Allan Melvin

You'd be hard-pressed to find as ubiquitous a television presence as the late Allan Melvin. He not only constantly landed small but vital roles on sitcoms from the 1950s through the 1980s, but was a much-in-demand voice-over artist, providing personalities for numerous cartoon characters including Magilla Gorilla. Melvin was raised in New York City, graduated from Columbia, and served a stint in the United States Navy. It was while appearing in "Stalag 17" on Broadway that he landed the role of Corporal Steve Henshaw on "The Phil Silvers Show." During the 1960s, Melvin's work load was such that he was balancing semi-recurring roles on shows like " The Dick Van Dyke Show" and "Gomer Pyle, United StatesM.C." with work voicing characters Magilla Gorilla, H.R. Pufnstuf, and Drooper from "The Banana Splits Adventure Hour" among others. Melvin's television jobs were so consistent that the sole motion picture appearance he had in his five-plus decade career was a minor role as a desk sergeant in the 1968 Doris Day family comedy "With Six You Get Eggroll." His most recognizable roles were that of Sam Franklin, the butcher beau of housekeeper Alice Nelson on "The Brady Bunch" and Archie Bunker's best buddy, Barney Hefner. This "All In the Family" role carried over to the 1979 spinoff, "Archie Bunker's Place." Allan Melvin did solely cartoon voice-over work after the series ended in 1983.