R.I.P. Abby Dalton, star of The Joey Bishop Show and Falcon Crest

She also appeared in fantastic episodes of The Rifleman, Maverick and Rawhide — not to mention hundreds of game shows.

Read to Me

The Andy Griffith Show began as an episode of The Danny Thomas Show, but it was not the only hit sitcom spun off from the series. A year after "Danny Meets Andy Griffith" aired, the episode "Everything Happens to Me" launched a new show spotlighting a member of the Rat Pack. The Joey Bishop Show, at last, gave a major lead role to the most comedic (and longest-living) member of the Rat Pack.

Slotted after Wagon Train on NBC, The Joey Bishop Show piggybacked the top-rated Western and ranked at the 24th most-popular show on television in 1961. Nevertheless, the network was disappointed with the show, which bode well for Abby Dalton. NBC completely retooled the sitcom, changing the profession of Joey's character and adding a new wife, Ellie, played by Dalton. Joey lovingly called her "Texas."

Dalton was hardly a newcomer. The actress, who was from Nevada, actually, was coming off a three-season stint as the female lead on Hennesey, a military sitcom co-starred Jackie Cooper. That performance earned her an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role by an Actor or Actress in a Series.

In the late 1950s, Dalton made a string of unforgettable appearances in popular Westerns. She managed to guest star in some of the best episodes of beloved series. Take "Duel at Sundown," for example, the Maverick tale that saw James Garner and Clint Eastwood trading punches over her. Speaking of Eastwood, around the same time, Dalton popped up as a female sharpshooter in "Incident West of Lano," a standout early episode of Rawhide.

On The Rifleman, she can be seen in "The Marshal," the episode that introduced Paul Fix as Micah Torrance. She had a knack for turning up in important episodes.

Decades later, Dalton landing another recurring gig on Falcon Crest, the long-running Eighties primetime soap. On that drama, she portrayed Julia Cumson, the daughter of matriarch Angela Channing (Jane Wyman). It was a role she played for nearly 100 episodes.

Outside of her acting, she could be most commonly found on TV inside a square on The Hollywood Squares. In fact, she popped up in more than 380 episodes of the game show — not to mention other favorites like Pyramid and Password.

On November 23, Dalton died in Los Angeles, according to The Hollywood Reporter. She was 88.

 
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prarieman1 10 months ago
the best movie she ever did and I fell in love with her was Viking Women and the Sea Serpent.
Mark091 10 months ago
I remember the episode of The Joey Bishop Show with actors Allan
Melvin and Barbara Stuart playing
Husband and wife
Allan Melvin (Sgt Hacker on Gomer Pyle USMC) and Barbara Stuart
(Bunny Harper-Olsen-Wilson on
Gomer Pyle USMC) never appeared
Together on Gomer Pyle USMC
But they did an excellent job of playing a married couple
Mark091 10 months ago
I used to watch The Joey Bishop Show on Retro TV but I can't watch
Joey Bishop Show now because
Channel 13 in Lynchburg VA dropped RETRO TV as a sub channel a few
Years ago. However Cox Cable is going to carry Retro TV Cozi tv and Decades tv to the cable system very
Soon so I can Hope that RETRO TV
Still carries The Joey Bishop Show
Also I hope that MeTv will decide to carry reruns of the Joey Bishop Show
Sometime in the near future
Abby Dalton was a great choice to play Joey BARNES WIFE
JOE Besser of the Three Stooges
Played Stinky on the Joey Bishop Show RIP Abby Dalton and Warren
Berlinger
BenHallums 10 months ago
ABBY DALTON is A Square Place-Owner of "THE (NEW) HOLLYWOOD SQUARES" from 1966 to 1987 and Became A Square Star with Mr. Wally Cox on Tuesday-Friday January 3, 1967 in living color on NBC-TV Starring THE MASTER OF THE HOLLYWOOD SQUARES-Mr. Peter Marshall & Fellow Square Star Turned Host John Davidson & The Announcers are Mr. Kenny Williams & Mr. Shadoe Stevens (and now he's on ANTENNA TV for Nexstar.)
Spolik 10 months ago
I loved Abby in both her early shows, as well as her costars Jackie Cooper in 'Hennessey' and Corbett Monica in 'The Joey Bishop Show.' I can still recall episodes from those shows - sure wish MeTV would bring them back!
jacko3 10 months ago
... yeah, I can recall her when I was a smaller lad .. attractive and charismatic ... it's a shame how time had flown by so quickly and the years impact our loves so meaningfully .. GOD Rest the life & legacy of ABBEY ... yep, recall the neat show - " Hennesey " (Navy nurse Lt. Martha Hale) from 1959-62 ... among many others...
Wiseguy 10 months ago
She was also the original Liz Miller (Mrs. Barney) on the only-once aired original pilot of Barney Miller.
FrankCollins 10 months ago
Abby was soooo beautiful and charismatic. I cannot understand why she, and so many others, were never really big Hollywood movie stars.
Sooner FrankCollins 10 months ago
She was very much a natural. I agree with you.
From the beginning of TV through the 60-70s, there was a very clear line drawn between MOVIE stars and TV stars. Very few major Film stars would do TV, and never a Continuing role. When they did (Doris Day, Judy Garland) it was usually for financial reasons (husband or managers embezzled their money).
AgingDisgracefully 10 months ago
I've been reading about the show, Hennesey, that Abby D won an Emmy for...
Come out, come out, wherever you are.
Why have I (we?) never heard of it?
Jeremy 10 months ago
When I saw that picture of her up there as a thumbnail, I said, "You're dead, aren't you?" Unfortunately, I was right. Well...good night, sweet princess...and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.
justjeff 10 months ago
R.I.P. Abby Dalton. As Bob Hope sang... "thanks for the memories"...
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