Don Marshall


Don Marshall as Dan Erickson

Don was born Donald James Marshall in San Diego, California, and was one of four children. He attended San Diego High School. He initially studied engineering at San Diego City College between 1956 and 1957, a skill which he still puts into use to this day. In the mid fifties whilst in the army he was encouraged to consider acting by his friend Peter Bren. Don studied acting for over four years at the Bob Gist Dramatic Workshop, whilst also studying Theatre Arts at Los Angeles City College.

He got his first professional acting role in 1961 in a feature called 'The Interns' for Columbia Studios. Don went on to appear in a wide range of features and television shows including ABC's hospital drama 'Ben Casey', Clint Eastwood's western series 'Rawhide' and episodes of 'The Alfred Hitchcock Hour'.

In 1965, he appeared in a pilot for a series called 'Braddock' and then in 1966 he starred in three early episodes of 'Daktari' as Luke. A frequently seen role was his portrayal of Lt. Boma in the 'Star Trek' episode 'The Galileo Seven'.

From there Don went on to play Dan Erickson in 'Land of the Giants'. Someone influential saw Don in the pilot for 'Braddock' and called his agent to arrange a meeting with Irwin Allen. Don did most of his own stunts, which were very impressive in the fast paced show.

After 'Giants', Don was seen regularly in television movies and television movies, such as 'Julia' with Diahann Carroll. One of his best performances was in a television movie called 'The Reluctant Heroes', playing a medic. A very different project was 'The Thing with Two Heads' 1972. In 1973, Don appeared in a prison adventure called 'Terminal Island'. Later in 1974 Don appeared along side a marvellous cast including Sidney Poitier, Bill Cosby, and singer/actor Harry Belafonte.

In the early seventies, Don set up his own production company, DJM Productions, Inc., which produces a variety of television commercials and documentary films. Don guest starred three times in 'The Incredible Hulk' in the late seventies, and also appeared in 'Buck Rogers' in 1979. One of his favourite guest roles was his part in 'Little House on the Prairie' as Dr. Ledoux which dealt with 19th Century racism head on.

A major facet of Don's career is consultation on a number of issues connected with his work and with racial issues. Don has also received many awards in honour of his work including 'Outstanding Achievement to Don Marshall as acknowledgement of Superior Performance as a Black Achiever in the United States of America'.

In more recent years, Don appeared briefly as 'Knuckles' in the 1987 film 'Birds of Prey' and in the 1992 movie 'Highway Heartbreaker', as a hotel concierge. He also appears in the 'Fantasy Worlds of Irwin Allen' produced by Fox in tribute to Irwin Allen.

Most recently, Don has been attending several US conventions and in 2003 ventured across the Atlantic to the Autographica convention in the United Kingdom. In 2011, Don joined the rest of the cast of Land of the Giants at the Land of the Giants DVD commentary recording in LA.

Don was very enthusiastic about bringing 'Land of the Giants' back to our screens, and wrote his own script 'Escape from a Giant Land'.

We were all very saddened to learn of his death on Sunday 30th October 2016 at Cedars Sinai Hospital at the age of 80.

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