Richard Kelton

Richard Duane Kelton (April 29, 1943 – November 27, 1978) was an American actor.

Richard Kelton
Richard Duane Kelton

(1943-04-29)April 29, 1943
DiedNovember 27, 1978(1978-11-27) (aged 35)
Cause of deathCarbon monoxide poisoning
Years active19631978
Spouse(s)Eileen Jacobsen
Children1 son

Life and career

Kelton was born in Lincoln, Nebraska. After briefly attending Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College in 1963, he transferred to The University of Kansas, earning his bachelor's degree in drama 1966, and then his Masters' two years later, in 1968. He returned briefly in 1973 to appear in a campus production. He made his way to California where he made his debut playing "Bud" in an episode of Gunsmoke. In 1967, he made his film debut with a small part in the movie In Cold Blood (1967) as Nancy's boyfriend. Soon after arriving in California with his wife in 1970, he got another guest starring role in the ABC-TV series The Young Rebelsand The Waltons.

Soon afterwards, he made his TV movie debut as "Lieutenant Charring" in Wild Women (1970). He continued in numerous other guest starring roles and a movie roles. He also played the role of "Nick" in the Broadway revival of Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? in 1976.

After returning to California in 1976, he had a guest-starring role on ABC-TV's Charlie's Angels. He played the role of alien science officer "Ficus Pandorata" on the short-lived NBC-TV science fiction series Quark (1978). Later that year he was invited back to The University of Kansas to give a short seminar on films.


Kelton died of accidental carbon monoxide asphyxiation due to a faulty heater in his trailer while filming the NBC-TV miniseries Centennial, in which he was to have co-starred. Universal Studios, which produced the TV miniseries, was fined $720 for the failure to provide a proper ventilation system for the trailer which Kelton had retreated to rehearse his lines.[1][2][3]


His alma mater, KU, established the Richard Kelton Memorial Fund in December 1978 to aid student actors in their professional acting aspirations.[3] The fund still exists today in the form of the Richard Kelton Memorial Scholarship, that provides scholarships for undergraduate students majoring in theatre with an emphasis in acting [4]


Year Title Character Notes
1967In Cold BloodBobby RuppUncredited, film role
1970Wild WomenLt. CharringTV movie
Heroic MissionNancy's BoyfriendTV series, uncredited role
The Young RebelsEdward BrocktonTV series
1970-1973GunsmokeVarious characters5 episodes
1971Mission: ImpossibleBilly Walshin episode "Takeover"
The F.B.I.Chuck Davisin episode "The Hitchhiker"
Cade's CountyPaul JeffriesTV series
1972The WaltonsAnson Collierin episode "The Foundling"
Hawaii Five-OLt. Carterin episode R & R & R
Room 222Uncredited rolein episode "Where Is It Written?"
1973HawkinsDon MorrisonTV series
Harry OBill Dempseyin episode "Guardian at the Gates"
The Lives of Benjamin FranklinTV Mini-Series
Kung FuGrahamin episode "My Brother, My Executioner""
NakiaUncredited role1 episode
The CowboysCarl Rivers1 episode
The Streets of San FranciscoStuttering Kidnapperin episode "Chapel of the Damned"
1975Joe ForresterUncredited role1 episode
Medical StoryUncredited rolein episode "Us Against the World"
Matt HelmJed Larsonin episode "Murder on Ice"
The Ultimate WarriorCalFeature film
Barbary CoastCad ShugrueTV series; in episode "The Ballad of Redwing Jail"
ArcherErnest Richter1 episode
1976Logan's RunSanctuary ManVoice, Uncredited
1977The Feather and Father GangColbyTV series; in episode "The People's Choice"
Charlie's AngelsHubiein episode "Pretty Angels All in a Row"
1978DallasTaylor "Guzzler" Bennettin episode "Fallen Idol"
A Guide for the Married WomanEverett Hemming-Fantasy ManTV movie
Go West, Young GirlGriffTV Movie
QuarkFicus7 episodes
The Incredible HulkCarlin episode "The Beast Within"
Police WomanRon Chamberlinin episode "Sixth Sense"
1979The Rockford FilesNorman Wheelerin episode "The Deuce"
How the West Was WonTrey HollingsworthABC-TV Miniseres, in episode "Hillary", (final appearance)


  1. Universal Studios fined after carbon monoxide kills actor, published by United Press International (UPI) for the Lodi News-Sentinel (CA), January 11, 1979, retrieved March 16, 2016.
  2. "Studio Fined In Death". Associated Press (AP), for the Reading (PA) Eagle. January 11, 1979. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
  3. Harkavy, Ward (December 1, 1978). "Actor's death evokes mourning". United Press International for the Lawrence Journal World (KS). Retrieved March 16, 2016.
  4. Richard Kelton Memorial Scholarship page at KU's Theatre Website
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.