Carl Betz

Active - 1953 - 1977  |   Born - Mar 9, 1920 in Pittsburgh, PA  |   Died - Jan 18, 1978 in Los Angeles, CA  |   Genres - Drama, Thriller, Mystery, Crime, Western

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Carl Betz held a fascination for the theater from the age of ten, when he and six of his friends would stage plays in his grandmother's Philadelphia basement. Earning a four-year scholarship to Duquesne University, Betz left after the first year to work in Summer Stock. He then attended Carnegie Tech's drama department, completing his education after three-years' service in World War II. Following 65 straight weeks in East Coast stock companies, Betz made his Broadway bow in the 1952 flop The Long Watch. This he followed with touring-show appearances opposite such fading Hollywood luminaries as Veronica Lake and Diana Barrymore, then with a one-year 20th Century Fox film contract. With the exception of his leading-man assignment in Dangerous Crossing (1953), most of Betz' Fox films were unremarkable, but they did lead to a lucrative tour with Walter Slezak in My Three Angels. He made his television bow as a regular on the CBS serial Love of Life, then gained prime-time fame as Dr. Alex Stone on the long-running (1958-1966) sitcom The Donna Reed Show. Betz finally received above-the-title billing in the weekly courtroom series Judd for the Defense (1967-1969), for which he won an Emmy. Carl Betz spent most of the rest his career in the "special guest star" pool; he died of lung cancer in 1978 at the age of 58.

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