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Wonderful John Acton

1 9 5 3 (USA)

This summer replacement show about an Irish-American family in Ludlow, Kentucky in 1919 was seen through the eyes of grandson Kevin – always seen as a youngster (played by a 10-year-old Christopher Walken using his birth name of Ronnie) but never seen as an adult – as he reminisced about his family.

This show was a precursor cursor to The Wonder Years – and coincidentally the person reminiscing in both programs was named Kevin.

Kevin Acton had a paper route and loved rabbits. Luis Van Rooten narrated as the voice of the adult Kevin.

Widower John Acton (Harry Holcombe) had come to America from Dublin in 1888 and was now the County Clerk.

He lived behind the sweet shop he owned, which was managed by his brother Terrence (Ian Martin) – who Kevin called “Great Uncle Terrence”.

Julia (Virginia Dwyer) was Kevin’s widowed mother (John’s daughter) – a “red-haired saint with a sense of humour” – and Bessie Acton (Jane Rose) was John’s sister.

The ABC series aired between 12 July 1953 and 6 October 1953.

John Acton
Harry Holcombe
Julia Acton

Virginia Dwyer
Great Uncle Terrence
Ian Martin
Bessie Acton
Jane Rose
Kevin Acton
Ronnie (Christopher) Walken
Peter Bodkin Jr
Pat Harrington Sr
Birdie Bodkin
Mary Michael
Narrator (adult Kevin)
Luis Van Rooten