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Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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Mystery photo

Photograph by Bob Potwin / Los Angeles Times

I suspect that regular Daily Mirror readers will guess him right away.
Update: Gardner McKay in 1962 with his dog, named Pussycat.
Photograph by George R. Fry
Los Angeles Times
Please congratulate Dewey Webb for recognizing our mystery guest. Here's our fellow with another animal.

Update: In 1977, McKay retrieves a pet cheetah named Kenya from the roof of the garage at his Coldwater Canyon home.
Times file photo
Here's a big clue to our mystery fellow.

Update: This is McKay in a 1960 publicity photo for "Adventures in Paradise." The Times cropped it down to a one-column mug shot. No bare-chested, hunky guys in The Times, folks. As late as 1971, the art department painted a shirt on a photo of bare-chested Charlton Heston in "The Omega Man." Incredible. 
Los Angeles Times file photo
I'm getting lots of correct guesses. Let's see who else figures out the name of our mystery guest.

Update: McKay in 1974.
Times file photo
Gardner McKay in 1981.

As almost everyone guessed, this is Gardner McKay, who starred in the TV show "Adventures in Paradise" and then abandoned his acting career for other pursuits, including writing. Several of his works are listed on

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Comments (25)

Garner McKay?

It is Dean Jones with the Shaggy Dog.

Fred MacMurray?

Is it Ralph Helfer?

Okay, how about Bob Weatherwax?

He looks a tad like Rudd Weatherwax.

Think the pipe smoker is Gardner McKay at the helm for 'Adventures in Paradise', and not the dean of animal university.

Tom Hatten? The guy from the Popeye show?

John Saxon??

John Saxon??

Gardner McKay

How about that Gardner McKay?

Gardner McKay

Gardner McKay

This one has got to be Gardner McKay although pic #1 looks more like CNN's soon to be departed Miles O'Brien.

You're right - the third photo is the give away. Gardner McKay from Adventures in Paradise.

Gardner McKay!

Ty Hardin

Richard Zanuck?

It's Gardner McKay.

gardener mckay from adventures in paradise

Hmmmm....Gardner McKay of "Adventures in Paradise"?

Ah, Gardiner McKay.

Let's see -- the 4th photo makes me think it is John Derek, who was "Svengali" to Ursula Andress' "Trilby" -- and then to Linda Evans.... and Bo Derek -- . I certainly don't recognize him in first photo!

Seeing Gardner McKay's image after so long, prompted me to read more about him. Like many, I knew him only from one TV series, and vaguely recalled that he left acting to pursue 'other interests'. What I discovered is that he lived a rich, adventurous, and creative life after acting. It seems that the character he portrayed in 'Paradise' was an authentic, although small, facet of a gifted, bright, and adventurous man. He seems to have been the real deal.

Thanks for giving McKay fresh exposure.


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