Kenneth MacDonald (born Kenneth Dollins; September 8, 1901 – May 5, 1972) was an American film actor. Born in Portland, Indiana, MacDonald made more than 220 film and television appearances between 1931 and 1970. His name is sometimes seen as Kenneth McDonald.
MacDonald began his career as a stage actor. In 1923 he appeared in his first feature film, Slow as Lightning. He came to Hollywood in the early 1930s, where he played small roles in low-budget, independent productions. In 1939 Kenneth MacDonald was signed by Columbia Pictures for the studio's Charles Starrett westerns. MacDonald perfected a cool, debonair demeanor, which usually masked an evil side as a con man, outlaw, or thief. His speaking voice was rich and well modulated, often being gentle and ominous at the same time, in the Boris Karloff manner. Also, like Karloff, he seldom raised his voice, making his characters both dominant and dangerous. This quality made MacDonald an effective villain in Columbia's adventure serials (like Mandrake the Magician and The Phantom). He was also adept at playing sympathetic roles, usually as calm authority figures (police official, prison psychiatrist, judges, etc.). Actors in Columbia's stock company almost always worked in the studio's two-reel comedy shorts as well as features and serials, but Kenneth MacDonald did not join the short-subject fraternity until 1945, when he appeared opposite comedy stars Gus Schilling and Richard Lane. He is probably best known today for his work with The Three Stooges. MacDonald developed a flair for comedy, and he made memorable appearances in Stooge comedies including Monkey Businessmen, Hold That Lion!, Crime on Their Hands, Punchy Cowpunchers, and Loose Loot. Beginning in 1953, the comedy in the Columbia shorts became even more physical under producer-director Jules White, and MacDonald obligingly got plastered with pies, fruit, and other missiles. He also returned to Columbia's serial unit, which was then filming low-budget remakes of his older serials using much of the original footage; MacDonald appeared in new scenes to match his old ones. He left the Columbia shorts department in 1955. Television. MacDonald was a frequent guest star from 1951 to 1953, mostly as a sheriff, in the syndicate television series, The Range Rider, with Jock Mahoney and Dick Jones. He appeared in a 1949 episode (8) and a 1955 episode (173) of The Lone Ranger. He had a recurring role (32 episodes) as Judge Carter on CBS's Perry Mason between 1957 and 1966. He appeared six times as Colonel Parker in the ABC western series Colt .45. In 1960 MacDonald appeared as Duggan on the TV western Laramie in the episode titled "Duel at Parkinson Town.". He also appeared in a number of episodes of the TV western Bat Masterson, including with Gene Barry & Diane Cannon in “The Price of Paradise” (1961). MacDonald still appeared occasionally in motion pictures, including a bit role as Jerry Lewis's father in the 1961 feature, The Ladies' Man, and as a member of the court martial board in The Caine Mutiny (1954).
MacDonald was born in Manchester, Lancashire, the son of Scottish heavyweight wrestling champion Bill MacDonald, who died of kidney failure at the age of 43, when Kenneth was 13. He attended St Anthony's preparatory school in Stony Stratford, Buckinghamshire, and went on to St Bernardine's Franciscan College in Buckingham, where he took part in school productions, notably The Business of Good Government, in which he played Herod, and Arsenic and Old Lace. Ken left school at eighteen to help support his mother Emily. He took a job at a Kellogg's cornflakes factory. During night shifts he would perform Hamlet and other Shakespeare plays that he had learned at school, earning the nickname "Hamlet". MacDonald met his wife Sheila while he was appearing in panto in Crewe in 1976. She was the costume designer at the time. They had two children: William (born 1986) and Charlotte (born 1989).
Movies & TV shows
40 Guns to Apache Pass
The Apaches are on the warpath and the Army must defend them. Murphy's mission is to get a shipment of rifles, but it's stolen by greedy white traders with the help of mutinous soldiers
The Errand Boy
Paramutual Pictures wants to know where their money is going so they have hired Morty to be their spy. Mr has a person named Morty who works for him. He will be able to have access to the lot if he sn...
3 TV shows
The cases of master criminal defense attorney Perry Mason and his staff who handled the most difficult of cases in the aid of the innocent.
Meet McGraw is an American dramatic television series starring Frank Lovejoy in the role of the hard-hitting detective McGraw, a man specifically given no first name in the program. Forty-one half-hou...
Sugarfoot is an American western television series that aired on ABC from 1957 to 1961. The series stars Will Hutchins as Tom Brewster, an Easterner who comes to the Oklahoma Territory to become a law...
Three Violent People
A rancher (Charlton Heston), his shady bride (Anne Baxter) and his one-armed brother (Tom Tryon) fight amid carpetbaggers in Texas.
A mysterious hypnotist (Chester Morris) reverts his beautiful assistant (Marla English) back into the form of a prehistoric sea monster that she was in a past life.
The Ten Commandments
A Hebrew infant escapes death and is raised in a royal household to become a prince. After discovering his true heritage,Moses embarked on a personal quest to regain his rightful position as the leade...
Perils of the Wilderness
In the 56th (and next-to-last serial) made by Columbia Pictures, Montana Deputy Dan Lawson, posing as an outlaw called Laramie, goes to the Canadian northwest on the trail of Bart Randall who is wante...
The stooges go to criminology school and graduate with the lowest possible honors. The boys join the police force and are assigned to track down a crook called the "Eel", who disguises himself as a wo...
A boggy swashbuckler of Irish freedom-fighter Michael Martin.
Of Cash and Hash
The stooges were brought in by the cops as suspects after witnessing an armed robbery. After passing a lie detector test, the boys are freed and go back to their jobs in the cafe. When one of the robb...
The stooges apply for job as 'Yard Men' at Scotland Yard, thinking they'll become detectives, but instead wind up as gardeners. When they accidentally see a memo about the theft a famous diamond, the ...
The Caine Mutiny
When a US Naval captain shows signs of mental instability that jeopardizes the ship, the first officer relieves him of command and faces court martial.
Silver Needle in the Sky
Rocky Jones tries to free the hostages and thwart the plans of the evil Queen Cleolantha.
Shot in the Frontier
Set in the old west, the stooges must defend their honor against the Noonan brothers, three desperadoes who want to marry the same girls the stooges are courting.
Marshal of Cedar Rock
Banker Mason is after the ranchers land so he can resell it to the railroad for a profit. He has the railroad agent killed and replaces him with his stooge who then offers even less than Mason. But Ro...
Sam is a parolee who has paid for his dirty deeds. Now determined to go straight and help take care of his hot headed brother and devoted sister, he becomes set upon by both the law, represented by Fe...
Booty And The Beast
The stooges do a good turn and help a stranger open a safe in what they think is the man's house. Actually the man is a crook and the boys were unwitting accomplices to a robbery. Once they realize wh...
The stooges are willed a lot of dough from a rich uncle, but the executor of the estate, Icabob Slipp, is a crook who absconds with the money. The stooges trail him to a a theater where they engage in...
Arriving in Leadville, Marshal Rocky Lane finds that his friend Nugget is in financial trouble. Nugget thinks there is oil on his land but the geologist says no. Suspecting a conspiracy, Rocky poses a...
A cowboy (Tim Holt) and his Mexican-Irish sidekick (Richard Martin) lead a wagon train to an unfriendly place.
Three Dark Horses
A campaign boss is looking for three delegates to the presidential convention, delegates that are too stupid to discover that his candidate, Hammond Egger, is a crook. Enter the stooges as janitors se...
Mike Wein, an Alaskan bush pilot operating the the Bering Sea area, makes friends with John W. Wetherby, posing as a wealth United States businessman. But, in reality, he is a Russian spy on his way t...
Desert of Lost Men
Rocky Lane arrives at the town of Bear Creek to help insure the safe arrival of forty thousand dollars the citizens have raised to build a new hospital. After one of the town's doctors is killed in an...
Law of the Badlands
The Texas Rangers send Dave and Chito into the badlands to see if they can locate a counterfeiting operation. They arrive posing as wanted outlaws and this gets them into the gang. But as soon as they...
Recently released from prison, nice guy Dave Collins finds himself unwillingly mixed up with his old outlaw acquaintances Turk Thorne and his gang as they try to use his telegraphy talents to zero in ...
Storm Over Wyoming
Dave Saunders and his sidekick Chito, cowhands looking for work, arrive in Sundown Valley, Wyoming just in time to stop sheep ranch foreman Jess Rawlins from lynching cattleman Tug Caldwell. Rawlins s...
Female outlaw helps lawmen trap railroad bandits.
A doctor testing drugs on convicts gets mixed up in a murder investigation.
Two cowboys aim to reclaim stolen jewels and money in this 1950 Western.
Salt Lake Raiders
A man is sent to jail for murder escapes while being transferred, Rocky is sent to bring him in. When he catches him in a ghost town the man claims to be innocent and was trying to clear himself by fi...
The Gay Amigo
The Cisco Kid and Pancho are mistakenly identified as leaders of an outlaw band. While the cavalry runs them down, they must hunt down the real bad guys.
The Mysterious Desperado
A cowboy is accused of his father's murder.
Crooked ranch foreman Thatcher sends his two henchmen, Parnell and Clint, out to murder his boss, wealthy Peter Arnold who has just arrived to retire on his ranch, bringing in tow his daughter, tomboy...
Hold That Lion!
The stooges are gypped out of their inheritance by Icabob Slipp, a crooked lawyer. The boys follow Slipp onto a passenger train and corner him, but not before they accidentally let a lion loose on the...
When an employee at an illegal gambling den dies suspiciously, her sister, Nancy, looks into the situation and falls for Johnny O'Clock, a suave partner in the underground casino. Selfish and non-comm...
That Texas Jamboree
With the backing of the Mayor, Brady is running a crooked gambling operation. When Sheriff Curt shuts him down, he reopens when the Mayor charters his place as a private club. When Curt decides to run...
Shadow Of Terror
A scientist possessing the formula for making a nuclear bomb finds himself chased by evil gangsters in this thriller that was made just after the A-bomb was dropped upon Hiroshima.
Back to Bataan
An Army colonel is leading a guerrilla campaign against the Japanese in the Philippines.
The Monster and the Ape
A famous scientist invents a humanoid robot (the titular "monster"), so a greedy rival scientist plans to steal it for use in his criminal plans. His henchmen often kidnap a trained gorilla (the titu...
The Lost Trail
Having briefly abandoned his standard "Nevada Jack McKenzie" characterization in Flame of the West, cowboy star Johnny Mack Brown was back as Nevada Jack in Monogram's The Lost Trail. Vowing to bring ...
Cowboy from Lonesome River
This western features a singing cowboy, a brave hero, and a bumbling sidekick who band together to defeat a ruthless range boss.
West of the Rio Grande
Two-fisted cowboys fight for law and order in their encounters with outlaws.
The Desert Hawk
Evil Hassan slips back into his native land of Ahad and plots to overthrow his twin bother, Kasim, who has just been crowned the Caliph. Hassan enlists the aid of the chief Chamberlain, Faud and they ...
The Racket Man
A gangster is drafted into the Army and, soon realizing how wrong his life of crime has been, agrees to help the FBI break up a black market ring by pretending to have been kicked out of service and t...
Pride of the Plains
Hurley wants to sell wild horses and is trying to get the Wild Game Laws that protect them changed. To get his petition signed, his henchman paints his trained horse to look like the wild horse leader...
With a plot line mostly lifted from 1941's "White Eagle", Columbia's 24th serial (following "The Desert Hawk-1944" and ahead of 1945's "Brenda Starr, Reporter"), "Black Arrow" finds carpet-baggers Jak...
Six Gun Gospel
U.S. Marshal Johnny Mack Brown once again goes undercover in this Nevada Mckenzie series entry from Great Westerns Prod./Monogram. Masquerading as a parson and a drifter, Sandy Hopkins (Raymond Hatton...
Flagwaving story of a new American destroyer, the JOHN PAUL JONES, from the day her keel is laid, to what was very nearly her last voyage. Among the crew, is Steve Boleslavski, a shipyard welder that ...
Robin Hood of the Range
Inasmuch as western star Charles Starrett gained screen fame as the Robin Hood-like "Durango Kid", it stands to reason that Starrett would head the cast of Robin Hood of the Range. The star plays Stev...
Two expeditions are trying to reach the Lost City of Zoloz -- one headed by Professor Davidson, a scientist who wants to establish an archaeological site, and the other by a greedy treasure hunter who...
Stand By All Networks
An intrepid radio reporter sets out to track down and expose Nazi agents.
An American joins the British Royal Air Force just before Pearl Harbor is attacked, and falls in love with a beautiful English girl.
Cadets on Parade
A military school cadet runs away after failing to fit in at sports or school life. He's befriended by a newsboy and they tutor each other, but soon get embroiled in a ransom scheme.
Tramp, Tramp, Tramp!
Jackie Gleason and Jack Durant are teamed for the first and only time as Hank and Jed, a pair of dimwitted barbers who are forced into bankruptcy because all their customers have marched off to war. F...
A police lieutenant and a patriotic professional gambler, rivals in life and love, combine efforts to corner a gang of Nazi saboteurs operating out of a barber shop, in which their mutual girlfriend w...
The Valley of Vanishing Men
Prospector Henry Tolliver disappears and his son "Wild Bill" Tolliver comes looking for him.
Perils of the Royal Mounted
Sergeant MacLane of the Mounties investigates the disruptive activities of a bunch of troublemakers.
Riders of the Northland
In this western, three Texas Rangers decide to do their part to save the world and join the Army, but before they can, they are sent to Alaska to destroy a secret Nazi operation involving a submarine ...
Hands Across the Rockies
Wild Bill Hickock (Bill Elliott) and Cannonball (Dub Taylor) help two young people in love (Mary Daily and Stanley Brown) and bring the murderer (Kenneth MacDonald) of Cannonball's father to justice.
Go West, Young Lady
A young woman arrives in the western town of Headstone and helps the locals outsmart a gang of outlaws.
Confessions of Boston Blackie
A murder is committed during the auction of a valuable statue. The prime suspect is Boston Blackie, whose reputation for living on the edge of the law makes him an easy target for the police. When the...
The Devil Commands
A scientist kills innocent victims in his efforts to communicate with his late wife.
Harmon of Michigan
A former University of Michigan football star (Tom Harmon) rejects an opportunity to play professional football. Instead, he marries his college sweetheart (Anita Louise) and begins a career as a coll...
The settlers are pouring into California and this will cause trouble for the old Spanish owners. The El Dorado Mine Company is located in El Dorado. The settlers and their friend Don Carlos are being ...
The Son of Davy Crockett
Dave Crockett (Bill Elliott) comes to the aid of ranchers living on the Yucca Strip, who want their area made part of the United States. A greedy land baron, however, wants the property as his own.
Mandrake the Magician
Feature version of the American serial film, produced for export only, never exhibited in the USA, and believed to be a lost film.
Island of Doomed Men
Undercover agent Mark Sheldon gets paroled to a remote tropical island with a diamond mine manned by slave labor run by sadistic Stephen Danel.
The Kinkaids and the Harpers both run stage lines and are friendly competitors. Appleby is after the stage line and convinces the two owners to build a spur line to the same town. Then he has both pro...
Jim Sanders (Don 'Red' Barry), young cowboy, returns to his hometown for a reunion with his boyhood friend Clay Blackburn (George Offerman Jr.). Once there he learns that Clay's father, Frank Blackbur...
Bullets for Rustlers
Steve Beaumont, an operative for the Cattleman's Protective Association, is assigned the difficult task of breaking up a murderous gang of rustlers led by Ed Brock and Strang. He takes Sheriff Webb, J...
The Wildcat of Tucson
When his brother Dave is put in jail, Bill Hickok returns to help him. Dave has been charged with attempted murder when the other man drew first. Judge Barlow put him there and Bill gets the Judge to ...
The Durango Kid
The Durango Kid is a sort of Robin Hood of the West who helps the lovely Walters (who replaced Starrett's usual love-interest, Iris Meredith), the daughter of a homesteader, defeat the evil MacDonald ...
Before I Hang
A doctor on death row is allowed to experiment on a serum using criminals' blood, but he secretly tests it on himself. He gets a pardon, but ends up being a different kind of person.
The Taming of the West
Bill Elliott stops the evil cattle rustlers, who use up sheriffs like disposable razor blades. Instead of the customary gun battles, Elliott was known for his fisticuffs action and so he uses his knuc...
Thad Lawson arrives in Oak Valley to avenge the murder of his brother, the local sheriff. He learns that Jack Rand, powerful overlord of the town is to blame. After Rand murders newspaper publisher Jo...
Spoilers of the Range
Hero Jeff Strong (Starrett) comes to the rescue of a group of victimized ranchers. The villains are a gang of crooked gamblers, who demand a valuable dam as payment for a $50,000 debt. The ranchers ho...
Outpost of the Mounties
In this adventure, a courageous Canadian Mountie must bring peace an embattled miner and an unscrupulous trader whose price mark-ups are beginning to hurt the community. They fight so frequently that ...
Mandrake the Magician
Mandrake and his team attempt to prevent "The Wasp" from stealing and using a new Radium invention.
Overland with Kit Carson
When Pegleg and his Black Raiders threaten the westward expansion of the United States, the government sends Kit Carson and David Brent to straighten things out.
A rancher is murdered after discovering that 40 head of his cattle have been rustled. A neighboring family is accused of the crime and flees across the border, then tries to find the real killers to c...
The Last Mile
Richard Walters is condemned to death for a murder he claims not to have committed. He arrives on death row just before a brutal inmate leads the other convicts in a violent uprising. Walters gets cau...
Slow as Lightning
Our hero Jimmie March works for stockbroker E.J. Philips and daydreams of romance with Eleanor, the boss's lovely daughter. Unfortunately, Eleanor is dating Mortimer Fenton, a wealthy cad who used to ...
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Kenneth_MacDonald_(American_actor)", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.