Karl Swenson was an American theatre, radio, film, and television actor, who provided the voice of Merlin in The Sword in the Stone. He reprised his role for the LP record Walt Disney Presents All About Dragons. He also played the role of Jenson in The Wild Country.
Planning to be a doctor, he enrolled at Marietta College and undertook pre-medical studies but left that field to pursue acting. He used the name "Peter Wayne" in his early theatre career before reverting back to his real name. Swenson would gain better work in radio where he worked extensively in programs, like Cavalcade of America, The Chase, The Columbia Workshop, Inner Sanctum Mysteries, Lawyer Q, X Minus One, The March of Time, and the title roles in The Adventures of Father Brown and Mr. Chameleon.
Taking his character work to film, Swenson created memorable portrayals, like Stricker in No Name on the Bullet, in Dr. Heinrich Geuter in Judgment at Nuremburg, a drunken Doomsayer in The Birds, Captain Potter in The Odd Couple, Tom Flaunce in The Hanging Tree, Lars Nordquist in North to Alaska, Dred Pierce in Flaming Star, Mr. Rudd in The Cincinnati Kid, and U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt Brighty of the Grand Canyon.
His television credits include Have Gun Will Travel, Maverick, Leave It to Beaver, The Andy Griffith Show, Lassie, Klondike, The Eleventh Hour, Hogan's Heroes, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., and Perry Mason.
Swenson died of a heart attack at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Torrington, Connecticut on October 8, 1978 shortly after filming an episode of Little House on the Prairie. He was interred at Center Cemetery in New Milford, Connecticut.