Norman Jolley, scribe on such series as “Space Patrol,” “Wagon Train” and “Cimarron City” during TV’s Golden Age of the 1950s, died Aug. 13 at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., of cardiac arrest after surgery for pancreatic cancer. He was 86.
The native of Adel, Iowa, who in his later years lived in Indio, Calif., began his career as an actor, earning small roles in 1940s Westerns. He also acted on radio and later on television. He was the first bad guy on “Space Patrol,” playing villainous Agent X. But when the producer decided he needed a writer more than a onscreen foe, Jolley traded in his space gun for a typewriter. Program aired, locally or nationally, Saturday mornings or in primetime from 1950 to 1955. As chief scribe, Jolley performed as a sort of inventor, creating concepts like ray-durium, endurium, the palm injector and other out-of-this-world devices. His one rule of thumb: Never violate actual fact.
He teamed up with another former actor, Dick Bartlett, in 1956 to form Bartlett-Jolley Prods. With Jolley writing, Bartlett helming and both producing, they made eight movies for Universal-Intl. in two years and worked on episodes of “Wagon Train” and later “Cimarron City,” with the late George Montgomery.
Jolley is survived by wife Lois, a son, two daughters and two grandchil-dren.