|Crenna as another teenager on I Love Lucy.|
Unlike many child performers, Crenna (who changed his professional name from Dick to Richard as he aged), was equally successful as an adult, enjoying a career notable both for its longevity and its variety. It took time to change his image from gangly teen to leading man, but he managed to do so, and would be in demand for the next several decades. He won an Emmy for his role in the 1985 TV-movie The Rape of Richard Beck, and had a recurring role on CBS' Judging Amy at the time of his death in 2003. Interviewed by syndicated columnist Gene Handsaker in 1967, Crenna gave a clue to his success as a performer when he said, "Everything you do can't be great. But you have to go in feeling you can make a 100 per cent contribution of your talent. An actor just doing a part for the money isn't giving the producer his money's worth."
You can find more information on the history of Our Miss Brooks, both on radio and television, in my book Eve Arden: A Chronicle of All Film, Television, Radio and Stage Performances. Unfortunately, the TV show hasn't had a proper DVD release, but you can catch Walter in all his ear-bruising glory on YouTube.