Todd Gault's Movie Serial Experience

Todd Gault's Film Serial Experience: Movie serials, cliffhangers and reviews. A gallery of movie serial stars.
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"Radar Men From the Moon"; Republic, 1952

New Jersey native George Wallace spent eight years in the Navy, seeing action in both Europe and the South Pacific during World War II, before he became an actor and moved to Hollywood. He made his film debut in “Submarine Command” (1951). The following year Wallace went to Republic studios to read for the part of a henchman in a serial and walked away with the lead in “Radar men From the Moon” (1952), playing Commando Cody, a rocket suit wearing scientist who prevents an invasion of Earth by the Moon. Ironically the part he had originally read for went to Clayton Moore, the man who had the role of the Lone Ranger, and Wallace went to read for it when Moore temporarily left the series but didn’t get it.

Wallace would make one more serial, a minor heavy in Columbia’s “The Adventures of Captain Kidd” (1953) before going back to feature film work. Most of his work involved Westerns like “The Homesteaders” (1953), “Destry” (1954), “Man Without a Star” (1955), and “Texas Across the River” (1966). Other films include Dashiell Hammett’s “The Fat Man” (1951) which featured the film debut of Rock Hudson, “Forbidden Planet” (1956), “Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round” (1966), “The Stunt Man” (1980), Cheech and Chong’s “Things Are Tough All Over” (1982), “Punchline” (1988), “Postcards From the Edge” (1990), “Defending Your Life” (1991), and “My Girl 2” (1994).

As if this wasn’t a full enough career, he was also a popular stage actor, appearing in “Pajama Game” where he took over for John Raitt, “New Girl In Town”, Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Pipe Dream”, “Company”, and “The Jackie Robinson Story” which starred David Alan Grier.

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