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Charles Aidman
Born Charles Leonard Aidman
(1925-01-21)January 21, 1925
Frankfort, Indiana, U.S.
Died November 7, 1993(1993-11-07) (aged 68)
Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
Place of burial Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park and Mortuary
Other names Chuck Aidman
Education DePauw University
Indiana University
Occupation Actor
Years active 1952–1992
Spouse(s) Frances Marie Spriggs (m. 1957–67)
Betty Hyatt Linton (m. 1969–93)

Charles Leonard Aidman (January 21, 1925 – November 7, 1993) was an American actor of stage, film, and television.

Early life

Aidman was born in Frankfort, Indiana,[1] the son of George E. and Etta (Kwitny) Aidman. Aidman graduated from Frankfort High School and attended DePauw University prior to serving in the United States Navy during World War II. After the war he returned to his home state, where in Bloomington he enrolled at Indiana University and studied drama there under the legendary instructor Dr. Lee Norvelle.


Among his many television credits, Aidman guest-starred on NBC's The Virginian in the episode "The Devil's Children" and twice on the NBC western series The Californians. He also appeared twice on David Janssen's Richard Diamond, Private Detective. He portrayed a bounty hunter on the ABC's western series Black Saddle. He was cast in CBS's fantasy drama, Twilight Zone in the episodes "And When the Sky Was Opened" and "Little Girl Lost." About this time, he guest-starred on five other western series: the ABC/Warner Brothers series Colt .45; ABC's The Rebel, starring Nick Adams; NBC's Riverboat, as Frank Paxton in the episode "The Fight at New Canal," with Darren McGavin as Captain Grey Holden; and The Americans, the story of family conflicts in the American Civil War starring Darryl Hickman and the successor series to Riverboat; CBS's Trackdown, as Len Starbuck in "The Samaritan"; and CBS's Johnny Ringo, as Jeffrey Blake in "The Stranger".

Aidman guest-starred on the NBC children's western Fury with Peter Graves and Bobby Diamond and in episodes of the ABC/WB crime drama Bourbon Street Beat, starring Andrew Duggan, and in the syndicated aviation adventure series Whirlybirds, starring Kenneth Tobey. He appeared from 1959 to 1960 in different roles in three episodes of the syndicated crime drama U.S. Marshal with John Bromfield. Aidman made a guest appearance on the CBS courtroom drama Perry Mason in 1960 as murderer Arthur Siddons in "The Case of the Gallant Grafter."

In "Shadow of the Past" (October 7, 1961) of the NBC western series The Tall Man, Aidman is cast as Ben Wiley, the father of Sue Wiley (Barbara Parkins), the latest girlfriend of Billy the Kid (Clu Gulager). Sheriff Pat Garrett (Barry Sullivan) recognizes Wiley as an informant who stopped Garrett from escaping from a Confederate prison during the American Civil War. Nancy Davis Reagan appears in this episode as Ben's wife, Sarah.[2]

Aidman was cast as George Ellsworth, an official with the United States Embassy in Warsaw, Poland, in the three-part 1963 episode "Security Risk" of the CBS anthology series GE True, hosted by Jack Webb. Ellsworth in 1960 is blackmailed through a romantic affair with a young woman named Erica into passing secret information to the communists at the height of the Cold War. He confessed his guilt despite the protection of diplomatic immunity. Karl Swenson and Parley Baer were also cast in this episode. He also played a sex education teacher in an episode of Slattery's People, "Do The Ignorant Sleep in Pure White Sheets"?[3]

In 1963, Aidman adapted Spoon River Anthology by poet Edgar Lee Masters into a theater production that is still performed.[4]

He appeared on another NBC western series starring Barry Sullivan, The Road West, in its 1966 episode "The Lean Years." That same year Aidman played a scientist who turned into a werewolf in an episode of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. He then guest-starred on CBS's The Wild Wild West in a recurring role for several episodes during the series' fourth season as Jeremy Pike, one of Jim West's substitute sidekicks. Ross Martin, who portrayed West's regular sidekick Artemus Gordon in the series, was recovering from an illness.[5]

In 1970 Aidman appeared in Hawaii Five O as Dr. Royce, and in 1974 he introduced the character Louis Willis (later known as Tom Willis), father-in-law-to-be of Lionel Jefferson, on an episode of CBS's All In The Family. The character was later played on the series The Jeffersons by Franklin Cover, who did a much different take on the character.

Aidman played the father of Elmer Dobkins in an episode of Little House On The Prairie and appeared in an episode of the 1974 police drama Nakia. Three years later, he portrayed a memorable character in an episode of M*A*S*H, "The Grim Reaper," playing Colonel Bloodworth, a callous, sadistic commander who takes pleasure in predicting casualties and reducing his troops to statistics. Later, from 1985-1987, Aidman served as the original narrator for the revival of The Twilight Zone series until he was replaced by Robin Ward.

His film roles were in Pork Chop Hill (1959), War Hunt (1962), Hour of the Gun (1967), Countdown (1968), Angel, Angel, Down We Go (1969), Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here (1969), Adam at 6 A.M. (1970), Kotch (1971), Dirty Little Billy (1972), Deliver Us from Evil (1973), Twilight's Last Gleaming (1977), Zoot Suit (1981), Uncommon Valor (1983), and Innerspace (1987), the latter being one of his final acting appearances. He also played a teacher in an episode in the sixth season of The Andy Griffith Show.


Aidman died of cancer in Beverly Hills, California.[1][6] He is interred at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.[7]


Year Title Role Notes
1956 The Wrong Man Jail Medical Attendant Uncredited
1959 Pork Chop Hill Lt. Harrold
1962 War Hunt Capt. Wallace Pratt
1967 Countdown Gus
1967 Hour of the Gun Horace Sullivan
1969 Angel, Angel, Down We Go Willy Steele
1969 Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here Judge Benby
1970 Adam at 6 A.M. Mr. Hopper
1971 Kotch Gerald Kotcher
1972 Dirty Little Billy Ben Antrim
1973 Deliver Us from Evil Arnold Fleming
1977 Twilight's Last Gleaming Bernstein
1978 Alien Zone Detective Malcolm Toliver
1981 Zoot Suit George Shearer
1982 The American Adventure Father Voice
1983 Uncommon Valor Sen. Hastings
1987 Innerspace Speaker at Banquet


External links

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