Bobby Diamond, Boy With a Horse on the 1950s TV Series 'Fury,' Dies at 75
He also was on 'The Twilight Zone' and 'The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis' but passed up a chance to play one of the boys on 'My Three Sons.'
Bobby Diamond, who portrayed a young orphan opposite Peter Graves and a wild stallion on the 1950s NBC series Fury, has died. He was 75.
Diamond died May 15 of cancer at Los Robles Regional Medical Center in Thousand Oaks, Calif., author and longtime friend Laurie Jacobson told The Hollywood Reporter.
Diamond also starred with Jack Klugman on "In Praise of Pip," a 1963 episode of The Twilight Zone, and played Duncan "Dunky" Gillis, a cousin of Dwayne Hickman's title character, on the final season of another CBS series, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.
Legend has it he was in the running to portray Robin the Boy Wonder on ABC's Batman before producers decided that at 21 he was too old and went with Burt Ward instead.
On Fury — "the story of a horse and the boy who loves him," as it said in the opening — Diamond starred as Joey Clark, a troubled youngster. He's adopted by Graves' Jim Newton, the owner of the Broken Wheel Ranch in California, and forms a strong bond with a wild horse named Fury. (Newton's wife and son recently had been killed by a drunk driver.)
The show ran for five seasons, from October 1955 through March 1960, and then for years afterward in syndication.
When Fury ended, Diamond said he turned down an opportunity to play one of the boys, Robbie Douglas (Don Grady), on a new show, ABC's My Three Sons, in favor of working on another sitcom, NBC's The Nanette Fabray Show.
My Three Sons ran for 12 seasons, The Nanette Fabray Show one.
"Great decision, eh? I could have been a multi-multimillionaire just from that alone," he said in a 1990 interview with the Los Angeles Times.
A son of a real estate broker and a housewife, Robert Diamond was born Aug. 23, 1943. His mother, Pearl, guided him into show business, and he made his way into such films as The Greatest Show on Earth (1952), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), 3 Ring Circus (1954) and To Hell and Back (1955).
Later, he received top billing in Airborne (1962), a movie about paratroopers, and appeared in Billie (1965), a comedy that starred Patty Duke as an athletic tomboy.
Diamond also landed on other TV shows like Father Knows Best, The Loretta Young Show, The Andy Griffith Show, Lassie, Medical Center and Divorce Court.
He attended Ulysses S. Grant High School in Los Angeles and was an outstanding gymnast on the rings at San Fernando Valley State College (now Cal State Northridge). He then became a lawyer, representing, among others, actors Paul Petersen and Kelsey Grammer.
Survivors include his sons, Robbie and Jesse. His funeral will be private.