Tol Avery (August 28, 1915 – August 27, 1973) was an American film and television character actor with more than a hundred screen appearances between 1950 and 1974.
Early in his career, Avery appeared as "Dennison" in an episode of the 1953–1954 ABC situation comedy, The Pride of the Family. Fay Wray played Catherine Morrison, and Paul Hartman portrayed her husband, Albie Morrison. Natalie Wood and Robert Hyatt played their children, Ann and Junior Morrison, respectively. Larry J. Blake filled the role of Frank.
Noted for his girth and cultured voice, Avery usually played sophisticated and articulate villains, including the featured nemesis in seven episodes of the ABC/Warner Brothers western television series, Maverick, starring James Garner, Jack Kelly and Roger Moore, between 1957 and 1962 (the episodes were "According to Hoyle" with Garner, "Rope of Cards" with Garner, "Yellow River" with Kelly, "Maverick Springs" with Garner and Kelly, "Last Wire from Stop Gap" with Kelly and Moore, "Maverick at Law" with Kelly, and "Poker Face" with Kelly) In 1958, he appeared in the episode "Devil to Pay" of the ABC/WB series, Sugarfoot, starring Will Hutchins in the title role. Avery played Jim Case, the owner of a trading post in Arapaho country.
Avery was cast twice during this time in another ABC/WB western series, Colt .45, starring Wayde Preston. Avery played the role of Archer Belgrade in "Circle of Fear" (1958) and Barnes in "Queen of Dixie" (1959). In the latter episode, he was cast with Andy Clyde in the role of Captain Gibbs. In 1960, he was cast as Theodore and John Nichols, respectively, in the episodes "Key to the City" and "False Identity" of the ABC/WB crime drama, Bourbon Street Beat, starring Andrew Duggan, Richard Long and Van Williams. He also guest starred on the CBS sitcom, Pete and Gladys with Harry Morgan and Cara Williams.
As one of several appearances in different roles on CBS's The Andy Griffith Show, Avery in 1964 played Ben Weaver in the episode "The Shoplifters." That same year, he was cast as "Speaker Bert Metcalf" on the CBS drama series Slattery's People, starring Richard Crenna. He appeared five times during the 1960s on the long running NBC western series The Virginian.
In 1966, Avery appeared three times on the syndicated western anthology series, Death Valley Days, as Frank Brenner in "The Resurrection of Deadwood Dick" and as Walter Benson in "Doc Holliday's Gold Bars" (both 1966), and as a judge, Sidney Edgerton, who later becomes the first governor of Montana Territory, in the segment "Lucia Darling and the Ostrich" (1969).
He also appeared three times each on ABC's Batman (episodes 25, 26 and 87) and CBS's Mannix. One of his last appearances was as Justice Redding in the 1973 TV-movie The Marcus-Nelson Murders, which served as the pilot for the CBS detective series, Kojak, starring Telly Savalas.
- Bunco Squad (1950) – Capt. Edwards (uncredited)
- Where Danger Lives (1950) – Honest Ha (uncredited)
- Gambling House (1950) – Adams (uncredited)
- No Questions Asked (1951) – Detective Mike (uncredited)
- His Kind of Woman (1951) – Fat Hoodlum (uncredited)
- Scarlet Angel (1952) – Phineas Calhoun
- She Couldn't Say No (1954) – Big Guy (uncredited)
- Naked Alibi (1954) – Irish
- It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955) – Navy Intern (uncredited)
- All That Heaven Allows (1955) – Tom Allenby
- Headline Hunters (1955) – Robert, Evening Examiner Man (uncredited)
- I'll Cry Tomorrow (1955) – Fat Man
- Back from Eternity (1956) – Thomas J. Malone (uncredited)
- The Power and the Prize (1956) – Dan Slocum (uncredited)
- The Unholy Wife (1957) – Dist. Atty. Carl Kramer
- Pal Joey (1957) – Detective (uncredited)
- The Case Against Brooklyn (1958) – Dist. Atty. Michael W. Norris
- Buchanan Rides Alone (1958) – Judge Simon Agry
- North by Northwest (1959) – State Police Detective (uncredited)
- This Rebel Breed (1960) – Dr. Drake (uncredited)
- Man-Trap (1961) – Lt. Heisen
- The George Raft Story (1961) – Wilson Mizner, the Wit (uncredited)
- Twist Around the Clock (1961) – Joe Marshall
- A Ticklish Affair (1963) – Charlie (uncredited)
- A Tiger Walks (1964) – Joe, Political Adviser (uncredited)
- The Satan Bug (1965) – Police Captain at Dodger Stadium (uncredited)
- Follow Me, Boys! (1966) – Dr. Ferris (uncredited)
- Hotel (1967) – Kilbrick
- Where It's At (1969) – Businessman (uncredited)
- A Dream of Kings (1969) – Herman
- WUSA (1970) – Senator
- R. P. M. (1970) – 2nd Parent at Police Station (uncredited)
- Maurie (1973) – Milton
- Willie Dynamite (1974) – Business International Association Television Speaker (uncredited) (final film role)