Ben Casey


153 episodes, ABC, October 1961-March 1966
Filmed at Desilu Studios (on the Paramount Lot)
Created by James E. Moser
Executive Producer - Matthew Rapf
Production Executive John E. Pommer
Produced by Fred Freiburger, Wilton Schiller
Story Consultant James E. Moser
Music Score - Walter Scharf, Gerald Fried, Morton Stevens, Richard Markowitz
Title Music by David Raksin
Production Supervisor William A. Calihan
Director of Photography Ted Voightlander
Produced by Big Crosby Productions

Dr. Ben Casey - Vincent Edwards
Dr. David Zorba - Sam Jaffee
Dr. Maggie Graham - Bettye Ackerman
Dr. Ted Hoffman - Harry Landers
Nick Kanavaras - Nick Daniels
Miss Wills - Jeanne Bates
Dr. Harold Jensen - John Zaremba
Dr. Mike Rogers - Ben Piazza
Dr. Daniel Niles Freeland - Franchot Tone
Dr. Terry McDaniel - Jim McMullan
Sally Welden - Marlyn Mason

In 1961, two medical dramas premiered and they couldn't have been more different. On NBC, Thursday nights, Richard Chamberlain starred with Raymond Massey in a series version of the popular films of the 1940s. The show was Dr. Kildare [Dr. Feelgood] and Chamberlain was blonde, sunny and cheerfully charming.

Over on ABC, Vince Edwards glowered and scowled as Dr. Ben Casey, neurosurgeon and chief resident at County General. Aided by another competant older actor, Sam Jaffee, Casey took no prisoners, and the stories were rich and varied, as he was a brain surgeon and the cases he treated were usually life or death ones. Both shows were hits, but attracted quite different audiences.

Casey was intense, dedicated and noble. His romances lasted through a meal or two, usually at the woman's apartment, and he was back on duty. He was so broke he couldn't afford a car, yet never seemed to spend any money and slept in a spartan cell at the hospital. Chief of Neurosurgery Dr. Zorba was brilliant, respected and patient, though Casey tried that patience mightily. Episodes had this card at the end: 'Bing Crosby Productions and the American Broadcasting Company wish to thank the American Medical Association and its Physicians Advisory Committee on Radio, Television and Motion Pictures for their assistance in the production of Ben Casey.'

This show ran on the Nostalgia Channel (then the GoodLife TV Network) about 20 years ago and if someone would run it again, I could get the remaining credits. Note the show's unique wordy episode titles. They often sound like aphorisms or quotes, but they are usually bits of dialogue from the scripts.


SEASON 1, 1961-62:

1. 10.02.61
To the Pure (premiere)
Written by James E. Moser, Directed by Fielder Cook
Barton Heyman, Rafael Lopez, Angela Clarke, Maurice Manson, Adrienne Hayes, Ann Morrison, Francis De Sales, Stuart Nisbet, Wilton Graff, Susan Davis, Nelson Olmsted, Maudie Prickett

2. 10.09.61
But Linda Only Smiled
Written by William Bast, Directed by Abner Biberman
Jeanne Cooper, Stanja Lowe, Susan Gordon, Bernard Kates, John Zaremba, Barton Heyman, Robert B. Williams, Charles Irving, Mary Gregory, Lorraine Martin, Leslie Summers

3. 10.16.61
The Insolent Heart
Written by Al C. Ward, Directed by Alex March
Luther Adler, Carl Benton Reid, Don Spruance, George Dunn, Nita Loveless, Mary Gregory, Carolyn Flemming, Art Passarella, Leslie Summers, David Lewis

4. 10.23.61
I Remember a Lemon Tree
Adaptation by Jack Laird, Story by Marcus W. Damian,
George C. Scott, Colleen Dewhurst, John Zaremba, Barton Heyman

5. 10.30.61
An Expensive Glass of Water
Written by Gilbert Ralston, Directed by Robert Ellis Miller
Stanley Adams, Ruth Storey, Edward Colmans, Ernest Anderson, Anna Bruno-Lena, Ned Glass, Jack Mather, John Pickard, Roxanne Brooks, Patricia King, Karen Norris, Tom Pardew

6. 11.06.61
The Sound of Laughter
Written by Gilbert Ralston, Directed by Irving Lerner
Stanley Adams, Edward Colmans, Ernest Anderson, Jack Mather, Anna Bruno, Ned Glass, Ruth Storey, John Pickard

7. 11.13.61
A Few Brief Lines, for Dave
Teleplay by Al C. Ward Story by Paul Savage, Directed by Byron Paul
Kevin McCarthy, Phyllis Love, Herbert Patterson, Don Spruance, Mary Gregory, Meg Wyllie, Frank Kreig, Jean MacRae, Lon Dean, Richard Vath, Lou Byrne, Theona Bryant, Bill Bixby, Florence Sayner, James Wright

8. 11.20.61,
Pavane for a Gentle Lady
Written by Theodore Apstein, Directed by Abner Biberman
Bethel Leslie, Nellie Burt, Anne Seymour, Alex Viespi, Anne Whitfield

9. 11.27.61
My Good Friend Krikor
Written by Theodore Apstein, Directed by Irvin Kershner,
Abraham Sofaer, Arline Sax, Roger DeKoven, Maurice Manson, Robert Ellenstein, Simon Scott, Henry Corden, Jack Hogan, Simon Scott, Rex Holman, Paul Keast, Paul Barselow, Paul Pepper, Robert Ellenstein,

10. 12.04.61
The Sweet Kiss of Madness
Written by Theodore Apstein, Directed by Robert Ellis Miller
Arthur Hill, William Windom, Patricia Barry, John Lasell, Joyce Van Patten, Roger Mobley, Alice Backes, Brad Trumbull, Mary Gregory, Robert Hastings, Deirdre Owen, Karen Norris, George Sawaya

11. 12.11.61
A Certain Time, A Certain Darkness
Directed by Abner Biberman
Joan Hackett, Donald Woods, Ron Hagarthy, Ray Daley, Lynn Bari, Anna-Lisa, Don Spruance

12. 12.18.61
A Dark Night for Billy Harris
Telly Savalas, Bruce Dern, Elen Willard, Paul Bryar, Cece Whitney, Don Spruance

13. 01.01.62
And if I Die
Written by Ken Kolb and James E. Moser, Directed by Byron Paul
John Larch, Brett Somers, Leo Penn, Sandra White, Karl Swenson, Kay Stewart, June Ellis, Louise Lewis, Carolyn Fleming, Ann Robinson

14. 01.08.62
A Memory of Candy Stripes
Franchot Tone, Denise Alexander, Tony Call, Ed Prentiss, Brian Davies

15. 01.15.62
Imagine a Long Bright Corridor
Written by Jack Laird, Directed by Arthur Hiller
Robert Blake, Cecil Kellaway, Vivi Janiss, Betty Garde, Lili Valenty, Valentin De Vargas, James Nusser, Strother Martin, Paul Wexler, Brenda Scott

16. 01.22.62
A Story to be Softly Told
Written by Theodore Apstein, Directed by Alex March
Jean Hagen, Lee Marvin, Tony Maxwell, Jan Harrison, Marianne Stewart, Lee Bernath

17. 01.29.63
The Big Trouble With Charlie
Written by Norman Katkov, Directed by Sydney Pollack
Jack Warden, Myron McCormick, Norma Crane, Irene Tedrow

18. 02.05.62
Give My Hands an Epitaph
Written by Theodore Apstein, Directed by Alex March
Jack Klugman, Marc Goldstrom, Robert Boon, Sue Raynor, Ruth Robinson, Constance Dane, Eileen Ryan

19. 02.12.62
Victory Wears a Cruel Smile
Written by Harry Julian Fink, Directed by Abner Biberman,
Ed Begley, Alfred Ryder, Edward Andrews, Nancy Rennick, Ann Morrison, John Zaremba, Freeman Lusk, Louise Lorimer

20. 02.19.62
Odyssey of a Proud Suitcase
Written by Gilbert Ralston, Directed by Leo Penn
Francis Lederer, Fay Spain, Stefan Schnabel, John Spruance, Joseph Vitale, Alice Rodriguez

21. 02.26.62
Behold a Pale Horse
Adaptation by Jack Laird, Story by Judith Plowden, Teddie Sherman, Directed by Alvin Ganzer
Paul Hartman, Suzanne Pleshette, Keenan Wynn, Paige Adams

22. 03.05.62
For the Ladybug, One Dozen Roses
Written by Jack Curtis, Directed by Sydney Pollack
Cliff Robertson, Michael Davis

23. 03.12.62
To a Grand and Natural Finale
Written by Alvin Sargent, Directed by Abner Biberman
Hari Rhodes, Edgar Stehli, Gina Gillespie, Phillip Pine, Kim Hamilton

24. 03.19.62
Monument to an Aged Hunter
Story by Oliver Crawford, Adaptation by Gilbert Ralston, Directed by Sydney Pollack
Wilfred Hyde-White, Kathie Browne, Robert F. Simon, Chris Robinson

25. 03.26.62
All the Clocks are Ticking
Adaptation by Theodore Apstein, Story by Margaret Schneider, Paul Schneider, Directed by Abner Biberman
Nan Martin, Henry Beckman, Don Spruance, Ann Morrison

26. 04.03.62
Among Others, a Girl Named Abilene
Written by Norman Katkov, Jack Laird, Directed by Arthur Hiller,
Ronnie Haran, Denver Pyle, Darryl Duke, Charity Grace

27. 04.16.62
A Pleasant Thing for the Eyes
Written by Jack Curtis, Directed by Arthur Hiller
Yoko Tani, Eddie Firestone, John Zaremba

28. 04.23.62
And Eve Wore a Veil of Tears
Written by James E. Moser, Directed by Fielder Cook
Betty Field, Carmen Mathews, Luana Anders, Walter Mathews, Edmon Ryan, Beulah Quo

29. 04.30.62
Preferably, the Less-Used Arm
Written by Gilbert Ralston, Directed by Fielder Cook
Ellen McRae, Chal Johnson, Charles Bateman, Russell Thorson, Joseph V. Perry, Tol Avery

30. 05.07.62
An Uncommonly Innocent Killing
Adaptation by Don Brinkley, Les Pine, Story by Les Pine; Directed by Alex March
Conrad Nagel, Andrew Prine, Eddie Albert, Virginia Gregg, Edmund Glover

31. 05.21.62
So Oft It Chances In Particular Men
James Franciscus, Gilbert Green, Leo Penn, Carol Rossen, Shirley O'Hara, Lawana Backer

32. 05.28.62
When You See an Evil Man
Written by Gilbert Ralston, Directed by Sydney Pollack
Tuesday Weld, Jeanette Nolan, Simon Oakland

Season 1 1961-1962 Season 2 1962-1963
Season 3 1963-1964 Season 4 1964-1965

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© 2019 Sylvia Stoddard