Phil Silvers, Harvey Lembeck, and Allan Melvin
Allan Melvin, a very talented character actor with a resume most actors would love to have, died of cancer Thursday at his home in Los Angeles, according to Amalia Melvin, his wife of 64 years. Happily married for 64 years – add that to Mr. Melvin’s list of admirable achievements!
As most publications are reporting, Allan Melvin is best known for playing Sam the Butcher on “The Brady Bunch.” Maybe it’s because I’m a straight-up Andy Griffith addict, but I actually remember him best from his Andy Griffith episodes, which happened to be some of the best in the entire series:
- He was a Recruiting Sergeant who had to deal with Ernest T. Bass when he wanted a “un-ee-form.”
- He was one of the farmers that set up business in a fruit truck. Barney told them to move along, but they ignored him.
- He played an escaped prisoner that Andy tied to a tree that (of course) Barney freed with a “Poor Fella.”
- He was “Myrt’s” accomplice in the episode about Barney’s first car.
- He played a hotel detective when Andy and Barney went to “The Big City.”
- He played a store owner who crossed Barney’s path, then promised to beat him up as soon as he caught him out of uniform.
- He was also in an episode titled, “Jailbreak” – again, he was bad news.
Allan Melvin also did numerous (far too many to list) voices for the Flintstones (another of my straight-up addictions), Magilla Gorilla (he WAS Magilla, thank you very much), and other cartoons. He was on a lot of “All in the Family” (as Archie’s best friend) episodes and he was a regular on “Archie Bunker’s Place.” He played the recurring role of Sgt. Charlie Hacker on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. and was on Sergeant Bilko (in the picture at the top).
I also remember him from several “Green Acres” episodes. And, of course, he was Alice’s butcher sweetheart, Sam, on The Brady Bunch.
Allan Melvin was born in 1922 in, ironically, the Show Me State of Missouri. As his resume proves, he “Showed ’em,” alright.
Rest in Peace, Mr. Melvin, and thanks for the laughs.