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Mystery Cast Members of STRANGE PARADISE
(see the Newest Mysteries!)

"Who was that actor?"
"Oh, wait a minute, isn't that the woman who ...?"

While the major performers on STRANGE PARADISE received screen credit for their work and can be easily identified, throughout the run of the series a surprising number of appearances were put in by unbilled supporting players. Ranging from people in the background to characters figuring importantly to the plot, these unsung actors provided a population to the world of STRANGE PARADISE, and it seems a shame they have never been given their proper recognition. This gallery is devoted to those uncredited performers who helped bring the story to life. We're premiering with a sampling of people from the first week of the series, but over time this gallery will grow. Perhaps you'll recognize one of these mystery cast members. If so, please drop us a line at strangeparadiselibrary@yahoo.com and tell us all about it.

The actor portraying Desmond family physician Doctor Menkin utters the first words spoken in the entire series, but remains an uncredited performer in the pantheon of STRANGE PARADISE. However, the Internet Movie Database and any number of fan researchers attribute this performance from Episode 1 to prolific Canadian actor Joe Austin. Austin was no stranger to television, having appeared in numerous productions, including AD AND LIB (1954), JUST MARY (1960), and THE FOREST RANGERS (1963). He also made the leap to the big screen with such efforts as HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS (1967).

This gentleman is a bit more of an enigma. Few fans are likely to identify him as Dr. Menkin, yet he did make a fleeting appearance in the role. He portrayed the deceased Menkin carried into the house by Quito in Episode 5.

Months before brunette Tudi Wiggins menaced the cast in the role of Erica Desmond, this uncredited blonde portrayed Jean Paul's beloved wife in Episodes 1 and 4, and even appeared prominently on the cover of Paperback Library's 1969 novel STRANGE PARADISE. Despite her lack of billing, the IMDb and other scholars have identified her as Lara Cochrane, a Production Assistant associated with SP for much of the run of the series. Further scholarship has suggested that Ms. Cochrane subsequently continued her career under the name Lara Fox.

While devotees of STRANGE PARADISE will readily identify Jon Granik as attorney Dan Forrest, this uncredited gentleman actually originated the role in the series' very first episode. His identity is unknown, though there has been speculation that he bears a resemblance to actor Ted Follows, once real-life husband to SP regular Dawn Greenhalgh. To date, this is pure conjecture, and remains an unverified myth of this fandom.

Not only is the identity of the original Dan Forrest a mystery, but so is that of his chatty secretary from Episode 1.

Beginning with Episode 1, the first few weeks of STRANGE PARADISE featured a series of sporadic flashbacks to Maljardin in the 1600s, marked by occasional appearances of Jacques' wife Huaco. The IMDb and television historians credit actress Patricia Collins with the role of the ill-fated Madame des Mondes. Ms. Collins was a television regular for decades on a diverse mix of shows, including WOJECK (1966), KING OF KENSINGTON (1979), STREET LEGAL (1988) and THE NEW TWILIGHT ZONE (1989).

Before Vangie Abbott appeared on the scene at the French Leave Cafe to entertain customers with her Tarot readings, Beryl Forbes belted out "That Old Black Magic" for the guests in Episode 1. Both viewers and the IMDb have identified this mystery songstress as film and tv veteran Nonnie Griffin. Ms. Griffin has appeared in a variety of productions, including BIZARRE (1980), THE LITTLEST HOBO (1983), FOREVER KNIGHT (1995), and the delightful feature film IF YOU COULD SEE WHAT I HEAR (1982).

Maljardin, as portrayed in the flashback sequences to the island's early years, was peopled by quite a large group of friends to the des Mondes family. Above is a montage of a number of these unknown characters, featured in Episodes 1 and 20.

This uncredited gentleman has a significant role in Episode 4 as the doctor from the Cryonics Society who comes to Maljardin to preserve Erica's body in the capsule. While he receives no screen credit, he may be an actor named James Hatch. TV.com cites James Hatch as playing "Cryogenics Doctor" in Episode 6, but there is no such character in that installment. However, this fellow certainly fills the bill in Episode 4. Can anyone confirm his identity?

The two actors seen here in the foreground did not receive billing for their roles in Episode 4 either, but they received a fair amount of screen time as the workmen assisting the doctor from the Cryonics Society. To date, no hint of these performers' identities has come to light, though the profile of the white-haired gentleman on the left bears a strong resemblance to that of the unknown actor seen fleetingly portraying Dr. Menkin's corpse in Episode 5.


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