Kendra Steiner Editions

April 3, 2020

BILLY HALOP in a 1958 episode of YOURS TRULY, JOHNNY DOLLAR

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 8:03 pm
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BILLY HALOP with Humphrey Bogart

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It’s been a good week for this fan of BILLY HALOP, former leader of THE DEAD END KIDS and LITTLE TOUGH GUYS (the pre-Bowery Boys movie gangs….Leo Gorcey replaced Halop as the leader of the bunch when they moved to Monogram as the EAST SIDE KIDS). First, I catch him as a sniveling, gun-crazy punk who takes an entire hospital hostage (!!!!) on an episode of the HIGHWAY PATROL. Then, on a random 1958 episode of the classic YOURS TRULY, JOHNNY DOLLAR radio crime show I listened to tonight while exercising, Billy gets a plum role, as an ex-criminal who’s gone straight and is now an insurance agent….for retired criminals! As always, he’s instantly recognizable within five seconds with his raspy voice, and his tough-guy stance comes through clearly even on a radio show. What Billy Halop was, though, for 30+ years, was a fine character actor. Yes, he was typecast, and that New York accent wasn’t going away, no matter how long he lived and worked on the West Coast, but he ALWAYS gave the producers their money’s worth, which is surely the reason he worked steadily. It’s great finding him in a PERRY MASON episode or whatever, where he commands attention and pulls the audience in.

While stuck at home now, why not take 25 minutes to listen to BILLY HALOP work his Little Tough Guy magic on an episode of YOURS TRULY, JOHNNY DOLLAR from 27 April 1958. Billy also had great comic timing, and that’s in evidence here too as his character is almost heart-warming and will put a smile on your face!

 

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Billy as cab driver Bert Munson (with Carroll O’Connor) in All In The Family—-he appeared in 10 episodes as Munson, including the famous Sammy Davis Jr. episode

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Why not watch the entire feature film LITTLE TOUGH GUY and see Halop at his best. Take off your face-mask, crank up You Tube, and settle back….here it is:

 

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And here is the immediately post-World War II Halop in PRC’s bargain-basement attempt at doing a Little Tough Guys/East Side Kids/Bowery Boys-style franchise, THE GAS HOUSE KIDS, from 1946. Enjoy! Also stars the great Robert Lowery, 3 years before his turn as BATMAN (he is still my favorite Batman), in the 1949 serial BATMAN AND ROBIN, and Carl “Alfalfa” Switzer, of Little Rascals/Our Gang fame. The entire film is linked to below:

 

Stay indoors…. stay safe!

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