Eugene Barton Evans (July 11, 1922 – April 1, 1998) was an American actor who appeared in numerous television series, television films, and feature films between 1947 and 1989.
Eugene Barton Evans
July 11, 1922
|Died||April 1, 1998 (aged 75)|
Jackson, Tennessee, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Mary Elaine Hert (1968-1971) (her death) |
Patricia Ann Willis (14 January 1956 - ?) (divorced)
Evans was born in Holbrook, Arizona and raised in Colton, California. Right after finishing high school, he began performing in summer stock at the Penthouse Theatre in Altadena, California. Evans served in the United States Army during World War II and achieved the rank of sergeant. He performed with a theatrical troupe of GIs in Europe.
He made his film debut in the 1947 film Under Colorado Skies as Henchman Red, and appeared in dozens of films and television programs. He specialized in playing tough guys, such as soldiers and lawmen.
Evans appeared in numerous films produced, directed, and written by Samuel Fuller. In his memoirs A Third Face, Fuller described meeting Evans when casting his Korean War film The Steel Helmet (1950). Fuller threw an M1 Garand rifle at Evans, who caught it and inspected it as a soldier would have done. Evans had been a United States Army engineer in World War II. Fuller kept Evans and refused John Wayne for the role and fought to keep him despite Robert L. Lippert and his partner wanting Larry Parks for the role. Fuller walked off the film and would not return until Evans was reinstated. Evans also appeared in Fuller's Fixed Bayonets!, Hell and High Water, Shock Corridor and lost 30 pounds to play the lead in Park Row.
Evans portrayed the authoritarian but wise father Rob McLaughlin on the 1956-1957 television series My Friend Flicka. He next co-starred in 1958 as Major Al Arthur in Damn Citizen, a film based on the life of crusading State Police superintendent Francis Grevemberg of Louisiana. In 1960, Evans was cast as Otis Stockert in "The Frontiersman" on the Western series Wichita Town. The same year, he was cast as Boone Hackett in the episode "Die Twice" of the Western series Johnny Ringo. He was cast in 1960 as army sergeant Dan Phillips in the episode "The Quota" of Riverboat. In the story, Phillips shanghais Grey Holden (Darren McGavin) and a crew member of the river vessel Enterprise to meet the army's "quota" for new recruits.
In 1961, Evans guest-starred as Sheriff Tom Wilson in "Incident on the Road Back" in Rawhide. He then was cast as Walter Kopek, an undercover agent of the United States Treasury Department in the 1963 episode "The Moonshiners" of GE True, hosted by Jack Webb. In this episode's plot, Kopek moves against a bootlegging operation in Florida run by the mobster Bill Munger (Robert Emhardt).
In 1966, Evans appeared on the drama series Perry Mason as Sheriff "Moose" Dalton in "The Case of the Scarlet Scandal". He starred as well in Peopletoys in 1974 with Leif Garrett, and in the fall of 1976, Evans starred on the adventure series Spencer's Pilots.
In January 1979, Evans appeared as Garrison Southworth in one episode of Dallas. He guest-starred in 10 episodes of Gunsmoke. In 1965, Evans guest-starred as Jake Burnett in the episode "Vendetta" of The Legend of Jesse James. Two years later, he appeared as Deedricks in the episode "Breakout" of Custer.
In January 1982, Evans performed in the role of war reporter Clayton Kibbee in an episode of CBS's M*A*S*H titled "Blood and Guts". He also appeared on stage in the late 1980s as the gruesome Papa in the stage production Papa Is All, directed by playwright Tommy F. Scott in Jackson, Tennessee. Evans retired to a farm in Tennessee following his role in the original film version of Walking Tall.
He was active in the local theater in Jackson, TN with “On Borrowed Time” and “Love Letters” as well as “Papa is All”.
Evans died at age 75 of heart failure at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital in Jackson, Tennessee on April 1, 1998.