Richard Kelton Mission Impossible
Richard Kelton in an episode of CBS-TV's "Mission: Impossible"
Richard Kelton
General Information
Birth Name: Richard Duane Kelton
Born: April 29, 1943
Birthplace: Lincoln, NE, U.S.
Died: November 27, 1978(1978-11-27) (aged 35)
Deathplace: Denver, CO, U.S.
Spouse(s): Eileen Jacobsen, ?-1978, his death
Children: Zachary, with Jacobsen
Occupation: Actor/Acting instructor & Coach
Years active: 1963-78, his death
Appeared on/in
(or involved with):
Dallas (first series)
Appeared as: Taylor "Guzzler" Bennett
Episodes appeared in
/involved with:
"Fallen Idol" in season 2

Richard Kelton (April 29, 1943-November 27, 1978) appeared on the original Dallas TV series as Taylor "Guzzler" Bennett a wealthy real estate mogul and land developer and old college buddy of Bobby Ewing who almost ventures into a development project on Southfork in the Season 2 episode "Fallen Idol". Richard is perhaps best known for his role as Ficus Fendorota, a Spock-like character, in the short-lived NBC-TV sitcom seeries spoof of Star Trek titled Quark.

Life and careerEdit

Born in Lincoln, NE to Alvis Fred Kelton, a former Army Air Corps base flight instructor and engineer during WWII, and his wife, the former Glenna Sedalia Zachary, Richard grew up in Miami, Oklahoma. After briefly attending Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College in 1963, he transferred to The University of Kansas, earning his Bachelors' Degree in drama 1966, and then his Masters' two years later, in 1968. He returned briely in 1973 to appear in a campus production of He made his way to California where he made his debut playing "Bud" in an episode of Gunsmoke. In 1967, made his film debut with a small part in the movie In Cold Blood (1967) as Nancy's boyfriend. Soon after arriving in California with his wife in 1970, he got another guest starring role in the ABC-TV series The Young Rebels.

Soon afterwards, he made his TV movie debut as "Lieutenant Charring" in Wild Women (1970). He continued in numerous other guest starring roles and a movie roles. He also played the role of "Nick" in the Broadway revival of Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? in 1976.

After returning to California, he had a guest-starring role on ABC-TV's Charile's Angels that same year, 1976, His performance was so well received, that he was offered the starring role as "Ficus Pandorata" in the short-lived NBC-TV science fiction-comedy series Quark (1978). Later that year he was invited back to The University of Kansas to give a short seminar on films.

==Death and legacy-- Kelton died of accidental carbon monoxide asphyxiation due to a faulty heater in his trailer while filming the NBC-TV miniseries Centennial, in which he was to have co-starred in. Universal Studios, which produced the TV miniseries, was fined $720 for the failure to provide a proper ventilation system for the trailer which Kelton had retreated to to rehearse his lines.[1]

His alma mater, UK, established the Richard Kelton Memorial Fund was established in December 1978 to aid student actors in their professional acting aspirations. [1] The fund still exists today in the form of the Richard Kelton Memorial Scholarship, that provides scholarships for undergraduate students majoring in theatre with an emphasis in acting [2] He was survived by his wife, the former Eileen Jacobsen, and son Zachary (born in 1974), and his parents.


  1. 1.0 1.1 [1] Actor's death evokes mourning, published by the United Press International, appeared in the Lawrence Journal World (KS), story by Ward Harkavy, December 1, 1978, retrieved March 16, 2016.
  2. Richard Kelton Memorial Scholarship page at KU's Theatre Website

external linksEdit