Family & Companions
A character actor whose six-decade career encompassed more than 60 motion pictures, 1,600 television shows and 15,000 radio programs, Parley Baer was never a household name but his voice and face were familiar to generations of listeners and viewers. Originally a circus ringmaster, Baer began his career in radio in 1933, and became a fixture of the medium, appearing on shows such as "The Count of Monte Cristo," "Lux Radio Theater," "Screen Directors' Playhouse," "Cisco Kid," "Red Ryder," "My Friend Irma," "My Favorite Husband" and, in his most well-known role, "Gunsmoke," where he originated the role of Chester Proudfoot.
With the advent of television in the early 1950s , he became known for playing bald, burly men of authority in guest spots and recurring roles on countless series, including "Dragnet," "Lassie," "Father Knows Best," "I Love Lucy," "You Are There" and "Perry Mason." He was perhaps best known for his role as Mayor Stoner of Mayberry on "The Andy Griffith Show" and as Ozzie Nelson's neighbor Darby in "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet." But a generation of cookie consumers would recognize his homespun tones as the voice of Ernie the Keebler cookie elf in a long-running series of television commercials. Baer worked steadily in motion pictures and television to the end of his career, appeaing alongside Kevin Kline in"Dave" (1993), against Tom Berenger in "Last of the Dogmen" (1995) and the TV series "Beverly Hills 90210" and "Star Trek: Voyager." In 1993 he also began a long stint on the daytime soap opera "The Young and the Restless" playing senior citizen Miles Dugan. Baer's career was felled in 1997 when he suffered a debilitating stroke that affected his speech.
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
First radio appearance
Moved to Los Angeles after WWII service
Founding actor in Peggy Webber's anthology show for KFI-TV
Film debut in "Comanche Territory"
Originated the role of deputy Chester Proudfoot on the radio version of "Gunsmoke" (1952-1961)
Began appearing as Darby on "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (1955-1961)
Appeared in the film "The Young Lions"
Played Mayor Stoner on "The Andy Griffith Show"
Cast in big screen version of "Gypsy"
Had regular role as Mr. Hamble on Red Buttons' series "The Double Life of Henry Phyfe"
Began voiving Ernie the Keebler Elf in television commericials
Played in the Dan Aykroyd comedy "Dr. Detroit"
Cast as senior citizen Miles Dugan on the daytime serial "The Young and the Restless"
Appeared as the Senate Majority Leader in the presidential comedy "Dave"