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ON THE WARNER LOT

This essay came from a TVpartier who wanted to share his intimate knowledge of working on the Warner Bros lot when their early-Sixties shows were popular. I lost his name (!) but hopefully he'll write in again!

DODGERS PLAY AT WARNER BROTHERS

In 1958 the Brookly Dodgers moved to Los Angeles and it only took a couple of years for the Warner Brothers lot in Burbank to attract members of the team. Sandy Koufax made three token appearances on the Warner lot. It's fortunate for the left-hander that he went on to be a hall-of-fame pitcher, because he would have a tough time living off his residuals.

In January and February of 1960, Sandy played a doorman in a Bourbon Street Beat, a deputy in a Colt .45 episode, and a policeman once on 77 Sunset Strip. Incidently, his screen credit was just Sandy on the 'Sunset Strip' and 'Bourbon Street' episodes, but he was credited as Sanford Koufax on 'Colt .45'. Dodger teammate Chuck Essegian slipped in for one show, playing a railroad man in an episode of Sugarfoot. While Don Drysdale did not manage a part, his first wife, Ginger, appeared in an Hawaiian Eye show in 1962.

MAVERICK ACTORS

Who was the most prolific Maverick, James Garner? Maverick, pitched to ABC as a one-of-a-kind, "story of a man...independent, rootless, fearing nothing and no one, roaming free like an unbranded calf" slowly developed into a family affair.

Garner (Bret) appeared in just 51 of the 124 episodes. He starred in 35 shows alone, and 16 with Jack Kelly (Bart). Kelly ended up in 77 shows, including 58 on his own, two with Roger Moore (Beau) and one with Robert Colbert (Brent).

Before being adopted as a member of the Maverick family, Moore appeared in a 1959 episode playing the role of a handsome, young millionaire, John Vandergelt III, who traded identities with Bret. Moore played alone in 11 shows in addition to the two with Kelly. Colbert had only one lead on his own.

Gawd, all I wanted to do was sell some of my old scripts and pictures and now I'm up all night reading the stuff from my youth. Thought of all kind of interesting things - including an unusual 'Sunset Strip that almost went unnoticed in its unusual concept. Mary Tyler Moore, Marie Windsor, Chad Everett, Adam West and Evan McCord appeared in numerous shows.

In 1960 Sammy Davis Jr. was on the Warner Brothers lot shooting Ocean's Eleven with his rat pack buddies. He must have liked the environment. The next year he made an appearance on Warner's "Lawman" show, Blue Boss and Willie Shay, which aired on March 12, 1961. Sammy played a happy-go-lucky cowpoke with a pet steer, Blue Boss. His steer was shot by a gang of cowboys. Sammy, a six-shooter whiz, kills the top villian, gets shot but his apparent death is negated by the gift of a young steer, Blue Boss II. (I saw Sammy do his quick draw bit and he was very good).

Along with his father, who played a cashier, Sammy appeared in the final episode of 77 Sunset Strip, "The Gang's All Here". It aired on June 29, 1962. This time Sammy was cast as Kid Pepper, a loud-mouthed punk. But, the punk repents in the end.

One of the most unique and innovative 77 Sunset Strip episodes was "Reserved for Mr. Bailey". Charles Sinclair & William Finger sold a 16 page story to Warner Brothers entitled "The Solo Caper". Mongomery Pittman wrote the final teleplay. In a series that was known for its multiple characters and the constant use of contract players galore, this episode had only one person on camera, Efrem Zimbalist Jr. No parking attendant, no zany characters, only Stuart Bailey.

Stu is knocked unconscious and awakes to find himself alone in an old dessert western town. For an hour Stu outwits his unseen adversary, who finally dies in a fire. Dialogue was almost totally absent from the show which aired on December 8, 1961.

Fun times - just reading memos about Clint Walker working only eight hours a day and plans to replace Connie Stevens with Tina Cole. Don't know why I saved twenty boxes of old TV stuff. I may end up going to a show somewhere and selling some of my scripts.

 

Connie Stevens
Connie Stevens on Hawaiian Eye


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