Biography

One of the most prolific of the "Who IS that?"school of character actors, Dabbs Greer has been playing small-town doctors, bankers, merchants, druggists, mayors and ministers since at least 1950. His purse-lipped countenance and Midwestern twang was equally effective in taciturn villainous roles. Essentially a bit player in films of the 1950s (Diplomatic Courier, Deadline USA, Living It Up), Greer was given more screen time than usual as a New York detective in House of Wax (1953), while his surface normality served as excellent contrast to the extraterrestrial goings-on in Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) and It! The Terror from Beyond Space. A television actor since the dawn of the cathode-tube era, Greer has shown up in hundreds of TV supporting roles, including the "origin" episode of the original Superman series, in which he played the dangling dirigible worker rescued in mid-air by the Man of Steel. Greer also played the recurring roles of storekeeper Mr. Jones on Gunsmoke (1955-60) and Reverend Robert Alden on Little House on the Prairie (1974-83). Showing no signs of slowing down, Dabbs Greer continued accepting roles in such films as Two Moon Junction (1988) and Pacific Heights (1990) into the '90s. He died following a battle with kidney and heart disease, on April 28, 2007, not quite a month after his 90th birthday. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi