Herbert Anderson, Jay North, Joseph Kearns,
Gloria Henry and Sylvia Field
image: original CBS/Columbia
Lovers of vintage TV will delight in the parade of wonderful supporting comedic actors that routinely pop up here in Dennis the Menace. The handful of semi-regulars, like bluff George Cisar as put-upon Sergeant Mooney, or old-time radios' "Great Gildersleeve's" Willard Waterman as put-upon grocer Mr. Quigley, or near panic-stricken man-eater Miss Cathcart, played to absolute hilarious perfection by that treasure, Mary Wickes, expand the almost surreal Dennis the Menace universe, where the viewer, fully expecting their encounters with Dennis to go disastrously wrong according to formula, are rewarded time and again with comedic vignettes that are so simple they're brilliant.
Add to that appearances by gruff Charles Lane as Mr. Finch, the drug store owner, sly editor Mr. Krinkie (Charles Seel), who loves to skewer pompous Mr. Wilson in his paper every chance he gets, Paul Barselow as Maurice, the TV repairman avoiding Miss Cathcart's desperate love calls, and shady parks commissioner Mr. Thorndyke, played by Charles Watts, as well as one-offs by Larry Haddon as an obnoxious dad, Ernest Truex as a Christmas tree salesman, Chet Stratton as a bank teller, horse-faced Guy Ramond as a sardonic telephone book warehouseman, Stanley Adams as a crooked coin dealer, and Jon Lormer as a pet store owner, and the vintage TV lover can look forward to solid laughs, episode after episode, from the kind of performers that we just don't see on television anymore. -- Paul Mavis
Dennis Mitchell: Jay North - (1951 -- ) now lives in Florida; was 8 when series started
Henry Mitchell: Herbert Anderson 1917-1994 (77) – was 42 when series started. Employed by Trask Engineering, in sales/engineering
Alice Mitchell: Gloria Henry – (1923 -- ) (93) lives in Hollywood area. She was 36 when the series started. Homemaker.
George Wilson: Joseph Kearns - 1907-1962 (55). He was 52 when series started. Retired from a Pittsburgh department store as ladies wear salesman/manager and from Cramer Business Machines. Died at age 55 due to stroke. See the Cast Bios and Dennis Q&A for more.
Martha Wilson: Sylvia Field - 1901 - 1998 (97). She was 58 when the series started. Homemaker and grandmotherly friend to Dennis. Last appearance was in "Community Picnic", Season 3.
John Wilson: Gale Gordon- 1906 – 1995 (89) - He was 56 when he started in series as a Writer.
Eloise Wilson: Sara Seegar - 1914-1990 (76) - She was 49 when she started in the 4th season. Homemaker.
Tommy Anderson: Billy Booth – 1952 – 2006; (54) - Dennis' closest friend; was 7 when series started.
Margaret Wade: Jeannie Russell – (1952 -- ). 7 when series started. Dennis' nemesis. Now a chiropractor in Hollywood area.
Jay North, Gloria Henry, and Jeannie Russell are the surviving adult main-cast members.
Go to Cast Bios for detailed biographies
RECURRING CAST & ROLES
Miss Esther Cathcart, spinster: Mary Wickes:– 1910 – 1995 (85)
Joey McDonald: Gil Smith - (1954 -- ) Dennis' friend; first episodes, now owner of Gil Smith Studios
Stewart: Ron Howard, (1954 -- ) Dennis' friend, first episodes
Mrs. Lucy Elkins: Irene Tedrow - 1907 – 1995 (88) - Wilson neighbor & town gossip
Mr. Otis Quigley, Supermarket owner: Willard Waterman – 1914 – 1995 (81)
Mr. Merivale, the garden shop owner Will Wright – 1894 – 1962 (68)
Mr. Lawrence Finch, Drugstore owner: Charles Lane – 1905-2007 (102!)
Mr. Dorfman, the Postman: Robert B. Williams - 1904-1978 (74)
Richard Collier - as Mr. Grigsby, Mr. Gordon, Mr. Loomis - 1919-2000 (80)
Ned Matthews, Mr. George Wilson's Uncle: Edward Everett Horton - 1886-1970 (84)
Charles Watts, as Mayor Yates - 1912 - 1966 (54)
Mr. J. Krinkie, Newspaper Editor: Charles Seel – 1897 - 1980 (83)
Mrs. Mitchell, Henry's Mother: Kathleen Mulqueen - 1899-1990 (90). She took care of the house while Gloria was away on maternity leave in real life.
Sgt. Theodore H. Mooney, Policeman: George Cisar – 1912-1979 (67)
Seymour Williams: Robert John Pittman **1956–1990 (34) Dennis' friend; he was 5 in 1961 and was in 31 episodes
Walter A. Timberlake: Byron Foulger - 1899-1970 (71) & Maurice Manson - 1913-2002 (89) Birdwatchers Society presidents
Opie Swanson: Dub Taylor. 1907-1994 (87), "Opie's Fix-It Shop" for TV/appliance repair.
Mrs. Schooner: Lillian Culver, 1896-1999 (103!) Garden Club and neighborhood beautification committees. She was in seven episodes. (Wife of Harry Culver, founder of Culver City, California.)
Fremont, George Wilson's dog: Played by Danny, a Wheaton Cairn Terrier, who also worked in I Love Lucy and the 1959 film: "Anatomy of a Murder": This was Joseph Kearns last film role before his part as Mr. George Wilson.
Charles Brady: Laurence Haddon, 1923-2013 (90). Along with his son, Johnny (Gregory Irvin 1952 --), were the neighborhood braggarts and a thorn in Henry & Dennis' sides.
Paul Barselow, (1922 ----) as Mr. Staley, Mr. Fleckner, Maurice, Mr. Fizby. See also: Recurring Cast, continued
* number in ( ) is age at death