Big Hollywood stars popping up on the small screen is not a new phenomenon. Long before the likes of Woody Harrelson or Meryl Streep started swapping movies for TV shows, George Nader fitted an impressive small screen career amongst his silver screen roles. The first part of our rundown of his TV career left off in 1953 with My Little Margie, so let’s pick things up from there.
Your Jeweler’s Showcase
A short-lived US anthology TV series, there’s little information around about Your Jeweler’s Showcase. It aired on CBS in the USA and ran from late 1952 until the summer of 1953. Each episode was 30 minutes long and was a standalone drama rather than a part of a traditional series.
The show had a number of recurring cast members who appeared multiple times, but generally welcomed different guests stars for each episode. George Nader appeared in a 1953 episode called Heart’s Desire. The episode also starred Theresa Harris, a star of film and TV who had a career spanning from the late 20s all the way up to the end of the 50s.
Schlitz Playhouse was another anthology style TV series which featured Nader as a guest star in one episode. The series ran from 1951 until 1959 and for a while was broadcast live from New York City. Compèred by a host or hostess, Schlitz Playhouse aired 30-minute classic stories on a Friday night, which often featured a combination of Hollywood and Broadway stars.
Richard and the Lion was the episode of the show featuring Nader, alongside Joanne Dru and Jackie the Lion (an actual lion who was billed in a number of TV shows and movies during the 50s). Nader played Richard MacLeod, a neglected husband who felt his wife devoted too much time to her pets. To show her how it felt, Richard went out and got himself a pet lion and predictable hilarity ensued.
McCoy of Abilene
A Western based on the life of Joseph ‘Cowboy’ McCoy, McCoy of Abilene was Nader’s first ever TV movie. It was broadcast in October 1953 and starred Nader in the lead role of Joseph, with Marjorie Lord as his wife, Sarah.
The movie took inspiration from real life, where McCoy was an early entrepreneur most closely associated with the transport of Longhorn cattle from Texas to the eastern United States. McCoy was responsible for the establishment of what would become the town of Abilene, Texas. The movie tells the story of how he grew Abilene and saw it become one of the US’s first ‘cow towns’.