In 1959 Dennis The Menace was a popular TV show, based on the comic strip. The irritable Mr. Wilson was played by an actor named Joseph Kearns, who did a great job, and came off as loveable despite his irritability. But smack in the middle of the 1961-1962 season, Kearns keeled over and died of a heart attack.
So get this: The studio simply hired a new actor to replace Kearns. Moved him in and made him the new Mr. Wilson, just like that. No goodbye old Mr. Wilson, just hello new guy. No one in the entire neighborhood seemed to notice that Mr. Wilson had morphed into an entirely different human being -- not Dennis, not the neighbors, not even Mrs. Wilson.
No one in my elementary school could watch Dennis the Menace after that without getting completely freaked out. As far as we were concerned, Rod Serling should have been introducing each new episode of Dennis The Menace. The show was cancelled in 1963, and not a moment too soon as far as we creeped-out 10-year-olds were concerned.
UPDATE: OOPS! I should have put this under Actors and Actresses, not Other Names in the News. Nuts!
He was born on February 12, 1907 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He got his start in show business working in radio in the 1940s on such shows as "Adventures of Sam Spade"; "Burns and Allen"; "The Cinnamon Bear"; "Suspense" and many others. His very brief film career started with his debut in "Hard, Fast and Beautiful" (1951) as J.R. Carpenter. His other films were: Disney's "Alice in Wonderland" (1951) as Voice of the Doorknob; "Our Miss Brooks" (1956) the film version, as Mr. Stone; "The Girl Most Likely" (1957) as Mr. Schlom; "The Gift of Love" (1958) as Mr. Rynicker; "Anatomy of a Murder" (1959) as Mr. Burke, his last film. His television debut came in "Our Miss Brooks" (1953-55) as Superintendent Stone. He was also a regular on the TV series: "Dennis the Menace" (1959-62) as Mr. George Wilson. He also guest starred on other TV series including: "I Love Lucy"; "How to Marry a Millionaire"; "My Little Margie"; "Gunsmoke"; "Perry Mason" and "The Donna Reed Show." He was an avid organist and his Hollywood home was built around a huge organ. He died of a cerebral hemorrhage on February 17, 1962 in Los Angeles, California five days after his 55th birthday.