Home Actor Richard Denning: A Versatile Actor Who Served in the Navy

Richard Denning: A Versatile Actor Who Served in the Navy


Richard Denning was an American actor best known for his performances in science fiction films of the 1950s, such as Unknown Island (1948), Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), Target Earth (1954), Day the World Ended (1955), Creature with an Atom Brain (1955), Creature With Atom Brain (1955) and The Black Scorpion (1957). Additionally he co-starred alongside Cary Grant in An Affair to Remember (1957) as well as Lucille Ball on radio with My Favorite Husband (1957). But prior to becoming famous actor Richard Denning served on submarines during World War II as well.

Early Life and Education

Richard Denning
Richard Denning

Denning was born Louis Albert Heindrich Denninger Jr. on March 27, 1914, in Poughkeepsie, New York and relocated with his family 18 months later to Los Angeles where he attended Manual Arts High School before going on to earn a Master of Business Administration from Woodbury Business College – but later found greater passion in acting than garment manufacturing business management.

Military Service and Acting Career

Denning joined the United States Navy during World War II and served on submarines as Yeoman 1st Class. According to Denning himself, his military service disrupted his acting career; following discharge it took 18 months until Paramount Pictures offered more acting work – during this period his family lived in a mobile home that alternated between Malibu and Palm Springs as they resided temporarily within its confines.

Denning found relief from his unemployment when he was cast opposite Lucille Ball on radio in My Favorite Husband, broadcast by CBS from July 23, 1948 through March 31, 1951 on CBS Radio and eventually turned into television sitcom I Love Lucy. While CBS wanted Denning as her husband in this groundbreaking television sitcom, Lucille insisted upon using Desi Arnaz instead – although CBS wanted Denning as well!

Radio success led him to a role on CBS television’s adaptation of Mr. and Mrs. North; on television he appeared as Ding Howe of Ding Howe and the Flying Tigers and Dr. Greg Graham from The Flying Doctor (1959). Additionally he appeared as Michael Shayne (200A685) from 1960-1961 while sharing title billing with Barbara Britton as Mr. and Mrs. North (1964-69)

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