You may not recognize the name, Ronnie Schell, but if you're a baby boomer, you probably remember his face, as he appeared quite often in many of the major television shows during the 1960's and '70's. He is probably most remembered as Gomer Pyle's best friend, Duke, in Gomer Pyle, USMC, where his comic timing made him the perfect side-kick.
Monday, August 17, 2020
For those of us who have fond memories of his performances, though, we remember him more as the funny guy that should have been more famous. In fact, according to IMDB, his nickname was, and still is, America's Slowest-Rising Young Comedian. As a kid, I thought it was just a matter of time before he would be promoted from second banana to major comedy star. And now as I find myself approaching old age, I scratch my head and wonder why this never happened.
Actually, Ronnie Schell did star in a sitcom called Good Morning World, with a then unknown, Goldie Hawn. Sadly, the show was up against the popular NBC Tuesday Night Movie of the Week and it only lasted one season. That's unfortunate because his performance as Larry, the clumsy playboy, is very funny - kind of a cross between Dick Van Dyke and Don Adams.
Ronnie Schell's career has lasted longer than his name recognition, which has turned him from potential star to prolific actor. Even in the smallest of roles, though, his performances have managed to draw your attention to him even when his character is in the background. This blog is full of talented actors whose path to stardom somehow went a different direction. I put Ronnie Schell with his spot on comic instincts at the top of the list, making him today's pick for Not Very Famous...but should be.