|A.K.A.||Frederick Joseph Foote, Frederick Foote, Fred Foote, Norman Frederic, ...|
|Was||Actor Television actor Film actor|
|From||United States of America|
|Type||Film, TV, Stage & Radio|
|Birth||21 January 1924, Los Angeles, United States of America|
|Death||30 June 1999, Los Angeles, United States of America (aged 75 years)|
Dean Fredericks (1924-1999) was an American military person and film and television actor active from early-1950s to mid-1960s. He is most famous his role of "Steve Canyon" in the 1958-1959 television series by the same name.
Fredericks was born on January 21, 1924 in Los Angeles, California as Frederick Joseph Foote.
Fredericks joined the US army in 1942. On October 31, 1942, he enlisted as a private in the 1st Cavalry Division of the United States Army and served during World War II. He received a Purple Heart medal for his service.
Fredericks made his acting debut in 1952, with a minor role of a sheriff in the television series, Fireside Theatre. The same year, he landed the recurring role of "Caiaphas" in the television series, The Living Bible, in which Nelson Leigh was in the role of Jesus Christ.
In 1954 he was seen as an unnamed member of a lynch mob in the western film Jesse James v. the Daltons, which again featured Nelson Leigh, this time as a priest, Father Kerrigan.
Fredericks got his big break in 1955, when he was cast as "Kaseem" in the television series, Jungle Jim, based on a successful comic strip as well as earlier films of the same name. Fredericks appeared in 26 episodes of the series in which Martin Huston played the character of Jungle Jim's son, Skipper Bradford, and Paul Cavanagh of Commissioner Morrison.
1957-58 were busy years for Fredericks and he was seen in a variety of films and television shows such as The Silent Service (TV Series,) The Disembodied (Film,) Escape from San Quentin (Film,) Maverick (TV series) Gun Fever (Film,) and Cheyenne (TV Series.) He appeared in the ABC military series Navy Log in the role of "DeMarco" in the episode "The War of the Whale Boats" and as Chalky in the segment "Lady Luck" of the syndicated adventure series Whirlybirds, starring Kenneth Tobey.
In 1958, Fredericks was cast in the title role of Lt. Col. Stevenson B. Canyon in the hit television series, Steve Canyon. Fredericks role was that of a military leader stationed at the fictitious Big Thunder Air Force Base. Reflecting the events of the time, the show's episodes bore such titles as "The Korean Story", "Project UFO", "Sabotage", "Iron Curtain", "Strike Force", "Operation Crash Landing", "The Bomb", and "Operation Thunderbirds."
Appearing with Fredericks were Jerry Paris as Major Willie Williston, William Schallert as Major Karl Richmond, James Drury twice as Lieutenant Richard Muller, Nelson Leigh twice as General Black, and Karl Swenson twice as Colonel Vanderhoek. In "Operation Zero Launch," Marion Ross appeared as Rita Bradshaw. Voice actor Paul Frees narrated sixteen of the episodes, and Don Taylor directed ten segments. The series had a wide array of impressive guest stars.
The series was sponsored by Chesterfield cigarettes. The first twenty-four episodes have been released on DVD in two volumes since 2008 through the Milton Caniff estate. The remaining ten episodes will be released in a third and final DVD volume but has been released as of late July 2015 .
Entertainment writer Bruce Eder found that Fredericks "looked exactly like" the Steve Canyon character as drawn by the cartoonist Milton Caniff. Eder added, "That was how Dean Fredericks became a star known to millions of baby boomers."
Steve Canyon toys and related products prolonged the popularity of the program in pop culture long after its initial television run. The Steve Canyon series first aired at 9 p.m. Saturdays between The Perry Como Show and Cimarron City and opposite CBS's The Gale Storm Show and ABC's The Lawrence Welk Show. After a few months, it was moved to Thursday and then Tuesday evenings and did not receive the benefit of a stable time slot. The program was repeated April to September in 1960 on ABC.
In 1959-1960, Fredericks guest starred in the syndicated Border Patrol (as Inspector Al Moore in "Night Target"), The Deputy, (as Pete Clemson in "Silent Gun"), Laramie (as Chad Morgan in "Street of Hate"), and in the comedy, The Ann Sothern Show (as Johnson in "Common Cents"). Other 1960 roles included Shotgun Slade (as Vance in "Killer's Brand'), Sugarfoot (as Spotted Wolf in "Shadow Catcher"), Lawman (as Great Bear in "Chantay"), Bronco (as Great Wolf in "Seminole War Pipe"), and Surfside 6 (in "Girl in the Galleon").
In 1962-1963, he appeared twice on Chuck Connors's western TV series, The Rifleman, as Phil Carver in episode "Squeeze Play" and as Rance in episode "Requiem at Mission Springs". In 1963, he appeared in the role of Jan Wolski in the episode entitled "The Final Hour" of the western TV series, The Virginian, starring James Drury and Doug McClure. In 1963, he played a Comanche chief in the film Savage Sam.
Fredericks was last seen in the TV Series, The Magical World of Disney, in the early 1960s. He played the role of "Crow Feather" in the 1960 episode, Daniel Boone: The Warrior's Path, and in two 1961 episodes: Daniel Boone: The Promised Land and Daniel Boone: The Wilderness Road. In 1965, in his last major television appearance, he was seen as "Zip Wyatt" in the episode The Adventures of Gallegher: Part 3. The show had Roger Mobley in the title role, with co-stars Edmond O'Brien, Harvey Korman, and Ray Teal.
After a failed first marriage (1948-1952,) Fredericks married Myda Fredericks on November 19, 1956 in Los Angeles. The marriage was officiated by Judge Julian Beck, Los Angeles Superior Court judge who was Fredericks's family-friend. Fredericks and Myda remained married until his death in 1999.
Fredericks died of cancer on June 30, 1999 in Los Angeles, California. He was 75 at the time.