Peter Palmer (actor)

Peter Webster Palmer (born September 20, 1931) is an American actor best known for his portrayal of Li'l Abner, both on Broadway and on film.

Peter Palmer
Palmer as Li'l Abner and Edie Adams as Daisy Mae, 1956.
Peter Webster Palmer

(1931-09-20) September 20, 1931
ResidenceShelbyville, Kentucky
Years active1956–1990s
Spouse(s)Jackie Palmer (1954-64; divorced); 5 children
Aniko Farrell (1966–2011; her death); 1 child

Life and career

Peter Webster Palmer was offered scholarships to a number of universities; however, he chose the University of Illinois to study voice under Bruce Foote. He was the first music major to letter in football at the university. While at Illinois his team won the Big Ten championships in 1951 and 1953 and the Rose Bowl in 1952. Palmer sang the national anthem at every home game in 1953 before taking the field. In 1954 Palmer married his first wife, Jackie; they had five children, and were divorced in 1964.[1] In 1956, Palmer was cast in the title role of the musical Li'l Abner, for which he won a Theatre World Award.[2]

In 1959, he was cast in the same role in the movie version. His Li'l Abner role brought him a guest appearance on NBC's The Ford Show (starring Tennessee Ernie Ford). He later appeared in the original Broadway production of The Unsinkable Molly Brown, performing the role of Johnny at matinees. In 1967, Palmer had a recurring role as Sergeant James Bustard, a former Confederate States of America soldier, in the short-lived ABC military-western series Custer.

Throughout the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, Palmer appeared on numerous television episodes, including a small part on Dallas. He appeared on Broadway with Carol Channing in Lorelei in 1974. In 1977, he had a regular role as part of the cast on the short-lived situation comedy The Kallikaks, playing Oscar Heinz.[3]

Personal life

In 1966, Palmer was married, secondly, to 1964 Miss Dominion of Canada and actress Aniko Farrell;[4] they had one child, a daughter, Farrell Beth. The couple loved theatre and spent much of their time at the Masque Community Theatre in Temple Terrace, Florida, where they resided until Aniko's death in 2011.[5] Palmer currently resides in Shelbyville, Kentucky.


  1. "Dogpatch Image Stalks Palmer", Milwaukee Journal, July 18, 1975.
  2. Theatre World Awards Recipients,; accessed January 15, 2017.
  3. Peter Palmer on IMDb
  4. California, Marriage Index, 1960-1985
  5. "Mary Lou Aniko Farrell Palmer obituary". Tampa Bay Times. October 23, 2011. Retrieved July 21, 2017.

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