Lyn Osborn's movie and television work consisted of only 20-program titles. However, one of those titles lasted from 1950 through 1955 and crossed into radio. This is a short look at the short career, short life of an actor my generation knew fondly as "Cadet Happy" of televisions "Space Patrol".
Clois Lyn Osborn was born on January 21, 1926, in Wichita Falls, Texas. However, in 1929, his family moved to Michigan, first to Muskegon, and next to Lincoln Park. In 1936, his mother enrolled 10-years-old Lyn, known as "Buddy" to the family, and his younger sister Beth, in a local theater group.
During High School, the talented young man played the clarinet, the flute, and the piccolo in the "Lincoln Park High School" band. Upon graduation in 1943, the 17-years-old, Clois Lyn Osborn, joined the United States Navy. He trained on and flew in Grumman TBF Avengers as both an aerial gunner and radio operator.
However, the war ended before Lyn was to have been sent into combat. For what Lyn did immediately after his Naval discharge, I switched to his sister Beth Osborn Flood, quoted on the web page, "Space Academy, Hall of Fame":
After discharge, He went to work as a busboy in the Pump Room in the Ambassador East Hotel in Chicago, then as a candy butcher, selling candy in Rialto burlesque theater. Next, he hitchhiked to California, and went to work as bellhop, busboy, waiter etc., at Mount Wilson Hotel, up by the observatory. Then he came down the hill, and drove a cab in Pasadena. He finally enrolled in the Pasadena Playhouse for a 3-year course, on the GI Bill ----
15-days prior to graduating, Lyn was informed that he had been chosen for the role of "Cadet Happy", on a new television show.
On Thursday, March 9, 1950, on the "American Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)", the first live 15-minute-episode of "Space Patrol" premiered. The series would move to Saturday mornings and become the first live television program broadcast from the West Coast. The series used the same soundstage that Lon Chaney's, 1925, the "Phantom of the Opera", had been shot on.
Initially, Glen Denning was cast as "Kit Corry", but he couldn't remember his lines and left the program after 25-episodes. The main character was changed to "Kit's" young brother "Edward 'Buzz' Corry" and the audience now heard this opening:
ABC presents high adventure in the vast reaches of space
Missions of daring in the name of Interplanetary Justice
Travel into the future with Buzz Corey
Commander and Chief of the Space Patrol
The Main Cast:
The number of each actors episodes may be incorrect, as there is only one source, IMDb, and information from other film sources gives the impression that the figures may be too small.
Ed Kemmer portrayed "Buzz Corry" in 182-episodes. "Commander-in-Chief Corry" is described as the senior member of the "Space Patrol". Whose main assignment is the clearing of the space lanes and maintaining peace in the galaxy.
Kemmer was also a graduate of the "Pasadena Playhouse", but during the Second World War, fighter pilot Ed Kemmer was shot down over France and spent 11-months in a POW camp. In 1958, he would starred in both "The Giant from the Unknown", and Bert I. Gordon's, "The Earth vs the Spider". Walt Disney hired him as the performance model for "Prince Philip" for his animated "Sleeping Beauty".
Lyn Osborn portrayed "Cadet Happy Osborn" in 176-episodes. "Happy" is described as a recent cadet graduate of the "Space Patrol Academy" assigned as an aide to "Commander-in-Chief Buzz Corry".
During the start of "Space Patrol", Lyn appeared in the uncredited role of a soldier named "Moore", in the 1951 comedy drama, "Up Front". Which was based upon the morale building Second World War, "Joe" and "Willie" comic, by cartoonist and writer Bill Mauldin.
Virginia Hewitt portrayed "Carol Carlisle" in 19-episodes, a figure created by IMDb, but she portrayed the role for the entire run of the series and the figure is too small for her appearances as other sources seem to indicate, see my third paragraph.
"Carol Carlisle" is the daughter of the "Secretary General of the United Planets". "Carol" works both in an administrative position to the "Space Patrol" and in a scientific capacity.
Sorry fans of "Star Trek", but "Space Patrol's" ladies were no 1950's homebodies. According to Cary O'Dell in his 2013, "June Cleaver was a Feminist!: Reconsidering the Female Characters of Early Television":
Although Hewitt was famous for providing "blonde cheesecake appeal" to her Saturday morning fans, her character was also a scientist who could assemble an atomic bomb and navigate the universe. She was also the inventor of the "Agra Ray", a device that sped up plant life on barren planets. In the absence of male crew members, who were often engaged in various pursuits away from the spaceship, Carol could ably fill in as the spaceship's pilot. Hewitt's character was regarded as a role model for young girls in the 1950s
Virginia Hewitt first appeared on-screen in 1948, and had 11th-billing in the cold-war, science fiction, 1950's, "The Flying Saucer".
Ken Mayer portrayed "Major Robbie Robinson" in 118-episodes . He is described as a close friend of "Buzz Corry", but his main task is as the "Security Chief of the Space Patrol".
Mayer served in the Air Corps intelligence division of the United States Army during the Second World War. Keeping one thing intact, Ken Mayer was also a graduate of the "Pasadena Playhouse". After "Space Patrol", Ken Mayer became a familiar face on many a western television show of the 1950's and into the 1960's. Although, he did portray the "Boatswain" in producer Edward Small's rip-off of Ray Harryhausen's, 1958, "The 7th Voyage of Sinbad", 1962's, "Jack the Giant Killer".
Nina Bara portrayed "Tonga" in 145-episodes. When the audience first met "Tonga" she was a major villain, but as the show progressed and the fan mail grew. The character of "Tonga" was converted from the "Dark Side", actual reference in several "Space Patrol" episodes to her conversion and prior character. "Tonga" would became the "Chief Assistant to Major Robinson".
Nina Bara was born in Argentina as Francis Joan Baur and worked hard to remove her accent to broaden her potential film roles. Her first motion picture was as an extra in 1944's, "The Mummy's Curse". In 1958, she portrayed "Alpha", in 1958's, "Missile to the Moon", a remake of the 1953, 3-D, "Cat Women of the Moon".
Below the main cast in their purple uniforms needed to get the correct black, grey, and white contrast colors for the black and white live broadcasts.
For a long period of time, during the run of "Space Patrol", Lyn Osborn and Virginia Hewitt were a romantic couple. In 1954, the two broke-up and she married Ernest Meer, an Austrian designer.
The live 15-minute episodes were so successful, that on December 30, 1950, a Saturday morning 30-minute live broadcast was added and kinescoped for broadcast across the United States. While, the shorter shows stayed locally in Los Angeles and some other stations. When the series finally ended its initial live run-on February 26, 1950, there had been 900-15-minute shows, and 210-30-minute shows. Not to forget the 129-live-radio programs.
Below, Lynn Osborn with his mainly teenage girl fans.
Lyn had guest starred as "Cadet Happy" on "The Betty White Show" on television, December 21, 1954.
For a more detailed look at "Space Patrol", it is just one of several 1950's science fiction television programs in my article, "Boldly Going Before Kirk and Spock: 1950's TV Science Fiction", at:
"Space Patrol" had finally ended and Lyn found himself on the dramatic television anthology series, "Playhouse 90", Season One, Episode Two. The episode was entitled "Requiem for a Heavyweight", written by an unknown Rod Serling, shown on October 11, 1956. Lyn Osborn had 13th-billing as a "Photographer". The stars were Jack Palance portraying "Harlan 'Mountain' McClintock", Keenan Wynn portraying "Maish Rennick" and Kim Hunter portraying "Grace Carney". The television program was directed by Ralph Nelson, whose major work by that time was 132-episodes of the 333-episodes of the forgotten television show, "Mama", starring Peggy Wood and Dick Van Patten.
Next for Lyn, was still Playhouse 90", Season One, Episode Six, "The Big Slide", a comedy drama shown on November 8, 1956. The actor had 10th-billing, perhaps, as the role is considered "undetermined". Once more, Ralph Nelson, directed and the three stars were Red Skelton portraying "Buddy McCoy", Shirley Jones portraying "May Marley", and Murray Hamilton, portraying "Chick Tolliver".
Released on January 30, 1957, movie audiences watched Susan Hayward and Kirk Douglas having a "Top Secret Affair". Lyn Osborn portrayed the uncredited role of "Stumpy" in that movie, but it was his next film that added another bit of cult science fiction status to Lyn.
INVASION OF THE SAUCER-MEN released on June 19, 1957
Although I like the British title better.
The picture had an "Cert X Adults Only" British censor rating. I was glad I lived in the United States and not the United Kingdom and was able to see "Invasion of the Saucer Men" at ten-years-old.
The "Saucer-Men" in either title were created by "American International Pictures" excellent monster maker Paul Blaisdell, who, because the studio was nothing more than an office on Gower Street, in Hollywood, worked out of his garage. My article, "Paul Blaisdell: 'American International Pictures' Creator of 1950's Alien's and Other Creatures", will be found at:
Above, Paul and his wife Jackie.
The motion picture was directed by Edward L. Cahn. Who was one of the main directors of producer Hal Roach's, "Our Gang" comedies between 1939 through 1943. His science fiction/horror films include 1955's, "Creature with the Atom Brain", 1956's, "The She-Creature", and also in 1957, "Voodoo Woman" and "Zombies of Mora Tau". In 1958, Edward L. Cahn directed what is considered one of the basis for 1979's, "Alien", "It! The Terror from Beyond Space".
The screenplay was based upon the short story, "The Cosmic Frame", by Paul W. Fairman. Fairman also wrote "Deadly City", which became 1954's,"Target Earth".
The Main Cast:
Steven Terrell, billed as Steve Terrell, portrayed "Johnny Carter", he was 28-years-old. From 1952 through 1955, Terrell appeared in a variety of television shows in small to large roles. His first feature film was the 1956 western, "The Naked Hills", with 13th-billing as "Billy as a Young Man". Next, he moved up to 11th-billing in the Deborah Kerr and John Kerr, no relation, 1956, "Tea and Sympathy". Two more forgotten films and another television appearance and Steve Terrell was fighting alien invaders on lovers lane.
Gloria Castillo portrayed "Joan Hayden", she was 24-years-old. As Gloria Castilo, she had 10th-billing in the Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, and Lillian Gish, 1955, "The Night of the Hunter", that same year she had 7th-billing in the western, "The Vanishing American", and with Steven Terrell, appeared in the Marla English, and Lance Fuller, 1956, "Runaway Daughters".
Above, Jan Englund, no relation to Robert, as the "Diner Waitress", has to put up with the two drifters, "Artie Burns" and "Joe Gruen". They eventually leave, split-up, "Artie" going back to their motel, and "Joe" taking the car and while driving around, half drunk, observes a flying saucer land and goes toward the landing spot.
"Joe" confirms the flying saucer and goes to tell "Artie", waking him up, but "Artie" knowing his friend, thinks "Joe" just had one to many.
"Johnny" and "Joan" risk going to Farmer "Larkin's" house to call the police and report that they hit the space alien. The police consider it another teenage prank.
Meanwhile, "Joe" is driving back to the motel from the flying saucer, and spots the alien body under "Johnny's" car's front tires. At the farmhouse, "Larkin" returns and holding a shotgun, orders "Johnny" and "Joan" out of his home. Shortly after they leave, "Larkin" again leaves, not locking his house and in walks "Joe" .
"Joan" comes up with the idea of getting their fellow teens at Lover's Point. The two drive to the point, explain the situation, which of course, fellow teenagers buy into and head for the aliens.
They find the entire group of invaders around "Artie Burns" and surround them with their cars. At "Johnny's" signal, the headlights come on, the invaders are evaporated and the world is saved.
I did better with the docudramas about actual events in the Second World War and Korean War. The program was "The Silent Service", and the specific show was Season One, Episode 25, "The Perch's New Role", on September 20, 1957. Which was about the United States Navy's submarine, "Perch", and its mission to deliver British commandos on a secret raid in North Korea. Lyn Osborn, billed as Lyn Osborne, had 10th-billing portraying "Joe Cox". Also in the cast was Richard Crane, portraying "Executive Officer Conrad J. Flesser". For my readers familiar with the actor, my article is, "Richard Crane: 'Rocky Jones, Space Ranger', and 'The Alligator People", found at:
THE AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN premiered in Las Vegas, Nevada, on October 4, 1957
The screenplay was credited as by Gordon, and Mark Hanna, Roger Corman's 1957, "Not of This Earth" and "The Undead".
The screenplay by whomever was the actual writer, was based upon the 1928 short story by Homer Eon Flint, "The Nth Man".
The Three Leads:
Glenn Langan, billed on the posters with the correct spelling and on the opening credits of the movie as Glen Langan, portrayed "Lieutenant Colonel Glenn Manning" aka: "The Amazing Colossal Man". Langan started on-screen in 1939, he was in the Humphrey Bogart horror movie, 1939's, "The Return of Doctor X", he was 4th-billed in the Laird Cregar, Linda Darnell, and George Sanders, 1945 thriller, "Hangover Square", he had the same 4th-billing in the Gene Tierney, Walter Huston, and Vincent Price, 1946, "Dragonwyck", and was in both 1947's, "Forever Amber" starring Linda Darnell, and 1948's, "The Snake Pit" starring Olivia de Havilland.
William Hudson portrayed "Dr. Paul Linstrom". He started appearing on-screen in 1943, and his first 13-roles into 1950, were all uncredited. In 1952 Hudson became a television actor, in 1954, he was "Ranger Clark", in 14-epsiodes of "Rocky Jones, Space Ranger". In 1956, William Hudson was also in "The She-Creature", and just before this film, he was in 1957's "The Man Who Turned to Stone".
Above, Cathy Downs and William Hudson
"Paradise Alley", the last motion picture and a commentary on Hollywood from the silents to the present was by producer, director, writer and actor Hugo Haas. His movie had its "Hollywood" premiered on March 4, 1958. After which it disappeared until a general release either in May, or June, 1962. Lyn Osborn is listed as portraying the "Neighborhood Man".
"Annie's Radio Romance" was Episode Thirty-one, of Season Six, on televisions "The Life of Riley", first shown on April 25, 1958. Lyn Osborn portrayed another "Page", on the William Bendix and Marjorie Reynolds weekly program.
TORPEDO RUN premiered in New York City, on October 24, 1958
Ernest Borgnine portrayed "Lieutenant Archer 'Archie' Sloan".
Diane Brewster portrayed "Jane Doyle". Brewster was mainly a television actress; however, she had portrayed Richard Eyer's mother in 1957's, "The Invisible Boy", starring "Robbie the Robot".
Dean Jones portrayed "Lieutenant Jake 'Fuzz' Foley".
Actress/comedian Ann Sothern started out as a "Chorus Girl" in 1927's, "Broadway Nights". In 1939, co-starring with Robert Young, she first created the role of "Maisie", in what would become a ten-picture series into 1947. From 1953 through 1957, she portrayed "Susie McNamara", on televisions "Private Secretary". Next, from 1958 through 1961, she starred on "The Ann Sothern Show". At the start of Season One, with Episode Six, entitled "A New Lease on Life", November 10, 1958, found Lyn Osborn portraying "Jimmy".
Next was "Last Chance", on the syndicated television show, "Men of Annapolis", broadcast in 1958, no month and day given, but indicated as Season One, Episode Thirty-eight. The show appears to have no regular cast members and started sometime in 1957. In this episode, Lyn Osborn portrayed "Red".
Above, it appears to be Lyn Osborn on the far left and below, on the far right.
Even Jean-Noel Bassior's biography of Lyn Osborn in his May 7, 2015 work, "Space Patrol: Missions of Daring in the Name of Early Television", can not answer the question:
Who is 21-years-old Connie Lee Wells, buried with Lyn Osborn at Forest Lawn?
We know Lyn Osborn never married and his sister's married last name was Flood. Connie would have only been two-and-a-half-years-old when Lynn passed away.
I have searched all available sources and her name could not be located my me.