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Robert William "Dabbs" Greer (April 2, 1917April 28, 2007) was an Americanmarker actor who performed many diverse supporting roles in film and television for some fifty years. His southern voice fitted well in shows featuring rustic characters, such as Westerns. However, he is probably best remembered as Reverend Alden in Little House on the Prairie.


Personal life

Greer was born in Fairview, Missourimarker, the son of Bernice Irene (née Dabbs), a speech teacher, and Randall Alexander Greer, a druggist. He attended Drury Universitymarker, where he was a member of Theta Kappa Nu. Greer died at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena, California after a battle with renal failure and heart disease.


Dabbs Greer in 1999
Greer was recognizable to fans of The Adventures of Superman, as he appeared in three separate episodes on that show, including the series' inaugural entry, Superman on Earth (1952). He was the major guest star, as a man framed for capital murder in Five Minutes to Doom (1954 - see photo on right), and as an eccentric millionaire in The Superman Silver Mine (1958). He appeared in many television programs, including the role of the marshal in the two-part "King of the Dakotas" (1955) and as Ray in "Paper Gunman") of the NBC western anthology series, Frontier. He appeared in 1957 in the episode "Revenge" of the syndication crime drama Sheriff of Cochise. Greer guest starred in three episodes as Mr. Blandish in the syndicated romantic comedy series How to Marry a Millionaire (1957-1959), with Barbara Eden and Merry Anders.

Greer starred as Ed Grimes on the 1958 episode "312 Vertical" of Rod Cameron's syndicated series State Trooper. He appeared in the 1957 episode "Ambush at Gila Gulch" of ABC's Tombstone Territory, the 1957 episode "Rebel Christmas" of the Tod Andrews syndicated series Gray Ghost, a 1959 episode of the syndicated series Man Without a Gun, and a 1959 episode of the Keenan Wynn and Bob Mathias NBC adventure series The Troubleshooters, the 1960 episode "The Proud Man" in the role of Willie Medford on the syndicated western series Two Faces West, the 1960 episode "Dark Fear" of CBS's anthology series The DuPont Show with June Allyson, and a 1963 segment of Jack Palance's ABC circus drama, The Greatest Show on Earth. In 1967, Greer appeared in the series finale entitled "Elizabeth's Odyssey" of Barry Sullivan's NBC western series The Road West.

The 1960s brought Greer several recurring roles in popular TV series, as track coach Ossie Weiss in Hank, Sherrif Norris "Norrie" Coolidge in The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, and storekeeper Wilbur Jonas in Gunsmoke.

Greer had a prominent continuing role in the NBC series Little House on the Prairie as Reverend Alden from 1974 to 1983. Often cast as a minister, he performed the marriages of Rob and Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show and of Mike and Carol Brady on The Brady Bunch, and he tended to the spiritual needs of the townfolk in fictional Rome, Wisconsinmarker, as Reverend Henry Novotny in Picket Fences.

In the 1958 film I Want to Live! he played the San Quentinmarker captain who finished strapping down Barbara Graham in the gas chamber prior to her execution and was the last person to speak to her. He had a similar role in the 1999 film The Green Mile, in which he played the elderly version of Tom Hanks' Death Row officer Paul Edgecomb.

In the May 9, 1991, episode of L.A. Law called "On the Toad Again", he played a character who was addicted to a "high" produced by licking the skin secretions of psychoactive toads.


  2. Dabbs Greer Biography (1917-)
  3. Character actor Dabbs Greer dies at 90 -

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