1 9 5 3 (USA)
12 x 30 minute episodes
This summer replacement show about an Irish-American family in Ludlow, Kentucky (just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati) 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 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 in Ludlow.
He lived behind the sweet shop he owned, which was managed by his brother Terrence (Ian Martin) – who Kevin called “Great Uncle Terrence”. According to Kevin, Great Uncle Terrence could build the best kites and dream the best dreams. He also never forgot a promise.
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, initially on Sunday nights before moving to Tuesdays in September. Sponsors included Revlon.
Great Uncle Terrence
Ronnie (Christopher) Walken
Peter Bodkin Jr
Pat Harrington Sr
Narrator (adult Kevin)
Luis Van Rooten