Don Galloway

Don Galloway
Don Galloway

Don Galloway was born in Augusta, Kentucky in 1937.   He had a long running success on the detective television series which ran from 1967 until 1975.    Prior to this he had a featured role in another excellent detective series “Arrest and Trial”.   His films include in 1966 “The Rare Breed” with Maureen O’Hara, James Stewart and Juliet Mills.   One of his last film appearances was in “The Big Chill”.   He died at the age of 71 in 2008.

Anthony Hayward’s obituary on Don Galloway in “The Independent”:

The dependable character actor Don Galloway, who has died aged 71 after suffering a stroke, became a familiar face to television viewers worldwide as Raymond Burr’s sidekick in the crime drama A Man Called Ironside. But fame was never a goal for the square-jawed Galloway, who played the solid, serious detective sergeant Ed Brown in the series. “It’s a question of values,” he once said. “Some people want to be a star. Some people want to be rich. I really just want to act and to make a living acting.”

Brown was one of three aides to Robert T Ironside, the San Francisco Police Department chief of detectives, played by Raymond Burr, who, having been paralysed from the waist down after a bullet grazed his spine, returns to the department as a wheelchair-bound consultant. Galloway played one sidekick, with Barbara Anderson as the policewoman Eve Whitfield (later Elizabeth Baur as Fran Belding) and Don Mitchell as Ironside’s bodyguard, the reformed tearaway Mark Sanger.

Throughout A Man Called Ironside (1967-75) – titled simply Ironside in the US – each was given the spotlight in alternating episodes. During the first season, Brown found himself falsely accused of assault after the death of a girl in a hippie hangout. Later, he was shot in the spine by a sniper. Experimental surgery that saved him was seen in the second instalment of the two-part story, which was concluded in another series produced by the NBC network, The Bold Ones: The New Doctors (1972). This pioneering “marriage” of two programmes soon became common practice on American TV.

Born in Brooksville, Kentucky, Galloway wanted to become an actor from the age of 12, when his family first bought a TV set. After serving in the US army as a radar operator, he studied drama and fine arts at the University of Kentucky, then moved to New York and took a job as a page at NBC, the US TV network.

His acting break came in the off-Broadway play Bring Me a Warm Body (1962). One critic wrote of him: “If the actor playing the actor who can’t act could act, it would be better.” But Galloway won a Theatre World Award as most promising newcomer. This led to his first big television role, as the first of three actors to play Kip Rysdale in the daytime soap opera The Secret Storm (1962-63). “I was rich and bad,” recalled Galloway of his character. “I got a girl pregnant and then I killed her, and then I went to prison.”

A string of one-off character parts followed in popular series such as The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (1963), The Virginian (1963, 1966) and Wagon Train (1965). He also had a leading role as the newlywed Dr Tom Gentry in the short-lived sitcom Tom, Dick and Mary (1964-65).

Galloway remained in constant demand, reprising his role as Brown in the TV movie The Return of Ironside (1993) and playing the conservative husband of one of a group of college friends who reunite in the film The Big Chill (1983).

After he left acting, Galloway worked as a deputy sheriff in San Bernardino County, California. He then moved to New Hampshire and wrote a column for the Manchester Union Leader newspaper. Last year, he moved to Reno, Nevada.

In 1963, Galloway married Linda Robinson, an actress who appeared in two episodes of A Man Called Ironside. She survives him, along with their two daughters, Tracy and Jennifer, and his stepchildren, Sheila and Robert.

• Donald Galloway, actor, born 27 July 1937; died 8 January 2009

The above “Guardian” obituary can also be accessed online here.

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