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Slate, early 1970s
Robert Bullard Perham
February 17, 1926
|Died||November 19, 2006 (aged 80)|
|Alma mater||St. Lawrence University|
|Occupation||Film and television actor|
Beverly Van Wert
(m. 1948; div. 1966)
(m. 1966; div. 1967)
He attended a military academy and joined the United States Navy when he was sixteen. He was barely eighteen when his destroyer assisted in the Normandy Invasion on D-Day (June 6, 1944). After the war he attended St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, where he graduated with honors in English. He was also president of the student body, a member of the honor society, editor of the college literary magazine, a football player, and the backfield coach of the only undefeated team in the history of the university. He was a campus radio personality who married the queen of his fraternity's ball during his senior year. After graduation he became a radio sportscaster and DJ for several CBS and ABC affiliates while beginning a family that included three sons and one daughter but ultimately this marriage ended in divorce. Several years thereafter, he had a second daughter.
For six years, Slate had a promising career with W. R. Grace and Co. as a public relations executive and travel manager for company president J. Peter Grace. He then joined Grace Steamship Lines and moved with his family to Lima, Peru. There he joined a professional theatre group, became involved with a production of "The Rainmaker" and was awarded the Tiahuanacothe, the Peruvian equivalent of the Tony Award, for his portrayal of the character Starbuck. After a year of training, he left W. R. Grace to pursue a theatrical career.
Film and TV careerEdit
Slate co-starred with Ron Ely in the 1960–1961 Ivan Tors series The Aquanauts,:53–54 which was renamed Malibu Run:647 halfway during its brief run on CBS. The series could not compete successfully in the same time slot as NBC's durable western Wagon Train. He guest-starred in nearly 100 television shows and appeared in twenty feature films. Among his many television appearances were two roles in the courtroom drama series Perry Mason, both times as Perry's client: In season 3, 1960, he played Bob Lansing in the episode, "The Case of the Ominous Outcast", and in season 5, 1962, he played Philip Andrews in "The Case of the Captain's Coins."
In 1963, Slate was cast as Mark Novak in the episode "The Loner" of the NBC modern western series, Empire, set on a ranch in New Mexico. In the storyline he becomes involved in a deadly boxing match with series character Tal Garrett (Ryan O'Neal). Also in 1963, he co-starred in an episode of the second season of Combat! called "Off Limits," produced and directed by Robert Altman. That same year, he also played the role of Elroy Daldran, a hired assassin, out to kill Eliot Ness, in "A Taste For Pineapple", the final episode (series finale) of The Untouchables starring Robert Stack. Finally in 1963, he appeared in James Arness’s TV Western series Gunsmoke, playing gunslinger “Billy Hargis” in S9E8’s “Carter Caper”.
He played a troubled surfer in a 1962, Season 3 episode of Route 66 episode called "Ever Ride the Waves in Oklahoma?" In 1965 he starred as Wally in Bewitched Season Episode 21 called "Ling Ling". He later guest-starred as a German infiltrator in a fourth season episode entitled ”The Mockingbird” (aired 1966).
From 1979 to 1987, Slate portrayed Chuck Wilson on the ABC daytime soap opera One Life to Live. For a short time, from April to October 1985, while Slate was not on One Life to Live, he portrayed the character of Locke Walls on the CBS daytime drama (soap opera) Guiding Light. Slate performed in nine episodes of CBS's long-running Western series Gunsmoke, including in the role of a likable but doomed cowboy in the 1962 episode "The Gallows" written by John Meston. He also guest-starred three times on The Alfred Hitchcock Hour on CBS and then NBC, on CBS's Mission: Impossible, ABC's Bewitched, and NBC's My Name Is Earl.
Slate's acting career included major roles in four outlaw biker films in the late 1960s: The Born Losers (1967), The Mini-Skirt Mob (1968), Hell's Belles (1969) and Hell's Angels '69. As the leader of the Born Losers Motorcycle Club in The Born Losers, Slate played a ruthless yet likable character who took on Billy Jack. In Hell's Angels '69 (for which he wrote the screen story) Slate played a man who used the Hells Angels as unwitting dupes in a plan to rob a casino in Las Vegas; several real-life members of the Hell's Angels — including Angels president Ralph "Sonny" Barger, Terry the Tramp and Magoo — had significant speaking roles in the film. Slate broke his leg during filming and never rode a motorcycle again. He also played a role in the western The Sons of Katie Elder starring John Wayne (1965).
Slate was an accomplished country-and-western songwriter and BMI member. He wrote the lyrics to Tex Ritter's top ten song "Just Beyond the Moon" and co-wrote with Greg R. Connor the lyrics for "Every Time I Itch (I Wind Up Scratchin' You)" recorded by Glen Campbell on Capitol Records. Slate and Campbell had starred together in the 1969 movie, True Grit.
In 2000, he married Denise Mellinger Slate, a writer and film producer. He was stepfather to Joseph Tolen and Erin Tolen.
In 2004, he attended as a guest at the Western Film Fair in Charlotte, North Carolina, along with Stella Stevens, Andrew Prine and Sonny Shroyer. His partner at the time of his death was Joan Benedict-Steiger. He had two living sons, and two daughters; one son had preceded him in death.
- That Kind of Woman (1959) - Sailor (uncredited)
- North by Northwest (1959) - Policeman at Grand Central Station #2 (uncredited)
- G.I. Blues (1960) - Turk
- Girls! Girls! Girls! (1962) - Wesley Johnson
- Wives and Lovers (1963) - Gar Aldrich
- I'll Take Sweden (1965) - Erik Carlson
- The Sons of Katie Elder (1965) - Ben Latta
- The Born Losers (1967) - Daniel 'Danny' Carmody
- The Devil's Brigade (1968) - Sgt. Patrick O'Neill
- The Mini-Skirt Mob (1968) - Lon
- The Hooked Generation (1968) - Daisey
- Hell's Belles (1969) - Dan
- True Grit (1969) - Emmett Quincy
- Hell's Angels '69 (1969) - Wes
- Drag Racer (1971) - Ron
- Curse of the Moon Child (1972)
- Centerfold Girls (1974) - Sgt. Garrett
- Stranger in Our House (1978) - Tom Bryant
- Mr. Horn (1979) - Capt. Emmet Crawford
- The Dead Pit (1989) - Dr. Gerald Swan
- Voyage of the Heart (1989) - Chairman
- Goodnight, Sweet Marilyn (1989) - 'Mesquite'
- Dream Machine (1991) - Jack Chamberlain
- The Lawnmower Man (1992) - Father Francis McKeen
- Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.
- ""The Loner", Empire, January 22, 1963". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
- "Jeremy Slate, Actor, 80, Dies". The New York Times. Associated Press. November 22, 2006. Archived from the original on 19 September 2017. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
- Barabas, SuzAnne and Gabor, Barabas (1990). Gunsmoke: A Complete History and Analysis of the Legendary Broadcast Series. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland and Company, 1990; all of John Meston's radio and television episodes for this iconic Western, including Slate's performance in "The Gallows" (1962), are profiled in this comprehensive reference.
- Lentz, Harris M. III (2007). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2006: Film, Television, Radio, Theatre, Dance, Music, Cartoons and Pop Culture. McFarland. ISBN 9780786452118. Retrieved 19 September 2017.