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Don Marshall Poster

Biography

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Overview (3)

Date of Birth 2 May 1936San Diego, California, USA
Date of Death 30 October 2016Los Angeles, California, USA
Birth NameDonald James Marshall

Mini Bio (1)

Don Marshall's heyday was on the small screen in the 60's and 70's. The athletic and clean cut actor is best remembered as first officer and co-pilot Dan Erickson in Irwin Allen's ground-breaking science-fiction series Land of the Giants (1968). Having excelled at football, pole vaulting and other sports at college, he happily undertook most of his own stunt work. Along with Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek (1966)) and Greg Morris (Mission: Impossible (1966)), Don was one of the precious few African-American actors of that period to be regularly featured as a prime time lead on screen. 'Land of the Giants' ran for a mere two seasons (51 episodes in all) and went off the air simply because the props became too expensive to produce. Over the years it acquired a steady cult following among science-fiction aficionados.

Don had started out as an engineering student in the mid-50's and took up acting on the advice of a friend. He studied drama at the workshop of Hollywood acting coach Robert Gist and pursued theatre arts at Los Angeles City College. Following brief stage experience, he then segued into television. His acting career still nascent, he landed a small role (as a marine engaged to Nichelle Nichols) in an episode of The Lieutenant (1963), a short-lived venture produced by Gene Roddenberry. A few years later, he was again recruited by Roddenberry to play the part of astrophysicist Boma for the Star Trek episode "The Galileo Seven" (reuniting him with Bob Gist who served as director). Don was given the chance to show his acting credentials in several powerful scenes interacting with Leonard Nimoy.

In subsequent years, he busied himself with roles on many diverse kinds of TV shows ranging from Daktari (1966) and Ironside (1967) to Julia (1968). On the big screen, he acted in the violent 'blaxploitation' prison drama Terminal Island (1973) and was one of the leads in the schlock sci-fi outing The Thing with Two Heads (1972). By the mid-70's, plum roles became relatively scarce and Don focused on running his own production company (DJM Productions) which specialised in turning out commercials and documentary subjects. Latterly, Don became a regular attendee of sci-fi conventions who always spoke appreciatively of the genre and of Roddenberry in particular.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: I.S.Mowis

Spouse (1)

Diane (? - ?) (divorced)

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