Barton MacLane played the role of the Edwards Air Force Base commander, General Petersen, on the series in Seasons 1-3.
|Date of birth:||25 December 1902|
|Born in:||Columbia, SC, US|
|Died:||1 January 1969(aged 66)|
|Died in:||Santa Monica, CA, US|
|Appeared on/in:||I Dream of Jeannie|
|Number of |
|35 in Seasons 1-3|
|General Martin Petersen|
Life and career
One of Hollywood's most hardboiled character players, Barton, who was born on Chrismas Day 1902. and raised in Columbia, SC, was a football star at Wesleyan University in Niddletown, CT, and got hooked on acting when he landed a bit part in the Richard Dix silent comedy The Quarterback (1926). After further study at the Academy of Dramatic Arts he made his Broadway debut in 1927 and then alternated between the stage and small roles in Paramount films, shot at New York's Astoria Studios. In 1935 he went to Hollywood under contract to Warner Bros. MacLane's performance as the savage gangleader Brad Collins in G-Men (1935) established him as a leading screen heavy. With his gorilla-like frame, piercing eyes, and sandpapery snarl of a voice, he was usually cast as gangsters or western outlaws, and when playing tough good guys he projected the same air of menace he brought to his villains. He was the surly cop who slugged Humphrey Bogart in The Maltese Falcon (1941); Bogart returned the favor (with interest) in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), beating MacLane's crooked businessman to a pulp in the cantina scene.
In a much lighter vein, Barton also played Glenda Farrell's nemesis/love interest in the Torchy Blane mysteries of the late 1930s. Among his 125 other films are The Cocoanuts (1929), Tillie and Gus (1933), Bullets or Ballots (1936), You Only Live Once (1937), Mutiny in the Big House (1939), High Sierra (1941), Western Union (1939), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941), Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye (1950), Hell's Outpost (1954), and Pocketful of Miracles (1961). From the mid-1950s, MacLane was active primarily in television and from 1965 until his death he had the recurring role of General Peterson in the NBC-TV series I Dream of Jeannie.
He was married to actress Charlotte Wynters, whom he wed in 1939; Charlotte co-starred wih him in six of his films. Barton also played several musical instruments, including the violin, piano, and guitar. Until his death, he maintained a cattle ranch in eastern Madera County, California, where he made his home when he was not acting.
Death and posthumous honors
MacLane died of double pneumonia on New Year's Day, 1969 in Santa Monica, California  He was buried in Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery. For his contribution to the television industry, Barton MacLane has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6719 Hollywood Boulevard.