8-28 Happy birthday to the late Simon Oakland, Born: August 28, 1915 and passed away on August 29, 1983.
Simon Oakland was an American actor of stage, screen, and television. During his career, Oakland performed primarily on television, appearing in over 130 series and made-for-television movies between 1951 and 1983.
In 1955 Oakland made his film debut, though uncredited, as a Indiana state trooper in The Desperate Hours. He next appeared in two films released in 1958: as the character Mavrayek in The Brothers Karamazov and then in the role of Edward Montgomery in I Want to Live! The character Montgomery was a real-life journalist, who had reported on the California murder trial and 1955 execution of Barbara Graham, played by Susan Hayward in the film. Oakland’s portrayal of the journalist as a “tough, but compassionate” personality resulted in the actor often being typecast in his subsequent roles in both films and on television.
Simon Oakland’s notable performance in I Want to Live! led to his playing a long series of tough-guy types, usually in positions of authority, most notably in Psycho, in which he plays the psychiatrist who explains Norman Bates’s multiple personality disorder. He also appeared in West Side Story, The Sand Pebbles, Bullitt, and the television series Kolchak: The Night Stalker. He made two guest appearances on CBS’s Perry Mason, both times as the murder victim. He also appeared in the syndicated crime drama, Decoy, starring Beverly Garland. Oakland appeared once each on the CBS western, Dundee and the Culhane and in another syndicated crime drama series, Sheriff of Cochise, starring John Bromfield. Oakland played General Thomas Moore on NBC’s Baa Baa Black Sheep, starring Robert Conrad.
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