John Lupton

John Rollin Lupton (August 23, 1928 November 3, 1993) was an American film and television actor.

John Rollin Lupton
Lupton with daughter Rollin and Michael Ansara, 1957.
Born(1928-08-23)August 23, 1928
DiedNovember 3, 1993(1993-11-03) (aged 65)
Alma materAmerican Academy of Dramatic Arts
Years active1951-1993
Spouse(s)Dian Friml (?-1993, his death)
Anne (?-1959, divorced)
ChildrenOne daughter, Rollin
Parent(s)Adelma Lupton
Dorothy Marsh Lupton

Early years

Lupton was the son of Adelma Lupton and Dorothy Marsh Lupton.[1] He developed an interest in drama while he was a student at Shorewood High School in Shorewood, Wisconsin.[2] He pursued acting via an apprenticeship with a stock theater company in New York, and after graduating he toured with the Strawbridge Children's Theater Company.[1]


After graduating from New York's American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Lupton acted with stock companies in Ocean City, New Jersey, and Saratoga Springs, New York.[1]

Lupton was tall, lanky and handsome very much like James Stewart or Henry Fonda but never achieved similar fame while accumulating over 260 credits in film productions and on television. He was signed as a contract player at MGM in Hollywood and made his first film appearance in On the Town in 1949.[1]

He co-starred in 1956 with Fess Parker in Disney's The Great Locomotive Chase. During the 1954-1955 television season, Lupton appeared in several episodes as a college student in the CBS sitcom, The Halls of Ivy. He also played Chris Lambert on the NBC series Fury (1955-1960)[3]:373-374 and Frank on the ABC serial Never Too Young (1965-1966).[3]:750[3]

On October 30, 1959, Lupton appeared in the episode "Client Peter Warren" of the ABC western series Black Saddle, starring Peter Breck as gunfighter-turned-lawyer Clay Culhane. Lupton portrays Peter Warren, a man accused by townspeople of starting a fire that caused the death of his estranged wife's wealthy and respected aunt. The motive is inheritance of joint property from the aunt's pending estate. Culhane agrees to defend Warren but instead finds evidence that Warren had been present at the scene of the fire. Ed Nelson portrays Lee Coogan, a former suitor of Mrs. Mary Warren (played by Aneta Corsaut), who is also determined to prove Warren's guilt.[4]

Lupton made two guest appearances on Perry Mason in 1959 and 1960. His first role was as Wally Dunbar in "The Case of the Bartered Bikini," then he played Peter Nichols in "The Case of the Lavender Lipstick." In 1959, he was cast as a struggling writer in The Rebel Set.

In 1959, Lupton portrayed the historical Buffalo Bill Cody in the episode "The Grand Duke," on the syndicated anthology series, Death Valley Days, hosted by Stanley Andrews. The Grand Duke of Russia is portrayed by Alexander Davion. The episode focuses on the friendship that developed when the skeptical Cody was assigned by the United States Army to escort The Grand Duke on a western buffalo hunt.[5] In 1961, Lupton was cast in still another Death Valley Days episode, "South of Horror Flats", as Pinkerton agent Allen Hodges, who is hired by a ghost-plagued woman, Abigale Briton (Jocelyn Somers), to take her and her fortune in gold to San Francisco.[6]

In 1960, Lupton guest starred as Andrew Sykes in "The Triple Cross" of the syndicated crime drama, U.S. Marshal, starring John Bromfield. That same year, he also appeared in a variety of programs, including Sea Hunt, Men into Space, Richard Diamond, Private Detective, Tales of Wells Fargo, and Checkmate.[7]

On April 25, 1961, Lupton played the role of Fred Powers in "Killers' Odds", an episode of NBC's Laramie. Series character Jess Harper (Robert Fuller) comes upon Powers, a stranger with a price on his head, and Laramie costar Slim Sherman (John Smith) offers Fred employment on the ranch though he is pursued by gunslingers portrayed by Lee Van Cleef and Russell Johnson. The charge against Fred is fraudulent because he had killed in self-defense. Fred begins to court a local girl, Sue Fenton, played by Patricia Michon, in whom Slim Sherman also has a romantic interest. Ultimately, Slim, Jess, and Fred must rescue Sue and her family from the gunmen. Sue and Fred end up heading by covered wagon to California, where Sue had inherited unseen property.[8]

In 1961, he was cast as Buzz in the episode "Doctor to Town" of the CBS comedy/drama, Window on Main Street, starring Robert Young, as an author who returns to his hometown after the death of his wife. Character actor Karl Swenson also appeared in this episode.[9]

Lupton guest starred as Amber in the 1961 episode, "The Platinum Highway", of ABC's crime drama, Target: The Corruptors with Stephen McNally as a newspaperman and Robert Harland as his investigator. He appeared, too, on NBC's Daniel Boone, with Fess Parker.

Lupton later appeared in the 1965 biblical film The Greatest Story Ever Told as the speaker of the town of Capernaum, and as Jesse James in the 1966 cult horror western, Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter.

His later film career included roles in The Day of the Wolves (1971), The Astronaut (1972), Cool Breeze (1972), Napoleon and Samantha (1972), The Slams (1973), The Phantom of Hollywood (1974) and Airport 1975 (1974).

Lupton's other Disney film appearances were in The World's Greatest Athlete (1973) as the race starter, The Whiz Kid and the Carnival Caper (1976), The Young Runaways (1978) and The Secret of Lost Valley (1980).

In 1965, Lupton starred in a well-remembered TV commercial for pain reliever Anacin, playing a harried husband with a headache, yelling at his hectoring wife, "Helen, please, I just got home...Don't rush me!"

Additionally, he was featured on the daytime soap opera Days of Our Lives in the pivotal role of Dr. Tom (Tommy) Horton, Jr., from 1967 to 1980.

Walk of Fame

John Lupton has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located on the west side of the 1700 block of Vine Street.[10]

Personal life

In 1956, Lupton married Anne Sills, and they had a daughter, Rollin.[2] They divorced three years later, and at some point thereafter he wed Dian Friml, to whom he was still married at the time of his death.


Lupton died in 1993 at the age of 65.[11]

He was survived by his daughter, Rollin Tyson Lupton, with his first wife, Anne; second wife, Dian Friml Beckley, the granddaughter of musical composer Rudolf Friml, and three granddaughters: Parker, named for his acting friend Fess Parker, Holly, and Hilary. He also has a granddaughter Brianna, who resides in Florida.


  1. Harris, Betty (August 27, 1958). "Star of 'Broken Arrow' Visits Muncie Relatives". Muncie Evening Press. Indiana, Muncie. p. 8. Retrieved August 7, 2018 via
  2. "Interpretation of Owl, Pussy Cat Leads Actor to Starring TV Role". The Daily Herald. Utah, Provo. November 4, 1957. p. 20. Retrieved August 7, 2018 via
  3. Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 138. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.
  4. "Black Saddle: "Client Peter Warren", October 30, 1959". Retrieved September 4, 2012.
  5. "The Grand Duke on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved December 30, 2018.
  6. "South of Horror Flats on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 10, 2018.
  7. "John Lupton". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
  8. "Laramie: "Killers' Odds", April 25, 1961". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  9. ""Doctor to Town" on Window on Main Street". Internet Movie Data Base. October 16, 1961. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
  10. "John Lupton". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  11. Wilson, Scott (2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed. McFarland. p. 461. ISBN 9781476625997. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
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