Dragnet (1951–1959)
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The Big Actor 

A trail of stolen narcotics lead Friday and Romero to a TV actor who is addicted to heroin.



(creator), (original radio play)


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Episode cast overview:
Sgt. Joe Friday
Barton Yarborough ...
Sgt. Ben Romero (as Bart Yarborough)
Leonard Castle (as Whit Connor)
Babe Kellogg
Kenneth Patterson ...
Capt. Kearney (as Ken Patterson)
Sarah Selby ...
Sister Benedict
Vic Perrin ...
Henry Hatfield
Sgt. Harlan Stall
Will Yaeger ...
Lieut. Louis Walters


A trail of stolen narcotics lead Friday and Romero to a TV actor who is addicted to heroin.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery




Release Date:

3 January 1952 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


'Barton Yarbourough' died five days after filming this episode of a heart attack. See more »

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User Reviews

The last episode for Sergeant Romero.
16 December 2013 | by See all my reviews

Unlike the 1960s version of "Dragnet" where Sergeant Friday had one partner, Detective Gannon, the 1950s show featured several partners for Friday. While Ben Alexander played this partner most often, several other partners were used interchangeably--including Barton Yarborough as Sergeant Romero. This is the final Yarborough appearance, as he died of a heart attack just days after shooting this episode. He was only 51. For this reason, it's well worth seeing if you are a fan.

This show begins with an assault and robbery at the local hospital. It seems someone was in the act of stealing the hospital's narcotics and when a doctor happened into the room, he got smashed over the head for his troubles. Sergeants Friday and Romero investigate but at first find no clues. The doctor didn't see who hit him, there were no fingerprints and, so far, none of the drugs have shown up on the market. However, when a junkie is caught with some of it, the detectives put pressure on the guy to reveal his source---and the source appears to be an actor!

While the mystery in this episode was not particularly interesting in most ways, it was well worth seeing because it was like watching the filming of "Dragnet" in many ways. The Sergeants go to the studio to interview the suspect--and the show the suspect is working on looks a lot like "Dragnet"!! This is pretty funny and makes this one worth your time.

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