Friday, November 30, 2012

James Olson

James Olson is now retired from the business, but in the 1960's, '70's and '80's it was hard to turn on your television and not see him as a featured guest star in many of the top westerns, dramas and police shows of that time.

However, he did more than just appear in many of the classic programs, as he often upstaged the stars of those shows like Peter Falk, Richard Boone and Raymond Burr, just to name a few.


Underrated is an overused term, but it's the only word that I can think of that properly describes the talent of James Olson. Many talented actors like himself tend to get lost among all of the episodes of so many shows that aren't always available to the younger generation. That's why it's good to know that he was also a stand-out in movies as well.

His work in The Andromeda Strain, Crescendo, Rachel, Rachel, Ragtime and a whole slew of made-for-television movies like The Family That Nobody Wanted and The Court-Martial of George Armstrong Custer are actual proof as to why James Olson is Not Very Famous...but should be.

8 comments:

  1. I always liked James Olson in just about anything he did. I remember him from television mostly. A terrific actor and good looking to boot. :)

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  2. I admired James Olson in everything I saw him in. He always played intelligent roles - I don't know if that was because they were written that way or if it was something he gave to the roles. It seemed that he was in featured guest roles in all the major television dramas such as the Quinn Martin productions. James Olson was adept at roles showing warmth as well as those of quiet psychopaths. He was especially good in The Andromeda Strain, a role that I hoped would be followed by more major big screen roles. I have trouble understanding why James Olson wasn't given more major film roles or a starring regular role in series television. I have also wondered why he dropped off the radar 25 years ago, and assumed that he died suddenly. It is a shame that we don't have a greater body of work documenting this man's career.

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  3. Have been a huge fan of James Olson for years. Would like to know how to contact him or a fan club to express my gratitude for his work. Please share any information on this site.

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  4. I am searching his whereabouts for years. No info whatsoever.

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  5. He DONE WEIRD TV MOVIE IN THE EARLY SEVENTIES IT WAS SCARY WHERE YOU GET STUCK ELIVATOR AND GO IN DESERTED STORE HOUSE WHERE THIS PAPER MARCHI DOLL HANGS FROM CEILING ITS WAS INTERESTING MOVIE BUT DONT KNOW THE NAME JAMES OLSON WAS IN IT RIGHT AFTER ADROMINA STRAIN IF YOU KNOW THE MOVIE IM TALKEN ABOUT PLEASE TELL ME I THINK IT WAS CALLED FEAR SOMETHIN

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  6. I have always loved him, too. He was in a nifty little made for TV movie called "Paper Man" (1971) that also starred Dean Stockwell and Stefani Powers. That may be the one you are thinking of, Titan.
    LONG LIVE JAMES OLSON!

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  7. I too remember him as playing the shifty type in various TV shows as well and even co-starred alongside John Saxon in 'Strange New World' (part of Gene Roddenberry's 'PAX' trilogies). Next to Saxon, he's one of my favorite cult-film/TV icons alongside a few others including the late John van Dreelen and Gordon Pinsent, of whom I had seen in an old TV episode of 'Hogan's Heroes' recently...what a dreamboat! I'd love to have Olson and Saxon in another flick together, even if they were to play bad guys like they did on 2 separate episodes of 'Wonder Woman'.

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  8. He was amazing in the Andromeda Strain and also the Missiles of October ( he played McGeorge Bundy )

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