Devil on Her Shoulder

Devil on Her Shoulder

Air Date: October 17, 1965

Written by: Suzanne Clauser

Directed by: Virgil W. Vogel
Guest Stars: Ina Balin (Sarah Reynolds), John Doucette (Reverend Evan Morgan), Peter Helm (Gwylem), Adrienne Marden (Emma Morgan)

A woman is accused of being a witch by the leader of a religious order headed by her crazy uncle. The Cartwrights try to help as Ben has developed an attraction for the woman.

Trivia: This is Ina Balin’s first and only appearance in the series. Ina lost two big roles to Natalie Wood in her early career. She lost the title role in Marjorie Morningstar (1958) and was tested for and seriously considered for the part of Maria in West Side Story (1961). A soft, slender, but intent-looking actress who could play various types of ethnicities (Jewish, Italian, Mexican, Spanish, Greek, et al.), she had a lovely, quiet glow to her, but could easily display the fiery temperament of an Anna Magnani when called upon. In the 1960s, however, she was overshadowed by a number of her leading men in their respective showcases. There was little room for any actor to generate interest upon themselves when playing opposite the likes of an Elvis Presley, Jerry Lewis and/or John Wayne.

In other situations, her roles were merely decorative, less showy, or proved less integral to the main plot, such as her secondary role as Martha in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965).

While Ina maintained a fine balance of TV roles ranging from the dramatic (Bonanza, Mannix, Quincy, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea) to the humorous (The Dick Van Dyke Show, Get Smart), the one big acting role that could have set her apart from the others never materialized. She died at the age of 52 from a rare case of Pulmonary Hypertension, which some think may have been caused by something she may have breathed or ingested while in Vietnam. Many Vietnamese women who developed Pulmonary Hypertension may have gotten it from the herb fen-fen.