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Gregg PalmerGregg Palmer, originally Palmer Lee (born January 25, 1927), is a retired American actor, known primarily for his prolific work in television westerns. He appeared from 1960-1975 in varying roles in twenty episodes of CBS's Gunsmoke with James Arness, thirteen segments of the syndicated Death Valley Days, and nine episodes of NBC's The Virginian starring James Drury in the title role. He guest starred five times on Bonanza, NBC's longest-running western. One of Palmer's Gunsmoke segments is "Alias Festus Haggin" (1972), co-starring Ken Curtis.
Of Norwegian extraction, the brown-haired and brown-eyed Palmer was born in San Francisco, California, the son of a carpenter. He entered the United States Army Air Corps, forerunner of the Air Force, and became a cryptographer during World War II. He was discharged in 1946 as a sergeant. Sometimes known as "Grizzly", Palmer worked as a bouncer, truck driver, and in construction before he became a radio disc jockey.
In 1950, at the age of twenty-three, he procured his first screen role, as an uncredited ambulance attendant in the Martin and Lewis comedy film My Friend Irma Goes West. In 1952, he had minor roles as Gratton Dalton of the Dalton gang in the film, The Cimarron Kid, and as Joe Bent in The Battle at Apache Pass. In the early 1950s, Palmer and Marilyn Monroe both unsuccessfully auditioned for roles as Abner and Daisy Mae in a proposed Li'l Abner television series based on the Al Capp cartoon, but the effort never materialized. In 1952, he appeared as William Norton in the comedy film Francis Goes to West Point, starring Donald O'Connor.
In 1955, Palmer appeared as Jack Slade in an episode of Jim Davis's syndicated western series Stories of the Century. Slade was the superintendent of the Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company, based in Julesburg in northeastern Colorado, who sets out to capture the outlaw Jules Beni.
From 1955-1958, Palmer appeared five times on the syndicated 26 Men, starring Tristram Coffin and based on the actual files of the Arizona Rangers law enforcement group. The episodes are entitled "Chain Gang", "The Vanquisher", "Runaway Stage", "Hole Up", and "Terror in Paradise". During the late 1950s, Palmer was particularly busy in acting, having appeared on The Lone Ranger, Rod Cameron's syndicated State Trooper, Scott Brady's syndicated Shotgun Slade, John Lupton's NBC series Broken Arrow, John Payne's The Restless Gun on NBC, Kirby Grant's Sky King, Jeff Richards's Jefferson Drum on NBC, Rex Allen's syndicated Frontier Doctor, Rory Calhoun's The Texan on CBS, NBC's Buckskin (as Jackel in the episode "A Man from the Mountains"), and NBC's Cimarron City as Tom Hiller in "The Bitter Lesson.
During the 1960s, Palmer appeared in Earl Holliman's Hotel de Paree western as Cooper in the episode "Sundance and the Bare-Knuckled Fighters". He then appeared in NBC's short-lived Overland Trail in the role of Will Purdom in the episode "Vigilantes of Montana". Other appearances were on ABC's The Man From Blackhawk, Henry Fonda's and Allen Case's The Deputy on NBC, and three segments of Wagon Train, when it was aired on NBC. He appeared as Tracy McNeil in the 1960 episode "Old Stefano" of ABC's Lawman series, set in Laramie, Wyoming, and starring John Russell and Peter Brown. That same year, he appeared as Captain McKinley in "Welcome Enemy" in Will Hutchins's ABC western Sugarfoot.
In 1961, he appeared as Blanchard in the episode "A Gun Is for Killing" in NBC's The Tall Man, a fictionalized account of the relationship between Pat Garrett and Billy t...