Celebrity Photo

Richard Reeves

  • Highest Rated: 100% Force of Evil (1948)
  • Lowest Rated: 33% The Racket (1951)
  • Birthday: Aug 10, 1912
  • Birthplace: Not Available
  • Character actor Richard Reeves was one of the most familiar heavies in big- and small-screen crime dramas and westerns of the early/middle 1950s. In just a thin sliver of his total output, he threatened (and even tortured) friends and allies of the Man of Steel in episodes of the Adventures of Superman, murdered district attorney Robert Shayne (and got Lou Costello into terrible trouble) in the Abbott & Costello film Dance With Me, Henry, and helped scare Lucy Ricardo and Ethel Mertz half-to-death as an assassin from Franistan in an episode of I Love Lucy. Richard Jourdan Reeves was born in New York City in 1912, and his acting career seems to have begun in tandem with his World War II military service, in the movie This Is The Army (1943). Solidly built and heavy set with dark, wavy hair, Reeves went into acting in character and bit parts after the war, almost all of them uncredited until the advent of television -- when he did receive billing, it was sometimes as Dick Richards, Richard J. Reeves, and Dick Reeves. He played an array of police officers, soldiers, prison guards, laborers, and drivers in an array of films (including Abraham Polonsky's Force Of Evil and Richard Thorpe's Carbine Williams). But mostly as the 1950s wore on he gravitated toward thugs and henchmen -- though never the "brains" of the outfit -- whether in crime dramas or westerns. He made his first appearance on the Adventures of Superman in the 1951 episode "No Holds Barred" as a tough, somewhat lunk-headed wrestler working for a crooked promoter, and over the next few seasons portrayed various strong-arm men and leg-breakers working in the service of crime, on that show and others. But Reeves' seeming lack of intellect in his portrayals, and a slightly good nature that came through, often made his criminal characters in that series seem just a little sympathetic, at least compared to the men for whom they worked, and that gave his portrayals an edge that young viewers, especially, often remembered fondly. The closest he got to a role with real dignity on television in those days was in the episode of "The Boy Who Hated Superman", one of Reeves' finest acting jobs, culminating in a beautiful scene in which his rough-hewn hood, trying to hijack $5000 intended for his employer, opens a young man's eyes about the real nature of the criminal uncle he has idolized. By the mid-1950s, Reeves was ensconsed in these sorts of character roles, whether criminals, tough military men, or police officers. He also managed to impress directors and producers sufficiently to get asked back a lot on many shows -- after appearing in as an assassin from Franistan in the I Love Lucy episode "The Publicity Agent", Reeves did seven more appearances on the series across the run of the show. And his presence on western series such as The Roy Rogers Show, 26 Men, Cheyenne, and other western series was downright ubiquitous. The television work was broken up by the occasional bit part in feature films such as Androcles And The Lion (1952) and Destry (1954). His role in Dance With Me, Henry (1956) was one of his two biggest movie parts, but not his most challenging. The latter distinction was reserved for Reeves' rare chance to play a character on the side of the angels -- in Sherman A. Rose's sci-fi thriller Target Earth (1954), Reeves was cast opposite Virginia Grey as part of a quartet of survivors of an alien invasion of an American city, hiding out and trying to survive. It was his shining moment on-screen, allowing him to show a heroic, intelligent, and sensitive side (even as he strangles a man -- deservedly so -- with his bare hands in one scene). The actor was busy in the 1960s, appearing in lots of western series, and also had a bit part in Billy Wilder's Kiss Me, Stupid (1964). Reeves even managed to make an appearance in the first episode of Batman. He was still doing a mixture of television and film work at the time of his death, at age 54, in 1967.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

Movies

Rating

Title

Credit

Box
Office

Year

77% Seabiscuit Radio Reporter Joe $120.2M 2003
58% Farinelli Actor 1994
95% Dave Himself 1993
43% The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin Last Haircut Man (uncredited) 1967
No Score Yet Billy the Kid vs. Dracula Pete 1966
No Score Yet Harum Scarum Scarred Bedouin 1965
No Score Yet Frankie and Johnny Man on Street 1965
No Score Yet A House Is Not a Home Pete Snyder 1964
No Score Yet The Rookie 1st MP 1959
93% Auntie Mame Mr. Krantz 1958
82% Gunfight at the O.K. Corral Foreman 1957
No Score Yet The Buckskin Lady Porter 1957
No Score Yet Dance With Me, Henry! Mushie 1956
No Score Yet Ma and Pa Kettle at Waikiki Lefty Conway 1955
No Score Yet I Died a Thousand Times Deputy 1955
No Score Yet Top Gun Willetts 1955
No Score Yet Destry Mac 1954
No Score Yet Target Earth Jim 1954
No Score Yet Loophole Pete Mazurki 1954
No Score Yet Money from Home Henchman 1953
No Score Yet Fair Wind to Java Hoppo Two 1953
No Score Yet The Glass Wall Eddie 1953
No Score Yet We're Not Married Brigadier General 1952
No Score Yet Pride of St. Louis Connelly 1952
No Score Yet Carbine Williams Guard 1952
No Score Yet Hoodlum Empire Rollins 1952
No Score Yet She's Working Her Way Through College Mike 1952
33% The Racket Leo 1951
No Score Yet Double Deal Detective Miller 1950
100% Force of Evil Policeman 1948
No Score Yet The Long Night Cop 1947

TV

Rating

Title

Credit

Year

No Score Yet PBS NewsHour Weekend
2013
Guest
  • 2017
68% Doctor Who
1963-1989
Kaled Leader
  • 1975
No Score Yet I Dream of Jeannie
1965-1970
Garbage Man #1 1st Man
  • 1966
  • 1965
83% The Munsters
1964-1966
1st Policeman Gil Craig
  • 1965
  • 1964
No Score Yet My Favorite Martian
1963-1966
Picnicker Detective
  • 1965
  • 1963
No Score Yet Perry Mason
1957-1966
2nd Truck Driver Taxi Driver Potkin
  • 1965
  • 1964
  • 1962
No Score Yet Rawhide
1959-1965
Carmody
  • 1964
No Score Yet Gunsmoke
1955-1975
Heavy Drunk
  • 1964
  • 1960
No Score Yet Bonanza
1959-1973
Townsman #1 Clayton
  • 1960
  • 1959
No Score Yet Maverick
1957-1962
Monty Rare Plummer Bull Crumpert Prospector Anthony Offord
  • 1960
  • 1958
  • 1957
No Score Yet Zorro
1957-1961
Carlos
  • 1959
  • 1958
No Score Yet The Adventures of Superman
1952-1958
Frenchy Bad Luck Brannigan Little Jack Tough Guy Stacey Tracy
  • 1956
  • 1955
  • 1954
  • 1953
  • 1952
No Score Yet Upstairs Downstairs
1971-1975
Michael

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