Kathie Browne was born Jacqueline Katherine Browne in San Luis Obispo, California on September 19, 1930. She got her break in TV after appearing in a Los Angeles production of Tennessee Williams’s play, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” (1958), making her debut in 1957 in the Western TV series, The Gray Ghost (1957), The Sheriff of Cochise (1956), and Gunsmoke (1955).
The following year, she made her movie debut in the B-movie, Murder by Contract (1958), but it was mostly television that was her métier. She made numerous guest appearances on a plethora of TV shows. The blonde haired, blue-eyed beauty played mainly ingénue parts, and was a very busy TV actress of the 1960s and ’70s,
One of her most famous acting role was as the prospective bride of “Adam Cartwright”, during the 1963-64 season of Bonanza (1959). She had appeared on the series twice before, as different characters, in 1961 and 1962, but was cast as the pretty widow, “Laura Dayton,” in 1963, appearing in 4 episodes broadcast between December 8, 1963 and May 17, 1964, which was the penultimate show of the season.
Laura was supposed to marry “Adam” and ride off with him into the sunset as Pernell Roberts was unhappy with the show and threatening to leave. The producers, at the demand of NBC (which owned the show), hired Guy Williams as a potential replacement for Roberts. Instead of leaving after the 1963-64 season,Roberts signed on for one more year on the Ponderosa, and Browne (as Laura) rode off with Adam’s cousin, “Will Cartwright,” instead, who was played by Williams.
A year after her turn as a regular on the short-lived western series, Hondo (1967), Browne gave another memorable performance, in the Star Trek: The Original Series (1966) episode, Star Trek: The Original Series: Wink of an Eye (1968), in which she played the beautiful Scalosian who (what else?) falls in love with Captain Kirk.
Browne married actor Darren McGavin in 1969, and they were frequent co-stars, including his starring series, Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974), during the 1970s. Browne retired from acting in 1980.
Kathie Browne died on April 8, 2003 in Beverly Hills, California. She was 72 years old.
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