| Robert Leroy "Bobby" Diamond|
(California attorney and former child actor on NBC's Fury and The Nanette Fabray Show and CBS'
|Born|| August 23, 1943 |
Los Angeles, California, USA
|Died|| May 15, 2019 (aged 75) |
Ventura County, California
|Spouse|| Divorced from Tara Lynn Parker Diamond (born 1960)|
Robert Leroy Diamond, known as Bobby Diamond (August 23, 1943 – May 15, 2019), was an American attorney in his native Los Angeles, California, and a former child actor and young-adult actor in the 1950s through the early 1970s. He is best remembered after more than sixty years for his role as Joey Clark Newton in the television series Fury , a modern western which ran on NBC from October 15, 1955 through March 19, 1960. He was listed as Robert Diamond in the cast credits during the first season in 1955.
Diamond was spotted in Los Angeles in 1955 by a talent scout and was subsequently cast on Fury. He graduated in 1964 from Ulysses S. Grant High School in the San Fernando Valley, then located in Van Nuys but now in Valley Glen. He had two sons, Robert A. Diamond and Jesse Diamond, from a previous marriage to Tara Lynn Parker, who is seventeen years younger than Diamond and like Diamond shared an interest in a gymnastics.
His interest in the law was spurred by his efforts to procure a student draft deferment during the Vietnam War. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, Northridge, then known as San Fernando Valley State College. In 1970, he received his Juris Doctorate from the University of West Los Angeles, then known as the San Fernando Valley College of Law in Woodland Hills. On January 5, 1972, Diamond was admitted to the California bar and soon commenced the practice of law in Los Angeles. He resided in Newberry Park in Ventura County at the time of his admission to the bar. His clients included former child actor Paul Petersen (born 1945) on The Donna Reed Show and Kelsey Grammer (born 1955) of NBC's Cheers and Frasier.
Fury television series
Diamond's character, Joey, had run afoul of the law, befriended a handsome wild black stallion, and lived on the Broken Wheel Ranch in California with his widowed and adopted father, Jim Newton, portrayed by Peter Graves (1926-2010), later known for his roles on Mission: Impossible and Seventh Heaven. In the story line, Newton's wife and son had been killed by a drunk driver.
Joey called Jim by his first name but in time looked upon him as a father. Character actor William Fawcett, who held a Ph.D. in theater, played the housekeeper and top ranch hand, Pete Wilkey, remembered for his tone of voice. Fawcett was the veteran of many westerns on both television and in motion picutures.
Cast as Joey Newton's friends are Roger Mobley (born 1949) as Homer "Packy" Lambert, who appeared in forty-one episodes from 1958 to 1960, and Jimmy Baird (born 1945) as Rodney "Pee Wee" Jenkins from 1957 to 1958. The popular program originally ran after school hours during the week, but moved to Saturday mornings, was subtitled: "The Story of a Horse and the Boy Who Loves Him." Fury reruns continued on NBC until September 3, 1966, and later in syndication under the title the "Black Stallion" and as "Brave Stallion."
Diamond played the recurring role of "Buddy" in the NBC sitcom, The Nanette Fabray Show. In choosing Nanette Fabray (1920-2018), he passed up the role beginning in 1960 of Robbie Douglas on Fred MacMurray's ABC situation comedy, My Three Sons." After Diamond declined the role, that spot wall filled by Don Grady (1944-2012). My Three Sons' ran on two networks for a total of twelve seasons; The Nanette Fabray Show lasted only a single season. Diamond told a Los Angeles Times reporter in 1990 that had he taken the My Three Sons role, "I could have been a multi-multimillionaire just from that alone." He was cast in 1962–1963 as Duncan "Dunky" Gillis, a cousin of the lead character, Dobie Gillis, in seven episodes of the final season of CBS's The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, created by Max Shulman and starring Dwayne Hickman (born 1934). Also in 1963, Diamond appeared briefly as "Pvt. Pip" in an episode of Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone, entitled "In Praise of Pip." He was credited as "Robert Diamond." Billy Mumy and Jack Klugman also appeared in that episode, which aired on September 27, 1963. In 1965, Diamond played the son of the butter and egg man in an episode of The Andy Griffith Show.
He appeared as Jody Webster in the 1961 episode "Paperback Hero" of the ABC western series, The Rebel, starring Nick Adams as a roaming former Confederate soldier. He claimed to have been considered for the role of Robin on Batman but was told that at twenty-one he was too old for the part. However, Diamond was only two years older than Burt Ward (born 1945), who instead landed the role.
Attempted entry into films
Guided by his mother, Pearl Diamond (1924-2010), a Los Angeles homemaker, Diamond 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). He was cast in the lead role in the 1962 film Airborne, as Eddie Slocom, a naive, country boy who wants to join the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division. Airborne follows the course of his training to become a paratrooper. The film was was moderately well-received by the public, but critics considered it contrived with a highly predictable story line, and it remains today almost unknown. Airborne was his only lead role in a film, his only other film appearances were in supporting roles in the 1965 Patty Duke (1946-2016) comedy film, Billie, and the 1981 slasher film, Scream.
Later television career
Over the years, Diamond appeared in dozens of television series, including ABC's The Fugitive with David Janssen (1931-1980), NBC's The Loretta Young Show, CBS's Angel, and Father Knows Best, starring Robert Young (1907-1998). He also appeared in episodes of NBC's Wagon Train, starring Ward Bond (1903-1960) and John McIntyre (1907-1991), and CBS's Mister Ed, with Alan Young (1919-2016), owner of a talking horse. He was cast as Gus in the 1964 episode, "Visions of Sugar Plums," of the NBC education drama series, Mr. Novak, starring James Franciscus (1934-1991), formerly the lead actor in CBS's The Investigators who was cast as an idealistic high school teacher in Los Angeles.
Between 1965 and 1967, Diamond guest starred with Robert Bray (1917-1983) in the lead role of Forest Ranger Corey Stuart, in three episodes of CBS's Lassie. Diamond's last role was in 1990 in Gary Cole's NBC series, Midnight Caller.
On October 21, 2000, Diamond was among the honorees at Iverson's Movie Ranch, which dates back to 1912, near Chatsworth in the San Fernando Valley, at which he left his signature, handprints, and bootprints in the courtyard. Iverson's is dedicated to preserving the history of film and television westerns.
- Robert Diamond. Mylife.com. Retrieved on March 27, 2020.
- Fury (1955-1960 TV series). Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved on March 27, 2020.
- Bobby Diamond – Biography. Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved on March 27, 2020.
- CA State Bar Records. albar.ca.gov (March 27, 2020).
- Mike Barnes (May 24, 2019). 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. The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved on March 28, 2020.
- Bobby Diamond. TV.com. Retrieved on March 27, 2020.
- William Fawcett. Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved on March 27, 2020.
- In Praise of Pip. The Original Twilight Zone Episode Guide. Retrieved on March 27, 2020.
- Tim Allis and David Lustig (May 8, 1989). Bobby Diamond's Grown-Up and a Lawyer, but the Kid from Fury Hasn't Stopped Horsing Around. People magazine. Retrieved on March 27, 2020.
- Pearl Diamond. Findagrave.com. Retrieved on March 29, 2020.
- Iverson Ranch. Retrieved on March 27, 2020; material does not appear to be still on line.
- Iverson Movie Ranch. Steve Stevens website (material is no longer on-line).
- Iverson Movie Ranch. Movielocationsplus.com. Retrieved on March 28, 2020.