Morgan Starr alias Marshall Teague, Frank Sturgis & Bleeck


John Dehner with Doug McClure and William Windom in "Halfway Back From Hell" (8:03)


When John Dehner departed his role as Morgan Starr in The Virginian after the misguided season four you would think his days on The Virginian were behind him. However, in a case of selective amnesia by the producer, in October 1969 he made a brief return in “Halfway Back from Hell” (8:03) as a different character, Marshall Eliaza Teague.

Dehner has already made two guest star appearances on The Virginian as different characters in 1963 in “Echo of Another Day” (1:26) and “To Make This Place Remember” (2:02) before his brief stint as Morgan Starr. The same applied to Charles Bickford who appeared in “The Devil’s Children” (1:11) as Tucker McCallum.

Much like a theatre company familiar actors such as Leslie Nielsen, William Windom and Tom Tryon among others appeared in different roles throughout the nine seasons. However when an actor had been a recurring character such as Morgan Starr, Dehner’s return in a different role seemed unnecessary for the continuity of the series.

Author: PGreen

Published work in U.S.A. for McFarland & Co. Inc. : A History of Television’s The Virginian 1962-1971 (2006, 2009 Softcover edition) Pete Duel : A Biography (2007, 2009 Large Print edition; Kindle edition) Encyclopedia of Weird Westerns (2009) Jennifer Jones : Life and Films (2011)

4 thoughts on “Morgan Starr alias Marshall Teague, Frank Sturgis & Bleeck”

  1. On a similar note, Harlan Warde, who had played Sheriff John Brannan for a year and a half and was even killed off in the episode ‘The Laramie Road’ (4.12), turned up later that same season in a different role in the episode ‘The Wolves Up Front, The Jackals Behind’ (4.26). Of course, he was a more minor character than Starr.

  2. Yes Bob, the casting was baffling at times. Almost as if they didn’t expect the viewer to notice. And this was before VCRs and DVDs of course so I doubt they had any idea we’d be talking about the casting all these decades later!!

  3. Yes, although several actors made geust star appearances and then became regulars, (Clu Gulager, Jeanette Nolan, David Hartman, John McLiam, Brendan Dillon), Dehner is the only one to geust star after being a regular, But, then again, he never was a real regular, he was always a geust star even as Starr (Geust Starr!)

    1. Yes there were quite a few regular or recurring characters who were listed as Guest Stars or didn’t even receive that credit (Ross Elliott being a prime example of a regular who was only credited on the end titles).

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