Dabbs Greer - the most famous actor you didn't know

He appeared in more than 200 TV shows.

If you're lucky enough as an actor, you'll eventually land the role of a lifetime. Lucille Ball broke through with her hit sitcom I Love Lucy, while Andy Griffith received widespread recognition for his eponymous show.

But if an actor struggles to break through, they might face the music and move on to a different career.

However, there are certain actors out there who don't need the fame and fortune. Dabbs Greer was one of them.

There's no doubt you've seen Greer on some of your favorite shows. Over the course of his 60-year career in Hollywood, Greer appeared as a guest star on literally hundreds of television shows. His first appearance was in 1951, on the science fiction program Space Patrol. 

In the 1950s, Greer appeared on smaller shows like Official Detective, The Web and Code 3. 

However, the 1960s brought more prominent roles. Greer is perhaps best known as the storekeeper Mr. Jonas on the long-running Western Gunsmoke. At the same time, he appeared on The Loretta Young Show, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, The Rifleman,The Andy Griffith Show and Rawhide. 

Greer as Mr. Jonas on 'Gunsmoke'

He was the minister who married Mike and Carol on the premiere of The Brady Bunch in 1969.

Greer's television work continued through the 1970s, when he finally landed the major role of Reverend Richard Alden on Little House on the Prairie in 1974. When that series ended in 1984, Greer became a character actor again and continued to make appearances up until 2003.

His last credited role was on the Disney channel TV show Lizzy McGuire. 

Greer passed away in 2007 at the age of 90. 

It's important to remember those who also contributed to the medium but didn't receive the fame, unlike Griffith or Ball.

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bgibson135 1 month ago
He was on the original Perry Mason a bunch, and I think he was the "guilty" guy three of those times. William Schallert might be the only other actor I recognize that might have been on more shows through the years. Dabbs Greer would probably be, for me, in that group of talented "B" actors like Harry Townes, Charles Aidman, Ross Martin, or Don Gordon.
DeniseC061612 27 months ago
Love Dabbs Greer’s characters on the Rifleman, he’s been in lots of episodes.
RB 27 months ago
On the reunion special where Marcia and Jan have a double wedding, he also played the minister who married them.
musicman37 32 months ago
Dabbs Greer was in the initial episode of "The Adventures of Superman" ("Superman on Earth") as the first man who was ever saved by Superman. He appeared in two more episodes of the show, most notably as an eccentric millionaire (and his evil doppelganger) in 1958's "The Superman Silver Mine". He was also in "The Green Mile" as "old Paul", Tom Hanks' character as an old man. He had an admirable 70-year career, and brought much joy to people who saw his performances.
TheDavBow3 32 months ago
I remember him also on Mannix. Joe was giving him a hard time and Dabbs' character kept asking for some milk to drink because of his weak stomach 😉😊
DethBiz 33 months ago
He even snuck a couple of pods into the trunk for Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter in the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
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