Leonard Stern

I'm Dickens He's Fenster creator Leonard Stern boasted a remarkable resume. Mr. Stern's legendary career spanned over fifty years and encompassed various media including film, television, and publishing.

In the late 40's and early 50's Stern wrote for the Abbott and Costello and Ma and Pa Kettle movies. He moved on to television in the middle of that decade to write for such classic TV shows as The Honeymooners, Sergeant Bilko, and The Steve Allen Show. In the 1960's Leonard Stern wrote, created, directed and produced IDHF, He & She (starring Richard Benjamin and Paula Prentiss), and The Governor & J.J., with Dan Dailey and Julie Sommers.

Stern's best known work was producing, writing and directing Get Smart (starring Don Adams and Barbara Feldon) from 1965-1970. In 1971 he created, directed, wrote and produced the series McMillan & Wife, starring Rock Hudson and Susan St. James.

For several decades he was a partner in the Price/Stern/Sloan publishing house, producing, among others, the wildly popular Mad Libs series of books which he co-created with Roger Price. Later, Stern founded Tallfellow Press which currently publishes books focusing on writing for and about the entertainment industry, in addition to carrying on the tradition of Mad Libs, which just celebrated its 50th anniversary, and Mad Libs' graphic comedy cousin, Droodles.

All of Leonard Stern's work, particularly I'm Dickens He's Fenster, reflects his unique brand of comedy-eliciting genuine belly laughs, while at the same time infusing his characters with humanity, vulnerability, and intelligence.

Leonard Stern passed away after a long illness at the age of 87 in Los Angeles on June 7, 2011. His comedy legacy will never be forgotten.

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John Astin

Although best known for his role as Gomez Addams on the classic TV series The Addams Family, John Astin is a veteran of nearly 150 film and TV roles (including West Side Story, The Twilight Zone, and Batman), and an accomplished TV and film director. In 1969, he was nominated for an Academy Award for the short subject Prelude, which marked his directorial debut. He went on to direct dozens of TV productions including Rod Serling's Night Gallery and Murder, She Wrote. Astin also directed episodes of McMillan & Wife (created and produced by D&F's creator Leonard Stern).

For the character of Harry Dickens, John Astin was hired by Leonard Stern to serve as straight man (always the toughest and most misunderstood role in show business) to his manic comic counterpart Arch Fenster (Marty Ingels). Adept at both comedy and drama, Astin was the perfect choice to play the somewhat insecure, pensive, but always loyal best friend in this classic TV sitcom.

Marty Ingels

Born Martin Ingerman in Brooklyn, New York, Marty Ingels has appeared in nearly one-hundred movies and TV shows, including the classic TV series Bewitched, Adam-12 and The Dick Van Dyke Show. An astute businessman, Ingels has managed the career of his wife Shirley Jones (The Partridge Family) for the past thirty years, as well as other prominent celebrities. His raspy voice and staccato delivery has helped bring to life such TV cartoon characters as Beegle Beagle in The Great Grape Ape Show, Pac-Man, and AutoCat in The Cattanooga Cats.

Ingels whirlwind personality was ideal for the impetuous, frenetic but friendly Fenster -- counterbalancing his good friend, the more worried and deliberate Dickens.

Emmaline Henry

Emmaline Henry's acting career started in the 1950's, but she didn't hit her stride until she was cast as Kate Dickens, loving wife and helpmate to Harry. Ms. Henry enjoyed several prominent roles during her twenty years in show business, including working with directors Alfred Hitchcock and Roman Polanski in Marnie and Rosemary's Baby.

However, Emmaline Henry is best known for playing Mrs. Bellows on the classic TV series I Dream of Jeannie, starring Barbara Eden and Larry Hagman. Tragically, she died of cancer in 1979 at the age of fifty.

Frank De Vol

Born in West Virginia in 1911, Frank De Vol grew up in the sublime atmosphere of music. His father was a band-leader, and by age 14 young De Vol joined the Musician's Union. By the 1940's, he was writing arrangements for such musical legends as Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, and Tony Bennett. By the 1960's "music by De Vol" became a familiar credit for numerous movies and classic TV shows such as Pillow Talk, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, My Three Sons, Family Affair, and The Brady Bunch.

Frank De Vol perfected his trademark deadpan persona while playing the role of Dickens & Fenster's boss Mr. Bannister, which he would later reprise while portraying the lugubrious bandleader Happy Kyne, on the 1970's talk show parodies Fernwood 2Nite and America 2-Night. De Vol died in Lafayette, California in 1999 at the age of 88.

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