Bert Freed

Biography

Bert Freed (November 3, 1919 — August 2, 1994) was a prolific American character actor, voice over actor, and the first actor to portray "Detective Columbo" on television. Life and career Born and raised in The Bronx, New York, Freed began acting while attending Penn State University, and made his Broadway debut in 1942. Following World War II Army service in the European Theatre, he appeared in the Broadway musical The Day Before Spring in 1945 and dozens of television shows between 1947 and 1985. His film debut occurred, oddly enough, in a musical Carnegie Hall (1947). A prominent role was as the villainous Ryker in the television series Shane, in which Freed added a unique touch of realism by beginning the show clean-shaven and growing a beard from one week to the next, never shaving again through the season. Freed played Columbo in a live 1960 episode of the "Chevy Mystery Theatre" seven years before Peter Falk played the role. He appeared (sometimes more than once) in television shows such as The Rifleman, Bonanza, Gunsmoke, The Big Valley,The Virginian, Mannix, Barnaby Jones, Charlie's Angels, Then Came Bronson, Run For Your Life, Get Smart, The Lucy Show, Hogan's Heroes, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Dr. Kildare, Ben Casey, Perry Mason, Combat!, Petticoat Junction, The Outer Limits, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Route 66, Ironside, The Green Hornet, The Munsters, and many, many more. He directed one episode of T.H.E. Cat. Freed appeared as a racist club owner in No Way Out (1950), a gangster in Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town (1950), a Marine private in Halls of Montezuma (1951 film), an Army sergeant in Take the High Ground! (1953), the Police Chief in Invaders From Mars (1953), Sgt. Boulanger in Paths of Glory (1957), the hangman in Hang 'Em High (1968), Max's father in Wild in the Streets (1968), as Chief of Detectives in Madigan (1968), a homosexual prison guard in There Was a Crooked Man... (1970) and Bernard's father in Billy Jack (1971) in which he got "whumped" on the side of the face by Billy Jack's right foot "just for the hell of it." He retired from acting in 1986, and died of a heart attack in Canada in 1994 while on a fishing trip with his son.

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Birth Name

Bertram Freed

Birth Place

The Bronx, New York, USA

Birth Date

11/3/1919

Death Date

8/2/1994
Known For
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Where the Sidewalk Ends

Det. Paul Klein

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Evel Knievel

Doc Kincaid

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Shock Treatment

Frank Josephson

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The Swinger

Police Captain

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The Company She Keeps

Smitty (plainclothesman)

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The Goddess

Lester Brackman

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The Atomic City

Emil Jablons

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Men of the Fighting Lady

Lt. (jg) Andrew Szymanski

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Red Mountain

Sgt. Randall

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Barracuda

Papa Jack

Starring In
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Norma Rae

Sam Dakin

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Barracuda

Papa Jack

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Death Scream

Detective Ross

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Billy Jack

Mr. Stuart Posner

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Evel Knievel

Doc Kincaid

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There Was a Crooked Man...

Skinner

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The Andersonville Trial

Court-martial board member

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Hang 'Em High

Schmidt, the Hangman

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Wild in the Streets

Max Jacob Flatow, Sr.

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Madigan

Chief of Detectives Hap Lynch

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P.J.

Police Lieutenant

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The Swinger

Police Captain

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Nevada Smith

Quince

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Invitation to a Gunfighter

Sheriff

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Fate Is The Hunter

Dillon

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Shock Treatment

Frank Josephson

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What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?

Ben Golden (as Robert Freed)

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The Gazebo

Lt. Joe Jenkins

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The Goddess

Lester Brackman

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Paths of Glory

Sgt. Boulanger

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The Desperate Hours

Tom Winston

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La Tela del Ragno

Abe Irwin

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The Long, Long Trailer

Foreman

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Men of the Fighting Lady

Lt. (jg) Andrew Szymanski

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Invaders from Mars

Police Chief A.C.Barrows (uncredited)

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Take the High Ground!

Sgt. Vince Opperman

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The Snows of Kilimanjaro

American Soldier (uncredited)

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The Atomic City

Emil Jablons

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Detective Story

Det. Dakis

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The Company She Keeps

Smitty (plainclothesman)

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Red Mountain

Sgt. Randall

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Where the Sidewalk Ends

Det. Paul Klein

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Halls of Montezuma

Slattery

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No Way Out

Rocky Miller - Beaver Canal Resident (uncredited)

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Ma and Pa Kettle Go To Town

Dutch, Third New York Henchman

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711 Ocean Drive

Steve Marshak (uncredited)

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Key to the City

Emmy's Husband

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Black Hand

Prosecutor

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Twelve O'Clock High

Officer Standing at Bar (uncredited)

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Boomerang!

Man in Mob Behind Courthouse (uncredited)

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Carnegie Hall

Bit part (uncredited)

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