Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

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August 2, 2013

OPINION: Reporter's late father performed in a 1959 movie, in the same cast as Patty Duke, before going on into journalism

'The camera loved Dad. It lingered on him all throughout this scene. (Which was weird because other people had lines, but it was like Dad was the most interesting thing on which the cameraman could focus.)'

JACKSONVILLE —  I have, for most of my life, been haunted by a 1959 movie titled “4D Man.” It stars such cinematic giants as Lee Meriwether and Patti Duke – and, believe it or not, my father, the late Jack B. Tinsley. I have only recently been able find a copy of it to watch.

My Dad – a former Fort Worth Star-Telegram Executive Editor who led that paper to two Pulitzer prices in the 1980s – had told me since I was a small child how he had a part as a police officer in this movie.

Every time Dad told me about the flick, I would pester him with incessant questions. After all, I always found the coolest part to be that my Dad had actually appeared in a movie.

A MOVIE! A MOVIE! A MOVIE! Dad was a member of the cast of a movie! How awesome was that?

“Wow, Dad,” I would constantly say. “Do you have a copy of it? Can I see it? What else can you tell me about the movie? Why didn't you go on to become a Hollywood star?”

This barrage of questions would usually prompt my Dad to back out of our conversation, providing me with none of the answers I sought.

Ever.

My head would usually be about to explode at this point. Why couldn't Dad tell me any more?

Now, I had seen Dad perform as an actor before. Before he graduated from Sam Houston State University (before I was born,) he majored in Theater there. And actually, years later, Dad would return to SHSU and deliver a monolog or two during some type of theater alumni command performance.

To me, a movie was the next logical progression for “My Dad The Actor.”

Finding the 4D Man film became more and more important to me after my Dad died of an aortic aneurysm in 2004.

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