Harry Lauter

Herman Arthur "Harry" Lauter (June 19, 1914 – October 30, 1990) was an American character actor.

Harry Lauter
Willard Parker Harry Lauter Tale of the Texas Rangers 1957.JPG
Lauter (right) with Willard Parker in Tales of the Texas Rangers, 1957.
Herman Arthur Lauter

(1914-06-19)June 19, 1914
DiedOctober 30, 1990(1990-10-30) (aged 76)
OccupationActor (1930–1979), Artist (1979–1990)
Years active1930–1979
Spouse(s)Barbara Jane Lauter (1952–1980) (divorced) 1 child
Doris Gilbert (?-1990) (his death)

Early yearsEdit

Lauter was born in White Plains, New York. He worked as a model for a professional photographer[1] and was a rodeo rider before moving into acting.[2]

Lauter came from an entertainment-oriented family, with his father and grandfather having been part of The Flying Lauters trapeze act.[3]


Lauter's acting break came with a role in The Magnificent Rogue (1946), in which he played a model.[1]

He came to be a familiar presence in supporting roles in low-budget films, serials (where he was often cast because of his facial resemblance to stuntman Tom Steele, who would double for him), and television programs in the 1950s. Only once did he really came close to stardom, as Clay Morgan, one of the leads in the CBS television series Tales of the Texas Rangers,[4]:1051 which aired fifty-two episodes from 1955 to 1958. His co-star was Willard Parker as Ranger Jace Pearson.

Lauter portrayed Ralph Cotton on the television version of The Roy Rogers Show.[4] He made appearances on many television programs, particularly westerns: The Gene Autry Show (sixteen episodes), Annie Oakley (twelve episodes), The Lone Ranger and The Range Rider (eleven episodes each), Gunsmoke and Rawhide (ten episodes each), Death Valley Days and The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (seven episodes each), Laramie and Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater (six episodes each), The Virginian and State Trooper (five times each), and Cheyenne, Bonanza, and Maverick (three episodes each).

Lauter appeared twice as Johnny Tyler in 1959-1960 in two episodes of the ABC/Warner Brothers western series Colt .45, starring Wayde Preston.[5]

Lauter was cast twice on the NBC children's western series Fury, with Peter Graves and Bobby Diamond, and on Tombstone Territory, starring Pat Conway. Lauter also appeared on NBC's Jefferson Drum, National Velvet, and Riverboat, on CBS's Have Gun - Will Travel, with Richard Boone, and the syndicated western-themed crime drama U.S. Marshal. In 1958 he appeared in the episode "Rodeo", along with Lee Van Cleef, Barbara Baxley, and Dan Blocker, on the CBS crime drama Richard Diamond, Private Detective, starring David Janssen. Later he guest-starred in the 1962-1963 ABC drama series Going My Way with Gene Kelly. He also made a guest appearance in 1963 on CBS's Perry Mason in "The Case of the Potted Planter."

His last screen appearance was in 1979 as Marshal Charlie Benton in James Arness's ABC series How the West Was Won.

Most of his career was spent as a serviceable second lead or heavy, though he continued to play bit parts in larger pictures, including an uncredited part as a plain-clothes policeman in the 1949 crime drama White Heat, which starred James Cagney and Edmond O'Brien. He also had an uncredited, non-speaking role in the 1963 Stanley Kramer comedy It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World as a police dispatcher.

The son of an artist, Lauter devoted much of his energy late in his life to his own painting and the operation of an art gallery.[2]

Personal lifeEdit

Lauter was married to Barbara Ayres.[6]


Lauter died of a heart attack on October 30, 1990, in Ojai in Ventura County, California, at age 76.[7] His ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean.

Selected filmographyEdit


  1. ^ a b "Shea's". Fitchburg Sentinel. Massachusetts, Fitchburg. March 5, 1947. p. 7. Retrieved June 9, 2017 – via Newspapers.com.  
  2. ^ a b "Actor Shows Paintings At Desert". The San Bernardino County Sun. California, San Bernardino. February 9, 1973. p. 38. Retrieved June 9, 2017 – via Newspapers.com.  
  3. ^ Mayer, Geoff (2017). Encyclopedia of American Film Serials. McFarland. p. 171. ISBN 9781476627199. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  4. ^ a b Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 914. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.
  5. ^ ""Colt.45" (1957) - Full cast and crew". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
  6. ^ Gwynn, Edith (April 18, 1949). "Hollywood". Pottstown Mercury. Pennsylvania, Pottstown. p. 4. Retrieved June 9, 2017 – via Newspapers.com.  
  7. ^ "Harry Lauter, 76, a veteran cowboy actor in television..." The Baltimore Sun. November 19, 1990. Archived from the original on 10 June 2017. Retrieved 10 June 2017.

External linksEdit