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 Karl Swenson

Karl Swenson

Birth
Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
Death 8 Oct 1978 (aged 70)
Torrington, Litchfield County, Connecticut, USA
Burial Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend
Memorial ID 12675702 · View Source
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Actor. A veteran of the American theater, film, television, and radio whose career spanned four decades, he is probably best remembered for his role as 'Lars Hanson' on NBC television Western drama series "Little House On the Prairie" from 1974 to 1978. Born to parents of Swedish descent, he made several appearances on Broadway in the 1930s and 1940s, including the title role in Arthur Miller's first production, "The Man Who Had All the Luck." He also made numerous radio appearances during this time, including such programs as "Cavalcade of America," "The Chase," "Columbia Presents Corwin," "The Columbia Workshop," "Inner Sanctum Mysteries," "Joe Palooka," "Lawyer Q," "Lorenzo Jones," "The March of Time," "The Mercury Theatre on the Air," "Mrs. Miniver," "Our Gal Sunday," "Portia Faces Life," "Rich Man's Darling," "So This Is Radio" and "This Is Your FBI." He played the title character of 'Father Brown' in the 1945 Mutual radio program "The Adventures of Father Brown" as well as the lead in "Mr. Chameleon." In 1943 he entered films with two wartime documentary shorts, "December 7" and "The Sikorsky Helicopter." In the 1950s and 1960s, he appeared in guest spots on television's "Gunsmoke," "Tales of Wells Fargo," "Maverick," "Colt .45," "The Man from Blackhawk," "Perry Mason," "Riverboat," "Dr. Kildare," "Mission: Impossible," and "Hawaii Five-O," to name a few. He didn't appear in films until he was over the age of 50, with roles in "Kings Go Forth" (1958), "No Name on the Bullet" (1959), "North to Alaska" (1960), "The Birds" (1963), "The Cincinnati Kid" (1965), "The Sons of Katie Elder" (1965), "Brightly of the Grand Canyon" (1967), "Vanishing Point" (1971), and "Ulzana's Raid" (1972). He also lent his voice in such animated features as "The Sword in the Stone" (1963) as the voice of Merlin. He met actor Michael Landon on the set of "Bonanza" in 1959, appearing in several episodes. Landon remembered him when he began to film "Little House on the Prairie" and he was cast in the recurring role of lumber mill owner 'Lars Hanson'. He died of a heart attack at the age of 70 shortly after filming the episode in which his character on "Little House on the Prairie" died. He was married to Virginia Hanscom from 1930 until 1960 and then to actress Joan Tompkins until his death.

Bio by: William Bjornstad


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: GW
  • Added: 13 Dec 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 12675702
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Karl Swenson (23 Jul 1908–8 Oct 1978), Find A Grave Memorial no. 12675702, ; Maintained by Find A Grave Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.