Image of Bert Freed

Bert Freed

​From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.   Bert Freed (November 3, 1919 — August 2, 1994) was a prolific American character actor, voice over actor, and the first actor to portray "Detective Columbo" on television. Born and raised in The Bronx, New York, Freed began acting while attending Penn State University, and made his Broadway debut in 1942. Following World War II Army service in the European Theatre, he appeared in the Broadway musical The Day Before Spring in 1945 and dozens of television shows between 1947 and 1985. His film debut occurred, oddly enough, in a musical Carnegie Hall (1947). A prominent role was as the villainous Ryker in the television series Shane, in which Freed added a unique touch of realism by beginning the show clean-shaven and growing a beard from one week to the next, never shaving again through the season. Freed played Columbo in a live 1960 episode of the "Chevy Mystery Theatre" seven years before Peter Falk played the role. Thomas Mitchell also played the part on stage prior to Falk's version, which is probably where many of the eccentric Columbo traits originated; only a few were visible in Freed's straightforward interpretation, although the character as played by Freed is recognizably Columbo. He appeared (sometimes more than once) in television shows such as The Rifleman, Bonanza, Gunsmoke, The Big Valley,The Virginian, Mannix, Barnaby Jones, Charlie's Angels, Then Came Bronson, Run For Your Life, Get Smart, The Lucy Show, Hogan's Heroes, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Dr. Kildare, Ben Casey, Perry Mason, Combat!, Petticoat Junction, The Outer Limits, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Route 66, Ironside, The Green Hornet, The Munsters, and many, many more. He directed one episode of T.H.E. Cat. Freed appeared as a racist club owner in No Way Out (1950), a gangster in Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town (1950), a Marine private in Halls of Montezuma (1951 film), an Army sergeant in Take the High Ground! (1953), the Police Chief in Invaders From Mars (1953), Sgt. Boulanger in Paths of Glory (1957), the hangman in Hang 'Em High (1968), Max's father in Wild in the Streets (1968), as Chief of Detectives in Madigan (1968), a homosexual prison guard in There Was a Crooked Man... (1970) and Bernard's father in Billy Jack (1971) in which he got "whumped" on the side of the face by Billy Jack's right foot "just for the hell of it." He retired from acting in 1986, and died of a heart attack in Canada in 1994 while on a fishing trip with his son. Description above from the Wikipedia article Bert Freed,  licensed under CC-BY-SA, full list of contributors on Wikipedia.

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Nov 3, 1919 In The Bronx, New York USA
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie Boomerang! 1947-02-28
Latest Project:
Series Knight Rider 1982-09-26
Known For
Poster of Knight Rider
Poster of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
Poster of Paths of Glory
Poster of Halls of Montezuma
Series Knight Rider Anthony Solan 1982-09-26
Movie Charlie and the Great Balloon Chase Carlo 1981-07-12
Series The Fall Guy Unknown 1981-11-04
Movie Till Death Dr. Sawyer 1978-02-01
Movie Barracuda Jack 1978-10-16
Series Vega$ Unknown 1978-09-20
Movie Love and the Midnight Auto Supply Mayor John Randolph 1977-09-24
Movie In the Matter of Karen Ann Quinlan Dr. Julius Korein 1977-09-26
Series Charlie's Angels Unknown 1976-09-22
Series Bronk Unknown 1975-09-21
Movie Death Scream Det. Ross 1975-09-26
Series Paper Moon Unknown 1974-09-12
Series Kolchak: The Night Stalker Unknown 1974-09-13
Series Barnaby Jones Det. Capt. Ben Wyatt 1973-01-28
Movie Incident at Vichy Marchand, A Businessman 1973-12-06
Series Police Story Unknown 1973-03-20
Series The Rookies Unknown 1972-09-11
Series The Sixth Sense Unknown 1972-01-15
Series The Streets of San Francisco Unknown 1972-09-23
Movie Evel Knievel Doc Kincaid 1971-09-10
Series Cannon Unknown 1971-09-14
Series McCloud Unknown 1970-02-17
Movie There Was a Crooked Man... Skinner 1970-09-18
Movie Breakout Fletcher 1970-08-12
Movie Then Came Bronson Editor Carson 1969-03-23
Movie Wild in the Streets Max Jacob Flatow Sr. 1968-05-29
Movie Hang 'em High Schmidt 1968-07-31
Movie Madigan Chief of Detectives Hap Lynch 1968-03-13
Series The Outsider Unknown 1968-09-18
Series The Mod Squad Unknown 1968-09-24
Series Lancer Unknown 1968-09-24
Series The Guns of Will Sonnett Unknown 1967-09-08
Series Ironside Unknown 1967-03-28
Series The High Chaparral Unknown 1967-09-10
Series Mannix Unknown 1967-09-16
Series Tarzan Unknown 1966-09-08
Movie Nevada Smith Quince 1966-06-10
Series The Green Hornet Unknown 1966-09-09
Series Mission: Impossible Unknown 1966-09-17
Series Run for Your Life Unknown 1965-09-13
Series The Big Valley Unknown 1965-09-15
Series Hogan's Heroes Unknown 1965-09-17
Series Get Smart Unknown 1965-09-18
Series The Loner Unknown 1965-09-18
Movie Shock Treatment Frank Josephson 1964-07-22
Series The Munsters Unknown 1964-09-24
Movie Invitation to a Gunfighter Sheriff 1964-10-14
Movie Fate Is the Hunter Dillon 1964-11-08
Series Arrest and Trial Unknown 1963-09-15
Series The Dakotas Unknown 1963-01-07
Series The Outer Limits Unknown 1963-09-16
Series Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre Unknown 1963-10-04
Series Mr. Novak Unknown 1963-09-24
Series Petticoat Junction Unknown 1963-09-24
Series The Virginian Unknown 1962-09-19
Movie What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Ben Golden 1962-10-31
Series Combat! Unknown 1962-10-02
Series Cain's Hundred Unknown 1961-09-19
Series Dr. Kildare Unknown 1961-09-27
Series Ben Casey Unknown 1961-10-02
Series Target: The Corruptors! Unknown 1961-09-29
Movie The Gazebo Lt. Jenkins 1960-01-15
Movie Why Must I Die Adler 1960-06-01
Movie The Subterraneans Bartender 1960-06-23
Series Route 66 Unknown 1960-10-07
Series Riverboat Unknown 1959-09-13
Series Johnny Staccato Unknown 1959-09-10
Series Tightrope Unknown 1959-09-08
Series The DuPont Show with June Allyson Unknown 1959-09-21
Series Bourbon Street Beat Unknown 1959-10-05
Series The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis Unknown 1959-09-29
Series Adventures in Paradise Unknown 1959-10-05
Series The Detectives Unknown 1959-10-16
Series Law of the Plainsman Unknown 1959-10-01
Movie The Goddess Lester Brackman 1958-06-24
Series Peter Gunn Unknown 1958-09-22
Series 77 Sunset Strip Unknown 1958-10-10
Series The Rifleman Unknown 1958-09-30
Series Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse Unknown 1958-10-06
Series Perry Mason Unknown 1957-09-21
Series The Thin Man Unknown 1957-09-20
Movie Paths of Glory Sgt. Boulanger 1957-10-25
Series Decoy Unknown 1957-10-14
Movie Unidentified Flying Objects: The True Story of Flying Saucers Dayton Colonel 1956-05-03
Series The Millionaire Unknown 1955-01-19
Movie The Cobweb Abe Irwin 1955-06-07
Series Gunsmoke Unknown 1955-09-10
Movie The Desperate Hours Tom Winston 1955-10-05
Series Alfred Hitchcock Presents Unknown 1955-10-02
Movie Men of the Fighting Lady Unknown 1954-05-07
Movie The Strike Chick 1954-06-07
Series General Electric Theater Unknown 1953-02-01
Movie Tangier Incident Kozad 1953-02-01
Movie Take the High Ground! Sgt. Vince Opperman 1953-10-30
Movie Invaders from Mars Police Chief A.C. Barrows 1953-04-22
Movie The Atomic City Emil Jablons 1952-05-01
Movie The Company She Keeps Smitty (plainclothesman) 1951-01-27
Movie Detective Story Det. Dakis 1951-11-01
Movie Halls of Montezuma Slattery 1951-01-04
Movie Red Mountain Sgt. Randall 1951-11-01
Series Hallmark Hall of Fame Unknown 1951-12-24
Movie Key to the City Emmy's Husband 1950-02-02
Movie Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town Dutch - Third New York Henchman 1950-01-04
Movie 711 Ocean Drive Steve Marshak (uncredited) 1950-07-01
Movie Where the Sidewalk Ends Det. Sgt. Paul Klein 1950-07-07
Movie No Way Out Rocky Miller - Beaver Canal Resident (uncredited) 1950-08-16
Series The Philco Television Playhouse Unknown 1948-10-03
Series Studio One Chick 1948-11-07
Movie Boomerang! Herron, a Man in Alley Mob (uncredited) 1947-02-28