Robert William "Dabbs" Greer (April 2, 1917 — April 28, 2007) was an American character actor who performed many diverse supporting roles in film and television for about 50 years.
Greer was born in Fairview, Missouri and attended Drury University, where he was a member of Theta Kappa Nu. His Southern voice fitted well in shows featuring rustic characters, such as Westerns.
Dabbs Greer in 1999He was recognizable to fans of The Adventures of Superman, as he appeared in three separate episodes on that show, including the series’ inaugural entry, Superman on Earth (1952). He was the major guest star, as a man framed for capital murder in Five Minutes to Doom (1954 – see photo on right), and as an eccentric millionaire in The Superman Silver Mine (1958).
Greer had a prominent continuing role in the NBC TV series Little House on the Prairie as Reverend Alden from 1974 to 1983. Often cast as a minister, he performed the marriages of Rob and Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show and of Mike and Carol Brady on The Brady Bunch, and he tended to the spiritual needs of the townfolk in fictional Rome, Wisconsin, as Reverend Henry Novotny in Picket Fences.
In the 1958 film I Want to Live! he played the San Quentin captain who finished strapping down Barbara Graham in the gas chamber prior to her execution and was the last person to speak to her. He had a similar role in the 1999 film The Green Mile, in which he played the elderly version of Tom Hanks’ Death Row officer Paul Edgecomb.
In the May 9, 1991, episode of L.A. Law called "On the Toad Again", he played a character who was addicted to a "high" produced by licking the skin secretions of psychoactive toads.
Greer, a Missouri native, died April 28, 2007 at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena California after a battle with kidney and heart disease. He was 90 years old
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