Morning millionaire

My morning name from a few days ago: John Beresford Tipton, the tv millionaire.

From Wikipedia:

(#1) Actor Marvin Miller, playing Michael Anthony

(#2) Actor Paul Frees, the voice of John Beresford Tipton

The Millionaire is an American anthology series that aired on CBS from 1955 to 1960. It was originally sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive. The series, produced by Don Fedderson and Fred Henry, explored the ways that sudden and unexpected wealth changed life, for better or for worse, and became a five-season hit during the Golden Age of Television, … It told the stories of people who were given one million dollars ($9.14 million in 2017 dollars) from a benefactor who insisted they never knew him, with one exception.

… The benefactor was named John Beresford Tipton, Jr. Viewers heard his voice, making observations and giving instructions; they saw only his arm as he reached for a cashier’s check for one million dollars each week and handed it to Michael Anthony, his executive secretary. It was Anthony’s job to deliver that check to its intended recipient.

Invariably, The Millionaire began with a very brief opening theme fanfare behind the ascending title frame, followed by the camera’s training directly upon Michael Anthony, played by veteran character actor and radio and television announcer Marvin Miller. The unseen John Beresford Tipton was played by another veteran character actor and voice artist, Paul Frees.

…  Each episode began with Anthony, behind his desk and looking directly into the camera, speaking one or another variation on this theme:

My name is Michael Anthony, and until his death just a few years ago, I was the executive secretary to the late John Beresford Tipton, Jr. John Beresford Tipton, a fabulously wealthy and fascinating man, whose many hobbies included his habit of giving away one million dollars, tax free, each week — to persons he had never even met.

From there, the camera faded to a brief tour of the grounds on which Tipton’s home stood, as Anthony continued speaking:

This is Silverstone, John Beresford Tipton’s 60,000 acre estate. From here, he spent the later years of his life pursuing many hobbies, often tied to his fascination with human nature and behavior. Mr. Tipton was a man of so many wide interests, that when called into his presence, one never knew just what to expect.

… Since each episode featured a different beneficiary, numerous guest stars appeared during The Millionaire‘s production, including Richard Anderson, Joanna Barnes, Patricia Barry, Orson Bean, Charles Bronson, Edgar Buchanan, Carleton Carpenter, John Carradine, Marguerite Chapman, Chuck Connors, Royal Dano, Angie Dickinson, Mason Alan Dinehart, Barbara Eden, Yvonne Lime Fedderson, Virginia Field, Dick Foran, Beverly Garland, Lisa Gaye, James Gleason, Don Gordon, Frank Gorshin, Peter Graves, George Grizzard, Harry Guardino, Murray Hamilton, Dennis Hopper, Frieda Inescort, David Janssen, Jack Kelly, Robert Knapp, Nan Leslie, Margaret Lindsay, Jack Lord, Celia Lovsky, Nora Marlowe, Frank McHugh, Joyce Meadows, Lee Meriwether, Martin Milner, Mary Tyler Moore, Joanna Moore, Agnes Moorehead, Rita Moreno, Lori Nelson, Susan Oliver, Larry Pennell, Paul Picerni, Kent Smith, Aaron Spelling, Olive Sturgess, Marshall Thompson, Regis Toomey, Ernest Truex, Robert Vaughn, Betty White, Grant Williams, DeForest Kelley, and Dick York.

At least two professional athletes appeared on the show: basketball and baseball player Chuck Connors (who also had a career as an actor) and Hall of Fame baseball pitcher Don Drysdale.

Another series that consumed large numbers of guest actors: others include The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, and most dramatically Law & Order in its various incarnations.

One Response to “Morning millionaire”

  1. julianne taaffe Says:

    My husband was named Michael Anthony because his mother loved the show. Or maybe she thought the name would be magic.

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