Click here to visit Dennis' Internet Movie Database page.

Dennis Patrick
Dark Shadows Characters:
Jason McGuire, Paul Stoddard

Appeared in: 65 episodes

First episode: # 193, March 22, 1967

Last episode: # 953, February 18, 1970

Born: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, March 14, 1918

Died: October 12, 2002, smoke inhalation

Dennis Patrick Harrison's first taste of life on the stage came at the age of 8, at the Flatbush Theatre in Brooklyn. He appeared in a production of H.M.S. Pinafore.

When he got older, Dennis dropped his last name and worked in radio serials, including Hilltop House and The O'Neils. Besides stage performances in New York, he also appeared on television. "I narrated the first St. Patrick's Day Parade for TV, and I was in the first TV production of MacBeth," he once told a reporter. "I was in 52 leading TV roles during a 26-week period in 1950."

The next year, Dennis played one of the first vampires on TV, in an episode of Stage 13.
In 1954 he was part of the original cast of The Secret Storm.

As Elizabeth's unwanted houseguest, Jason McGuire, Dennis joined the Dark Shadows cast in 1967. After that character was killed by vampire Barnabas Collins, he returned to the show as Elizabeth's long-lost husband, Paul Stoddard, in 1969.

In 1970, he played a golf pro on Somerset.

Dennis met Barbara Cason while they appeared together on Broadway in Marat Sade. He described his first impression of her later to TV Radio Show magazine: "She has such a marvelous figure, like a dancer! I asked her to cue me, and she was so helpful." The actor was separated from his first wife at the time, and soon romance blossomed with his co-star. They married four years later - just a week after the premiere of House of Dark Shadows, in which they both appeared.

The actor's hair went gray when he was in his early 20s, and at first he dyed it. "But when my face matured, I let it stay gray," he said. "It pays more."

One of those better-paying gigs was as J.R. Ewing's nemesis Vaughn Leland on the phenomenally successful night-time soap Dallas in the 1980s. In one of the biggest cliffhangers in TV history, the devilish oilman (Larry Hagman) was gunned down, leaving millions of fans asking, "Who shot J.R.?" Of course just about everyone in the cast had a reason to want him dead, and Vaughn was a prime suspect. (He didn't do it; J.R.'s sister-in-law, Kristin, pulled the trigger.)


In August 1980, Dennis Patrick made the cover of Time magazine when his Dallas character was one of many with a motive to shoot J.R. Ewing.

Dennis remained a busy character actor well into his senior years. He was a frequent, popular guest at Dark Shadows Festivals.

After years of failing health, the actor died in October 2002 in a house fire.

(Scroll down past Dennis' credits to read some Trivia Tidbits about his life and career.)


Dennis Patrick signs an autograph for a fan at the 2000 DS Festival.

Career Highlights:
DAYTIME TV: Somerset (1970).

PRIMETIME TV: Max Monroe: Loose Cannon (Brother Gregory, 1990), Paradise (1989), Murder She Wrote (1989), Bronx Zoo (1988), Night Court, St. Elsewhere (1987), It's Garry Shandling's Show (1987), Me and Mrs. C (1986), Mary (1986), Remington Steele (1986), Codename Foxfire (1985), Simon and Simon (1985), Rituals (Patrick Chapin, 1984-85), Murder She Wrote, Fall Guy (1983), Dallas (Vaughn Leland, 1981-85), Quincy (Charles Curtis, 1980), The Lazarus Syndrome (1980), The Runaways (Tom Rossmore, 1980), Hawaii Five-O (Elliott Webster, 1979), Quincy (Larsten, 1979), American Girls (Harmon Brooks, 1979), Incredible Hulk (Buck, 1979), $weepstake$ (Senator Groves, 1979), Barnaby Jones (Christie, 1978), Whatever Happened to the Class of '65? (Philip Demmin, 1978), Eight is Enough (Harry Mitchell, 1978), All in the Family (Godie Lloyd, 1978), Mary Hartman Mary Hartman (1977), Six Million Dollar Man (Carlton Harris, 1976), Bionic Woman (Carlton Harris, 1976), Rockford Files (Walter Hart, 1976), The Barbary Coast, Kate McShane (Conrad), Kojak (Dexter, 1976), Bert D'Angelo (Captain Jack Braeden), Cannon (John Sturdivant, 1975), Streets of San Francisco (Charles Tyler), McMillan and Wife (George Church), Kojak (1974), Emergency (Trader Jack), The Rookies (insurance agent, 1973), Ironside (Arnold Gardner, 1972), O'Hara U.S. Treasury (Dalton Young, 1972), Bracken's World (1970), Mod Squad (1970), Big Valley (2 episodes; Ted Halyard, Crawford), , Mannix, Lost in Space (Keema), Coronet Blue, The Defenders (1965), Perry Mason (Martin Somers), The Untouchables (Gil Haller, 1961), Bonanza (Sam Bord, 1960), Mike Hammer (1950s version),

SPECIAL: Macbeth (Macduff), Clifford Avenue Kids.

TV FILMS: War and Remembrance (Admiral, 1988, miniseries), Wet Gold (1984), The Sophisticated Gents (Wilbur Marcus, 1981), Advice to the Lovelorn (Dave Marsh, 1981, pilot), Georgia Peaches (Wade Holt, 1980, pilot), The Missiles of October (1977), Panic on the 5:22 (Dudley Stevenson, 1974), Code Name: Diamond Head (Commander Yarnell, 1977, pilot), The First 36 Hours of Dr. Durant (Mr. Wesco, 1975), Death Squad (The Commissioner, 1974), Night Games (Judge Medford, 1974), Kidnapped, Macbeth, My Heart's In the Highlands, Taming of the Shrew.

DIRECTED: Over 1950 TV shows including Emmy-winning A Gift of Tears.

TV COMMERCIALS: A-1 Steak Sauce, Benson & Hedges, Blue Bonnett Margarine (voice-over).

SCREEN: Chances Are (1989), The Jungle, The Tesla Story, aka The Secret of Nikola Tesla (Thomas Edison, 1980), Joe (1970), Tiger by the Tail (1970), House of Dark Shadows (Sheriff Patterson, 1970), Dear Dead Delilah (1972), Daddy's Gone a Hunting (1969), Major Dundee (1965), The Painting, C Man (1949).

DIRECTED: Masthead (1976).

THEATER: The Seagull (Dr. Dorn, 1983, NYC), Any Wednesday (Senior Executive, 1980, San Diego), The Tender Trap (1970), Marat/Sade (Marat, 1967), Kiss Me Kate, Saint Joan (1956), The Liar, Seven Mirrors (NYC), Dear Ruth, George Washington Slept Here, Charley's Aunt, Red Roses for Me, The Silver Tassie, Cock-a-Doodle Dandy, The Hasty Heart, Saint Joan, Plaza Suite, The Little Hut.

BROADWAY: Harvey (Cabbie), The Wayward Saint (1955, won Theatre World Award), Children Children.

TOUR: Harvey (Cabbie).

MISC: Heard on RCA album recording, Joan of Arc.



In 1970, Dennis starred in Joe, a movie in which he played Bill Compton, the father of a junky (Susan Sarandon). In a rage, Bill kills the young woman's drug-dealing boyfriend. Later, he encounters a hate-filled bigot named Joe (Peter Boyle) in a bar, and the two team up to try to drag the daughter out of a commune. Dennis wasn't happy with the finished film: "I took my name off the picture and said I would not promote it, because I feel the movie panders to hatred." The film was a hit.

• • • 

Dennis' wife, Barbara Cason, played Mrs. Johnson the housekeeper in the film House of Dark Shadows. (Dennis played the local sherrif.)

• • • 

Dennis guest-starred on It's Garry Shandling's Show as a potential love interest for the character played by his real-lifew wife. Barbara Cason was a series regular, playing Garry's mom.

• • • 

Among his dozens of guest-starring turns on classic TV series, Dennis was on the first two episodes (a two-part story) of The Bionic Woman.


Dark Shadows © Dan Curtis Productions. All rights reserved.
Dark Shadows Online © 2004 Craig Hamrick

Visit the rest of
Dark Shadows Online


TV Series
Behind-the-scenes history

Bios, photo galleries, and exclusive feature articles

Photos and facts about DS toys, books, and more

Books by Craig Hamrick
About DS books written by DSO's webmaster

House of Dark Shadows and Night of Dark Shadows

Your portal to other DS websites and merchandise

About This Site


Buy the Books

Visit Barnes &
to buy Craig's books:
Big Lou and Barnabas & Co.