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Michael McGreevey

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Michael McGreevey
Michael McGreevey

Michael McGreevey (born February 7, 1948) is an American actor and screenwriter. He starred in several Walt Disney films as a young actor and later became a writer for the Fame TV series. He is the son of Emmy Award-winning television and film screenwriter John McGreevey.


Michael McGreevey's first major role was as young cabin boy Chip Kessler in the 1959–61 TV series Riverboat.[1] It starred Darren McGavin as the captain of a riverboat on the Mississippi River during the 1830s. In a 2015 interview, McGreevey confirmed the rumored friction between McGavin and his co-star Burt Reynolds: "They were just two very different personalities. I think that Burt was insecure. It was his first job in Hollywood and Darren was a very polished actor. It was Darren's show really--he was Captain Holden. I think Burt was a little jealous of Darren and they clashed quite a bit. What finally happened was that Burt left the show. But I loved them both. Darren was very much a father figure for me and Burt was like a big brother. He had been a football player at Florida State and I was impressed with that because I was into football. The first football I ever got--in fact, I've still got it--he got me. We used to play catch. I still see Burt every once in awhile [sic]. He still says: "Don't tell people you were only 11 years old when we were on Riverboat.'"[2]

Throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, McGreevey appeared in numerous episodes of Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color[3] and in the Disney theatrical film trilogy: The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes (1969), Now You See Him, Now You Don't (1972), and The Strongest Man in the World (1975). Set at fictional Medfield College, these three films featured Kurt Russell as college student Dexter Riley and McGreevey as his friend Richard Schulyer.[4] McGreevey also appeared as a different character in the Disney films Snowball Express (1972) and The Shaggy D.A. (1976).

In addition to his Disney roles, McGreevey appeared as guest star in numerous television series, such as The Virginian, Bonanza, and Route 66. He also starred opposite Sally Field, Kirk Douglas, Robert Mitchum, and Richard Widmark in the 1967 western The Way West, which was based on an A. B. Guthrie, Jr. novel. He played a young pioneer named Brownie Evans, who marries Sally Field's character.[5]

In 1978, after studying film at UCLA, Michael McGreevey collaborated with his father, John McGreevey, on the script for the 1978 made-for-TV movie Ruby and Oswald: "In reality, the movie, although it's called Ruby and Oswald, is a three-way depiction of those four days in Dallas where we cut back and forth between the documentary footage of Kennedy and the recreated story with Ruby and Oswald. Dad and I both knew a man named Alan Landsburg, who had done a lot of documentaries. We went to him with the project first and he knew Mel Stuart, who had done an Academy Award-winning documentary called Four Days in November (1964). So, Mel was attached to direct it and we went into CBS and sold it right away as a three-hour special event movie. I was very proud of that movie; it was very well done."[2]

McGreevey subsequently wrote episodes of TV series such as The Waltons, Quincy, M.E., and Fame. He eventually became a script editor and then creative consultant for Fame.[6] In 1984, he received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Writing in Children's Programming for co-writing the ABC Afterschool Special "The Celebrity and the Arcade Kid".[7] In 2015, he co-wrote the feature-length documentary Earl Hamner Storyteller, which focused on the life and career of The Waltons creator Earl Hamner, Jr.[2]


Film appearances

Year Title Role Notes
1958 The Girl Most Likely Red Headed Indian Boy Uncredited
1959 The Man in the Net Buck Ritter
1959 Day of the Outlaw Bobby – Vic's Son
1960 Toby Tyler Concession Worker Uncredited
1960 Chartroose Caboose Joey James
1961 The Clown and the Kid Shawn
1967 The Way West Brownie Evans
1968 The Impossible Years Andy McClaine
1969 Death of a Gunfighter Dan Joslin
1969 The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes R. Schuyler
1972 Now You See Him, Now You Don't Richard Schuyler
1972 Snowball Express Wally Perkins
1975 The Strongest Man in the World Richard Schuyler
1976 The Shaggy D.A. Sheldon
2014 A Lesson of Love Reverend (final film role)

Television appearances



Sam Wilkes Episodes: Part 1 & 2 Jury Duty Episodes: Part 1 & 2 Jury Duty
1959 Black Saddle Tad Murdock Episode: "Murdock"
1959-1961 Lassie Mike / Joey 2 episodes
1959-1960 Riverboat Chip Kessler 17 episodes
1960 The Donna Reed Show Gordie Episode: "Someone Is Watching"
1961 Dr. Kildare Tommy Adams Episode: "Hit and Run"
1961 Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color Freddy Episode: "Texas John Slaughter: Frank Clell's in Town"
1961 Wagon Train Sonny Sherman / Boy 2 episodes
1961 Bonanza Jeremy Paster Episode: "Gabrielle"
1962 Route 66 Davey Selman Episode: "Shoulder the Sky, My Lad"
1962 Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color Arthur Loomis Episode: Sammy, the Way-Out Seal: Part 1
Episode: Sammy, the Way-Out Seal: Part 2
1964 Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color J.D. Gray Episode: "For Love of Willadean: A Taste of Melon"
Episode: "For Love of Willadean: Treasure in the Haunted House"
1969 The Mod Squad Edward Timmers Episode: "A Place to Run, a Heart to Hide In"
1970 The Virginian Toby Wheeler Episode: "Experiment at New Life"
1972 Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color Ralph Episode: "The Wacky Zoo of Morgan City: Part 1"
Episode: "The Wacky Zoo of Morgan City: Part 2"
1971-1972 Room 222 Rudy 2 episodes
1972 Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color Norman Episode: "Michael O'Hara the Fourth: Part 1"
Episode: "Michael O'Hara the Fourth: Part 2"
1973 Harry O Bobby Epísode: "Such Dust as Dreams Are Made On"
1973 The Waltons Hobart 'Hobie' Shank Episode: "The Braggart"
1977 Charlie's Angels Ted Blain Episode: "Terror on Ward One"


  1. ^ Kotar, S.L. and J.E. Gessler (2015). Riverboat: The Evolution of a Television Series 1959-1961. BearManor Media. ISBN 978-1-59393-505-4.
  2. ^ a b c Rick29 (March 26, 2015). "An Interview with Michael McGreevey: The Actor-Writer Discusses Riverboat, Disney, the Fame TV Series, and The Waltons". Classic Film & TV Cafe. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
  3. ^ Cotter, Bill (1997). The Wonderful World of Disney Television: A Complete History. Disney Editions. ISBN 978-0786863594.
  4. ^ Armstrong, Richard B. and Mary Willems Armstrong (October 1, 2000). Encyclopedia of Film Themes, Settings and Series. McFarland & Co., Inc. Publishers. p. 169. ISBN 9780786408931.
  5. ^ Gasca, Melissa (July 3, 2010). "Michael McGreevey: A Local's 'Dramatic' Comeback". The Santa Clarita Valley Signal. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
  6. ^ Hoey, Michael A. (2010). Inside Fame on Television: A Behind-the-Scenes History. McFarland & Co., Inc. Publishers. ISBN 978-0-7864-4665-0.
  7. ^ "Daytime Emmy Awards (1984)". Internet Movie Database.
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