Jack Murdock (actor)

Jack Murdock (October 28, 1922 – April 27, 2001) was an American actor.

Jack Murdock
Born(1922-10-28)October 28, 1922
DiedApril 27, 2001(2001-04-27) (aged 78)
Years active1973-1998

He was born in Urbana, Ohio to performer parents. His father had a vaudeville group called Teck Murdock and Company[1]; his mother and her sister had an act called The Kennedy Sisters. The two acts combined as Teck Murdock and the Kennedy sisters. He lived with an aunt and uncle in Put-in-Bay in South Bass Island.[2]

Murdock enlisted in the U.S. Navy after he graduated from high school; he served as a gunner's mate in the north Atlantic.[2] After the end of World War II, Murdock, who intended to study law, earned a bachelor's degree in speech from the Ohio State University in Columbus.[3]



Murdock was a director WBNS-TV in Columbus.[3] He hosted an afternoon show with Jonathan Winters.[2]

St. LouisEdit

Murdock came to the St. Louis, Missouri area in 1953 to serve as director and star of Coffee Break, a morning program on WTVI in Belleville, Illinois. He cowrote and costarred in Hiram and Sneed. He started as the host of Apartment Eleven, an interview show, on KPLR in St. Louis in 1960.[3]

Another role was as Kronos, the host of the television show Zone 2 on KTVI from August 1965 to August 1966. The show was named Zone 2 because KTVI-TV (the local ABC affiliate at the time) broadcast on Channel 2. It aired low-budget science fiction and horror movies. It aired at 3:30 p.m.–5:30 p.m. The movies shown were severely edited to fit into the time slot, to make room for commercials, and to allow for Kronos to introduce each segment.

He hosted the local KTVI-TV presentation of Adventures of Superman in 1962, appearing as Mr. Willoughby on a program called Treehouse Time. Mr. Willoughby lived in a treehouse and introduced Superman and a cartoon from there. The show was 45 minutes long, leaving 15 minutes for local news at the head of the hour.

Murdock was active in theatre productions in the St. Louis area, including at The Muny and at the old Crystal Palace in Gaslight Square.[3]

He served as master of ceremonies at the St. Louis bicentennial activities center dedication in 1964.[4]

Murdock was also familiar to St. Louis television viewers as the personification of "Grandpa Pidgeon" on commercials for the GrandPa's chain of 15 discount retail stores in the St. Louis area.

New YorkEdit

Murdock left St. Louis in 1968 to pursue a career on Broadway. He lived in Glen Rock, New Jersey but frequently toured the United States in theatre productions.[1]


Murdock and his wife moved to Los Angeles.[5] He appeared in 50 films between 1973 and 1998.

Murdock appeared in Big Top Pee-Wee with New York City natives Albert Henderson and David Byrd.

Later lifeEdit

Murdock had a wife, Bette Graf, and two children: Teck and Christine.[1][3]

He died in Burbank, California of emphysema at age seventy-eight.[3] His remains were cremated.[3]


Year Title Role Notes
1974 The Crazy World of Julius Vrooder Millard
1976 Moving Violation Bubba
1980 Any Which Way You Can Little Melvin
1980 Altered States Hector Orteco
1981 Cutter's Way Concession Owner
1981 Honky Tonk Freeway Rhino Wrangler
1983 Blue Thunder Kress
1983 Sweetwater Cleary
1986 Psycho III Lou
1988 Big Top Pee-wee Otis
1988 Rain Man John Mooney
1989 Gross Anatomy Old Man Patient
1990 False Identity Hayes
1991 Dutch Homeless Man
1992 Mission of Justice Mr. Schenk

External linksEdit


  1. ^ a b c Standish, Myles (1975-05-22). "Jack Murdock Plays It Straight". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. p. 2F – via Proquest Historical Newspapers.
  2. ^ a b c Terry, Dickson (1963-12-06). "Big Frog in St. Louis Theatrical Pond: Jack Murdock Keeps up a Hectic Pace with Stage Appearances and TV and Radio Work". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. p. 3B – via Proquest Historical Newspapers.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g ""Jack" Murdock: Actor Got His Start in St. Louis TV". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 2011-05-02. p. B4 – via Proquest Historical Newspapers.
  4. ^ "200-Foot-Long Cake to Be Served at New Bicentennial Center". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 1964-05-10. p. 28 – via Proquest Historical Newspapers.
  5. ^ Archibald, John J. (1987-05-31). "Update: Murdock Plays the Acting Field". St. Louis Post-Dispatch – via Proquest Historical Newspapers.