Barton MacLane

Barton MacLane (December 25, 1902 – January 1, 1969) was an American actor, playwright, and screenwriter. Although he appeared in many classic films from the 1930s through the 1960s, he became best-known for his role as General Martin Peterson on the 1960s NBC television comedy series I Dream of Jeannie, with Barbara Eden and Larry Hagman.[1]

Barton MacLane
Barton MacLane Outlaws
MacLane in 1961
BornDecember 25, 1902
DiedJanuary 1, 1969 (aged 66)
Resting placeValhalla Memorial Park Cemetery in North Hollywood
Alma materWesleyan University
American Academy of Dramatic Arts
OccupationActor, playwright, screenwriter
Years active1927–1969
Charlotte Wynters MacLane
(m. 1939; his death 1969)


MacLane was born in Columbia, South Carolina, on Christmas Day, 1902.[2] He attended Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, where he excelled at American football. His first movie role, in The Quarterback (1926), was a result of his athletic ability.[3] He then attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

He made his Broadway debut in 1927, playing the assistant district attorney in Bayard Veiller's The Trial of Mary Dugan.[4] He then performed in the 1928 Broadway production of Gods of the Lightning[5] and was part of the original cast of Subway Express as Officer Mulvaney in 1929. He appeared in the Marx Brothers' 1929 film debut The Cocoanuts. MacLane made his first credited film appearance in the 1931 romantic drama His Woman. The following year, he wrote the play Rendezvous, which he sold to Arthur Hopkins. The play was performed on Broadway, with MacLane in a featured role.

Film work: 1930s-1950s

Barton MacLane in Smart Blonde trailer
MacLane in Smart Blonde (1937)

The success of Rendezvous landed MacLane a contract with Warner Bros. and brought him to the attention of several renowned film directors, including Fritz Lang, Michael Curtiz, and William Keighley. As a result, throughout the remainder of the 1930s, MacLane was highly active in film, with major supporting roles in such productions as The Case of the Curious Bride, G Men, The Prince and the Pauper, and Lang's You Only Live Once and You and Me. He also played the role of detective Steve McBride, opposite Glenda Farrell in seven of the nine films featuring the fictional newspaper reporter Torchy Blane.

During the 1930s and 1940s, MacLane worked alongside Humphrey Bogart in several films. He played Lieutenant Dundy opposite Bogart's Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon, writer/director John Huston's acclaimed film noir based upon Dashiell Hammett's novel. MacLane again collaborated with both Bogart and Huston on the Academy Award-winning 1948 adventure film The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

MacLane's many other film credits during the 1940s include The Big Street, Victor Fleming's Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Fritz Lang's Western Union, Reginald Le Borg's The Mummy's Ghost, and Frank Borzage's The Spanish Main. He also appeared in two Tarzan films starring Johnny Weissmuller, Tarzan and the Amazons and Tarzan and the Huntress. Some of MacLane's films during the 1950s include Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye, The Glenn Miller Story, and Three Violent People.

As he was the regular heavy and bad guy, juveniles started using the term "Don't give me that Barton MacLane", if they felt justly or unjustly being turned off by adults or authorities, e.g. cops, teachers and so on.

Television and final films

In the 1950s, MacLane began to appear regularly on television. Between 1953 and 1967, he guest starred on such programs as Conflict, Lux Video Theatre, Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse, Laramie, The Monkees, and Gunsmoke. In 1958 he played Sen. Harriman Baylor in the Perry Mason episode, "The Case of the Foot-Loose Doll". In 1960 he played Eugene Norris, Perry's friend and small-town sheriff, in "The Case of the Violent Village". In 1964 he played Archer Osmond in "The Case of the Ruinous Road".

During the 1960-1961 television season, MacLane was a series regular on twenty-seven episodes of NBC's western, Outlaws, in which he played Marshal Frank Caine.[1]:802 He made his last film appearance in Frank Capra's Academy Award-nominated 1961 comedy Pocketful of Miracles.

In 1965, MacLane was cast in the recurring role of General Martin Peterson on I Dream of Jeannie. He appeared in thirty-five episodes of the series between 1965 and 1969. Three of MacLane's episodes were aired after his death in January, 1969. His character was replaced on later episodes of the series by General Winfield Schaeffer, portrayed by Vinton Hayworth, until his death in 1970. Coincidentally, Hayworth also died before all episodes featuring his character were broadcast.

Personal life

Maclane played several musical instruments, including the violin, piano, and guitar. In 1939, MacLane married actress Charlotte Wynters. From the 1940s until his death, he maintained a cattle ranch in eastern Madera County, California, where he made his home when he was not acting. He adopted a daughter.[3]


MacLane died of double pneumonia on New Year's Day, 1969 in Santa Monica, California.[6] He was buried in Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery.


For his contribution to the television industry, MacLane has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6719 Hollywood Boulevard.[7]

Selected filmography

Television credits

Year Series Role Notes
1955 The Pepsi-Cola Playhouse Captain Hansen "The Man Nobody Wanted"
Schlitz Playhouse of Stars Chief Brooks "Two-Bit Gangster"
1956 Crossroads "The Strange Bequest"
Cheyenne Martin Storm "The Storm Riders"
The Kaiser Aluminum Hour Dan Royal "Man on the White Horse"
1957 Tales of Wells Fargo Clanton "The Target", with Kelo Henderson cast as Ike Clanton
Telephone Time Pete Devlin "Plot to Save a Boy"
Circus Boy Pinkerton Detective Nolan 1 episode, "The Tumbling Clown"
1958 Kraft Television Theatre Potter "Code of the Corner"
77 Sunset Strip Brannigan "Girl on the Run"
1959 Black Saddle General Orester Fowler "Client: Braun"
Walt Disney Presents Bob Scanlon 2 episodes: "The Robber Stallion" and "Wild Horse Revenge"
1959-1964 Perry Mason Senator Harriman Baylor / Sheriff Eugene Norris / Harold Minter / Archer Osmond 4 episodes
1960 Walt Disney Presents Rawls Kettrick The Nine Lives of Elfego Baca miniseries, episode "Friendly Enemies at Law"
Laramie Cameron Gault "Street of Hate"
Overland Trail Big Jed Braddock "Lawyer in Petticoats"
Tightrope Vince Baron "Gangster's Daughter"
1960-1961 Outlaws Marshal Frank Caine 27 episodes
1962 Laramie Mel Bishop "The High Country"
1963 Laramie Ed Bishop "The Wedding Party"
Laramie Owen Richards "Trapped"
1965-1969 I Dream of Jeannie General Peterson 35 episodes, (final appearance)
1966 The Munsters Big Roy "Herman Picks a Winner"
Gunsmoke Herkimer Crawford "Honor Before Justice"
1967 Gunsmoke Willard Kerner "Noose of Gold"
Hondo Markham "Hondo and the Gladiators"


  1. ^ a b Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. pp. 490–491. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.
  2. ^ Ellenberger, Allan R. (2001). Celebrities in Los Angeles Cemeteries: A Directory. McFarland. p. 206. ISBN 9780786409839. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Actor Barton MacLane, Madera Rancher, 66, Dies". The Fresno Bee The Republican. California, Fresno. United Press International. January 2, 1969. p. 25. Retrieved April 1, 2017 – via open access publication – free to read
  4. ^ "The Trial of Mary Dugan - cast". Playbill Vault. Playbill. Archived from the original on 3 April 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  5. ^ "Gods of the Lightning - cast". Playbill Vault. Playbill. Archived from the original on 3 April 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  6. ^ "Movie Bad Guy, Barton MacLane, Dead At 66". The Evening Independent. Associated Press. January 2, 1969. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  7. ^ "Barton MacLane". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Archived from the original on 3 April 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2017.

External links

Angel in Exile

Angel in Exile is a 1948 American drama film directed by Allan Dwan and Philip Ford and written by Charles Larson. The film stars John Carroll, Adele Mara, Thomas Gomez, Barton MacLane, Alfonso Bedoya and Grant Withers. The film was released on September 3, 1948, by Republic Pictures.

Big Executive

Big Executive is a 1933 American Pre-Code drama film directed by Erle C. Kenton and written by Alice Duer Miller and Laurence Stallings. The film stars Ricardo Cortez, Richard Bennett, Sharon Lynn, Dorothy Peterson, Barton MacLane and Charles Middleton. The film was released on August 8, 1933, by Paramount Pictures.

Big Town Czar

Big Town Czar is a 1939 American mystery film directed by Arthur Lubin starring Barton MacLane and Tom Brown.

Cow Country

Cow Country is a 1953 American Western film directed by Lesley Selander and written by Adele Buffington and Thomas W. Blackburn. The film stars Edmond O'Brien, Helen Westcott, Robert Lowery, Barton MacLane, Peggie Castle, Robert Barrat and James Millican. The film was released on April 26, 1953, by Allied Artists Pictures.

Dr. Socrates

Dr. Socrates is a 1935 crime film starring Paul Muni as a doctor forced to treat a wounded gangster, played by Barton MacLane.

Draegerman Courage

Draegerman Courage is a 1937 American drama film directed by Louis King and written by Anthony Coldeway. The film stars Jean Muir, Barton MacLane, Henry O'Neill, Robert Barrat, Addison Richards and Helen MacKellar. The film was released by Warner Bros. on May 15, 1937.

Gangs of Chicago

Gangs of Chicago is a 1940 film, starring Lloyd Nolan, Barton MacLane, Lola Lane, Ray Middleton, Astrid Allwyn, and Horace McMahon. Alan Ladd has a small uncredited role.

Jungle Flight

Jungle Flight is a 1947 American adventure film directed by Sam Newfield and written by Whitman Chambers. The film stars Robert Lowery, Ann Savage, Barton MacLane, Douglas Fowley, Robert Kent and Curt Bois. The film was released on August 22, 1947, by Paramount Pictures.

Outlaws (1960 TV series)

Outlaws is an NBC Western television series, starring Barton MacLane as U.S. Marshal Frank Caine, who operated in a lawless section of Oklahoma Territory around Stillwater.

Prison Break (film)

Prison Break is a 1938 American crime-drama film directed by Arthur Lubin and starring Barton MacLane, Glenda Farrell and Paul Hurst. The film was based on the story "Walls of San Quentin" by Norton S. Parker. It was released by Universal Pictures on July 12, 1938. A fisherman confesses to a murder he didn't commit to protect a friend. Determined to keep out of trouble in prison, but another convict makes things difficult for him.

San Quentin (1946 film)

San Quentin is a 1946 American film directed by Gordon Douglas.

The warden of San Quentin State Prison takes three of his best-behaved model prisoners to a press event in San Francisco, but Nick Taylor (Barton MacLane) escapes en route. The warden enlists an old enemy of Taylor's, Jim Roland (Lawrence Tierney), to bring him back to justice. The film comes with a prologue with former Sing Sing warden Lewis E. Lawes advocating the inmates' Mutual Welfare League.

Scared Stiff (1945 film)

Scared Stiff (also known as Treasure of Fear (American reissue title) and You'll Be The Death Of Me Yet) is a 1945 American comedic murder mystery directed by Frank McDonald for Pine-Thomas Productions and released by Paramount Pictures. The film stars Jack Haley, Ann Savage and Barton MacLane.

Tarzan and the Huntress

Tarzan and the Huntress is a 1947 adventure film starring Johnny Weissmuller in his eleventh outing as Tarzan. Brenda Joyce makes the third of five appearances as Jane and Johnny Sheffield marks his eighth and final appearance as Boy. Patricia Morison and Barton MacLane co-star. The film was produced by Sol Lesser and Kurt Neumann, written by Jerry Gruskin and Rowland Leigh (based on characters created by Edgar Rice Burroughs) and directed by Kurt Neumann. It was released on April 5, 1947.

The Storm (1938 film)

The Storm is a 1938 American action film directed by Harold Young and written by Theodore Reeves, Daniel Moore and Hugh King. The film stars Charles Bickford, Barton MacLane, Preston Foster, Tom Brown, Nan Grey, Andy Devine, Frank Jenks and Samuel S. Hinds. The film was released on October 28, 1938, by Universal Pictures.

The Walking Dead (1936 film)

The Walking Dead is a 1936 American horror film directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Boris Karloff, who plays a wrongly executed man who is restored to life by a scientist (Edmund Gwenn). The supporting cast features Ricardo Cortez, Marguerite Churchill and Barton MacLane. The film was distributed by Warner Bros.

To the Last Man (1933 film)

To the Last Man is a 1933 American Pre-Code Western film directed by Henry Hathaway and starring Randolph Scott and Esther Ralston. The screenplay by Jack Cunningham was based on a story by Zane Grey. The Paramount property was previously made as a silent film, Victor Fleming's 1923 film version of the same title. The supporting cast of Hathaway's version features Jack La Rue, Buster Crabbe, Barton MacLane, Noah Beery, Sr., Shirley Temple, Fuzzy Knight, Gail Patrick and John Carradine. Child actors Delmar Watson and Shirley Temple were praised by Variety (Edwards, 41).

The film was reissued under the title Law of Vengeance.

Torchy Blane in Chinatown

Torchy Blane in Chinatown is a 1939 American crime mystery film directed by William Beaudine and starring Glenda Farrell and Barton MacLane. Released on February 4, 1939, it is the seventh film in the Torchy Blane movie series by Warner Bros. and is followed by Torchy Runs for Mayor. The rivalry between newspaper reporter Torchy Blane and her boyfriend, Lieutenant Steve McBride, escalates as the two investigate a death threat involving priceless jade tablets.

Torchy Gets Her Man

Torchy Gets Her Man is a 1938 American comedy-drama film directed by William Beaudine and starring Glenda Farrell as Torchy Blane and Barton MacLane as Detective Steve McBride. It was released on November 12, 1938. It is the sixth film in a series of Torchy Blane films by Warner Bros. The film is followed by Torchy Blane in Chinatown.

Treasure of Ruby Hills

Treasure of Ruby Hills is a 1955 American black-and-white western film directed by Frank McDonald and starring Zachary Scott, Carole Mathews, Barton MacLane, Dick Foran, and Lola Albright. The film is based on the story "The Rider of the Ruby Hills" by Louis L'Amour. He wrote the story under the pen-name Jim Mayo; the story was later expanded as the novel Where the Long Grass Blows in 1976.

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