The Virginian Pilot
October 11, 2009
Dallas Midgette, actor for 40 years in television and motion picture dramas, known as Dallas Mitchell, died at home Sept. 13, 2009, with Shelia O'Brien his devoted sweetheart and "angel" of 23 years at his side. Sheila and a local priest helped Dallas fulfill his desire to be baptized, to receive other sacraments including the sacrament of the sick as he fought to survive cancer. The eternal beatific vision of God is surely his. Born Oct. 8, 1927, and reared in Norfolk's suburban Bayview area where he met his lifelong friend, Donald Grey, Dallas was educated at Holy Trinity, Granby and Maury High School and attended what is now Old Dominion University. Besides his beloved Sheila, he is survived by his son, "Chappy" (Elsa) and grandchild Michelle, Damon (Monti) and grandchildren "DJ" and Morgan, and daughter, Danielle Marsella (Joe) and grandchild, "Joey," all of California. Dallas was predeceased by his parents, Lucille and Lt. (Norfolk police) Dallas W. Midgette and his sister, Patsy M. Raspberry and her husband Eddie. Patsy and Eddie's children, Brenda Juel (Benny) and four grandchildren, Carol Millis (Joe) and two children and Carmon Pizzanello (Glenn) and two children, all reside in the Hampton Roads area. Left to cherish the memories they shared with Dallas, when he was still living locally, are his childhood sweetheart, Elaine Neblett (VanTongeren) of Yuma, Ariz., local friends, Donald Grey, Steve Eubank, Harold "Bobby" Gravaris, H.L. "Hank" Foiles, Joyce Zoby Foiles and Curtis Estes. During the World War II years from December 1941 to September 1945, everywhere, it was a "feverish" time and a period of passionate patriotism as Dallas and friends waited "to serve" their country. (No one in the U.S. believed the War would end before 1950. The atomic bomb changed that perspective). His friends and "dates" enjoyed the sounds of the big bands like Harry James, Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, the Dorsey Brothers, Louie Prima, et al and danced, not only at local high schools and sorority and fraternity events, but occasionally at the Surf Club and the Cavalier Beach & Cabana Club with open air dance floors that extended onto the sandy beaches. During his hundreds of television and motion picture appearances, Dallas co-starred in the original "Star Trek" series as Lt. Tom Nellis and he appeared as "Danny" in the movie "Airport." He had character parts in made-for-television movies like "Face of Fear" and "Amelia Earhart" and in television series like "FBI," "Wagon Train," "Riverboat," "Gunsmoke," "Quincy," and "Kojack," to name a few. A memorial Catholic Mass took place Friday, Sept. 25, 2009, in St. Hedwig Catholic Church, Los Alamitos, Calif. Memorial donations may be made to St. Hedwig Catholic Church, 11482 Los Alamitos Blvd., Los Alamitos, CA 90720.
MITCHELL, Dallas (Dallas Midgette)
Born: 10/8/1927, Norfolk, Virginia, U.S.A.
Died: 9/13/2009, Los Alamitos, California, U.S.A.
Dallas Mitchell’s westerns – actor:
Colt .45 (TV) – 1959 (Joe Donnelly, Ben Thorpe)
Have Gun – Will Travel (TV) – 1959, 1961 (Tom, Ken, cowhand)
Gunsmoke (TV) – 1959, 1961, 1963 (cowboy, Bert, cowboy)
Riverboat (TV) – 1960 (Jerry Madden)
Cimarron Strip (TV) – 1968 (sergeant)