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Allan Melvin's Fascinating Career in Acting

Cheryl enjoys taking readers down memory lane by writing about classic television programs, movies, and entertainers.

allan melvin

allan melvin


If you watched television during the 1950s-1980s you should be familiar with Allan Melvin whose face and voice graced televisions screens for decades. His voice is distinctive and easily recognizable and he was a writer as well as an actor. He was best known for his numerous roles on THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW which spanned from season 2 until season 6. His characters ranged from a storekeeper to a crook. Andy Griffith fans each have their own favorite episodes where Melvin had a role. The following are the name and numbers of the 8 episodes where the actor appeared, and the character Melvin portrayed.

50 Jailbreak Clarence ( Doc ) Malloy

57 Andy and Barney in the Big City Detective Bardoli

73 Lawman Barney Neal

90 Barney's First Car Jake

99 Ernest T. Bass Joins the Army recruiting sergeant

118 Andy's Vacation escaped prisoner

135 Barney's Uniform Fred Plummer

222 Howard's Main Event Clyde Plaunt

Melvin and Phul Silvers

Melvin and Phul Silvers

Other roles

Allan Melvin began his career in the 1950s. He was Corporal Henshaw on THE PHIL SILVERS SHOW ( a.k.a. - Sergeant Bilko ) from 1955-1959 and from 1965-1969 he portrayed Sergeant Charlie Hacker on GOMER PYLE U.S.M.C. Melvin had a role on ThE BRADY BUNCH as Sam Franklin the butcher who was dating Alice the maid. The actor was on the popular series from 1969-1974. For a decade, from 1973 - 1983, he was on ALL IN THE FAMILY as Archie Bunker's, friend Barney Hefner. Melvin later reprised the role in ARCHIE BUNKER'S PLACE.

Allan Melvin also lent his voice to popular cartoon characters including MAGILLA GORILLA, BRUTUS in THE ALL NEW POPEYE HOUR, BARNEY GOOGLE, BUMBLER, SERGEANT, SNORKEL, and BRISTOL HAND. He was also the voice of Drooper and Banana Vac in THE BANANA SPLIT'S HOUR He reprised the role of Drooper in The Banana Splits in Hocus-Pocus Park. Melvin came along at a time when many actors were versatile and maintained their income by lending their talents to varied projects. in THE SECRET LIVES OF WALDO KITT, Melvin voiced Tyrone the Bulldog, an evil yet hilarious arch-villain who had multiple aliases. These included the sheriff of Sherwood, The Puzzler, Jester, and Poochquin. He also had a hand in the animated series FLASH GORDON (1979), and SPIDER-MAN AND HIS AMAZING FRIENDS (1981) .

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Melvin's Banana Splits character

Melvin's Banana Splits character

Additional facts

Allan John Melvin Melvin was born in Kansas City, Missouri, to Richard and Marie and Melvin but grew up with his paternal grandparents, Helen (née Campbell) and Frank Melvin. Allan in New York City. He attended Columbia University and later served during World War II in the United States Army. Baby boomers and classic television lovers Allan Melvin was a diverse actor and his characters had a wide range of personalities. He also made appearances on GREEN ACRES, MAYBERRY RFD, MCHALE'S NAVY, THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW, THE JOEY BISHOP SHOW, THE HONEYMOONERS, and LOVE AMERICAN STYLE, THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY along with many other series. Melvin was married to Amalia Faustina Sestero from 1964 until his death in February 2008 from cancer. The couple had 2 children.

Allan melvin on te Andy Grifit Show

Allan melvin on te Andy Grifit Show

The beginning

Allan Melvin got his start in show business while working in the sound effects department of NBC Radio. He was doing a nightclub act and appeared on THE AUTOR GODFREY TALENT SCOUTS SHOW and won. He later was appearing on Broadway in STALAG 17 and this is when he got his break into television. He was given the role of Corporal Steve Henshaw on the popular program TE PHIL SILVERS SHOW. Melvin's daughter Amelia once said that this was her father's favorite role because of the comradery between the cast. Because of his voice, Melvin was often cast as gruff but lovable characters and was often te villian.

Allan left and Forrest Tucker rigt

Allan left and Forrest Tucker rigt

Mistaken identiy

If you believe Allan Melvin may have been in some other television series or movie please check the credits for that particular program or film. Melvin bore a striking resemblance to fellow actor Forrest Whitaker who gained fame in F TROOP. Mistaken identity has also happened to Lee Marvin and Jame Coburn who slightly resemble each other. In both cases, the men's voices even sounded similar so at a glance it's easy to believe that one might be the other. Although he never made it to the big screen te versatile actor made is mark and left a lasting legacy for his fans.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Cheryl E Preston


Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on August 14, 2021:

As a baby boomer, this really took me back in time. I enjoyed almost all of the shows you listed. He was a talented man!

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on August 14, 2021:

I've never heard of this actor, but he sounds like a really good actor.

Cheryl E Preston (author) from Roanoke on August 14, 2021:

Thank you for reading.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on August 14, 2021:

I have certainly spent some hours watching THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW. I didn't know many of the other facts about Allan Melvin. This is an interesting article, Cheryl.

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