Melody Patterson in a still from the 60s ABC comedy "F Troop" where she played Wrangler Jane (Photo by ABC).
LOS ANGELES - Melody Patterson, who played the tomboyish Wrangler Jane in the 60s ABC comedy "F Troop," died Thursday at age 66. Patterson died in a nursing home after multiple organ failure, according to news reports.
Patterson's longtime friend and "F Troop" co-star Larry Storch, made the announcement on Facebook. "It’s with a heavy heart that we can let you know our beloved Wrangler Jane, Melody Patterson passed away. Our hearts are sad today. RIP Sweet Melody. We love you," said Storch, 92, who played the dimwitted Corporal Randolph Agarn.
Patterson was just 15 despite the fact she had told the producers that she was 18 in order to get the part. Her tomboy character, which ran the town's trading post, was smitten with the bumbling Captain Wilton Parmenter played by Ken Berry. The producers later realized she was not 18, but by then the series was already a hit with viewers. The show, however, ran for just two seasons, from September 1965 to April 1967.
The actress appeared in a variety of television shows including “The Monkees,” “Adam-12” and “Green Acres.” Her film work included “The Angry Breed,” “The Cycle Savages” and “Blood and Lace.”
She was born on April 16, 1949 in Inglewood, California. She started performing at the age of four, appearing in "Mrs. McThing" at the Downey Community Theatre in Downey, California. She attended the Hollywood Professional School and later studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City before coming to Hollywood and joining "F Troop."
Patterson was married to actor James McArthur from 1970 until 1975. He was a series regular on the original "Hawaii Five-O" and she appeared on the show three times.