Dentists are not usually thought of as adventurous or glamorous. In pop culture, they’ve played small parts in TV shows or movies – there’s Hermione Granger’s parents in the Harry Potter series, Rachel’s ex-fiancée on Friends and Bernard Nadler from Lost, but not a lot of leading ladies or heart throbs.
But there have been some notable real life dentists.
John Henry “Doc” Holliday
Primarily remembered for his antics in the Old West and his connection to Wyatt Earp with the infamous gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Doc Holliday was a gambler, a gunfighter and a dentist. Holliday left his home in Georgia when he was 19 to study dentistry in Philadelphia. He obtained his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery. He then opened a dental office in Atlanta but soon after, he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and moved to Dallas, Texas. He opened a new practice but he discovered gambling was a more lucrative vocation.
Friedrich “Fritz” Pfeffer
Pfeffer was a German dentist and Jewish refugee during the Nazi Occupation of the Netherlands. More commonly known by his pseudonym Albert Dussel from The Diary of Anne Frank, he perished in the Neuengamme concentration camp in Northern Germany.
Dr. Samuel A. Bemis
Bemis was one of the earliest photographers in the United States. He was a Boston dentist, when in April 1840 he acquired an early camera and became one of the first Americans to take a photograph.
Jan “Le Grand” Boubli
Boubli is a French professional poker player. He was a dentist for 22 years before retiring. In 2003 he finished second at the World Poker Tour second season Grand Prix de Paris. In 2005 he won the European Poker Tour second season Barcelona Open.
Was an American actor with a long career in both film and television, most familiar today as Uncle Joe Carson from the Petticoat Junction, Green Acres and Beverly Hillbillies television sitcoms of the 1960s.
So maybe dentists have not been the chosen profession for screenwriters in Hollywood, but with infamous criminals, famed roommates, photographers, poker players and television icons, the real professionals have been not too shabby either.