Jerry Van Dyke


  1. Ralph Taeger, The Carpetbaggers,1963.  Sudden change  of Buzz Dalton from  Dick’s younger brother to the Queens  actor in the first of New York producer Joseph E Levine’s three snitty/snotty movies about Hollywood – followed by Harlow, 1964 (also with Baker),  and  The Oscar, 1965. Each one was worse than the precedent.  In 1967, Taeger was chosen by John Wayne to revive his 1953 film hero, a  short-lived Western series.

  2. Bob Denver, Gilligan’s Island, TV, 1964-1976.    “The worst thing I’d ever read.” And so, Jerry made My Mother, The Car, instead!! Both shows were inane but Gilligan became a (mindless) comedy classic and Mother ran out of gas.

  3. Robert Duvall, The Godfather, 1971. 
  4. Donald Pleasence, Halloween, 1976.     Hitchcock fan auteur John Carpenter searched high and low for his shrink, Dr Sam Loomis. Peter O’Toole and the Hammer horrors, Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee versus Charles Napier, Lawrence Tierney, Abe Vigoda. The $300,00 shoestring budget couldn’t afford any of them! Same for Lloyd Bridges, David Carradine, Kirk Douglas, Steven Hill, Walter Matthau… even such off-the-wall surprises as John Belushi, Mel Brooks, Yul Brynner, Edward Bunker, Sterling Hayden, Dennis Hopper, Kris Kristofferson… and Dick’s brother, Jerry Van Dyke. Pleasence said he only made tthe film because his daughter told him to! She loved Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13… He also told Carpenter he never read the script, nor Loomis. “Only later,” said Carpenter, “after [we] became close friends, did I realise he was finding out how much I loved the movie I was making.” Incidentally, Loomis was named after John Gavin’s Psycho character; his screen lover was Janet Leigh, mother of Carpenter’s heroine, Jamie Lee Curtis. So it flows.

  5. Tom Poston, Newhart, 1982-1990.    The dim-witted handyman, George Utley, was written for him, and became another bum decision (disinterested at his audition) by Dick Van Dyke’s younger brother. (“Dick’s a loner… He’s great to talk to, but it’s hard to really get close to him”). Jerry improved enough for a guest shot in 1983.  And finally woke up for a winning role (also by scripter Barry Kemp), 199 chapters (and four Emmy nominations) in Coach, TV, 1989-1997.


 Birth year: 1931Death year: 2018Other name: Casting Calls:  5