|Wayne Maunder was born on December 19, 1938, in Four Falls, New Brunswick, Canada. "But," he told an interviewer in 1968, "I consider Bangor, Maine, my hometown." Wayne moved to the northern Maine city when he was four years old and was raised there along with his four siblings.|
|Wayne played baseball and football at Bangor High School, graduating with the Class of 1957. After receiving his diploma, he said that he "spent a few years in the Naval Reserve and wound up going on a training cruise on an aircraft carrier, the U.S. S. Leyte. After that," he added self-deprecatingly, "I had a whole variety of jobs at which I was consistently unsuccessful."|
|According to the Bangor Daily News, Maunder did have tryouts with several major league baseball teams, including the Milwaukee Braves, San Francisco Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates. For a time, he attended Compton Junior College in California as an English literature major. After enrolling in a drama workshop because he "thought it would be a good way to get dates", Wayne was hooked. As he told the TV Radio Mirror, "From the moment I got on stage, I knew that I had found something that I really wanted to pursue."
Class of 1957
|Returning to the East Coast, in the fall of 1961 Wayne enrolled in Stella Adler's acting classes in New York City. According to the TV Mirror, Maunder's first earnings as an actor were in an off-Broadway performance of Othello, for the sum of $15 dollars a week. Perhaps somewhat parochially, the Bangor Daily News account asserts that he began his career at the Theater of Monmouth, (now known as "The Shakespearean Theater of Maine"), for the less lofty salary of $5 per week--- plus room and board. A 1970 TV Guide article states simply that Maunder performed in numerous plays as a member of the National and American Shakespeare companies.
Wayne was "discovered" in 1965 while acting in a role in "The Knack" at the Red Barn Theater on Long Island (for $100 per week plus room and board!) He signed a contract with a management agency and soon after landed the lead role in the series "Custer", and a seven-year contract with Twentieth Century-Fox Television.
|as "Custer" 1967|
|Maunder's first on-screen role was in an episode of "The Monroes", which, in his hometown was aired on February 4, 1967. He played the part of Michael Duquesne in "Race for the Rainbow", credited under the name "John Wilder". After considering other names, he decided to stick with "Wayne Maunder" and was so billed in the title-role as Lt. Col. George A. Custer in the short-lived "Custer" series. There were only sixteen episodes of "Custer", airing from September to December of 1967; however a video combining two of the shows was released in 1990 as "Crazy Horse and Custer: The Untold Story".|
|Another Twentieth Century-Fox production, "Lancer" aired on CBS with fifty-one episodes over the 1968-1970 television seasons. Although he seemed at times to be dissatisfied with his role on the show---portraying rancher Murdoch Lancer's elder son Scott--Maunder did turn in some quality performances on that series, which is still remembered very fondly by an active group of (predominantly female) Lancer Fan Fiction writers and readers.
The Scott Lancer character was featured in the episode "Zee", which earned scriptwriter Andy Lewis the Western Writers of America "Spur Award", the first one ever designated for a television script. There were many well-known actors who guest starred in roles on the Western series; in "Zee", for example, Wayne had the opportunity to perform opposite Ellen Corby, Stefanie Powers, Dub Taylor and Jack Elam.
|"Lancer" with Andrew Duggan
& James Stacy
|Wayne was married to Lucia Maisto in 1967 and their son Dylan was born the next year. Professionally, following the cancellation of "Lancer", Maunder appeared as attorney Mike Barrett in the feature film of Irving Wallace's "The Seven Minutes", produced and directed by Russ Meyers. Over the next few years, he was credited with guest roles in "The F.B.I." and "The Rookies" and appeared briefly in the pilot for the "King Fu" television series.
During the 1973-1974 season, Wayne had a lead role in the twenty-two episodes of the series "Chase", created by Stephen J. Cannell. The show depicted the exploits of an undercover police unit. As Sgt. Sam MacCray, the handler for a police canine named "Fuzz", Maunder co-starred with Mitchell Ryan who played the title role, and a changing cast of fellow officers.
|with Stefanie Powers
|Wayne Maunder continued to act in occasional guest parts during the later 1970s, including roles in "The Streets of San Francisco", "Police Story", "Kate McShane" and "Barnaby Jones." His last known credited screen appearance was in the film "Porky's" in 1981.|
|*With hope that WM is healthy,
and happy in his current endeavors!*
|"Chase" with Mitchell Ryan
& Gary Crosby
|This brief unofficial biography is based on information previously published. Please credit:
BDN Staff. Bangor Daily News. 1967-1973.
Borie, Marcia. "I Wanted to Run Wild--And I Did." TV Radio Mirror January 1968 pp. 34-35, 91-92.
Raddatz, Leslie. "He Survived Custer's Last Stand." TV Guide, May 23, 1970. pp. 18-20.
List of Screen Roles from TV Tome and The Internet Movie Data Base
Any verifiable corrections or additions would be greatly appreciated.
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