HomeEntertainmentRichard Evans, ‘Peyton Place’ and ‘Dirty Little Billy’ Actor, Dies at 86

Richard Evans, ‘Peyton Place’ and ‘Dirty Little Billy’ Actor, Dies at 86

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by �� John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

Richard Evans, who is known for his role in ABC’s soap opera ‘Peyton Place’ as well as John Carter/Billy Wilcox/Ellis Watson in ‘Bonanza,’ and the film ‘Dirty Little Billy,’ has died at the age of 86.

The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Richard Evans’ family spokesman announced the late actor died on October 2nd. He passed away on Whidbey Island in Washington state earlier this month. 

Along with ‘Peyton Place’ and ‘Bonanza,’ Richard Evans guest-starred in various television series. This includes ‘Wagon Train,’ ‘Alfred Hitchcock Present,’ ‘Sea Hunter,’ ‘Gunsmoke,’ ‘The Iron Horse,’ and even ‘Star Trek.’ 

His last role is Eadweard Muybridge in the 2016 short film ‘The Emperor of Time.’ 

Evans survived with his wife of 68 years, Jo Evans, his son Paul and his granddaughters Sarah, Madalyn, and Rachel. 

Richard Evans Was An College English Professor in ‘Peyton Place’ 

Richard Evans first appeared on ‘Peyton Place’ in 1965. The late actor played Paul Richard. He was the enemy of Tim O’Connor’s character Elliot Carson and the brother of Elliot’s murdered wife, Elizabeth. Also was an English professor of English at Peyton College. He eventually bonds with Mia Farrow’s Allison MacKenzie when she became a student in his English class. 

Evans has been credited for a total of 26 episodes on ‘Peyton Place.’ His character went on to testify against Carson and lied when he said that witnessed Carson murdering his sister. Come to find out later that Carson did not murder his wife. Carson went to jail for 15 years. In the end, it was actually Mary Anderon’s character Catherine Harrington was actually the murderer. 

‘Peyton Place’ premiered on September 15, 1964. It ran for a total of five seasons and had 514 episodes. Starring in the show with Evans, O’Connor, and Farrow was Dorothy Malone, Warner Anderson, Ed Nelson, and Ryan O’Neal. 

Richard Evans Played ‘Goldie’ in the 1972 Western Film ‘Dirty Little Billy’ 

In the 1972 western film ‘Dirty Little Billy,’ Richard Evans took on the role of Goldie. According to its IMDb, the film is a more realistic, based-on-reality, unsensationalistic portrayer of the “gritty” early years of one of the most famous Wild West outlaws in history, Billy the Kid. 

The film premiered at the San Francisco Film Festival on October 20, 1972. It was directed by Stan Dragoti and written by Charles Moss and Dragoti. According to Shock Cinema magazine’s Steven Puchalski, the film was not a typical “Tinseltown western” movie. “It’s more like The Making of a Sociopath, with Michael J. Pollard starring as displaced, 17-year-old Billy Bonney, in the days leading up to his evolution into the notorious Billy the Kid.”

Evans starred in the film with Michael J. Pollard, Charles Aidman, and Lee Purcell.