Don Porter (1912 – 1997)

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Don Porter: born 24 September 1912, Oklahoma USA; died 11 February 1997, Beverly Hills California. First credit: Mystery of the White Room (1939); selected credits:

Gidget Goes to Rome (1963) Russell Lawrence
Gidget (TV 1965-66) Russell Lawrence
Live a Little, Love a Little (1968)

Final credit: CBS Summer Playhouse (TV 1988) episode ‘Old Money’

Actor Don Porter, who was Ann Sothern’s boss in “Private Secretary” and Sally Field‘s dad in “Gidget,” has died. He was 84.

Porter died Feb. 11 in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.While Porter appeared in many television dramas as stern characters, he put on his fatherly mien in 1965 to play professor Russ Lawrence, the widowed father of Field’s teenage surf bunny Gidget. The show ran for a year.

Before that, Porter was in “Private Secretary,” one of television’s earliest sitcoms. He played Peter Sands, the New York talent agent boss of secretary Susie McNamera, played by Sothern. The show ran from 1953 to 1957. Porter also was Sothern’s boss in “The Ann Sothern Show,” which aired from 1958 to 1961.

Born in Oklahoma, Porter served in World War II and then began his show-business career in a Portland, Ore., theater. He appeared in more than 200 plays across the country, including roles on Broadway in “Plaza Suite,” “Any Wednesday” and a revival of “The Front Page.”

Porter is survived by his wife and frequent co-star, actress Peggy Converse; daughter Melissa Converse, also an actress; and a son, Don Jr., an architect. Deseret News

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This entry was posted in Gidget (TV), Gidget Goes to Rome, Live A Little Love A Little and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Don Porter (1912 – 1997)

  1. Pingback: Dear Diary – Et Al. | Beach Party Movies

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