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The Bill Camfield Collection - Nightmare (1959)

Paul Camfield

Sound | 1959

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  •  Gorgon shows off the mementos in his trophy room 
  •  To close the final broadcast of the show before it went on a long hiatus, Gorgon pulls back the curtain to reveal the cast and crew behind Nightmare. 
 
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Nightmare was a weekly horror film series broadcast on KFJZ-TV (now called KTVT) Channel 11 in Fort Worth from 1957 to 1959 and 1962 to 1964. Outside of its weekly appearances, it also occasionally ran as a Halloween special. As the show’s host, Gorgon, Bill Camfield allegedly possessed free reign to write and produce the show. This episode likely represents the show’s final weekly broadcast in 1959. In the footage, Gorgon highlights some of the ghoulish mementos he keeps in his trophy room. Later, he explains the reason for his departure and reveals some of the secrets behind the show’s many horrors.
Television personality William Joseph “Bill” Camfield was born in Mineral Wells, Texas, on June 27, 1929. He moved to Fort Worth following his father’s death in 1935, graduating from Carter Riverside High School in 1947. 
 
Camfield began his career in show business in 1949, when he began writing for and acting in a locally produced television show, Hometown Harmony. Later promoted to Radio-TV Director, Camfield produced and starred in several more shows over the next five years, including Let’s Go Shopping, Billboard, and Meet the Candidate. 
 
In 1954, Camfield went to work for the newly formed independent television station KFJZ-TV Channel 11 in Fort Worth as a writer-at-large and performer. (The channel is now known as KTVT, a CBS affiliate.) It was during this time that he created his most popular characters, including: Gorgon, host of the weekly horror film series Nightmare; and Icky Twerp, host of the weekday children’s show Slam-Bang Theatre. The latter gained legendary status in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, with Slam-Bang Theatre introducing a new generation of children to the slapstick antics of the Three Stooges and remaining on the air from 1959 to 1972. Camfield revived the character for a KDAF-TV Channel 33 show called Icky Twerp’s Summer Reunion in 1985 and a Slam-Bang Theater 30th Anniversary Special in 1989. 
 
Camfield died of brain cancer at his Fort Worth home on September 30, 1991.