about Fred Rutherford? Wasn't Richard Deacon awesome in these roles?
plays the pompous know-it-all better than Deacon. Nobody!
Now in my 40's, I have fallen in love again with the
television shows of my youth. I adore these shows just as I did 40
years ago, only for different reasons. I see the subtleties now. I
understand the sarcasm I missed as a child. Interestingly, I find
myself liking different characters than I did before. One of my
favorites today is Richard Deacon. I did not appreciate him
earlier. I thought he was dull. Now, I can see how he brought so
much to the script. His characters uniquely flavored his shows, even though he played largely supporting roles.
to the left is Deacon as Mel Cooley on the Dick Van Dyke Show. What
a hilarious name! Melvin Cooley. Deacon was astounding in the
1950's and 1960's in his many television appearances. He also played the role of
Fred Rutherford on Leave It To Beaver. This is my favorite of all
his characters. Wasn't Fred a dork? Wasn't Deacon brilliant as
the model "worst parent" in America?
In these performances, Deacon
was solid and consistent. I am thoroughly entertained and I yearn
for more. I wish he had more minutes, more of the script.
not just Deacon, but the shows themselves are better than I
remember. These classic shows far out perform shows today. There
is no comparison.
I decided that Richard Deacon needed a tribute.
He needed to be recognized. He needed his own web site. Too bad
this web site comes over twenty years after his passing. But then
again, Mel wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed!
Unfortunately, there is not much information on Richard Deacon, his
life, his career, or really even photos. He is largely forgotten. I gathered whatever I found and it is included here at
MelCooley.com. Please email me if you knew Richard and have stories
to share. I'll include your comments.
join me in a round of applause for Richard Deacon. Somewhere,
somehow, I know he is smirking at us.