I’m a fan of nostalgia. Like many my age (early 60s), I’m sure I’m not alone in this. How many of us laughed when, in “Back to the Future,” the McFly family of the 1950s was laughing at an episode of “The Honeymooners” that Marty had seen many times, but in the past, it was airing live.
Instead of reminiscing about what I’ve seen — partly because I’ve already seen it — I like to look at the credits to find out who some of the non-starring actors were and do Google searches to find out what those people did after the particular episode I saw.
In a “Twilight Zone” episode (Season 5, Episode 36) titled “The Bewitchin’ Pool,” the character of “Sport” was played by Mary Badham, the same Mary Badham who played Scout in the film version of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” This was the episode where Sport and her younger brother were able to enter a fantasy world through a “hole” in their swimming pool to live with other children their age with guidance and love provided by a woman named Auntie T.
Another “Twilight Zone” (Season 1, Episode 35) titled “The Mighty Casey,” featured Robert Sorrells as a robot named Casey who became a baseball sensation because he was unhittable. Eventually, the league The Zephyrs played in ruled Casey ineligible because he did not have a heart and was not human. Once his creator gave him a heart, however, he felt bad about striking everyone out and his career went nowhere.
Life kind of followed art for Robert Sorrells. Even though he had a part in “Fletch” as Marvin Stanwyk after he had appeared in some episodes of “Gunsmoke,” “Death Valley Days” and “Bonanza” as well as other TV shows, in 2005, Sorrells was sentenced to 32 years to life in the California Department of Corrections for the 2004 murder of Arthur DeLong and the attempted murder of Edward Sanchez in a bar in Simi Valley.
Which brings us to the recent airing on the IFC cable channel of a “The Monkees” marathon, starring Mickey Dolenz, David Jones, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork. In Season 1, Episode 1, an actress named Katherine Walsh played a princess, Bettina, who was in line to the throne of the land of Harmonica but her Uncle Otto was plotting to kill her to keep her from her royal ascension.
Davy rescued her from a drowing early in the show, then when he went to get his jacket back, the boys uncovered the plot and foiled Uncle Otto.
So I checked up on Katherine Walsh as she seemed to be doing well, trying to act serious while The Monkees were performing their typical TV hijinks.
Alas, Ms. Walsh’s life was cut short. On October 7, 1970, she was found dead in her flat in Kensington, an affluent and densely populated area in London. Although her death was cited as murder, no details have ever been known to be released, and the case remained unsolved as of 2011.
I’ve written a couple of letters of encouragement to Mr. Sorrells and one time he even sent me an autographed picture of him in “Mighty Casey” character. I won’t be able to do that with Katherine Walsh.
Thank you for reading.