"Welcome to The McCain Ranch"
Actor | Soundtrack | Radio | Theatre
appeared twice in The Rifleman ―
The Jailbird as Chris
Manse, the stepfather of Eli. Karl
The Vision as
Nils Svensen the Blacksmith.
actors played Nils or was it Niles or Nels? Was it Swenson or was it
Karl and Dabbs Greer appeared in The Jailbird together and
both went on to be in Little House on the Prairie.
A veteran of the American theater, film, television, and
radio whose career spanned four decades, he is probably best
remembered for his role as 'Lars Hanson' on NBC television
Western drama series Little House On the Prairie from
1974 to 1978.
Karl was of Swedish descent, burly, light-haired character actor
Karl Swenson was born in Brooklyn and started his four-decade career
on radio. Throughout the late 30s and 40s, his voice could be heard
all over the airwaves, appearing in several of daytime serials and
mystery dramas. He gave visual life to one of his serial characters,
Walter Manning, in Portia Faces Life when it went to TV in
1953. It was during his lengthy work in this medium that he met his
wife, stage and radio actress Joan Tompkins. They appeared together
throughout their careers on TV and in a few films. He has appeared
in Dr. Kildare Gunsmoke Maverick Mission: Impossible
He didn't appear in films until age 50+ with minor roles in Kings Go Forth North to Alaska The Birds
The Sons of Katie Elder.
His voice was also well utilized in such animated features as
The Sword in the Stone as the voice of Merlin.
did the Radio Detective Story Hour: Karl Swenson in Mr.
Karl met actor Michael Landon on the set of Bonanza in
1959. Landon remembered him when he began to film Little House
on the Prairie. He cast him in the recurring role of lumber
mill owner Lars Hanson, he remained with the show until his death in
1978 of a heart attack. His character on the show also died.
Karl Swenson was born July 23, 1908 in Brooklyn, New York
He died October 8, 1978 in Torrington, Connecticut of a heart attack
Actors Index Page
Have you ever been watching TV or a movie and wondered who is that guy?
around The McCain Ranch