Toby O’Brien, the once and future
malevolent benevolent ruler of Toobworld, sent this to me in an e-mail yesterday morning and unfortunately I forgot all about it until today. Character actor Joe Maross, whose lengthy career in show business encompassed movies, television and the stage, passed away on Saturday at the age of 86 after suffering an attack of cardiac arrest at a convalescent hospital in Glendale.
Among the feature films Maross made appearances in were Run Silent Run Deep (1958), Elmer Gantry (1960), Zigzag (1970) and Rich and Famous (1981). Entries on his stage resume include Ladies Night in a Turkish Bath and The Innkeepers. Once married to actress Carol Kelly, Maross was one of the founders of Projects 58—an acting-writing-directing group based in
But it was on the cathode ray tube that Maross received a workout, chalking up guest appearances on M Squad, Wanted: Dead or Alive, The Lineup, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Defenders, Perry Mason, The Outer Limits, Gunsmoke, The Fugitive, 12 O’Clock High and others way too numerous to mention. When I read Toby’s e-mail, the first memory of Joe that flashed into my head was a Twilight Zone episode he appeared in alongside Fritz Weaver entitled “Third From the Sun,” in which he and Weaver play a pair of scientists who must outwit a slimy government stooge (Edward Andrews, as if there were any doubt) in order to steal an experimental rocket so that they and their families can escape from their planet and journey to another.
But the weird thing is that Toby mentioned this episode as the one for which he remembered Maross best as well. (And any time I start to think in synch with the Tobester, that’s when the TZ theme starts to come in full.) Maross appeared in another TZ classic with Claude Akins, “The Little People.”
R.I.P, Joe. You will be sorely missed.