Ray Teal

Ray Teal (January 12, 1902[note 1][1] – April 2, 1976) was an American actor who appeared in more than 250 films and some 90 television programs in his 37-year career. His longest-running role was as Sheriff Roy Coffee on NBC's western series Bonanza (1960–1972). He also played a sheriff in the film Ace in the Hole (1951).

Ray Elgin Teal
BornJanuary 12, 1902
DiedApril 2, 1976 (aged 74)
Alma materUniversity of California, Los Angeles
Years active1937–1974

Early life

Teal was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. A saxophone player, he worked his way through the University of California, Los Angeles as a bandleader before becoming an actor.[2]

Acting career

After more than 15 years performing in films and in early television, Teal secured a recurring role as a police officer in the 1953–1955 ABC sitcom with a variety-show theme, Where's Raymond?, later renamed The Ray Bolger Show. Ray Bolger in the series portrays Raymond Wallace, a song-and-dance man who repeatedly arrives for his performances barely on time. Others cast members in the series include Richard Erdman, Allyn Joslyn, Betty Lynn, Sylvia Lewis, Gloria Winters, and Verna Felton.[3]

In 1955, Teal portrayed a ruthless cattle baron in the episode "Julesburg" of the ABC/Warner Bros. Western series, Cheyenne, starring Clint Walker in the title role. Altogether, Teal appeared five times on Cheyenne, the first hour-long Western series on a major network. In 1950, he appeared in the episode of The Lone Ranger titled "Never Say Die" as Matt Dooley. In 1955, he appeared in episode 175 of The Lone Ranger. He later appeared in a guest-starring role in another ABC/WB Western series, The Alaskans, starring Roger Moore. From 1957 to 1962, Teal was cast three times in different roles on another long-running Western series, Wagon Train. He also appeared in an episode of The Rifleman and later in Green Acres.

In 1957, Teal played a lawman, Captain McNelly, in the episode "Sam Bass" of NBC's Tales of Wells Fargo, with Dale Robertson as agent Jim Hardie and Chuck Connors in the role of the outlaw Sam Bass. Teal was cast as Fenster in "The Bounty Hunters" (1957) on the ABC Western series, Broken Arrow, starring John Lupton and Michael Ansara.

In 1958, Teal guest-starred with Beverly Washburn in "No Tears for the Dead" on the CBS Western series, The Texan, starring Rory Calhoun.[4] He appeared too in the CBS sitcom, Dennis the Menace, starring Jay North. Also in 1958, Teal was cast as Yotts Meyer in the episode "Hangtown" of the NBC Western series, The Californians, and played a crooked sheriff in the episode "The Day They Hanged Bret Maverick" opposite James Garner in the Warner Bros. series Maverick.

in 1960, Teal was cast as Sheriff Roy Coffee in Bonanza a role he would play until 1972 appearing in 98 episodes.

Teal appeared twice in another ABC/WB Western, Colt .45, starring Wayde Preston. In the series finale entitled "The Trespassers" (1960), Teal played Mike O'Tara. Others in the guest cast were Pamela Duncan, Lee Van Cleef, Gary Vinson, and Arthur Space, as Belle O'Tara, the Indian Red Feather, Lieutenant Sims, and Colonel Tomkin, respectively.[5]

In 1960, he was cast as Sheriff Clay, along with other guest-stars Charles Bronson, William Fawcett, and Stella Stevens, in the episode "Zigzag" of Darren McGavin's NBC Western series, Riverboat, with Darren McGavin.

In 1962, Teal portrayed Mr. Todd in the episode entitled "The Tall Shadow" of the NBC modern Western drama, Empire, starring Richard Egan as New Mexico rancher Jim Redigo. That same year, he was cast as Sam Thorpe in the episode "Step Forward" of the NBC police drama set in New York City, 87th Precinct. He portrayed in 1962 the character Alvin Greaves in "Unwanted: Dead or Alive" of the syndicated adventure series The Everglades, starring Ron Hayes. In 1962 and 1963, he was cast four times, three as the character Frank Higgins, on the Earl Holliman Western series about the rodeo, Wide Country.

In 1963, Teal appeared as murder victim Joe Downing in the CBS courtroom drama series Perry Mason episode, "The Case of the Shifty Shoebox".

Teal was a bit-part player in Western films for several years before landing a substantial role in Northwest Passage (1940). Another of his roles was as Little John in The Bandit of Sherwood Forest (1946). Notable film roles include playing one of the judges in Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) with Spencer Tracy and an indulgent bar owner to Marlon Brando's motorcycle gang in The Wild One (1953). This was the second of three times that Teal appeared with Brando, having done so already as a drunk in Brando's debut in The Men (1950) and later in Brando's only directorial effort, One-Eyed Jacks (1961), as a bartender.

Teal appeared in three episodes of the 1955–1957 anthology series, Crossroads, a study of clergymen from different denominations.


He died of undisclosed causes at age 74 in Santa Monica, California.

Selected filmography


  1. ^ The book Celebrities in Los Angeles Cemeteries: A Directory gives Teal's birth date as January 12, 1908.


  1. ^ Ellenberger, Allan R. (2001). Celebrities in Los Angeles Cemeteries: A Directory. McFarland. p. 173. ISBN 9780786450190. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  2. ^ Metcalfe, Jack (July 11, 1950). "Hollywood Film Shop". The Terre Haute Tribune. Indiana, Terre Haute. United Press. p. 4. Retrieved May 28, 2017 – via Newspapers.com. open access publication – free to read
  3. ^ "Where's Raymond?/ The Ray Bolger Show". ctva.biz. Retrieved March 14, 2011.
  4. ^ "The Texan". Classic Television Archive. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  5. ^ "Colt .45". ctva.biz. Retrieved December 22, 2012.

External links

A Gentle Gangster

A Gentle Gangster is a 1943 black-and-white drama film, directed by Phil Rosen and written by A. W. Hackel.

Apache Ambush

Apache Ambush is a 1955 American Western film directed by Fred F. Sears and starring Bill Williams, Richard Jaeckel and Alex Montoya.

Apache Trail (film)

Apache Trail is a 1942 American Western film directed by Richard Thorpe, written by Maurice Geraghty, and starring Lloyd Nolan, Donna Reed, William Lundigan, Ann Ayars, Connie Gilchrist, and Chill Wills. The picture was released on June 24, 1942, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.


Bonanza is an NBC television western series that ran from 1959 to 1973. Lasting 14 seasons and 431 episodes, Bonanza is NBC's longest-running western, and ranks overall as the second-longest-running western series on U.S. network television (behind CBS's Gunsmoke), and within the top 10 longest-running, live-action American series. The show continues to air in syndication. The show is set in the 1860s and it centers on the wealthy Cartwright family that live in the vicinity of Virginia City, Nevada, bordering Lake Tahoe. The series initially starred Lorne Greene, Pernell Roberts, Dan Blocker, and Michael Landon and later featured (at various times) Guy Williams, David Canary, Mitch Vogel, and Tim Matheson. The show is known for presenting pressing moral dilemmas.The title "Bonanza" is a term used by miners in regard to a large vein or deposit of silver ore, from Spanish bonanza (prosperity) and commonly refers to the 1859 revelation of the Comstock Lode of rich silver ore mines under the town of Virginia City, not far from the fictional Ponderosa Ranch that the Cartwright family operated. The show's theme song, also titled "Bonanza", became a hit song. Only instrumental renditions, absent Ray Evans' lyrics, were used during the series's long run.In 2002, Bonanza was ranked No. 43 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time, and in 2013 TV Guide included it in its list of The 60 Greatest Dramas of All Time. The time period for the television series is roughly between 1861 (Season 1) and 1867 (Season 13) during and shortly after the American Civil War.

During the summer of 1972, NBC aired reruns of episodes from the 1967–1970 period in prime time on Tuesday evening under the title Ponderosa.

Cattle Town

Cattle Town is a 1952 American Western film directed by Noel M. Smith and written by Thomas W. Blackburn. The film stars Dennis Morgan, Philip Carey, Amanda Blake, Rita Moreno, Paul Picerni and Ray Teal. The film was released by Warner Bros. on September 6, 1952.

Cherokee Strip (film)

Cherokee Strip, also known as Fighting Marshal or The Indian Nation, is a 1940 American Western film directed by Lesley Selander and written by Bernard McConville and Norman Houston. The film stars Richard Dix, Florence Rice, William "Bill" Henry, Victor Jory, Andy Clyde and George E. Stone. The film was released on October 11, 1940, by Paramount Pictures.

Diamond Horseshoe

Diamond Horseshoe (also billed as Billy Rose's Diamond Horseshoe) is a 1945 Technicolor musical film starring Betty Grable and Dick Haymes, directed by George Seaton, and released by 20th Century Fox.

Driftwood (1947 film)

Driftwood is a 1947 drama film produced and directed by Allan Dwan and starring Natalie Wood as a little orphan girl who adopts a collie. The movie also stars Ruth Warrick, Walter Brennan, Dean Jagger and Charlotte Greenwood.

Fort Worth (film)

Fort Worth is a 1951 American Western film directed by Edwin L. Marin and starring Randolph Scott. It is Marin's final directing work, as he died two months before the release.

Gunman's Walk

Gunman's Walk is a 1958 Technicolor Western CinemaScope film directed by Phil Karlson. It stars Van Heflin and Tab Hunter.

Montana Belle

Montana Belle is a 1952 Trucolor Western film directed by Allan Dwan and starring Jane Russell. The story is a fictionalised biography of Montana outlaw Belle Starr.

Panic! (TV series)

Panic!, broadcast as No Warning! during its second season, is a half-hour American television anthology series. Its thirty-one episodes aired on NBC from 1957 to 1958. The series host was Westbrook Van Voorhis. Among notable guest stars were James Mason, James Whitmore, Trevor Bardette, Robert Vaughn, Barbara Billingsley, Paul Burke (actor), William Fawcett, Vivi Janiss, Mercedes McCambridge, Ann Rutherford, Ray Teal, and Carolyn Jones.

Strange Voyage

Strange Voyage is a 1946 American film directed by Irving Allen.

The Everglades (TV series)

Everglades! is an American crime-adventure television series that aired in syndication for one season from 1961–62 and in reruns. Ron Hayes starred as Constable Lincoln Vail, a law enforcement officer of the fictional Everglades County Patrol who traveled the Florida Everglades in an airboat, a vehicle which was often the focus of the program. Hayes, a northern California actor and stuntman, was an avid outdoorsman and conservationist.

Gordon Casell appeared in five of the 38 half-hour episodes as Chief Anderson, Vail's superior. Steve Brodie made three appearances as Captain Andy Benson; Dan Chandler was twice cast as Vail's sidekick, airboat guide Pete Hammond. Future film star Burt Reynolds appeared twice in the role of Lew Johnson and once as Trask.

Guest stars included R.G. Armstrong, Victor Buono, Roger C. Carmel, Paul Carr, Jack Cassidy, Lonny Chapman, John Doucette, Penny Edwards, Frank Ferguson, Luke Halpin, Douglas Kennedy, Robert Knapp, Paul Lambert, Tyler McVey, Larry Pennell, Mala Powers, Chris Robinson, Johnny Seven, Ray Teal, Bill Travers and Dawn Wells.

The Lion and the Horse

The Lion and the Horse is a 1952 Western film directed by Louis King and written by Crane Wilbur. It stars Steve Cochran, Ray Teal and a horse named Wildfire.

The Man from Bitter Ridge

The Man from Bitter Ridge is a 1955 American Eastmancolor Western film directed by Jack Arnold and starring Lex Barker, Mara Corday and Stephen McNally.

The Turning Point (1952 film)

The Turning Point is a 1952 film noir crime film directed by William Dieterle and starring William Holden, Edmond O'Brien and Alexis Smith. It was inspired by the Kefauver Committee's hearings dealing with organized crime. Actress Carolyn Jones made her motion picture debut in the film.

The Wayward Girl

The Wayward Girl is a 1957 American drama film directed by Lesley Selander, written by Houston Branch and Frederick Louis Fox, and starring Marcia Henderson, Peter Walker, Katherine Barrett, Whit Bissell, Rita Lynn and Peg Hillias. It was released on September 22, 1957, by Republic Pictures.

The Wild North

The Wild North (aka The Big North, Constable Pedley, The Constable Pedley Story, The Wild North Country and North Country) is a 1952 American western film. It was the first Ansco Color film shot. The Wild North was directed by Andrew Marton and stars Stewart Granger, Wendell Corey and Cyd Charisse.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.