Recommendations for prolonged penicillin treatment of actinomycosis date from the early antibiotic era, when patients often presented with neglected, advanced disease and received interrupted therapy at suboptimal dosages. This report describes cases of esophageal and of cervicofacial actinomycosis treated successfully with short-term antibiotic therapy and reviews the literature. Many patients are cured with <6 months of antibiotic therapy. If short-term antibiotic treatment is attempted, the clinical and radiological response should be closely monitored. Cervicofacial actinomycosis is especially responsive to brief courses of antibiotic treatment.