Bert Freed

1919 - 1994

During the '50s and '60s it seemed like every time you turned around, there was Bert Freed as a detective, gangster, sheriff or greedy small-town businessman, and sci-fi fans will remember him as the police chief taken over by the Martians in the classic Invaders from Mars (1953). He played a lot of tough cops--sometimes crooked ones, sometimes racist ones, sometimes violent ones, sometimes a combination of all three--and a lot of tough soldiers, but he could also play a jovial family patriarch when called upon. Born and raised in New York, Freed began acting while attending Penn State University, and made his Broadway debut in 1942. His film debut occurred, oddly enough, in a musical--Carnegie Hall (1947)--and he went on to play everything from a gangster in a Ma and Pa Kettle movie (Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town (1950)) to a French army sergeant--a first-rate job, too--in the classic Paths of Glory (1957). It seems as if he appeared in just about every cop and detective series on TV at

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