Saturday, September 26, 2009

Jack Kelly on TV--and Your Computer

Hey! :)

How would you like to watch Jack Kelly in Maverick, right here on your computer?

Now you can!

Just go to this website:

And scroll down to the Maverick section.

There aren't a lot of episodes here, but there are (slightly edited) JK fan favorites such as "Witch of Hound Dog", "Prey of the Cat", "Trail West to Fury", "Maverick and Juliet" and "Duel at Sundown". Enjoy!

Jack Kelly - "Fore!" (or is it "Fur"?)


I noticed a discussion on the Jack Kelly Facebook page about JK's love for golf.

Coincidentally--very coincidentally, I assure you--I'd been planning to post an entry here about the same subject, because I recently obtained a very unusual photo of Jack Kelly playing golf.

When I first saw this 1963 United Press newsphoto, I wondered why JK's golf bag was featured so prominently in the foreground while he was relegated to the background. Was it an "artistic" pic? Was it actually an ad for golf bags?

Then, I read the caption (always a good idea!). It says: "Actor Jack Kelly of the television series Maverick relaxes with a game of golf on 8/14/63 between a busy summer theater rehearsal schedule in Anderson, Indiana. Yes, the golf mitts are real mink."

JK's golf club covers were made of mink! (Yikes, I wonder if he worried about them being stolen. ;->)

And, here's a closer look at the ol' duffer himself:

Yes, Jack Kelly's love of the links is legendary. When I first started reading about him, most of the magazine stories made at least a passing reference to his golf game. This touched my heart, because my late dad was an avid golfer, as well.

But, maybe Jack Kelly loved golf too much at one point. In a 1961 fan magazine article, his wife May Wynn told an interviewer that their marriage was threatened, not by another woman, but by the golf course:

"Our life is different, I realize from the average couple's. Kelly, when he is acting, might work 14 hours a day for days at a time. Then he'll be home for a month...but it was getting to the point where he seemed to have no life besides work and golf...

"...A break came in Kelly's schedule and he was due to be home for about a month. Every morning, he'd wake up, have a quick breakfast, and rush out to the golf course after giving me a hurried imitation of a kiss...

"I started to keep a the end of two weeks, I cornered Kelly...Honestly, he didn't have the vaguest idea what I was talking about when I told him we had a problem...Then, I brought out my [diary] and made him look through it. Out of the two weeks he'd been home he'd spent 10 whole days on the golf course! Day after day read the same--'Golf today, golf today, golf today'..."

Well, JK reformed (slightly), and although his marriage to Ms. Wynn eventually ended, his enthusiasm for golf never waned. In fact, when he left city government for a spell in Huntington Beach, CA, in 1988, his farewell present was a golf bag: "This is one gift I don't have to report."

Friday, September 25, 2009

Jack Kelly Goes to Rodeo!


No, the title doesn't refer to a Jack Kelly shopping spree on Rodeo Drive. ;->

It's the title of a picture story I found from a 1962 Japanese magazine. Naturally, the text is all in Japanese (if there are any Japanese translators out there in JK fan-land, could you please drop me a line?!)

UPDATE! (8/12/15) - I finally managed to track down some more details. Jack Kelly was the grand marshal of the parade at the annual Palm Springs Rodeo on Saturday, January 28, 1961. Actress Barbara Nichols (who memorably co-starred with JK in the Maverick episode "The Third Rider" ) was the rodeo "queen".  More info about the rodeo is here.

Anyway, here are the pix:

Here, JK treats his poodle to a pre-rodeo Milk Bone. Actually, this is a familar sight at my house. Not because of Jack Kelly, of course, but because I give my own pooch at least two Milk Bones a day. And, the box hasn't changed much in 47 years! :)

"Howdy, Ma'am!"

The Grand Marshal and Queen in a convertible

JK is really into this rodeo! And, he's not paying much attention to Ms. Nichols, because...

...he has his own leggy lovely, his wife May Wynn!
A Jack and two queens...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Kelly Pages: Model Jack Kelly

Hi! I found this pensive pic of Jack Kelly in a 1953 movie magazine. He's labeled as a "New Face"--and what a face. :)

Here's the text that goes with the photo. It's written in kind of an odd slangy style, but I'm sure you'll be able to decipher it:

"Still in diapers and making goo-goo, Jack projected his manly personality at the very tender age of 14 days when his momma allowed him to pose for a baby soap advertisement. So right from 'pattycake' he modeled for baby clothes, food and medicine ads until he was five years old, when radio producers began to make with the offers. Jack adolesced through 10 years of appearing on every well-known ether [radio] program coming from New York, his home base. He's never been outside of grease paint. Can't live without that smell.

"Only a short hitch in the Army, which sent him to Alaska to study weather forecasting for the U.S. Air Force, caught Jack with his make-up down. After his discharge there was a very small question of Jack's studying law, but he went back to New York and launched himself on a television acting kick. His work took him to Hollywood, and he began a siege of the studios. With 25 years of hamming from the cradle behind him, it wasn't too rough for Jack. And it was very easy and smart for Universal-International to sign him up.

"That studio was presenting its annual talent review, featuring all of the young contract players on the lot, and an extra actor was needed for a sketch starring Tony Curtis. Well, sir, Kelly worked in on the blackout called All it Takes is One Good Break, and a string of breaks popped. Like featured roles in Law and Order, The Stand at Apache River, and It Happens Every Thursday. Goo-goo."

Actually, Jack Kelly didn't appear in It Happens Every Thursday. According to a TV Guide story I have, he broke his leg skiing before filming began and had to be replaced. (I guess the name of that Tony Curtis sketch was unfortunately prophetic.... ;->)

The references to JK's early modeling career in the article above reminded me of another article I found in a crumbling old magazine I bought years ago, long before I "discovered" Jack Kelly. I dug the magazine out a few months ago and was delighted to find these childhood pix of JK, which I'll share with you now:

(I especially like this pic.)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Jack Kelly on TV: Watching Out for Mr. Kelly

Hi! Just a heads-up that Young Billy Young, a 1969 Western that co-starred Jack Kelly, will air in the US on the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) cable network this Thursday, September 24, at 9:30 am ET.

And, here's a link
that will help you watch out for more of JK's upcoming TV appearances. It also has a link to this informative biography of Jack Kelly. :)