Larry Pennell

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Larry "Bud" Pennell
Born(1928-02-21) February 21, 1928 (age 85)
Uniontown, Fayette County
Pennsylvania, USA
NationalityItalian American
OccupationActor of film and television
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Larry "Bud" Pennell
Born(1928-02-21) February 21, 1928 (age 85)
Uniontown, Fayette County
Pennsylvania, USA
NationalityItalian American
OccupationActor of film and television

Larry "Bud" Pennell (born February 21, 1928), aka Alessandro Pennelli, is an American television and film actor. Mainly a supporting actor, he is best known for his role as "Dash Riprock", the conceited, image-conscious, and macho Hollywood movie star courting "Elly May Clampett" (played by Donna Douglas) in the hit CBS television series, The Beverly Hillbillies.[1]

Biography[edit source | edit]

Pennell was born in Uniontown in Fayette County in southwestern Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh, USA.[1]

According to his page on, Pennell was a power-hitting left-handed first baseman and outfielder in the Boston Braves organization between 1948 and 1953. He was portrayed in Hall of Famer Eddie Mathews' autobiography as a fun-loving teammate.[citation needed]

1950s[edit source | edit]

Pennell started acting in 1955, as "Oliver Brown" in the movie Seven Angry Men (1955), a low-budget movie about abolitionist John Brown, starring Raymond Massey. That role led him to a lead in Hell's Horizon (1955), with John Ireland and Hugh Beaumont, also in 1955.[1]

After a few small parts in movies, Pennell drifted between television and film appearances. In 1959, he played opposite Jimmy Stewart (as "John Michael ('Chip') Hardesty") in the hit movie The FBI Story (1959), in the role of "George Crandall". After 1959 and into the 1960s, he primarily made guest appearances in such television series as Death Valley Days, The Alaskans, The Outlaws, Sea Hunt, Wagon Train, The Big Valley, The Virginian, and Dragnet.[1]

1960s[edit source | edit]

In 1961, he was given a lead role in the syndicated television series, Ripcord, an action/adventure series about skydiving, in which he co-starred, as Ted McKeever, with Ken Curtis as his older mentor, becoming somewhat of a television idol; the show ran for seventy-six episodes between 1961 and 1963.[1]

In 1965, Pennell played in Karl May's Old Surehand (1965) as The General. Pennell's debut on the The Beverly Hillbillies came January 20, 1965, in the episode "Elly in the Movies" (Season 3, Episode 16; 88th overall). Milburn Drysdale (played by Raymond Bailey) invests some of Jed Clampett's (Buddy Ebsen) money in a movie studio, Mammoth Pictures. Jed is distracted and upset that Elly May has not found any suitors in California. Elly May is bored at home, and jealous of Kitty Devine in the previous episode ("The Movie Starlet"), so Drysdale, to smooth things over, helps convince Jed and Jane Hathaway (Nancy Kulp) to let her star in a movie. Dash doesn't know that she (Elly May) is the co-star of the movie and daughter of the studio owner (Jed), and mistakenly thinks that Jane Hathaway is. The next episode, "Dash Riprock, You Cad!", which aired the following week on January 27, 1965, also included Sharon Tate (as Janet Trego), the beautiful[opinion] actress who was murdered in 1969 by the Manson Family. Tate appeared in 15 episodes as Trego.[1][2][3]

In 1964, Pennell starred as John Chambers in the episode "Bad Little Rich Girl", with Diana Van der Vlis in the title role as Mary Beth Warren, in the CBS drama Mr. Broadway starring Craig Stevens.[citation needed]

1970s[edit source | edit]

Pennell was cast on CBS's Lassie as "Keith Holden" in 1972.[1]

In the film "The Great White Hope" (1970), Pennell played former heavyweight champion Frank Brady, who is coaxed out of retirement to try to prevent a black boxer named Jack Jefferson (played by Oscar nominated James Earl Jones) from becoming the first black heavyweight champion. Older, and more distinguished, Pennell returned to big budget motion pictures, as "Captain Cyril Simard" in the World War II blockbuster film Midway (1976), which had a large all-star cast including Charlton Heston and Henry Fonda.[1]

1980s[edit source | edit]

Pennell continued to do small parts, character roles, and cameos, mainly on television shows and movies made for television, including "Little House on the Prairie", "Magnum, P.I." (Tom Selleck played an aide to Capt. Cyril Simard in the movie Midway), and the soap operas "General Hospital" and "The Young and the Restless". One notable role was that of Clark Gable in the television movie "Marilyn: The Untold Story" (1980), with Catherine Hicks as Marilyn Monroe.[1]

1990s[edit source | edit]

In 1992, Selleck would get Pennell to join him again in the motion picture Mr. Baseball (1992).

2000s[edit source | edit]

Pennell's most recent roles have been in the movies: Bubba Ho-Tep (2002), as "Kimosabe", The Passing (2005), as "Charles-Butler"; Last Confession (2005), as "Father Conklin"; and in Seasons of Life (2006), as "Lauren's Father".[1]

References[edit source | edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Larry Pennell @
  2. ^ Season 3 (episodes 73–106) of "The Beverly Hillbillies" @
  3. ^ "Elly in the Movies" @ IMDb

External links[edit source | edit]