August 31, 2012

Goodbye to Chatsworth Osborne Jr.

The comically irritating rich kid on my all-time favorite sitcom "Dobie Gillis" was played by an actor named Steve Franken, who has died, at the age of 80. The original rich jerk on the show was Milton Armitage, played by Warren Beatty, but he left the show early and Chatsworth stepped in to be totally unlikeable and ridiculous.

I wish I could find a good clip of him as Chatsworth on YouTube. But here's Franken playing a drunken waiter in the 1968 movie "The Party" (with Peter Sellers). It's not a silent movie, but Franken's role is silent (and very funny).

13 comments:

LordSomber said...

I remember him best from "The Time Travelers," a great '60's sci-fi B-movie.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpJwKMnBS0E

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I loved Dobie Gillis. My favorite, of course, was Maynard G. Krebs. Gilligan couldn't hold a candle to him.

edutcher said...

Franken was a good character actor, but, on Dobie, he had a great partner in Doris Packer, who played Mumsy, his mother - her favorite word, "nasssty".

DADvocate said...

I loved Dobie Gillis, too. I was telling a younger co-worker about the show just a couple of days ago. Sad to see the icons from those days pass away.

ampersand said...

I read somewhere he was a distant cousin to Al Franken.
The Many Lives of Dobie Gillis is being broadcast on ME-TV, alas at 4.30 am. It started out as great tv but really ran out of steam the final season. Maynard G. Krebs is one of the greatest characters ever.

Ipso Fatso said...

RIP Mr. Franken. I remember you well.

rick rogers said...

That scene was brilliantly funny, it was reminiscent of a Pink Panther movie.

gpm said...

Zelda was in my law school class (1978). Even then there didn't seem to be that many people who knew who she was. Thalia Menninger, played by Tuesday Weld, was a great character, as was Dobie's father, played by long-time character actor Frank Faylen. And I loved Mumsey.

--gpm

virgil xenophon said...

@edutcher/

YES! "Mumsey" was great. As was Franken in his role. As a HS kid I never missed an episode of "Many Loves"--It aired just prior to the Dick Van Dyke show, iirc..

(PS--I have a rich friend of mine in N.O. who STILL drolly calls his still living even richer Mother "Mumsey," LOL--And she playes the role to the hilt, too!)

Muns said...

The Party ranks way up there - right next to It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

Muns said...

The Party ranks way up there - right next to It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

Jim in St Louis said...

Professor: If you love Dobie Gillis can I recommend the book "Anyone got a Match?" Same author Max Shulman.

Its hilarious and although set in the sixties its kinda timeless about what it says about academia, big tobacco, TV and politics. It would make a great movie.

Robert Cook said...

I LOVE "The Time Travelers"!! I wish to hell it would be released on dvd!

I always identify Franken with that movie, even though I also know him from "Dobie Gillis," a show I also loved.