Dabbs Greer Biography


Birthday: April 2, 1917 (Aries)

Born In: Fairview, Missouri, United States

Dabbs Greer was as an American actor who was active for more than 50 years in the show business. He was known for playing diverse roles, including those of merchants, businessmen, preachers as well as assorted shades of villains. With his simple looks, distinctive voice and unique attitude, he was a solid supporting actor. Greer is best remembered for playing Coach Ossie Weiss in the drama series ‘Hank’ and Reverend Robert Alden in the western drama series ‘Little House on the Prairie’. Born in Fairview, Missouri, he was the only child of his speech therapist mother and pharmacist father. His first acting role was on the stage in a theatrical production when he was just eight. Following his graduation from Drury University, Greer landed roles in films and television. He was active until 2003. He is probably better known to later audiences as the old version of Paul Edgecomb, a character played by Tom Hanks in the 1999 fantasy crime drama ‘The Green Mile’. On a personal note, the actor never married and fathered no kids. He eventually breathed his last in 2007 at the age of 90 after a battle with heart disease and renal failure.
Quick Facts

Also Known As: Robert William Greer

Died At Age: 90


father: Bernice Irene Dabbs

mother: Randall Alexander Greer

Actors American Men

Height: 5'10" (178 cm), 5'10" Males

Died on: April 28, 2007

place of death: Pasadena, California, United States

Diseases & Disabilities: Heart Disease

Cause of Death: Kidney Failure

Notable Alumni: Drury University

U.S. State: Missouri

More Facts

education: Drury University

Childhood & Early Life
Dabbs Greer was born on April 2, 1917 in Fairview, Missouri, USA, to Randall Alexander Greer and Bernice Irene. His father was a druggist while his mother was a speech teacher.
He moved to Anderson as an infant where he was raised. At the age eight, he started acting in theatrical productions. Greer graduated from Drury University.
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Dabbs Greer made his film debut in 1938 when he appeared as an extra in the movie ‘Jesse James’. After this, he had uncredited roles in numerous films.
He made several appearances in multiple television series including ‘Adventures of Superman’, ‘Frontier’, ‘Fireside Theatre’, ‘Cavalcade of America’ and ‘Big Town’, to name a few.
In the 1956 film ‘Hot Rod Girl’, the actor played an auto repair shop owner named Mr. Fry. The following year, he featured in an episode each of ‘Sheriff of Cochise’, ‘Tombstone Territory’, ‘The Gray Ghost’ and ‘Fury,’ respectively.
In 1957, Greer also starred in three episodes of the romantic comedy drama series ‘How to Marry a Millionaire’ alongside Merry Anders and Barbara Eden.
He had roles in the movies ‘It-The Terror from Beyond Space’ and ‘I Want to Live’, both of which were released in 1958. That year, Greer also began playing various characters in the legal drama ‘Perry Mason’.
This was followed by guest appearances in episodes of ‘Black Saddle’ and ‘Wagon Train’. In the ensuing years, the American actor had appearances in numerous television programs, including ‘Two Faces West’, ‘Laramie,’ ‘Stagecoach West,’ ‘Checkmate,’ ‘The Aquanauts,’ ‘The Untouchables,’ ‘The Detectives,’ ‘Rawhide,’ ‘The Andy Griffith Show,’ ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show,’ and ‘The Virginian,’ to name a few.
In 1966, he joined the cast of the sitcom ‘The F.B.I.’. Two years later, he began playing the recurring role of Norrie Coolidge in the drama ‘The Ghost & Mrs. Muir’.
Following his appearances in the films ‘Rage’ as Dr. Thompson and in ‘White Lightning’ as Pa McKlusky, Greer had guest roles in the dramas ‘Matt Houston’, ‘Starman’, ‘Werewolf’, ‘Charles in Charge’ and ‘First Impressions’.
From 1992 to 1996, he played Rev. Henry Novotny in the drama ‘Picket Fences’. Soon after the show ended, the actor starred in Simon West’s action thriller ‘Con Air’ alongside Nicolas Cage, John Malkovich and John Cusack.
Greer’s final film role was as Old Paul Edgecomb in the fantasy crime drama ‘The Green Mile’ in 1999. During 2001 and 2002, he played the role of Grandpa Fred Stage in The WB network’s ‘Maybe It's Me’.
His final television appearance was in the episode "My Fair Larry" of the popular Disney Channel’s teen sitcom ‘Lizzie McGuire’ in 2003.
Major Works
During 1965 and 1966, Dabbs Greer appeared as Coach Ossie Weiss in the American sitcom ‘Hank’ that revolved around a pair of orphans. This role is considered one of his most iconic ones.
In 1974, he was cast in the western drama television series ‘Little House on the Prairie’ as Reverend Alden, a role he played until 1983. Based on Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House book series, the show also featured Michael Landon, Karen Grassle, Melissa Sue Anderson and Melissa Gilbert in main roles.
Family & Personal Life
Greer never married. He had no kids.
On April 28, 2007, the actor died at Pasadena's Huntington Hospital after struggling with renal failure and heart disease. He was 90 at that time.

See the events in life of Dabbs Greer in Chronological Order

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