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Tom Reese (actor)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tom Reese
Tom Allen[1]

(1928-08-08)August 8, 1928
DiedDecember 12, 2017(2017-12-12) (aged 89)
Years active1958–2009
Height6 ft 3 in (191 cm)

Tom Reese (August 8, 1928[1] – December 12, 2017) was an American actor who appeared in many westerns on both the big- and small-screens.[2]

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Early life

Reese's father and uncle were country-western singers known as "The Allen Brothers,"[1] who traveled and performed bluegrass music with the family. Reese served two tours in the United States Marine Corps, and was a military policeman.[3] His G.I. Bill enabled him to study dramatics at the American Theater Wing.[1] Reese spent fifteen years on the road working nightclubs, studied with Lee Strasberg, and performed off-Broadway and in local TV shows.


His film debut was in John Cassavetes' New York-made Shadows (1958). His next film credit was in the Elvis Presley western Flaming Star (1960).[1][3] His early film credits also include, Marines, Let's Go (1961), 40 Pounds of Trouble (1962), and Murderers' Row (1966), among others.[3] In 2009 Reese played the part of Inspector Riley in Dark and Stormy Night, an independent film that spoofs both the haunted house and murder mystery genres.[4][5]

For his television debut in 1959, Cassavetes also cast Reese in an episode of his detective series Johnny Staccato.[1] He would go on to make guest appearances in shows such as Bonanza, Branded, Charlie's Angels, Eight Is Enough, Emergency!, The Fugitive, Gunsmoke, The Guns of Will Sonnett, Have Gun – Will Travel, The High Chaparral, Knight Rider, Kung Fu, Laredo, Lawman, Mannix, Police Woman, Rawhide, Simon & Simon, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Twilight Zone, The Untouchables, The Virginian, The Wild Wild West, and Wonder Woman, among others.[1][3]

His television career also includes miniseries and movies, such as Dick Tracy[6] (1967), The Hollywood Detective[7] (1989), Once an Eagle[8] (1976), Six Against the Rock[9] (1987), Stranger on the Run[10]: 337  (1967), and The Virginia Hill Story[11] (1974) about the real-life girlfriend of mobster Bugsy Siegel.

From 1975 to 1976, Reese had a recurring role as Sergeant Thomas Velie in the television series Ellery Queen.[12] He also appeared in three episodes of The Red Hand Gang (1977) as Dolan's Partner.

At 6'3" and around 230 pounds, Reese has been in a number of notable fight scenes, going up against characters portrayed by other large actors, including James Arness, Chuck Connors, Mike Connors, Tony Curtis, Glen Ford, Roy Jenson, Dean Martin, Doug McClure, and Elvis Presley, among others.[3] In a comedic fight opposite Woody Allen in Sleeper (1973), Reese was out of action for twelve weeks after being injured.[3]


Reese died in December 2017 in Studio City, California, at the age of 89.[1]




Year Title Role Notes
1959 Johnny Staccato Eddie Dasko "The Return "
1960 Bonanza Burton "Blood on the Land"
1960 Gunsmoke Tulsa "Gentleman's Disagreement"
1960 Gunsmoke Leeds "Friend's Pay-Off"
1960 Have Gun – Will Travel[1] Yates "The Tender Gun"
1960 My Sister Eileen[12]: 1205  Alan Dahorsameche, "The Wreck"[13] "You Should Meet My Sister"[14]
1961 Gunsmoke Ben "Tall Trapper"
1961 Gunsmoke Scorp "Harriet"
1961 Lawman[1] Bob Mengis "The Son"
1961 The Twilight Zone[1] Intruder "The Midnight Sun"
1962 Gunsmoke Wellman "Reprisal"
1962 The Virginian Wid "Woman from White Wing"
1963 The Untouchables Sonny Dale "Search for a Dead Man"[15]
1964 Bonanza Lee Burton "The Underdog"
1965 The Fugitive[16] Norman "Scapegoat"
1964 Gunsmoke Judd "Friend"
1964 Rawhide Bert Carrico "Piney"
1965 Gunsmoke Wayne Hooker "The Pariah"
1965 Gunsmoke Wade Keys "The Hostage"
1965 Laredo Tom Baker "The Golden Trail"[17]
1965 Rawhide Jennings "Escort to Doom"
1965 The Virginian Hans Wollsack "Dangerous Road"
1965 The Wild Wild West[18] Wagon Driver "The Night of the Inferno"
1966 Bonanza Sgt. Devlin "The Last Mission"
1966 Branded Jess Muhler "McCord's Way"
1966 Gunsmoke Okie "The Brothers"
1966 Gunsmoke Dave Westerfeldt "Quaker Girl"
1966 Laredo Jake McBryde "That's Noway, Thataway"[19]
1967 Dick Tracy[6] Ben TV movie
1967 The Guns of Will Sonnett[1] Lando "Meeting at Devil's Fork"
1967 Gunsmoke Ben Stearman "Nitro!" Parts 1 & 2
1967 Stranger on the Run[10]: 337  Leo Weed TV movie
1968 Gunsmoke Slick Ragan "Waco"
1968 The High Chaparral[20] Judson "Ebenezer"
1969 The Bold Ones: The Protectors Tony Stovall "Draw a Straight Man"
1969 Land of the Giants[18]: 1981  Sgt. Gedo "Rescue"
1972 Mannix[3] Sweeny "Lost Sunday"
1973 Mannix[3] Springer "Cry Danger"
1974 Emergency![21] Dando "Details"
1974 Kung Fu[22] Sheriff "Blood of the Dragon (Part 1)"
1974 The Six Million Dollar Man[23] Joe Alabam "The Last of the Fourth of Julys"
1974 The Virginia Hill Story[11] Mac Hill TV movie
1975 Gunsmoke Charlie Dent "The Squaw"
1975 Ellery Queen[12] Sgt. Thomas Velie 22 episodes (1975–1976)
1976 Once an Eagle[8] Sergeant Stoner TV mini series, parts 4 & 5
1976 Police Woman[24] Piers "The Melting Point of Ice"
1976 Wonder Woman Carl "Wonder Woman vs Gargantua"
1977 Charlie's Angels Reed "Circus of Terror"
1977 The Red Hand Gang Dolan's Partner 3 episodes
1978 Eight Is Enough[25] Jack O'Hara "A Hair of the Dog"
1982 Simon & Simon[26] Frost "Double Entry"
1984 Knight Rider[18] Brother Carey "The Ice Bandits"
1987 Six Against the Rock[9] Captain Weinhold TV movie
1989 The Hollywood Detective[7] Lt. Victor Grabouski TV movie


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Barnes, Mike (March 26, 2018). "Tom Reese, Burly Actor Famous for His Movie Fistfights, Dies at 89". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 18, 2022.
  2. ^ Lentz, Harris (June 3, 2019). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2018. McFarland. p. 423. ISBN 9781476670331 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Freese, Gene (11 September 2017). Classic Movie Fight Scenes: 75 Years of Bare Knuckle Brawls, 1914-1989. McFarland. p. 141. ISBN 9781476629353. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  4. ^ a b Erickson, Glenn (27 June 2020). "Dark and Stormy Night". Trailers from Hell. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  5. ^ a b "Dark and Stormy Night". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  6. ^ a b Roberts, Garyn G. (2003). Dick Tracy and American Culture: Morality and Mythology, Text and Context. McFarland. p. 276. ISBN 9780786416981. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  7. ^ a b Ferguson, Michael (17 February 2015). Joe Dallesandro: Warhol Superstar, Underground Film Icon, Actor. Open Road Media. ISBN 9781504006545. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  8. ^ a b Marill, Alvin H. (2005). Movies Made for Television, 1964-2004: 1964-1979. Scarecrow Press. p. 164. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  9. ^ a b Parish, James Robert (1991). Prison Pictures from Hollywood: Plots, Critiques, Casts, and Credits for 293 Theatrical and Made-for-television Releases. McFarland. p. 382. ISBN 9780899505633. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  10. ^ a b c Pitts, Michael R. (21 December 2012). Western Movies: A Guide to 5,105 Feature Films, 2d Ed (2 ed.). McFarland. p. 35. ISBN 9780786463725. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  11. ^ a b Emery, Robert J. (1999). The Directors: In Their Own Words · Volume 2. TV Books. p. 39. ISBN 9781575001296. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  12. ^ a b c Terrace, Vincent (January 10, 2014). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 Through 2010, 2d Ed. McFarland. p. 305. ISBN 9780786486410 – via Google Books.
  13. ^ Terrace, Vincent (1993). Television Character and Story Facts: Over 110,000 Details from 1,008 Shows, 1945-1992. McFarland & Company. p. 328. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  14. ^ "TV Highlights for Tonight". The Reading Eagle. 1960-05-16. p. 19. Retrieved 2023-04-07.
  15. ^ Wilson, Victoria (24 November 2015). A Life of Barbara Stanwyck: Steel-True 1907-1940. Simon & Schuster. p. 902. ISBN 9781439194065. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  16. ^ Deane, Bill (August 2015). Following The Fugitive: An Episode Guide and Handbook to the 1960s Television Series. McFarland. p. 87. ISBN 9781476607566. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  17. ^ Lentz, Harris M. (1997). Television Westerns Episode Guide: All United States Series, 1949-1996. McFarland & Company. p. 249. ISBN 9780786403776. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  18. ^ a b c Lentz III, Harris M. (2001). Science Fiction, Horror & Fantasy Film and Television Credits: Television shows. McFarland. p. 1906. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  19. ^ Gianakos, Larry James (1987). Television Drama Series Programming: A Comprehensive Chronicle, 1982-1984 · Volume 5. Scarecrow Press. p. 737. ISBN 9780810818767. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  20. ^ TV Guide: Volume 20. Triangle Publications. 1972. p. 80. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  21. ^ Yokley, Richard; Sutherland, Rozane (May 2007). Emergency!: Behind the Scene. Jones and Bartlett Publishers. p. 204. ISBN 9780763748968. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  22. ^ Shearer, Stephen Michael (19 May 2006). Patricia Neal: An Unquiet Life. University Press of Kentucky. p. 376. ISBN 9780813171364. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  23. ^ TV Guide: Volume 26. Triangle Publications. 1978. p. 6. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  24. ^ TV Guide: Volume 24. Triangle Publications. 1975. p. 16. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  25. ^ "Friday TV: HSV-7, 7:30 PM". The Age, Melbourne. 22 September 1978. p. 13. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  26. ^ TV Guide: Volume 30. Triangle Publications. July 1982. p. 107. Retrieved 31 August 2022.

External links

This page was last edited on 10 April 2023, at 15:14
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