Dick Wessel

Richard M. Wessel (April 20, 1913 April 20, 1965) was an American film actor who appeared in more than 270 films between 1935 and 1966. He is best remembered for his chilling portrayal of the ruthless strangler Harry "Cueball" Lake in Dick Tracy vs. Cueball (1946).

Dick Wessel
Wessel in Dick Tracy vs. Cueball (1946)
Richard M. Wessel

(1913-04-20)April 20, 1913
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
DiedApril 20, 1965(1965-04-20) (aged 52)
Years active19351965


Wessel was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin,

One of his first film parts was a bit in a Laurel and Hardy feature film, Bonnie Scotland (1935), but modern viewers will remember Wessel for his appearances in the Three Stooges short subjects Punchy Cowpunchers (1950) and Fright Night (1947), the latter in which he played Chopper Kane, and its remake Fling in the Ring (1955).

From 1959 to 1961, Wessel co-starred as Carney Kohler in all forty-two episodes of Darren McGavin's NBC western television series, Riverboat,[1] set along the Mississippi River prior to the American Civil War.

In 1959, he appeared as police captain Bob Rattigan in the episode "Rattigan and the Cat" of the syndicated Border Patrol series, starring Richard Webb. He also appeared in the John Bromfield syndicated crime drama, Sheriff of Cochise. He was cast as Charlie in the episode, "A Kind of a Stopwatch" of CBS's The Twilight Zone. He also guest starred in Jackie Cooper's CBS sitcom/drama Hennesey and on Stanley Holloway's ABC sitcom, Our Man Higgins.

Wessel died of a heart attack at his home in Studio City, California on his 52nd birthday.[2] He had just finished his role as Eddie the garbage man in the Disney film The Ugly Dachshund (1966). Voice artist Paul Frees dubbed in Wessel's voice during post-production.

Selected filmography


  1. Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 897. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.
  2. "Services Set for Actor Dick Wessel". The Los Angeles Times. California, Los Angeles. April 22, 1965. p. 46. Retrieved September 22, 2019 via Newspapers.com.

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