Alan Dinehart III
Mason Dinehart III -- who also worked under the names Alan Dinehart, Alan Dinehart III, and Mason Alan Dinehart -- was born into the entertainment business. His grandfather, Alan Dinehart (aka Alan Dinehart Sr.), was a veteran character actor and one of the movies' great heavies; his father, Alan Dinehart Jr., was a successful stage character actor and writer, whose play Separate Rooms was for many years among the longest-running non-musical plays in the history of Broadway; and his mother, Mozelle Britton, was in the casting department at Columbia Pictures, and later starred in Separate Rooms. When the young Dinehart was 12 years old, a tenant in the family's home, Harold Rossmore, who worked in the casting department at Republic Pictures, persuaded him to audition for a role in the Roy Rogers film Eyes of Texas. That constituted the younger Dinehart's professional introduction to acting, and was followed by a featured role in the Blondie movie Blondie's Big Deal (1949), and a small role in the Columbia serial Superman -- from there, he went on to appear in a string of mostly Western movies and television series, including The Lone Ranger, Death Valley Days, 26 Men, and The Texan, in roles of various sizes. His big television role, however, was as the young Bat Masterson in the series The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, which he played in dozens of episodes.