Not since I helpfully (I thought anyway) typed that were I starving in India, believe I'd eat me a sacred cow, have I received so many passionate feedbacks!
In no way did I intend to single out certain living TV icons for purposes of ignoring the tremendous contributions of other washed-up has beens... I mean revered cultural treasures! Nor did I mean to portray any former Lunch box adorners as less than fascinating, fully realized individuals with a vibrant off camera lives. OK, for you readers in your 20's there was once a time when mothers made lunch for their kids, and these alleged lunches were transported from home to school in things called 'lunch boxes' which bore images of popular cartoon or TV characters. Yep, I know it sounds bizarre, but it happened exactly like that, no kidding.
Uhmmm, where was I? Oh yeah! My mentioning only certain TV/film performances that had a formative effect on me was in no way intended to be discriminatory towards other equally talented performers. Nor would I ever dare to suggest that a lady who wore a (very attractive) form fitting Reynold's wrap jumpsuit and couldn't get her space ship driving husband to stop and ask for directions had very little life outside that venue. WHEW! There! That should satisfy the folks at Liebowitz, Liebowitz, Liebowitz and O'Reilly. Now to business then...
June Lockhart was not JUST all that on TV, with the deathtrap farm or the lost spaceship with the "Don't ask don't tell" Dr. Smith. June also was best pals and weekly poker player with Rod Serling, right up to his death.
Barbara Billingsley of "Leave it to Beaver" is still with us. I'm not going to point out that most housewives don't vacuum wearing pearls and a cocktail dress. I'm not going to throw in the factoid that the Cleaver home was also home to that police guy in "Rockford Files" (guess the Cleavers sold it after the divorce) and I'm not even going to observe that Wally, who was supposed to be some big deal jock, looks like about 5'6" to me. I will say though? Second season of that show starts with the family backing the land yacht out on some excursion. There's no glass in that back window Wally & the Beaver are eagerly looking out of.
Lunchbox characters from the "Dark Shadows" show are still with us... well the main ones. Jonathan Frid (Barnabas) is still kicking around. Angelique (Lara Parker) is alive, and probably still has amazing eyes. David Selby (Quentin) with sideburns even the 70's Elvis would find embarrassing, he's still alive too.
A good half of the original Star Trek cast haven't gone to see Jesus yet. Shatner's got the higher profile of course. Sulu has the same sex marriage ink. Chekov got unwanted ink lately in losing a disturbed son. Leonard Nimoy is still around too though. I think Leonard is one of the funniest people on Earth, and that brings up some more Lunch box adorners?
See, Leonard was a Sergeant in the early 1950's. I find that rather surreal. "Your explanation for not having shiny shoes is highly illogical maggot. Drop and give me twenty!" One of his charges was a guy named Ken Berry, and Nimoy encouraged him to pursue an acting career. That's probably one of the worst things Leonard ever said. Berry went on to act in many series; none of them worth watching, nope, not so much.
One Ken Berry show was called "F-Troop" and I recall it mostly because it had a theme song with words. It was a parody on military service in the old West, sort of like "McHale's Navy" in a way. Ernest Borgnine is still alive, better get THAT one in! "F-Troop" had its moments; really it was kind of daring at times. Berry had nothing to do with the best jokes. Ken Berry is still alive. So is Larry Storch who played Corporal Agarn, was very funny, and my opinion carried more than a third of the show.
All right, ADD kicking in now. Lots of people from my kidhood lunchboxes are still around.