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Joseph Kearns (1907-1962)
\Joseph Kearns

The Big Con, May 3, 1958 Written by John Meston, Directed by John Rich, Guest Cast: Joe Kearns, Alan Dexter, Gordon Mills, Raymond Bailey

He was an actor who was on his way up and sadly died before his career hit its peak. He is best remembered for his role as 'Mr. Wilson' on the "Dennis the Menace" TV series and most worthy for inclusion on any list of great character actors. He was of medium height with a squarish face, dark, greased down hair, bespectacled over owlish eyes and a prissy, but dignified, manner about him. He was born on February 12, 1907 in Salt Lake City, Utah. His parents moved to California before he was of school age and he was educated in San Francisco and San Diego. He attended college at the University of Utah where he paid his tuition by teaching a course in theatrical makeup. He got his start in show business working in radio in the 1940s on such shows as "Adventures of Sam Spade"; "Burns and Allen"; "The Cinnamon Bear"; "Suspense" and many others. His very brief film career started with his debut in "Hard, Fast and Beautiful" (1951) as J.R. Carpenter. His other films were: Disney's "Alice in Wonderland" (1951) as Voice of the Doorknob; "Our Miss Brooks" (1956) the film version, as Mr. Stone; "The Girl Most Likely" (1957) as Mr. Schlom; "The Gift of Love" (1958) as Mr. Rynicker; "Anatomy of a Murder" (1959) as Mr. Burke, his last film. His television debut came in "Our Miss Brooks" (1953-55) as Superintendent Stone. He was also a regular on the TV series: "Dennis the Menace" (1959-62) as Mr. George Wilson. He also guest starred on other TV series including: "I Love Lucy"; "How to Marry a Millionaire"; "My Little Margie"; "Gunsmoke"; "Perry Mason" and "The Donna Reed Show." He was an avid organist and his Hollywood home was built around a huge organ. He died of a cerebral hemorrhage on February 17, 1962 in Los Angeles, California five days after his 55th birthday.

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