Familiar Disney Film Actors and Crew

Back in the late 1950s through the late 1970s, Walt Disney Productions employed many of the same actors and crew on many films.

Sometimes you saw the same characters on screen, like Professor Brainard and his Flubber, or young Dexter Riley at Medfield College, the ruthless businessman Alonzo Hawk or Merlin Jones in several films.

Disney in those days was compared to a family, quite a change from the corporate behemoth it is today. Disney is more comfortable on Wall Street than in fictional Medfield, where a number of Disney comedies took place.

I reviewed all of their feature films from 1958 to 1980. Actors, writers, directors and producers who worked on three or more films I’ve noted as best I could. There are many extras who worked on films, who may be recognizable faces, I admit a missed some of those folks.

Actors

Dean Jones – The dean of Disney actors. The exasperated, funny, determined character, the star in 10 Disney films. My favorites are The Love Bug, That Darn Cat! and Blackbeard’s Ghost.

Suzanne Pleshette, Peter Ustinov and Dean Jones

Suzanne Pleshette – She starred in The Ugly Dachshund, The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin, Blackbeard’s Ghost, and The Shaggy D.A. She also provided both the speaking and singing voices in The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride and in Spirited Away.

Dick Van Dyke – One of the other faces of Disney films. Never a Full Moment, Lt. Robin Crusoe, USN, Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins Returns.

Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke and the Sherman Brothers

Keenan Wynn – The villain you loved to hate. He was Alonzo Hawk in three different movies (The Absent-Minded Professor, Son of Flubber, Herbie Rides Again) as well as John Slade in The Shaggy D.A., Martin Ridgeway in Snowball Express and Vince Heber in Smith!

Ed Wynn – The father of Keenan Wynn, He voiced the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland (1951) and portrayed Uncle Albertin Mary Poppins (1964). He also played as Mr. Toymaker in Babes in Toyland, Fire chief in The Absent-Minded Professor, A. J. Allen in Son of Flubber, Mr. Hofstedder the Jeweler in That Darn Cat!, and Rufus the Gnome King in The Gnome-Mobile. In 1933, he was caricatured by Joe Grant in the Mickey Mouseshort, Mickey’s Gala Premiere.

Kurt Russell – As a child, he portrayed Dexter Rilley in The Strongest Man in the World, Now You See Him, Now You Don’t, and The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, and Edward “Whitey” White, Jr. in Follow Me, Boys!. As a teenager, he played Sidney Bower in The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band. As an adult, he voiced Adult Copper in the 1981 animated film, The Fox and the Hound, and Steven Post in The Barefoot Executive, Ray Ferris in Charley and the Angel, Ronnie Gardner in The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit, Bart in Superdad,

Kurt Russell and Bing Russell, each appeared in many Disney films.

Tim Conway – He played Amos Tucker in The Apple Dumpling Gang and The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again. He also voiced Deputy Sniffer in the Air Buddies series, Peterson in The Proud Family, and Mr. Griff in Hercules. In addition, he was in The Shaggy D.A., The World’s Greatest Athlete, Gus, and Wizards of Waverly Place.

Tim Conway and Don Knotts in The Apple Dumpling Gang

Don Knotts – He voiced Mayor Turkey Lurkey in Chicken Little, Deputy Sniffer in Air Buddies, the Dogcatcher in 101 Dalmatians: The Series, and the Baker in an episode of Dave the Barbarian. He also played Theodore Ogelvie in The Apple Dumpling Gang and its sequel, the Denver Kid in Hot Lead and Cold Feet, Coach Venner in Gus, Governor in Quints, Wheely Applegate in Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, and Bert Delaney in No Deposit, No Return.

Kelly Thordsen – A character actor in many films and television shows, he often played police officers in Disney films like The Ugly Dachshund, Blackbeard’s Ghost, Now You See Him, Now You Don’t and The Boatniks.

Elsa Lancaster – The very animated veteran actor appeared in Rascal, Blackbeard’s Ghost, Mary Poppins and That Darn Cat!

Fred MacMurray – When not starring on My Three Sons, he had a second career doing Disney films. Charley and the Angel, The Happiest Millionaire, Follow Me, Boys!, Son of Flubber, Bon Voyage, The Absent Minded Professor and The Shaggy Dog.

Patrick McGoohanThe Three Lives of Thomasina and The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh (3 episodes).

Cesar RomeroThe Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, Now You See Him, Now You Don’t and The Strongest Man in the World as A.J. Arno, the local gangster trying to foil young Dexter Riley.

Hayley MillsThat Darn Cat!, The Moon Spinners, Summer Magic, In Search of the Castaways, The Parent Trap, Pollyanna. Plus three sequels to The Parent Trap.

Tommy KirkThe Monkey’s Uncle, The Misadventures of Merlin Jones, Son of Flubber, Bon Voyage!, Moon Pilot, Babes in Toyland, The Absent Minded Professor, Swiss Family Robinson, The Shaggy Dog, Old Yeller, The Hardy Boys. He was the busiest Disney youth actor for about ten years.

Annette Funicello and Tommy Kirk

David TomlinsonBedknobs and Broomsticks, The Love Bug and Mary Poppins. Talented stage and film actor. Best remembered as George Banks.

Nancy Olson, Fred MacMurray and Elliott Reid in Son of Flubber

Elliott Reid – Often played a lawyer, sportscaster or authority figure. Blackbeard’s Ghost, Follow Me, Boys!, Son of Flubber and The Absent Minded Professor.

Alan Hewitt – Usually played the adversary, an arrogant, know it all. Now You See Him, Now You Don’t, The Barefoot Executive, The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit, The Monkey’s Uncle, The Misadventures of Merlin Jones, Son of Flubber and The Absent Minded Professor.

Leon TylerThe Monkey’s Uncle, Son of Flubber and The Absent Minded Professor.

Leon Tyler and Tommy Kirk

Dick Van PattenGus, The Hague D.A., The Strongest Man in the World, Superdad and Snowball Express.

Harry MorganThe Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again, The Cat From Outer Space, The Apple Dumpling Gang, Charlie and the Angel, Snowball Express and The Barefoot Executive.

Charles RugglesFollow Me, Boys!, The Ugly Dachshund, The Parent Trap and Son of Fubber.

Charles Ruggles

Tim Considine – Before he was the oldest of the three sons, he was Spin Evans on several variations of Spin and Marty, and Frank Hardy in The Hardy Boys. He then co-starred on Annette Funicello’s television series and appeared The Shaggy Dog film.

Tommy Kirk and Tim Considine

Annette Funicello – From Mouseketeer to lead actress in many Disney films including The Shaggy Dog, Zorro, Babes in Toyland, The Misadventures of Merlin Jones and The Monkey’s Uncle.

Fess Parker – Before Daniel Boone was Davy Crockett in seven episodes of The Magical World of Disney, and a starring role in Old Yeller.

Buddy Ebsen – Before Jed Clampett, he was George Russel on five episodes of The Magical World of Disney with Fess Parker, and then as Sheriff Matt Brady on the Disney television series Corky and the White Shadow. Many years later he co-starred in The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band film.

Nancy OlsonPollyanna, The Absent Minded Professor, Son of Flubber, Smith!, Snowball Express and Flubber.

Vera Miles – Appeared in the films The Wild Country, Those Calloways, Follow Me, Boys!, and A Tiger Walks, One Little Indian and The Castaway Cowboy.

Fred MacMurray, Charles Ruggles and Vera Miles

Reta Shaw – Veteran character actor Shaw didn’t need much screen time to make an impression. She appeared in Escape to Witch Mountain, Mary Poppins and Pollyanna.

Reta Shaw in Pollyanna

Kevin Corcoran – Appeared in several Mickey Mouse Club serials and Spin and Marty episodes before appearing in The Shaggy Dog, Ten Weeks in a Circus, Old Yeller, Goliath II, Pollyanna, Swiss Family Robinson, Daniel Boone miniseries, Toby Tyler, Aquamania, Babes in Toyland, Bon Voyage, Savage Sam and A Tiger Walks. He often played a character named Moochie. As an adult he served as assistant director and producer on numerous Disney projects.

Kevin Corcoran

Brian Keith – Starred in Ten Who Dared, Mitch Evers in The Parent Trap, Moon Pilot, Beck Coates in Savage Sam, A Tiger Walks, Cam Calloway in Those Calloways, Scandalous John, the Walt Disney Presents episodes, “Elfego Baca: Move Along, Mustangers” and “Elfego Baca: Mustang Man, Mustang Maid”, the Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color episode, “Johnny Shiloh”, the Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color episode, “Bristle Face”, the Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color episode, “The Tenderfoot”, and the Disney Sunday Movie episode, “The B.R.A.T. Patrol”.

Brian Keith and Maureen O’Hara in The Parent Trap

Roddy McDowellThat Darn Cat!, The Black Hole, The Cat From Outer Space, Bedknobs and Broomsticks and The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin.

Hayley Mills, Dorothy Provine and Roddy McDowell in That Darn Cat!

Walter Brennan – Alf Simes in Those Calloways (1965), a dual role as D.J. Mulrooney and Knobby in The Gnome-Mobile (1967) and Renssaeler Bower in The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band (1968).

Leon Ames – Judge Holmsby in The Monkey’s Uncle and The Misadventures of Merlin Jones, and Medfield College president Daggett in Son of Flubber and The Absent Minded Professor.

Leon Ames

Norm Grabowski – A beefy young man who played a variety of comedic roles. Herbie Rides Again, The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit, Blackbeard’s Ghost, The Happiest Millionaire, The Gnome-Mobile, The Monkey’s Uncle, The Misadventures of Merlin Jones and Son of Flubber.

Norm Grabowski

Hank Jones – He portrayed a variety of young men in goofy roles. Gudger Larkin in Blackbeard’s Ghost, Town Delivery Boy in The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band, Stan in The Barefoot Executive, Commencement Speaker in The Million Dollar Duck, Sir Lancelot/Surfer Dude in Herbie Rides Again, Banana Cop in No Deposit, No Return, Policeman in The Shaggy D.A., and Officer in The Cat from Outer Space.

Hank Jones

Joe FlynnThe Rescuers, Dean Higgins in The Strongest Man in the World, Now You See Him, Now You Don’t, and The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, Superdad, The Million Dollar Duck, The Barefoot Executive, four episodes of Wonderful World of Disney“, The Love Bug, Son of Flubber, and a host of the The Mouse Factory.

Joe Flynn and David Tomlinson in The Love Bug

James Westerfeld / Forrest Lewis -They usually played cops. Smith!, Now You See Him, Now You Don’t, Son of Flubber, The Absent Minded Professor and The Shaggy Dog.

Edward Andrews – White-haired, horn-rimmed glasses, usually playing executives or generals. Four episodes of the Magical World of Disney, Now You See Him, Now You Don’t, The Million Dollar Duck, Son of Flubber and The Absent Minded Professor.

Edward Andrews

Kenner G. Kemp – An older, distinguished extra. Moon-Pilot, Those Calloways, The Ugly Dachshund, The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin, The Happiest Millionaire, Never a Dull Moment, The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit, The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, Now You See Him, Now You Don’t.

Burt Mustin – Another familiar face, he appeared in Son of Flubber, The Misadventures of Merlin Jones, The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin, Herbie Rides Again, and Now You See Him, Now You Don’t.

Burt Mustin

Parley Baer – Several appearances on the Magical World of Disney, The Gnome-mobile, The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin, The Ugly Dachshund and Those Calloways.

Parley Baer

Richard DeaconBlackbeard’s Ghost, The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band, The Gnome-Mobile, Lt. Robin Crusoe, USN, That Darn Cat!, Annette and Zorro.

Richard Deacon

Joby Baker – His most colorful role was the gangster in Blackbeard’s Ghost. Also appeared in Superdad and The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin.

Joby Baker in Blackbeard’s Ghost

Matthew Garber – As a child actor appeared in The Three Lives of Thomasina, The Gnome-Mobile and Mary Poppins.

MARY POPPINS, Karen Dotrice, Julie Andrews, Matthew Garber, 1964

Karen Dotrice – As a child actor appeared in The Three Lives of Thomasina, The Gnome-Mobile and Mary Poppins. As an adult, Mary Poppins Returns.

Jonathan DaleyThe Shaggy D.A., The Strongest Man in the World, Superdad and The Million Dollar Duck.

Jonathan Daly

John Fiedler – Usually played wimpy characters, who was most famous for providing the voice of Piglet in Winnie the Pooh films, television series and video games. He also appeared in The Fox and the Hound, The Rescuers, The Shaggy D.A., Superdad and Robin Hood.

John Fiedler

Michael McCreevey – Appeared in The Shaggy D.A., The Strongest Man in the World, Snowball Express, Now You See Him, Now You Don’t, The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, usually as a goofy sidekick to Kurt Russell.

Michael McGreevey and Kurt Russell

John Cliff – Mostly there as a face, he appeared in The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, The Love Bug, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, The Gnome-Mobile, Never a Dull Moment, The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin and That Darn Cat!

Leon Alton – Another usually not credited actor with nearly 300 acting roles. Bednobs and Broomsticks, The Barefoot Executive, The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, The Love Bug, Never a Dull Moment, Blackbeard’s Ghost, The Happiest Millionaire, Babes in Toyland and The Absent Minded Professor.

Richard Bakalyan – Usually played heavies in films. The Fox and the Hound, Return From Witch Mountain, The Shaggy D.A., The Strongest Man in the World, The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, Now You See Him, Now You Don’t, Never a Dull Moment, Follow Me, Boys! And multiple episodes of The Magical World of Disney.

Cesar Romero and Richard Bakalyan

Crew

Robert Stevenson – Well-established in Britain before moving to Hollywood, Stevenson was the dean of directing films for Walt Disney, helming 19 of them including Mary Poppins, The Absent Minded Professor, The Love Bug and That Darn Cat.

Bill Walsh – He joined Disney in 1943, first writing the Mickey Mouse comic strip, then in charge of the studio’s television production including The Mickey Mouse Cub, The Hardy Boys, Davey Crockett, Spin and Marty and other shows. He wrote and produced The Shaggy Dog, The Absent Minded Profession, Son of Flubber and The Misadventures of Merlin Jones. He co-wrote Mary Poppins (receiving an Academy Award), then wrote and produced That Darn Cat!, Lt. Robin Crusoe, USN, Blackbeard’s Ghost and The Love Bug. He would go on to write and produce some other Disney films. After Walt Disney’s death, he was part of a committee that ran the studio.

David Swift – A man of many talents, he began in Disney’s animation department, before leaving to establish himself as a writer of many television shows. He returned to Disney in 1960, he wrote several episodes of the television anthology, he wrote and directed Pollyanna and The Parent Trap. He left again to work on other television shows and films. Later, he co-wrote Candleshoe.

Bill Anderson – He joined the studio’s production department and rose to the position of producer on films and television. He produced 58 half-hour episodes of Zorro as well as such shows as The Wonderful World of Disney, The Swamp Fox, Texas John Slaughter and Johnny Shiloh. He produced the films like Swiss Family Robinson, The Apple Dumpling Gang, The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes and many others between 1957-1976. For 24 years he served on the studio’s board of directors.

Ron Miller – Walt Disney’s son-in-law, he became co-producer and then producer of most feature films. He eventually was head of the company before being deposed in the 1980s.

Sherman Brothers – Richard and Robert, the songwriting brothers of many Disney films including Mary Poppins, for which they won two Academy Awards.

Don DaGradi – He had a long career (1941-1971), starting in the art department before transitioning to writer in 1952. Among his biggest Disney films were Mary Poppins (for which he won an Academy Award with Bill Walsh), Blackbeard’s Ghost, Son of Flubber and The Love Bug. For any years he served as a color consultant and script consultant on Disney films.

Norman Tokar – He started directing plays on Broadway, then found himself working steadily in television, most notably on Leave It to Beaver, before Walt Disney hired him to direct features. Old Yeller, The Ugly Dachshund and the Apple Dumping Gang were among his Disney films.

Michael O’HerlihyThe Fighting Prince of Donegal, The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band, and Smith! and episodes of The Wonderful World of Disney.

James Neilson – Directed many television shows including 27 episodes of Disney’s The Wide World of Color, then directed a number of feature films including The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin, Moon Pilot and The Moon Spinners.

Hugh Attwool – Associate producer on many Disney feature films in the 1960s and 1970s. He was also a producer on the Wide World of Color television program.

Louis Pelletier – Writer on Those Calloways, Follow Me Boys!, The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit, Smith!, Run, Cougar, Run, and episodes of The Magical World of Disney.

AJ Carothers – Writer on The Magical World of Disney anthology, The Happiest Millionaire and Never a Dull Moment.

Vincent McEveety – Directed films including The Million Dollar Duck, The Biscuit Eater, Superdad, The Strongest Man in the World, The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again, Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, and Herbie Goes Bananas, and multiple episodes of Disney’s Wonderful World of Color.

Bernard McEveety – Directed seven episodes of Disney’s Wonderful World of Color, One Little Indian, Napoleon and Samantha.

Joseph McEveety – Writer, producer and assistant director of many films including No Deposit, No Return, The Barefoot Executive, Superdad and The Stronest Man in the World.

Robert Butler – Directed Hot Lead and Cold Feet, Now You See Him, Now You Won’t, The Barefoot Executive, The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes.


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