7 actors you didn’t know played werewolves

Michael Landon, Chuck Connors and… June Lockhart?

Tales of human-wolf transformations have frightened people for centuries. As with many other folktales and legends, it didn’t take long for werewolf stories to be adapted for the screen. Lon Chaney Jr. famously played the title character in the classic Universal horror film The Wolf Man. Though he starred in many other things, including a number of TV Westerns, Chaney will forever be tied to his iconic werewolf role.

But what about actors who donned a furry face and fangs onscreen in far more obscure projects? Here are seven recognizable actors from TV and film who you may not know played werewolves at one point in their careers.

1. Michael Landon

Two years before his breakout role as Little Joe Cartwright in Bonanza, Michael Landon played rebellious teen Tony Rivers in I Was a Teenage Werewolf. Interestingly, Tony sprouts hair and fangs after experimental treatment from an evil doctor, not from the bite of another werewolf. Despite the cheesy high school setting, the raving creature is definitely creepy. Landon later poked fun at this early role in his Eighties series Highway to Heaven with the episode “I Was a Middle-Aged Werewolf.”

2. Chuck Connors

The award for scariest human-wolf transformation goes to Chuck Connors for his horrifying portrayal of Janos Skorzeny in the short-lived 1987 show Werewolf. Best known as loving father Lucas McCain in The Rifleman, Captain Skorzeny is a long way from North Fork. The show only lasted one season but remains a cult favorite.

3. Glenn Strange

Gunsmoke fans know him as friendly bartender Sam Noonan but Glenn Strange had many horror roles as well. He played Frankenstein’s monster multiple times, including opposite Abbot and Costello. In the 1942 flick The Mad Monster, Strange plays a handyman who becomes a ferocious beast after his mad scientist employer conducts experiments on him.

4. June Lockhart

Anyone who has seen the 1946 film She-Wolf of London knows the title is a bit of an overstatement, but to reveal anything more would spoil the movie’s twists. June Lockhart plays heiress Phyllis Allenby who fears she has fallen under her family’s storied werewolf curse. Several gruesome murders occur nearby and she wakes up with blood on her hands. This lesser-known Universal horror offering plays more like a psychological thriller than anything truly scary.

5. Adam Arkin

Adam Arkin has guest starred in everything from Happy Days to Monk and played reclusive chef, Adam, in Northern Exposure. More than two decades after I Was a Teenage Werewolf but four years before Teen Wolf, Arkin starred in Full Moon High. The early Eighties horror comedy about a high school football player who undergoes an animalistic transformation doesn’t quite land despite a great cast including tonight show sidekick Ed McMahon, Adam’s dad Alan Arkin and Roz “Pinky Tuscadero” Kelly.

6. John Rhys-Davies

Fans know John Rhys-Davies for his roles in The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Raiders of the Lost Ark, but a few years after working with Harrison Ford in Egypt, Rhys-Davies starred in the cult gem Waxwork. He plays a werewolf in a wax exhibit that comes to life. Or at least an exhibit that teleports unsuspecting visitors into another dimension. Or is it all imaginary? The plot may not make a lot of sense, but what is clear is that this funny and scary film should make any cult movie fan’s watch list.

7. Robert Picardo

More than a decade before playing the AI holographic doctor in Star Trek: Voyager, Robert Picardo made his feature film debut in the creepy 1981 horror film The Howling. The werewolf flick was directed by Joe Dante, who would go on to make Eighties favorites Gremlins, Explorers and The ’Burbs. Picardo plays a serial killer with a dark secret who terrorizes a reporter in a small town. The movie boasts great scares, unique werewolf makeup design and a supporting cast featuring character actor legends John Carradine and Slim Pickens.

 
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scp 1 month ago
There was also a syndicated show in the 1980's or 1990's called She-Wolf of London, wasn't there?
scp 1 month ago
That was Robert Picardo????

And I love the recycling of the name Janos Skorzeny.
SueClark 1 month ago
David Hedison also became a werewolf in the episode "Man Beast" on Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.
ericdumptee89 1 month ago
Henry Hull, & Warner Oland, (werewolf of london' 1932?) Matt Willis (return of the vampire) 1943,
AnnieM 1 month ago
I have to mention this - I'm rather surprised that the Monk-happy staff didn't mention that Adam Arkin also played 'Dale the Whale', a rather significant character in 'Monk'.
MichaelPowers 1 month ago
Michael Landon did a humorous homage to his werewolf movie years later with the Highway to Heaven episode "I Was a Middle Aged Werewolf" from October 28, 1987.
I guess Michael Landon wasn't in "I was a Teenage Communist Werewolf for the FBI".
2103634076 1 month ago
The Chuck Conners werewolf kinda threw me a curve. No really, still can’t unsee that.
AnnieM 2103634076 1 month ago
Yes - that one was so gross I thought it was from a Hammer horror film. ::bleah::
johnnypatio 1 month ago
I might t as well put in my 2 cents worth. I remember seeing most of these, kind of entertaining. My dear wife has commented “why do you watch this?”. No good reason because, let’s face it, none of them are really very good. And the name on the Chuck Connors gem in the list, Janos Skorzeny sounds like one of the Gestapo on Hogan’s Heroes!
AnnieM johnnypatio 1 month ago
Never having seen the Chuck Connors show, I thought they made a mistake, as Janos Skorzeny is also the name of the vampire in the 'Night Stalker' pilot movie, but yep, it's the name of both characters.
Jeremy 1 month ago
Michael Landon? Are you kidding me? I knew he played a werewolf ever since I was a child!
DethBiz 1 month ago
Well, there should be a big asterisk by June Lockhart's name. Don't want to spoil the plot of She-Wolf of London.
stephaniestavr5 DethBiz 1 month ago
I don't mind spoiling it:
[SWOL 1946.]
June Lockhart's character named Martha, who has been inflicted/stricken with the Allenby Curse, which of course, changes her into a werewolf.
She attacks and kills a young boy and frames his death on another character named Phyllis. She somehow puts blood on Phyllis' fingertips, framing her for the murder. We can all assume that this movie had a "They lived happily ever after," type of ending!
June Lockhart played Phyllis Allenby and there is no werewolf/ she wolf in this film.
DethBiz BrittReid 1 month ago
Yes, that was indeed the asterisk.
I suppose that was one mess for June Lockhart that Lassie couldn't get her out of...
Moverfan MichaelGreene 1 month ago
Or Timmy was in the well...again...
Runeshaper 1 month ago
WOW! I had no idea that so many of these FANTASTIC actors played werewolves! Some of them are completely unrecognizable too.
daDoctah 1 month ago
The thing to watch for in "She-Wolf of London" is the performance of Sara Haden, better known to movie fans of that time as Andy Hardy's aunt Milly.
CaptainDunsel 1 month ago
"The Howling" was one of two major werewolf films released in 1981, with the other being "An American Werewolf in London". Rick Baker developed some amazing techniques for the werewolf transformation in "AAWIL", including the stretching face, visibly growing hair and more. These were filmed in full light for the first time in a werewolf movie. Baker also discussed the techniques with fellow makeup artist and friend, Rob Bottin who was working on "The Howling" at around the same time. Bottin adopted some of the techniques - along with many of his own developments - to great success for Robert Picardo's transformation. Unfortunately, for completely unrelated reasons, "The Howling" was released in March, while AAWIL was held until August.
As a result, for years fans thought that TH was the origin of effects, rather than the "right" way around. Rick Baker now has a "special makeup effects consultant" credit on "The Howling".
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stephaniestavr5 AnnieM 1 month ago
Speaking of the revival of retromercials:
What's up with the showing of the'70's Tootsie Pop "How Many Licks...commercial. Is it the anniversary of the Tootsie Pop? {"The world may never know."}
stephaniestavr5 AnnieM 1 month ago
My bad. It originally aired in 1968.
I also read that engineering students from Purdue, answered the How many licks question:
If I read this right, each one that participated, licked their Pop 262 {0r 264,} times. The grand total came to 364. That breaks down to one lick everyday for a {nearly} non leap day calendar year.
stephaniestavr5 AnnieM 1 month ago
FYI {If you didn't know:} Dr. Pepper is the oldest manufactured soft drink. Debuted: 1885. Coca-Cola 2nd oldest. Debuted: 1886.
Found an interesting page on oldest Sodas in the world. Intersting read.
https://www.oldest.org/food/sodas/
Zip 1 month ago
Speaking of werewolves, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the fantastic movie, "Werewolf", which features an appearance by Martin Sheen's younger brother, Joe Estevez. Ok, I'm being a little sarcastic there, since the movie is fantastic, as long as you watch the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version of it, and can lampoon it along with the Satellite of Love gang. One of the funniest bits is the girl scientist in the movie who constantly refers to the monster as a "WrrWelf".
bagandwallyfan52 1 month ago
Wasn't Michael J. Fox the star
Of a werewolf movie.
When David Selby played
Quentin Collins on the spook
Opera Dark Shadows Quentin
Was a.ghost and a werewolf.
Zip bagandwallyfan52 1 month ago
Yes, Michael J. Fox was in Teen Wolf.
I guess MeTV figured everyone knew that one.
Actor Alex Stevens was the "resident" Collinsport werewolf. Another DS character, Chris Jennings., {big brother to Amy,} was a werewolf as well.
Runeshaper Zip 1 month ago
Love that movie!
And in the Tim Burton movie version of "Dark Shadows", the werewolf was played by Chloe Grace Moretz.
AnnieM bagandwallyfan52 1 month ago
I think that Dark Shadows should always be called a spook opera from this day forward. It's much more appropriate. And fun!
Zip 1 month ago
Eric Braeden(Victor Newman of The Young And The Restless) played a werewolf in an episode of The Night Stalker appropriately titled, "The Werewolf."
Peter_Falk_Fan Zip 1 month ago
Janos Skorzeny, Chuck Conners' character in "Werewolf", is also the name of the vampire in Kolchak's movie "The Night Stalker" (1972).
Jaxter14 Zip 1 month ago
I remember him as a German soldier in Rat Patrol in the 1960’s and he’s still going strong.
WordsmithWorks 1 month ago
I find it difficult to believe most people didn't know Michael Landon was the title character in "I Was a Teenage Werewolf."
Zip WordsmithWorks 1 month ago
Along with an episode of Highway To Heaven, Michael also paid homage to that movie in an episode of Little House called "The Werewolf of Walnut Grove", with Albert(Matthew Labyorteaux) dressing up in similar makeup to try to scare the school bully.
stephaniestavr5 Zip 1 month ago
It didn't succeed, because little sister Carrie came out whining and complaining about not being able to feed Grace. Then she asked why Albert was dressed like he was, {I think.}
Zip stephaniestavr5 1 month ago
Yep. Wasn't she just aggravating in that scene?!
"And Albert, what are you doing with that fake rock you made?"
Yeah, thanks Carrie for divulging all of our secrets in one breath and getting your half-brother beat up(again) by the school bully.
stephaniestavr5 Zip 1 month ago
Albert was not Mary, Laura, Carrie and Grace's 1/2 brother. He wasn't related to them at all. The Ingalls, adopted him. Remember when they all, {the Oelson's and Garvey's as well,} moved to the big city? Albert was a street urchin, an escapee from an orphanage, living under a staircase.
Zip stephaniestavr5 1 month ago
Yes, I know(big fan of LHOTP). I just didn't know what else to call him. I guess adopted-brother would have more accurate.
BrittReid 1 month ago
I Was a Teenage Werewolf is a cult classic with lots of familiar faces. My only gripe are the terrible fangs.
What did you expect from a low budget 1950's movie?!?! They were more than likely on a budget, and couldn't afford the ones made of porcelain. {You know, the high end stuff.}
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