Ken Lynch

Kenneth E. Lynch (July 15, 1910 – February 13, 1990) was an American radio, film, and television actor with more than 180 credits to his name. He was generally known for portraying law enforcement officers and detectives. He may have been best known for his starring role as "the Lieutenant" on Dumont detective series The Plainclothesman (1949–1954), on which his face was never seen, and for his co-starring role as Sergeant Grover on McCloud.[1]

Ken Lynch
Ken Lynch Richard Gordon Bishop and the Gargoyle 1941.jpg
Lynch (left) and Richard Gordon in the radio program The Bishop and the Gargoyle
Kenneth E. Lynch

(1910-07-15)July 15, 1910
DiedFebruary 13, 1990(1990-02-13) (aged 79)
Years active1940-1983


Lynch made his acting career on radio series. In 1940, on The Bishop and the Gargoyle, he played the Gargoyle, an ex-convict who helped the Bishop solve crimes.[2] From 1942 to 1946, he was the voice of Tank Tanker, the mechanic, who aides the title character in Hop Harrigan.[3]

He had roles on three daytime radio soap operas. Lynch played Victor on Backstage Wife,[4] Buck on Portia Faces Life,[5] and Slim Stark on A Woman of America.[6]

In 1950, Lynch starred in One Thousand Dollars Reward, a rare crime drama, where after the crime play had ended, the host would place a telephone call to a random listener, who would then try to solve the mystery. Lynch also appeared on the radio shows The Falcon, 21st Precinct, and Gunsmoke.[7] Later, in 1952, he played both Christopher Gard and Steve Lacey in Cafe Istanbul on CBS radio.[8]

From 1949 to 1954, Lynch starred in The Plainclothesman on the DuMont Television Network.[9] He appeared in numerous television series. He made three guest appearances on Perry Mason, including the role of Wallace Lang in "The Case of the Stuttering Bishop" in 1959, Robert Hayden in "The Case of the Irate Inventor" in 1960 and Customs Inspector Wendel in "The Case of the Floating Stones" in 1963. Some of the other series in which Lynch appeared are Peter Gunn, Zorro, Have Gun - Will Travel ("Love of a bad woman"), Checkmate ("Cyanide Touch"), woman"), Checkmate ("Born To Hang"), The Asphalt Jungle, Straightaway, The Honeymooners, The Fugitive, The Andy Griffith Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Blue Light, Adam-12, Star Trek ("The Devil in the Dark"), Maverick, All In The Family (in the famous episode, "Archie and the Lockup", where he played Guard Callaghan), The Twilight Zone ("Mr. Denton on Doomsday"), The Rifleman, and The Wild Wild West. In 1960 Lynch appeared as Al Killmer in the TV western series Lawman in the episode titled "The Escape of Joe Killmer."

Between 1972 and 1977, he made 16 guest appearances on McCloud, performing as a police sergeant and later a detective named Grover on the series.[10] He previously appeared in 12 episodes of Gunsmoke, 10 episodes of The F.B.I., nine episodes of Bonanza, and six episodes in both The Virginian and Gomer Pyle, USMC. Among the feature films in which he appeared are I Married a Monster from Outer Space, North By Northwest, The Lawbreakers, Pork Chop Hill, Anatomy of a Murder and Tora! Tora! Tora!. Lynch's last credited performance was in the role of Rear Admiral Talbot Gray in the 1983 seven-part miniseries The Winds of War.[11]

Flower businessEdit

Even though Lynch still had a very successful career as an actor by the 1970s, he began looking for another, more steady source of income. He explained in a 1975 newspaper interview: "In acting you just can't predict the jobs that will come along. If you could, you could budget."[12] With such income uncertainty in mind as he grew older, Lynch bought a flower shop in North Hollywood a "few years" before the noted interview. He began studying floriculture, taking courses in the art of floral arranging and design, and then providing flowers for local weddings, receptions, and other events. According to Lynch, his many years of experience performing on decorated sets for movies and television series proved to be a benefit to him in his new business. "Actually," he observed, "servicing a wedding is like ordering flowers for a studio set".[12]


Lynch died at age 79 from a virus on February 13, 1990, in Burbank, California. He was buried at the San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Mission Hills, Los Angeles.[13]



  1. ^ Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh,The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present. Ballantine Books. 2003. pp. 758, 940. ISBN 0-345-45542-8.
  2. ^ Frank Buxton and Bill Owen, The Big Broadcast, page 39, The Viking Press, 1972
  3. ^ Frank Buxton and Bill Owen, The Big Broadcast, page 147, The Viking Press, 1972
  4. ^ Frank Buxton and Bill Owen, The Big Broadcast, page 28, The Viking Press, 1972
  5. ^ Frank Buxton and Bill Owen, The Big Broadcast, page 243, The Viking Press, 1972
  6. ^ Frank Buxton and Bill Owen, The Big Broadcast, page 332, The Viking Press, 1972
  7. ^ Jim Cox, Radio Crime Fighters: More Than 300 Programs from the Golden Age, page 124, McFarland
  8. ^ Dunning, John (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio (Revised ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. pp. 130-131. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3. Retrieved 2019-10-04. Cafe Istanbul, foreign intrigue.
  9. ^ Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7. Pp. 838-839.
  10. ^ Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh, The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946 – Present (Seventh Edition), Ballantine Books, 1999, page 262.
  11. ^ Alvin H. Merrill, More Theatre III: Stage to Screen to Television, page 160, 2008, Scarecrow Press
  12. ^ a b "Ken Lynch: A Tough Guy Surrounded by Flowers". The Bakersfield Californian. California, Bakersfield. August 24, 1975. p. 112. Retrieved February 11, 2017 – via  
  13. ^ Ellenberger, Allan R. Celebrities in Los Angeles Cemeteries: A Directory. McFarland. p. 198. ISBN 978-0-7864-0983-9.

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