Television actor Allen Case, who played Henry Fonda's young sidekick in the television series "The Deputy" and Jesse James' older brother Frank on TV's "The Legend of Jesse James," died of a heart attack while vacationing in California. He was 51.
Case, who made his home in Dallas, died Monday night at a Truckee hospital, it was reported Wednesday.
Case, who also was a singer and toured with such musicals as "South Pacific," "Damn Yankees" and "My Fair Lady," attended Southern Methodist University but left in his junior year to audition for the Arthur Godfrey Talent Scout Show in New York. In 1955, Columbia Records signed him to a contract and he starred in his first Broadway show, "Reuben, Reuben."
In "The Deputy," he played a pacifist storekeeper opposed to the violence that frontier justice represented. But when Fonda, who portrayed an aging town marshal in the 1959-61 series was threatened, Case would exchange his ideals for his guns and help out.
He played off the volatile Jesse James (Christopher Jones) as the wiser, steadier older brother Frank in the 1965-66 series that sought to portray the James boys in a favorable light.
Case also was seen regularly on "Gunsmoke" and "Have Gun, Will Travel."
In the late 1960s he designed a successful line of fur coats for men and also worked as a real estate broker, photographer, and writer.
He is survived by a daughter, his mother and a sister.