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Karl Swenson (July 23 1908October 8 1978) was an Americanmarker theatre, radio, film, and television actor.

Born in Brooklyn, New Yorkmarker, Swenson made several appearances on Broadway in the 1930s and 40s, including the title role in Arthur Miller's first production, The Man Who Had All the Luck. He appeared extensively on the radio from the 1930s through the 1950s in such programs as Cavalcade of America, The Chase, Columbia Presents Corwin, The Columbia Workshop, Inner Sanctum Mysteries, Joe Palooka, Lawyer Q, Lorenzo Jones, The March of Time, The Mercury Theatre on the Air, Mrs. Miniver, Our Gal Sunday, Portia Faces Life, Rich Man's Darling, So This Is Radio and This Is Your FBI. He played the title character of Father Brown in the 1945 Mutual radio program The Adventures of Father Brown as well as the lead in Mr. Chameleon.

Swenson entered the film industry in 1943 with two wartime documentary shorts, December 7 and The Sikorsky Helicopter, followed by more than thirty-five roles in feature films and television movies. No Name on the Bullet (1959) is only one of the many Westerns he did for both film and television. He guest starred in 1960 in the NBC science fiction series The Man and the Challenge. He played two roles in the NBC Western Klondike in the 1960–1961 season. In 1962, he made a one time appearance on The Andy Griffith Show as Mr. McBeevee. He also guest starred in NBC's Laramie western series. In 1963, he appeared as Nelson in the episode "Beauty Playing a Mandolin Underneath a Willow Tree" episode of the NBC medical drama about psychiatry, The Eleventh Hour. Swenson is also remembered for his role as the doomsayer in the diner in Hitchcock's classic The Birds and had a minor role in The Cincinnati Kid.

Although Swenson had credits on dozens of TV series, including an appearance on the "Shady Deal at Sunny Acres" episode of Maverick, he was best known for his performance as Lars Hanson in forty episodes of Little House on the Prairie. He is also notable for having voiced the character of Merlin in Walt Disney's 1963 animated classic, The Sword in the Stone. In 1967, Swenson played the role of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt in the western film Brighty of the Grand Canyon, with co-stars Pat Conway and Joseph Cotten.

Swenson died of a heart attack in Torringtonmarker, Connecticutmarker, ironically shortly after filming the episode in which the Little House character Hanson died. He was interred at Center Cemetery in New Milfordmarker, Connecticut.

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