Biography

​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.

​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.

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Male

Known Credits 104

Birthday 1919-11-03

Day of Death 1994-08-02

Place of Birth The Bronx, New York USA

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • -

Acting TV ShowsMovies

1982 Knight Rider (1 episode) as Anthony Solan
1981 The Fall Guy (1 episode)
1981 Charlie and the Great Balloon Chase as Carlo
1978 Barracuda as Jack
1978 Vega$ (1 episode)
1978 Till Death as Dr. Sawyer
1977 In the Matter of Karen Ann Quinlan as Dr. Julius Korein
1977 Love and the Midnight Auto Supply as Mayor John Randolph
1976 Charlie's Angels (1 episode)
1976 How the West Was Won (1 episode)
1975 Bronk (1 episode)
1974 Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1 episode)
1974 Paper Moon (1 episode)
1973 Police Story (1 episode)
1972 The Streets of San Francisco (2 episodes)
1972 The Rookies (1 episode)
1972 The Sixth Sense (1 episode)
1971 Cannon (2 episodes)
1971 Evel Knievel as Doc Kincaid
1970 There Was a Crooked Man... as Skinner
1970 Breakout as Fletcher
1970 McCloud (1 episode)
1969 Then Came Bronson as Editor Carson
1968 Lancer (1 episode)
1968 The Mod Squad (1 episode)
1968 The Outsider (1 episode)
1968 Hang 'em High as Schmidt
1968 Wild in the Streets as Max Jacob Flatow Sr.
1968 Madigan as Chief of Detectives Hap Lynch
1967 Mannix (1 episode)
1967 The High Chaparral (1 episode)
1967 The Guns of Will Sonnett (1 episode)
1967 Ironside (2 episodes)
1966 Mission: Impossible (2 episodes)
1966 The Green Hornet (1 episode)
1966 Tarzan (1 episode)
1966 Nevada Smith as Quince
1965 The Loner (1 episode)
1965 Get Smart (1 episode)
1965 Hogan's Heroes (1 episode)
1965 The Big Valley (3 episodes)
1965 Run for Your Life (1 episode)
1964 Fate Is the Hunter as Dillon
1964 Invitation to a Gunfighter as Sheriff
1964 The Munsters (1 episode)
1963 Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre (1 episode)
1963 Petticoat Junction (1 episode)
1963 Mr. Novak (1 episode)
1963 The Outer Limits (1 episode)
1963 Arrest and Trial (1 episode)
1963 The Dakotas (1 episode)
1962 What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? as Ben Golden
1962 Combat! (1 episode)
1962 The Virginian (2 episodes)
1961 Ben Casey (2 episodes)
1961 Target: The Corruptors! (1 episode)
1961 Dr. Kildare (2 episodes)
1961 Cain's Hundred (1 episode)
1960 Route 66 (1 episode)
1960 The Subterraneans as Bartender
1960 Why Must I Die as Adler
1959 The Gazebo as Lt. Jenkins
1959 The Detectives (1 episode)
1959 Bourbon Street Beat (1 episode)
1959 Adventures in Paradise (1 episode)
1959 Law of the Plainsman (1 episode)
1959 The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (1 episode)
1959 The DuPont Show with June Allyson (1 episode)
1959 Riverboat (1 episode)
1959 Johnny Staccato (2 episodes)
1959 Tightrope (1 episode)
1958 77 Sunset Strip (1 episode)
1958 Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse (1 episode)
1958 The Rifleman (2 episodes)
1958 Peter Gunn (1 episode)
1958 The Goddess as Lester Brackman
1957 Decoy (1 episode)
1957 Perry Mason (4 episodes)
1957 The Thin Man (1 episode)
1957 Paths of Glory as Sgt. Boulanger
1955 The Desperate Hours as Tom Winston
1955 Alfred Hitchcock Presents (2 episodes)
1955 Gunsmoke (2 episodes)
1955 The Cobweb as Abe Irwin
1955 The Millionaire (1 episode)
1954 The Strike as Chick
1954 Men of the Fighting Lady
1953 Invaders from Mars as Police Chief A.C. Barrows
1953 General Electric Theater (2 episodes)
1952 The Atomic City as Emil Jablons
1951 Hallmark Hall of Fame (1 episode)
1951 Detective Story as Det. Dakis
1951 Red Mountain as Sgt. Randall
1951 The Company She Keeps as Smitty (plainclothesman)
1951 Halls of Montezuma as Slattery
1950 No Way Out as Rocky Miller - Beaver Canal Resident (uncredited)
1950 Where the Sidewalk Ends as Det. Sgt. Paul Klein
1950 711 Ocean Drive as Steve Marshak (uncredited)
1950 Key to the City as Emmy's Husband
1950 Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town as Dutch - Third New York Henchman
1948 Studio One (4 episodes)
1948 The Philco Television Playhouse (2 episodes)
1947 Boomerang! as Herron, a Man in Alley Mob (uncredited)

Directing

1966 The CAT (1 episode)Director

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