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 31 months ago
There was also a syndicated show in the 1980's or 1990's called She-Wolf of London, wasn't there?
scp 31 months ago
That was Robert Picardo????

And I love the recycling of the name Janos Skorzeny.
SueClark 31 months ago
David Hedison also became a werewolf in the episode "Man Beast" on Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.
ericdumptee89 31 months ago
Henry Hull, & Warner Oland, (werewolf of london' 1932?) Matt Willis (return of the vampire) 1943,
AnnieM 31 months 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 31 months 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 31 months ago
The Chuck Conners werewolf kinda threw me a curve. No really, still can’t unsee that.
AnnieM 2103634076 31 months ago
Yes - that one was so gross I thought it was from a Hammer horror film. ::bleah::
johnnypatio 31 months 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 31 months 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 31 months ago
Michael Landon? Are you kidding me? I knew he played a werewolf ever since I was a child!
DethBiz 31 months 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.
DethBiz 31 months ago
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BrittReid stephaniestavr5 31 months ago
June Lockhart played Phyllis Allenby and there is no werewolf/ she wolf in this film.
DethBiz BrittReid 31 months 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 31 months ago
Or Timmy was in the well...again...
Runeshaper 31 months ago
WOW! I had no idea that so many of these FANTASTIC actors played werewolves! Some of them are completely unrecognizable too.
daDoctah 31 months 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 31 months 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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AnnieM 31 months ago
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AnnieM 31 months ago
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AnnieM 31 months ago
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LoveMETV22 stephaniestavr5 31 months ago
Found an interesting page on oldest Sodas in the world. Intersting read.
Zip 31 months 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 31 months 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 31 months ago
Yes, Michael J. Fox was in Teen Wolf.
I guess MeTV figured everyone knew that one.
bagandwallyfan52 31 months ago
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Runeshaper Zip 31 months ago
Love that movie!
daDoctah stephaniestavr5 31 months ago
And in the Tim Burton movie version of "Dark Shadows", the werewolf was played by Chloe Grace Moretz.
AnnieM bagandwallyfan52 31 months 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 31 months 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 31 months 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 31 months ago
I remember him as a German soldier in Rat Patrol in the 1960’s and he’s still going strong.
WordsmithWorks 31 months 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 31 months 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.
Zip 31 months ago
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Zip stephaniestavr5 31 months 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.
Zip 31 months ago
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Zip stephaniestavr5 31 months 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 31 months ago
I Was a Teenage Werewolf is a cult classic with lots of familiar faces. My only gripe are the terrible fangs.
BrittReid 31 months ago
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