperson of the Beverly Hills
auxiliary of the Braille Institute. She died of heart failure on
September 16, 2005 at the age of 85.
The son of a school teacher and a jack-of-all-trades father who was a
champion in dance contests, Rainey was born in Mountain Home, Idaho
but grew up mainly in the northwest. He was a shy youth but was
encouraged to try acting by his high school drama teacher. He attended
Centralia Junior College in Washington state, followed by the Cornish
Drama School in Seattle, after which he moved to Connecticut to study
under Michael Chekhov. His Broadway debut came in a Chekhov production
of Dostoevski's The Possessed in 1939. During World War II he served
in the U.S. Coast Guard and settled in Ojai, California after the war,
helping to form the Ojai Valley Players with other Chekhov alumni.
Rainey remained active in the theatre into his 90s but made his first
film appearance in an uncredited role in James Cagney's 1949
masterpiece White Heat. Two years later he made his first television
appearance in a bit part on an episode of The Adventures of Kit
Carson. In the late 1950s and early 60s he landed roles in films such
as 3:10 to Yuma, The Last Mile, and Two Rode Together as well as
occasional TV guest spots mostly on drama anthology shows such as
Studio One in Hollywood, Kraft Theatre, and Robert Montgomery
Presents. He played Sheriff John Brady in two early episode of The
Tall Man in 1960 before landing his recurring role as newspaper editor
Lloyd Ramsey on Window on Main Street.
His love for the theatre led him to join Richard Boone's repertory
company for the single-season drama anthology The Richard Boone Show
in 1963-64, on which Rainey appeared 23 times. Through the remainder
of the 1960s he made many guest appearances on shows such as Bonanza,
The Virginian, and Perry Mason and had occasional film roles such as
in Steve McQueen's 1966 feature The Sand Pebbles. In the 1970s he
played the role of Jim Elgin, the adoptive father of The Six Million
Dollar Man and foster father of The Bionic Woman and played Frank
Evans on the soap opera Days of Our Lives. In the 1980s he played the
part of Will Milford on the miniseries Amerika and appeared in
Halloween II. In the 1990s he played the role of Nate on Ned and
Stacey and from 1999-2003 played the character Mickey on The King of
Queens. Rainey was also a nature lover who raised bees on his home
farm in Malibu and took up breeding budgerigars, a species of bird
similar to the parakeet, for which he won many trophies and ribbons.
He built his own solar heater and was dubbed by the neighborhood
children "The Wizard." His son James became a writer and editor for
the Los Angeles Times, and his other son Robert became a chiropractor
who was murdered in his Los Angeles office in 2012. Rainey himself
died after a series of strokes at the age of 96 on July 25, 2005.
Virtually nothing has been published about child actor Brad Berwick,
who played Arny Logan, son of Chris Logan, on Window on Main Street.
His only other acting credit is a single appearance on a 1963 episode
of Leave It to Beaver. However, he probably achieved his greatest
notoriety by recording the campy song "I'm Better Than the Beatles"
for newly founded Clinton Records in 1965.
Not much is known about Warner Jones, ironic in that in his obituary
published January 5, 2011 in the Eureka Times-Standard, the author
twice mentions that rather than regale others about his Hollywood
past, Jones would tell them to Google him. His role playing Capt.
Wilbur Scott on The Blue Angels was the most significant of his
career. He also had five appearances as Harry McGill on the TV series
Window on Main Street in 1961 and one appearance each on The Rifleman,
Mr. Lucky, and The Andy Griffith Show. According to the Times-Standard
obituary, he moved around a lot after his acting career ended, trying
his hand at selling insurance and teaching before settling in Houston,
TX and working for the VA for 16 years. But then a vacation trip to
Eureka convinced him to retire there, where he spent the last 20 years
of his life.
June Mary Adams was born in Georgia in 1910. Other than her
filmography, nothing much is known about her other than her year of
birth and date of death. She broke into feature films in 1948,
appearing in Hazard, For the Love of Mary, and Night Has a Thousand
Eyes. Her biggest role was in 1954's Executive Suite but she also had
supporting roles in exploitation fare such as Rebel in Town, Blood of
Dracula, and Diary of a Madman. Her television credits began in 1951
and included appearances on shows such as Craig Kennedy,
Criminologist, Father Knows Best, M Squad, and My Three Sons. Her
roles as chambermaid Vinia Webster on Window on Main Street was her
only recurring role. She died November 30, 1973 at the age of 70 and
is buried in Westchester County, New York.
Notable Guest Stars
Season 1, Episode 1, "The Return": Erin O'Brien-Moore (Miss Choate on
Peyton Place) plays English teacher Miss Kelly. Charles Thompson
(Tommy Magnuson on Peyton Place) plays a school janitor.
Season 1, Episode 3, "A Doctor Comes to Town": John Lupton (shown on
the left, played Tom Jeffords on Broken Arrow and Frank on Never Too
Young) plays new Millsburg doctor John "Buzz" Neldrum. Bob Hastings
(Lt. Elroy Carpenter on McHale's Navy and Tommy Kelsey on All in the
Family) plays his old friend Warren. Nelson Olmsted (Capt. Masters on
The Phil Silvers Show) plays hospital representative Dr. Blake.
Season 1, Episode 4, "The Chambermaid": Lauren Gilbert (appeared in
X-15, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, and The Fortune Cookie and played
Harry Noll on Hazel) plays chambermaid Vinia Webster's husband Miles.
Season 1, Episode 9, "A Day in the Life of an Editor," aka "The
Letter": Harriet MacGibbon (shown on the right, played Margaret
Drysdale on The Beverly Hillbillies) plays garden club president Mrs.
Season 1, Episode 10, "The Dollar Nineteen Cent Thief": David Macklin
(Billy Harris on Harris Against the World) plays confused young thief
Elroy Paulsen. Brenda Scott (Midge Pride on The Road West) plays Lloyd
Ramsey's daughter Evelyn.
Season 1, Episode 12, "Christmas Memory": Ludwig Stossel (shown on the
left, appeared in Casablanca, Kings Row, and Pride of the Yankees and
played Peter Van Dyne on Ramar of the Jungle and Anton Kovac on Man
With a Camera) plays hotel janitor Ludwig. Claire Wilcox (Deedee
Harris on Harris Against the World and Bootsie Cabot on Ben Casey)
plays a little girl visiting a department-store Santa.
To watch episodes of Window on Main Street go to https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLehwzgbsMqvWtwjIsBeHeUvgDADV_yyGS
For more on Window on Main Street go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Window_on_Main_Street
For an episode guide go to http://ctva.biz/US/Drama/WindowOnMainStreet.htm
To watch the opening credits go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ja3TC4x2ylA
*****All of my 1960's links pages have been updated as of 7/5/2018)
*****All of the distortion pages that happened when Sitcoms Online was upgraded to the new server have been fixed as far as I know. If you see any more PM me. 7/5/2018
� Date: Sun April 8, 2012 � Filesize: 44.5kb, 80.0kb � Dimensions: 789 x 1000 �
Keywords: Robert Young, Ford Rainey & Constance Moore (Links Updated 5/28/2017)