Gary Vinson began showing up in guest roles on popular TV series in the late 1950s. He appeared in comedies like The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, dramas like Perry Mason and Westerns, like Gunsmoke and Bat Masterson. In 1960, he was cast as a regular in the short-lived drama The Roaring 20s with Dorothy Provine.
In 1962, he landed the role for which he was most associated – Quartermaster George “Christy” Christopher on the Ernest Borgnine military farce McHale’s Navy. He appeared in seventy-nine episodes until the series’ end. He was then immediately cast as the town sheriff in the promising CBS sitcom Pistols ‘n’ Petticoats. The series, conceived by George Tibbles, producer of My Three Sons and writer of the Woody Woodpecker theme song, was a Western spoof. The show was initially very popular, thanks to its star, 40s Hollywood actress Ann Sheridan. When Ann signed on to the series, she was already in failing health and twenty-one episodes in, she passed away. After struggling in the ratings, CBS canceled the show two months after Ann’s death.
From the late 60s until the 80s, Gary’s acting services were in high demand and he kept busy with many guest shots in episodic television.
In 1984, facing legal trouble from serious allegations of sexual misconduct, Gary committed suicide. He was 47.
I have noticed that many of the illustrations you create have stories that accompany them. And even more of a coincidence…many of the stories end in tragic deaths. Did you notice that?
I am shocked the accusations that were building against him!!! I thought he was a great actor, he was kind of my first “man crush” as a young boy. Lost track of him as he was not a household name and did not do any major work in the 70’s and 80’s. Did not realize he had died, let alone committed suicide. Wow, I am inclined to believe these accusations, but I am curious on why there is so little about him and the details surrounding his suicide anywhere online!! I find it strange that no fellow actors/cast members or gossip sites or victims (except the woman above) actually provided any details (maybe for liability reasons?) Can it be that it was suppressed by someone, or could not be revealed because he died before the accusations were proven?? I am shocked, and saddened…maybe he was also an alcoholic or drug addict, or severely depressed about his career? Or severely conflicted about his sexuality or this particular sexual perversion (as he should be). Guess we will never know the whole story. He does to appear to have been married twice according to IMDb, and always lived in the same general geographic area. Well, I hope the people affected by his “alleged” crimes were successfully able to move on from those horrible acts…For what it’s worth, I thought he was a talented actor and a handsome man…what a waste – Rob
Thanks for the comment.
Although I did this illustration two years ago, I do remember having a lot of difficulty find any information on Mr. Vinson. Details surrounding his “impropriety” were either vague or incomplete.
Thanks again for reading my blog.