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Episode credited cast:
Charles Steinmetz


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Release Date:

27 July 1959 (USA)  »

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A Bit of Research and Digging Required Here
11 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Years ago I received a book as a gift called "HOW SWEET IT WAS". Written and published about 1973, it dealt with television in all areas of popular shows (comedies, dramas, specials, game shows, westerns, sports, etc.) It had plenty of still photos in it, showing actors, actresses, game show hosts, talk-show hosts (and their guests), or whatever to illustrate the history of television in the U.S from the late 1940s to the early 1970s.

One of the still photos I recall was of the actor Rod Steiger as the noted immigrant inventor and scientist Charles "Liberty Hall" Steinmetz, who helped build up General Electric in the early years of the 20th Century. Steinmetz was a little man - a hunchback, who was short and bearded, with spectacles. I have seen photos of Steinmetz with prominent figures (one shows him with his friend Albert Einstein, as well as some comic photos - one showing him in a canoe writing). When I saw the photo of Steiger, I thought he was too big, even as he purposely walked stooped over.

I bring all this up as it is the closest that I have ever seen anything concerning the television drama called "The Lonely Wizard". I am curious about how it got to be an episode of ON TRIAL, in the last few weeks of that show's existence. As far as I can recall Steinmetz never had any legal problems. But then, something even odder came up.

Looking up Rod Steiger's career on his thread on this website, I found that he played Steinmetz in a drama entitled "The Lonely Wizard" in an episode of the Schlitz Playhouse of Stars in 1957. Steiger was the best known of the performers in the cast (Richard Anderson is listed as well), but it was based on a story by Frank La Tourette, and adapted by Paul Monash. The Director was Don Weis.

Now, the episode on ON TRIAL is also called "The Lonely Wizard". I take it that the episode is the same one as on SCHLITZ PLAYHOUSE. Is it possible for such episode sharing to happen with any frequency? The episode appeared on THE LONELY WIZARD in July 1959. That's rather close to the original production date. No other details about the 1959 production are listed on this thread, so I have to assume it is the same show, transferred from one television show to another. If anyone can verify this, and explain if this was common at all, I would appreciate knowing that.

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