More than Bret Maverick’s brother: Remembering Jack Kelly, a proud father, nice guy and darn fine actor

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Sporting his favorite buckskin jacket, Jack Kelly, in character as “Bart Maverick,” hitches his horse to a rail post in a still from the classic western series “Maverick” circa 1961. Photography by Alan Band / Keystone
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In one of his daughter’s favorite photos, Jack Kelly salutes with a glass of gin during a vacation in Greece, circa 1978. Wife Jo Ann is to the far right in blue denim. Image courtesy of the Jack Kelly family private collection

The Linda Alexander Interview

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Circa 1940, an already dashing 12-year-old Jack Kelly studies his lines for a play while sitting on a backstage table. Image courtesy of the Jack Kelly family private collection
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Jack Kelly congratulates big sister Nancy Kelly, who costarred with Tyrone Power and Henry Fonda in the quintessential 1939 Western “Jesse James,” with a bouquet of fresh roses backstage during a Chicago theater residency. Image Credit: The Linda Gallo private collection
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James Garner and Jack Kelly, in character as brothers Bret and Bart Maverick, play cards during the first season of “Maverick” in 1957. Notice the look of affection on Kelly’s face. Image courtesy of the Jack Kelly family private collection
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Bart Maverick [Jack Kelly] and James Garner [Bret Maverick] shuffle a poker deck on the Warner Bros. soundstage circa 1957 in a still from the classic western series “Maverick.” Image Credit: The Mike Luscombe collection
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Actors Joyce Meadows [Linda Storey] and Jack Kelly [Bart Maverick] share a passionate embrace in “Epitaph for a Gambler,” a final season episode of “Maverick” broadcast on February 11, 1962. Image Credit: The Geri Ann Sefton Collection / ABC Photo Archive
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Jack Kelly brandishes a gigantic ray gun as Lt. Jerry Farman in “Forbidden Planet,” one of his most notable film roles prior to “Maverick.” The cult science fiction classic was released on April 1, 1956. Image courtesy of the Susan Ketcham private collection
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Hold your horses, neighbor! Jack Kelly sports a rare case of facial hair as he guest stars as the “Doctor from Dodge” [i.e Doc Holliday], an episode of NBC’s ‘The High Chaparral’ broadcast on October 29, 1967. Image Credit: NBCUniversal
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Jack Kelly and first wife, actress May Wynn [aka Donna Hickey], clown for the camera circa 1960. Note the “Bart Maverick” costume that Donna is wearing. Image courtesy of the Jack Kelly family private collection
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Jack Kelly is pictured with only child Nicole Kelly Garner on the set of Kenny Rogers’s “The Gambler Returns: Luck of the Draw,” televised on November 3, 1991, via NBC. Image courtesy of the Jack Kelly family private collection
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An official portrait of Mayor Jack Kelly. The former “Red Nightmare” star served two terms as mayor of Huntington Beach, California, beginning in 1983 and served on the city council from 1980 until his death 12 years later. Image Credit: City of Huntington Beach
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With cigar and gun holster firmly clutched in hand, Jack Kelly as Bart Maverick is photographed in a wardrobe test photo for “Maverick,” circa 1957. Image courtesy of the Jack Kelly family private collection
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Left-handed journalist Linda Alexander poses beside a stack of her venerable classic Hollywood biographies, including “A Maverick Life: The Jack Kelly Story,” and “I Am Mister Ed: Allen ‘Rocky’ Lane Revealed” on July 24, 2014, inside her dining room. Lane was a B-western cowboy hero who gained television immortality as the voice of Mister Ed, a sagacious palomino horse on the classic CBS sitcom of the same name from 1961–1966. Photography by Nick Thomas / Courtesy of Linda Alexander
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Presenting Jack Kelly’s winning smile during his stint as host of the NBC game show “Sale of the Century,” circa summer 1969. Note the juxtaposition of the jaded model holding the mink coat. Image Credit: NBCUniversal Photo Bank
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The book cover of “A Maverick Life: The Jack Kelly Story,” the official biography of the “Forbidden Planet” star written by Linda Alexander and published on November 25, 2011. Image Credit: BearManor Media

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Retro pop culture interviews & lovin’ someone fierce sustain this University of Georgia Master of Agricultural Leadership alum. Email: jeremylr@windstream.net