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Some old shows like "Our Miss Brooks" but I think others too, only listed the main actors, leaving out who played significant roles in an episode, even recurring roles. Some shows didn't list those parts, but did use voice over credits, e.g. "The part of the postman was played by..."

Did this have something to do with not wanting to create additional credit "cards" for each episode? I'm always going to IMDB, trying to find out who played a part, but sometimes they just seem to be lost to history, which is a shame.

Update: Sorry, Still trying to figure out the system here. Trying to comment overflowed. @Paulie_D thanks. I'm more interested in people not being credited at all. An example is the Brooks episode, "The English Test." The character Nora McGurk is important to the story, indeed she's in all of the pictures from the episode on IMDB, but the actress wasn't credited and IMDB doesn't ID her either.

The question you linked did give a possible clue: "Since the opening credits are pre-recorded, typically only season regulars make it into the "core" credits sequence ..."

That's what I was guessing. Only Eve Arden got an opening credit while Gale Gordon and the other 4-5 regulars got closing credits - presumably prerecorded as well. This may be why some shows used the voice over credits technique - to avoid filming new closing credits for each episode. That's my only guess. "Our Miss Brooks" just left those folks uncredited. I think there were some other shows that did that too, but I can't point to a specific example.

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    Does this answer your question? What rules govern how TV show opening credits are structured?
    – Paulie_D
    Oct 30, 2023 at 7:41
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    By the 1960's I think the rule was that anyone with at least one spoken line got credit. Apparently this requirement was not in place in the 1950's. Show producers may have had other reasons to limit it, possibly simply because they assumed that the audience didn't care who played the postman, so why add the distraction if they weren't legally required to. Individual cases where the postman for example was credited could have been individual contract requirements made by the actor's agent, especially for a character actor who is more in demand. Oct 30, 2023 at 12:21
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    @Paulie_D - the question that you linked to and its answers only discusses the order of credits, this question is about why in 1950's television shows smaller parts even recurring parts were not credited at all. Possibly some of the answers to the other question (union rules etc.) might partly apply to this question, but not necessarily. In the case of Keith Thibodeaux (stage name Richard Keith) who played Little Ricky on I Love Lucy, he was not credited for reasons unknown. In interviews Thibodeaux speculated that they wanted to maintain the illusion that he was their real son not an actor. Oct 30, 2023 at 12:23
  • The question should be used to ask the question, including background information and research. It should not be used to reply to comments.
    – OrangeDog
    Nov 13, 2023 at 13:13
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    @OrangeDog - I hadn't thought of that, that's probably a good idea on the Movies and TV site! Although I would be surprised if he was knowledgeable (or interested) in old U.S. television programs. I have only seen him in one thing, a 2005 film called Under the Greenwood Tree which I watched a few years ago in a hotel room in Holland. Nov 13, 2023 at 13:34

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Perhaps the versions commonly broadcast now are from the DVD version. Wikipedia suggests in the DVD version of the show, "the original opening and closing credits have been replaced by a single standardized version, eliminating all guest cast and additional crew member information." (citation needed). --Our Miss Brooks - Home media

For comparison, the end of the Wikipedia article links to some episodes on the Internet Archive. The first three episodes in that list have end credits that include various minor characters. (The last one in that list has its recording end just as the ending "OUR MISS BROOKS STARRING EVE ARDEN" begins to scroll up.)

Our Miss Brooks "Home Cooked Meal" end credits with minor character Our Miss Brooks "Madison Mascot" end credits with minor characters Our Miss Brooks "The Big Jump" end credits with minor character

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    That is a great point, I have seen or at least read about this being somewhat common in media releases to use a standard opening and closing. This happened sometimes in syndication also. Perhaps most famously was the original I Love Lucy opening which had a cartoon of Desi and Lucy. This was replaced in syndication with the static drawing of a heart with a satin cloth background that we are all familiar with. In some cases there were sponsor logos contained in opening and closing credits which required changing it for syndication. Nov 2, 2023 at 15:19
  • I accept this as the best answer. the online ones must come from somewhere other than the DVD, since they have more credits. I see one on YouTube which is a full(?) 26+min. but with shortened credits, yet other 22 min. ones have full credits. It's confusing, but I now suspect the supporting credits were there originally & were later chopped off for whatever reasons. Thanks @Bavi_H. Good point Steve. Some Perry Mason episodes still have old product logos on the credits, maybe because the products are long gone. Nov 3, 2023 at 1:12

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