Melody Patterson, Who Played Wrangler Jane on ‘F Troop,’ Dies at 66

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Melody Patterson, who played the sharpshooting Wrangler Jane on the screwball ABC comedy F Troop, has died, her co-star Larry Storch said on Facebook . Another friend said on Facebook that Patterson had been in poor health after breaking her back a few years ago. Patterson was married to Hawaii Five-O star James MacArthur, the adopted son of famed actress Helen Hayes, from 1970-75. She portrayed a Hollywood starlet opposite him in the 1968 film The Angry Breed, and she guest-starred in three episodes of his CBS show.

 

 

  • F Troop, set in an Army fort on the western frontier in the years after the Civil War, ran on ABC for just two seasons, from September 1965 to April 1967, but was a big hit in syndication for decades after that.
  • The blonde Patterson, a native of Inglewood, Calif., auditioned for the part of Jane when she was just 15 (she had told the producers that she was 18).
  • Just before F Troop, Patterson had an uncredited role as a dancer in the film version of Bye Bye Birdie .

 

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