Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Wrangler Jane rides off into the sunset (Melody Patterson, 1949-2015)

For millions of young boys who grew up in the 60's, this has to hurt. Another punch to the gut, if you will, perhaps too close to the heart.

Less than a week after Yvonne Craig, best known as Batgirl from Batman, and a sci-fi icon, had passed, we're saying goodbye to another actress from the same period who became a heart throb.

Melody Patterson was just 16 when she was cast as Wrangler Jane on F-Troop in 1965, but you wouldn't know it by her performance. Admittedly, when I first caught up with reruns of Troop on cable in the 70's, I thought she was actually a wee bit older, perhaps in her 20's. As Jane, she came across as so mature, especially in her scenes with Ken Berry as Capt. Parmenter. Post-Troop, Melody gradually moved away from show business, especially after marrying James MacArthur, with whom she'd appear in three episodes of the original Hawaii Five-0. Yes, that made Helen Hayes Melody's mother-in-law. Unfortunately, the couple divorced in 1975.

Again, rather than the obvious clip from F-Troop, we'll present Melody in a guest appearance on The Monkees.

Now, don't you think Melody & Davy Jones made a cute couple?

Rest in peace, Melody.

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