In 1962, Carol Lynley and Shirley Knight played twin sisters on a first season episode of the hit western series The Virginian starring James Drury, Lee J. Cobb, Gary Clarke and Doug McClure. Lynley’s sister was flirty and unstable with a fascination for guns while Knight’s sister was mousy and over protective. Along comes Tom Tryon as a seaman and Lynley wants him to take her away to see the world…or else. Below is a clip from the show that contrasts Lynley’s hyperactive style of acting to the more understated Knight.


Shortly after this Lynley would be cast by Otto Preminger over Knight as well as Ann-Margret and Pamela Tiffin, among others to play priest Tom Tryon’s wayward sister in the epic Golden Globe winning The Cardinal (1963). When Lynley runs off to become a tango-dancing prostitute after her strict Catholic family rejects her Jewish suitor John Saxon in turn-of-the-century Boston she winds up unwed and pregnant. Tryon finds her in labor and makes the decision to save the baby and let his sister die a natural death to the doctor and Saxon’s disbelief.



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