Mason Alan Dinehart

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Mason Alan Dinehart
BornMason Alan Dinehart, III
(1936-04-30) April 30, 1936 (age 77)
Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA
Other names

Alan Dinehart, III

Mase Dinehart
OccupationFormer actor, businessman
Spouse(s)

(1) Evelyn Myers (married 1954-1958, divorced)
(2) Barbara Blakely (married 1958-1965, divorced)

(3) Miranda Gazal Dinehart (married 1982)
ChildrenEight children, one deceased
 
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Mason Alan Dinehart
BornMason Alan Dinehart, III
(1936-04-30) April 30, 1936 (age 77)
Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA
Other names

Alan Dinehart, III

Mase Dinehart
OccupationFormer actor, businessman
Spouse(s)

(1) Evelyn Myers (married 1954-1958, divorced)
(2) Barbara Blakely (married 1958-1965, divorced)

(3) Miranda Gazal Dinehart (married 1982)
ChildrenEight children, one deceased
For the father, see actor Alan Dinehart.

Mason Alan Dinehart, also known as Mason Alan Dinehart, III, or as Alan Dinehart, III, or as Mase Dinehart (born April 30, 1936), is an American businessman and former actor best known for his role as a youthful Bat Masterson in thirty-four episodes between 1955 and 1959 of the ABC/Desilu television series, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, starring Hugh O'Brian in the title role of the frontier marshal Wyatt Earp.[1]

Family background[edit]

The Hollywood-born Dinehart was the only son of the actor Alan Dinehart and Dinehart's second wife, actress and journalist Mozelle Britton.[2] In 1936, Alan Dinehart legally changed his name to Mason Alan Dinehart, the same name as his father, so that his younger son from the second marriage could be known as Mason Alan Dinehart, III. This name change created confusion because the senior Dinehart's first son from his first marriage was already Alan Dinehart, Jr. (1918-1992),[3] the former director of animation for Hanna-Barbera.[4]

Mason Alan Dinehart is the father of eight children from three marriages. He has two children each from his first and second marriages to Evelyn Myers (1954-1958) and Barbara Blakely (1958-1965), respectively. In 1982, he married for the third time; he and the former Miranda Gazal have four children. One of his children, Scott Dinehart, died in 2010 of an emergency hip operation.[5]

Bat Masterson[edit]

Dinehart played the youthful Bat Masterson who is the understudy of Wyatt Earp in learning the proper techniques of frontier law enforcement. Earp rarely calls him "Bat" but "Mr. Masterson" to teach the young man maturity. In a 1956 episode "Bat Masterson Again," Earp shows young Masterson on the proper use of a pistol. During this time Masterson was elected sheriff of Ford County, Kansas, which includes the county seat of Dodge City. Bill Tilghman had been denied the right to run for sheriff again. Earp as an appointed town marshal works with an elected sheriff, and their differences in jurisdiction do not cause any problems. Bat's brother, Ed Masterson, played by Brad Johnson, formerly the deputy sheriff on the Annie Oakley television series, is shot in an ambush by drunken cowboys, and Masterson settles the score. When Earp finally comes to Tombstone, Arizona Territory, he lacks the working relationship with Sheriff Johnny Behan that he had in Kansas with Bat Masterson.[4]

Dinehart's performance of Masterson was so highly regarded that ABC offered him a spinoff series, but he declined, soon left acting, and entered the business field. Dinehart's last appearance on the series is the episode "Dodge Is Civilized" (April 28, 1959), in which he serves notice that he is headed to Tombstone, where he hopes Earp will join him in time. There is never a reunion show, and the Masterson character, now a gambler, is written out of The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp. The historical Earp did visit Tombston to see his friend Masterson, who in time became a figure of western folklore, finishing his long career as a sportswriter in New York City. Masterson's hat inspired the name of the Brown Derby restaurants in Los Angeles.[4]

By the time Dinehart left The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, Gene Barry had already assumed for nearly a year the role of a more mature Masterson, one in his early forties, in the NBC western series, Bat Masterson.[6] Some viewers complained of the change in actors portraying Bat Masterson,[4] but in time Barry was the one most remembered for the role, not Dinehart, who left show business.

Other acting roles[edit]

Dinehart's first acting role was uncredited as "Superman" at the age of twelve in the 1948 film Superman. Thereafter, he had uncredited roles as a teenager in other films. In 1954, he was cast as Ted Miller in the episode "Hot Rod" of the CBS legal drama series, The Public Defender. In 1956, he played Clint Donoran in the episode "Outlaw's Son" of the syndicated television series, Judge Roy Bean, starring Edgar Buchanan in the title role. In 1957, he was cast as Danny Martin in the episode "Typhoid" of another syndicated series, Dr. Christian, starring MacDonald Carey.[5]

Dinehart appeared in two 1957 military drama series, as Marly in the episode "Joe Foss, Devilbird" of Navy Log. This episode is based on a real person, Joe Foss, a World War II Medal of Honor recipient who later became the governor of South Dakota and a prominent sportsman.[7] In 1957 and 1958, Dinehart played Joe Marrison in two episodes, "Seawall" and "The Boxing Lesson," of the syndicated series, Men of Annapolis.[5]

In 1957 and 1958, he played in two youth films, as Bob Williams in The Careless Years and Joe Wilson in the The Hot Angel. Other Dinehart appearances were on Sky King as Jimmy Ness in "Frogmen" on Sky King and as Tex Fallon in "The Unwanted" on 26 Men.[5] He played the character, Greg, in "Half a Loaf" on the syndicated western anthology series, Death Valley Days, hosted in 1959 by Stanley Andrews. This role united Dinehart with western actor Bob Steele in the role of Dawson; Steele had appeared as Deputy Sam in four episodes of The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp.[8]

Dinehart was cast in two episodes, "The Homesteaders" and "The Twisted Road," of the syndicated western series, Frontier Doctor, starring Rex Allen. He played Don Carter in the 1959 episode "Millionaire Sally Simms" opposite Venetia Stevenson on the CBS fantasy drama, The Millionaire. In 1959, he was cast as Danny Holden in the episode "Love on the Rocks", with Virginia Christine as Rena Desmond, on the syndicated crime drama, State Trooper, with Rod Cameron as the fictitious officer Rod Blake of the Nevada State Police. Dinehart also played a comedy role as "Bill Masterson" in the 1957 episode "The General" of the CBS series, Burns and Allen, with George Burns and Gracie Allen.[5]

Dinehart's last roles were in 1959 and 1960, including three appearances on the CBS series, The Texan, starring Rory Calhoun. Twice he played "The Brazos Kid". Dinehart played Todd Kenyon in the episode "The Swindle" of the 11-episode NBC crime drama, 21 Beacon Street, a summer-replacement series starring Dennis Morgan, Joanna Barnes, and Brian Kelly.[9] Dinehart's last screen appearance was as Bob Treadwell in the 1960 film, Platinum High School.[5]

Dinehart's business career began c. 1960 with the Bank of America. He is now a consultant in litigation and arbitration for FEND, a company based in Los Angeles but works at times in any one of twenty-two states.[4][10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Full Cast and Crew for The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved July 11, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Alan Dinehart". nndb.com. Retrieved July 11, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Cliff Aliperti, "Alan Dinehart Biography: Hollywood Talkies Claim Another from Broadway," October 12, 2012". immortaqltelephemera.com. Retrieved July 11, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Douglas Brode, with introduction by Fess Parker, Shooting Stars of the Small Screen. University of Texas Press, 2009, pp. 116-117; ISBN 978-0-29271849-4. Retrieved July 12, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Mason Alan Dinehart". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved July 11, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Bat Masterson". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved July 11, 2013. 
  7. ^ ""Joe Foss, Devilbird" (December 12, 1957)". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved July 11, 2013. 
  8. ^ ""Half a Loaf" (April 25, 1959)". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved July 11, 2013. 
  9. ^ "21 Beacon Street (1959)". Internet movie Data Base. Retrieved July 11, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Mason Alan Dinehart, III". lawyerfindonline.com. Retrieved July 11, 2013.