Tagged: Western

The Wild Wild West

THE WILD WILD WEST/CBS/1965-70 (Little Person)

Dr. Miguelito Loveless (Michael Dunn), an evil dwarf genius whose main goal in life was the conquest of the world.

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Dr. Loveless, who always evaded capture (like Sherlock Holmes’ Professor Moriarty), was the main antagonist of frontier secret service agents James T. West (Robert Conrad) and Artemus Gordon (Ross Martin).

Dr. Loveless was assisted by two sinister sidekicks: Voltaire, a giant of a man (Richard Kiel) and Antoinette, a beautiful songstress (Phoebe Dorin).

Originally, Loveless sought revenge when his family lost their land grant in California from the Spanish Viceroy of Mexico when California became part of the United States. Over time, Loveless’ plans became more grandiose and sinister.

On the reunion TV-movie WILD WILD WEST REVISITED (1979), the slightly taller but still diminutive son of Miquelito Loveless, Michelito Loveless (Paul Williams) assumes his father’s criminal empire and tries to take over the world by cloning replicants of world leaders.

wild-wild-west-dr-loveless-wanted-posterThe plan forced secret agents James West (Robert Conrad) and Artemus Gordon (Ross Martin) out of retirement to thwart Michelito’s villainous plan.

A burial marker at Miquelito Loveless’ tombstone revealed that Miquelito was born in 1848 and had died in 1880. He died from ulcers caused by anxiety brought on by agents West and Gordon who were always on his trail.


Note: Michael Dunn was 3′ 11″ tall. Born Gary Neil Miller on October 20, 1934 in Shattuck, Oklahoma, actor Michael Dunn died on August 29, 1973 (age 38) in Knightsbridge, London, England. In 2007, his remains were moved from Florida and placed in Sunset Memorial Park in Norman, Oklahoma where his parents were buried.

At age 15, Dunn was a concert pianist until a crippling condition known as chondrodystrophy (Dwarfism) damaged his elbows and ruined his career as a pianist. His success in life would come in the field of acting.

The Dr. Miquelito Loveless character was introduced on episode “The Night the Wizard Shook The Earth” (October 1, 1965). Michael Dunn as Loveless appeared in ten episodes over four seasons. The other episodes included:

  • The Night That Terror Stalked the Town (November 19, 1965)
  • The Night of the Whirring Death (February 18, 1966)
  • The Night of the Murderous Spring (April 15, 1966)
  • The Night of the Raven (September 30, 1966)
  • The Night of the Green Terror (November 18, 1966)
  • The Night of the Surreal McCoy (March 3, 1967)
  • The Night of the Bogus Bandits (April 7, 1967)
  • The Night Dr. Loveless Died (September 29, 1967)
  • The Night of Miguelito’s Revenge (December 13, 1968)

In the film remake of The Wild Wild West (1999), a character named Dr. Arliss Loveless (Kenneth Branagh), a sinister double amputee who battled U.S. Army Captain James West and U.S. Marshal Artemus Gordon (Kevin Kline). Loveless was a former Confederate military engineer who had lost most of his lower body in an accidental explosion. The disabled Loveless rode a steam-powered wheelchair and had a pair of mechanical legs. His character died by falling off a cliff while battling James West.

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Before he died, Loveless threatened to destroy the United States with his mechanized forces unless President Grant agreed to split up the United States into parcels which would be given to Great Britain, France, Spain, Mexico, the Native American people, and, of course, Loveless.

Zorro

ZORRO/ABC/1957-59 (Deaf & Mute)

Bernardo (Gene Sheldon/costar), the deaf mute manservant of Don Diego De La Vega (Guy Williams) alias the masked swordsman, Zorro.

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The mute Bernardo, the only other person who knew of Don Diego’s dual identity, faked his deafness to aid his master in thwarting the evil politicians of early California. He communicated with hand signs.

Bill Dana played Bernardo on the spoof of the original series ZORRO AND SON/CBS/1983.

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Bill Dana as Bernardo on ZORRO AND SON and Juan Diego Botto as Felipe on ZORRO on the Family Channel.

In 1990, Zorro returned to television on the western series ZORRO/FAM/1990-93 starring Duncan Regehr. This time around Zorro’s mute aide was named Felipe (Juan Diego Botto).

 

Ned Blessing

NED BLESSING: THE STORY OF MY LIFE & TIMES/CBS/1993 (Deaf Blind Mute)

**(Bill McKinney) Verlon Borgers, a ruthless outlaw struck deaf, dumb (mute) and blind when the ghost of a dead sheriff (whom Borgers killed) materialized during a gunfight against Ned Blessing. Borgers had placed the head of the sheriff on display in a pickle jar.

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A mute character named Sealy Pettit (Julius Tennon), a black man born without being able to speak, was also featured on the series.