When Warren Beatty quit the show to pursue a movie career his rich kid character, Milton Armitage was replaced by a new rich kid,
Chatsworth Osborne, Jr. played by Steven Franken.
While Beatty's Milton had been a dark, aloof, sometimes even menacing rival to Dobie, Franken took a lighter approach making Chatsworth funny and not entirely unlikeable, despite his maddening superiority complex.

Living with his blue-blooded mother, played by Doris Packer, in a mansion surrounded by a wall embedded with broken glass to keep out the riff-raff, Chatsworth was a fey overachiever who couldn't understand how "dregs" like Dobie and Maynard always seemed to get the best of him. After all, Chatsworth was the president of the Silver Spoon Club, his blood type was "R" for "Royal" and he spoke 18 different languages including a dialect of Mandarin found only on certain vases! Although he was filthy rich, his mother (who always referred to him as "you nasty, nasty boy") insisted that he attend public schools to round out his personality, so he was forced to maintain uneasy relationships with Dobie (who he condescendingly called "Dobie-do") and the rest of his classmates.

In 1962 Steven Franken complained bitterly to TV Guide that being typecast as Chatsworth Osborne, Jr. had ruined his career: "I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but there are times when I hate Chatsworth as violently as Dobie or Maynard do. He may foul them up on the show with his money and his superiority, but I can't help feeling he fouls me up worse with casting directors and producers."

What galled Franken most was that he'd been typecast in a role that he'd played only 35 times! The show's producers limited his appearances to about one out of every four episodes because they felt Chatsworth was such a strong character that if he were on every week it would become "his" series. During the show's run, Franken spent more time in line at the Hollywood unemployment office than he did on the set!

It took a while after Dobie went off the air, but eventually Franken did go on to play lots of other roles. To go visit a Steven Franken filmography site click here.

Or, to return to the Dobie Gillis Home Page Click here ........