Mort Mills

Mort Mills (born Mortimer Morris Kaplan; January 11, 1919 – June 6, 1993) was an American film and television actor who had roles in over 150 movies and television episodes. He was often the town lawman or the local bad guy in many popular westerns of the 1950s and 1960s. From 1957–1959 he had a recurring co-starring role as Marshal Frank Tallman in Man Without a Gun. Other recurring roles were as Sergeant Ben Landro in the Perry Mason series and Sheriff Fred Madden in The Big Valley. He played villainous character "Red Scanlon" in an episode of Maverick opposite James Garner titled "Day of Reckoning" in 1957. The following year, he guest starred as a particularly greedy bounty hunter who clashes with Steve McQueen's character of Josh Randall in the CBS western series, Wanted: Dead or Alive.

Mort Mills
Mort Mills 1961
Mort Mills in Psycho (1960)
Mortimer Morris Kaplan

(1919-01-11)January 11, 1919
DiedJune 6, 1993(1993-06-06) (aged 74)
Years active1952–1973
Spouse(s)Mary Loretta Grady
(m. 19??; div. 19??)
Betty Dellball Pentland
(m. 1956; died 1992)
FamilyMary Treen (cousin)


During World War II Mills served in the 3rd Marine Parachute Battalion in the Pacific.[1]

Though Mills did much television work, he also found regular work in motion pictures. He is probably best known as the suspicious highway patrolman who follows Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) in Alfred Hitchcock's classic thriller Psycho (1960). A few years later, he worked again with Hitchcock, playing a spy in East Germany under the cover of being a farmer in Torn Curtain (1966).[2][3] Mills also appeared with Charlton Heston in Orson Welles's Touch of Evil (1958).[4]

In 1955, he appeared as Samuel Mason on ABC's Disneyland miniseries Davy Crockett, starring Fess Parker. From 1957–1959, Mills co-starred with Rex Reason in the syndicated western series Man Without a Gun.[5] He portrayed Marshal Frank Tallman. Reason played his friend, Adam MacLean, editor of the Yellowstone Sentinel newspaper. He appeared as villains twice in Maverick, first in 1957 with James Garner as Bret Maverick ("Day of Reckoning") and second in 1961 with Robert Colbert as Brent Maverick ("Benefit of Doubt"). In 1961 he appeared as Jack Saunders in the TV western Lawman in the episode titled "Owny O'Reilly." In the 1965 Three Stooges film, The Outlaws Is Coming, Mills played Trigger Mortis.[6]

Mills was a regular as police Lieutenant Bob Malone in Howard Duff's NBC-Four Star Television series, Dante (1960–1961), set at a San Francisco, California, nightclub called "Dante's Inferno". He appeared in eight episodes of Perry Mason, seven of them as Police Sgt. Ben Landro between 1961 and 1965.

His cousin, Mary Treen, was a film actress.

Acting rolesEdit

Starring in his own TV seriesEdit

Recurring role in a seriesEdit

Multiple appearances on a television seriesEdit

Single episode television appearancesEdit

Theatrical filmsEdit


  1. ^ Wheeler, Richard A Special Valor: The U.S. Marines and the Pacific War Naval Institute Press, 15 Nov 2013
  2. ^ Spoto, Donald (1999). The Dark Side of Genius: The Life of Alfred Hitchcock. Da Capo Press. p. 577. ISBN 978-0-306-80932-3.
  3. ^ Walker, Michael (2006). Hitchcock's Motifs. Amsterdam University Press. p. 455. ISBN 978-90-5356-772-2.
  4. ^ Silver, Alain; Ward, Elizabeth; Ursini, James; Porfirio, Robert (2010). The Film Noir Encyclopedia. Overlook Hardcover. p. 190. ISBN 978-1-59020-144-2.
  5. ^ Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle F (2007). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946–Present. Ballantine Books. p. 733. ISBN 978-0-345-49773-4.
  6. ^ Cox, Stephen; Terry, Jim (2006). One Fine Stooge: Larry Fine's Frizzy Life In Pictures. Cumberland House Publishing. p. 110. ISBN 978-1-58182-363-9.

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