Category Archives: General Retro

The Murder Scene In ‘Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer’ That Everyone Forgets

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Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is one of the most beloved Christmas classics that airs each year. However, it’s seen a lot of controversy in recent years, such as promoting bullying or other hateful antics. Another controversial thing that people are remembering is the blatant murder scene in the film that most fans completely overlook.

So, what murder scene are we talking about here? It’s the scene towards the end of the movie when the credits are rolling, focusing on one of the misfit toys, a bird that is supposed to fly but instead only swims. An elf preparing to drop the toy to a house denies the bird its parachute and throws it off the sleigh anyway, leading it to its probable death.

Do you remember this blatant, but not so obvious, murder scene?

The Murder Scene In 'Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer' That Everyone Forgets
‘Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer’ / Rankin/Bass Animated Entertainment

This scene usually comes off as innocent to most viewers because it’s not really seen as a blatant murder… even though it is. And people are just starting to notice. “Now that this is trending I would like you all to remember the murder that happened in this show. The bird clearly said he couldn’t fly and that elf threw him off the sleigh without an umbrella. RIP Bird,” someone writes on Twitter.

RELATED: Everything Messed Up About Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

Of course, there’s the aforementioned issue of bullying in the film. It’s without a doubt that Rudolph is relentlessly bullied early on in the movie by not only his peers but even Santa himself. So much that Rudolph’s father attempts to cover up Rudolph’s nose. Of course, we remember that at the end of the film, his peers and Santa all apologize… but is that only because Santa needed Rudolph’s nose to light the way? Would Rudolph have been completely useless otherwise? A bit of a confusing message being sent there, which is why it’s seen controversy in recent years. Yikes.

The Murder Scene In 'Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer' That Everyone Forgets
‘Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer’ / Rankin/Bass Animated Entertainment

If you’re looking to tune in to watch this beloved classic (and critique its controversies, perhaps) mark your calendars for Sunday, Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. ET on CBS. There will be additional airings on Dec 5, 6, 19, 20, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.

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The post The Murder Scene In ‘Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer’ That Everyone Forgets appeared first on DoYouRemember? – The Home of Nostalgia. Author, Jane Kenney

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‘All in the Family’: Remembering the Death of Edith Bunker with Jean Stapleton

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Losing a major character from a weekly television series is not frequently done. Oftentimes when it is, it’s either a disaster (i.e. the death of Freddie Prinze and Chico and the Man), it opens  up new possibilities for character storytelling (McLean Stevenson was only the first of a number of significant cast departures on M*A*S*H) or proves that a cast can carry on without their lead (Roseanne becoming The Conners). Yet as successful as those examples are, none of them were as emotionally impactful as the off-camera death of Edith Bunker on the All in the Family spinoff, Archie Bunker’s Place.

All in the Family, of course, was a seminal hit of the 1970s, evolving the way that stories and characters were presented on television thanks to the inherent conflict of conservative bigot Archie Bunker (Carroll O’Connor), his dingbat, but lovable wife (who could find something to love in him), Edith (Jean Stapleton), and their liberal son Mike “Meathead” Stivic (Rob Reiner), who married their daughter, Gloria (Sally Struthers). A little rough out of the gate in terms of ratings when it premiered in 1971, by Season 2 it was a full-blown hit. Flash forward to the end of Season 8, though, and both Rob and Sally made it clear they were leaving. Then Jean said that Season 9 would be it for her, too.

RELATED: ‘All in the Family’ Put Limits on Sally Struthers’ Career, ‘And I Desperately Wanted to Work’

jean-stapleton-all-in-the-family
ALL IN THE FAMILY, Isabel Sanford, Sherman Hemsley, Betty Garrett, Jean Stapleton, 1971 – 1979.

Although CBS and Carroll had to convince him to give his blessing, Norman Lear reluctantly allowed the show to continue, taking place mostly in a bar Archie had purchased. There were conditions: the opening song could no longer be used, the show could not be called All in the Family and even though Jean wouldn’t be a part of it, Edith would have to be alive, just off-camera. Everybody agreed and Archie Bunker’s Place was born. And, surprisingly, Jean did appear in five episodes of the first 14, but then realized she was truly done with the role and departed.

Why did Jean Stapleton leave ‘All in the Family’

carroll-o-connor-jean-stapleton
ALL IN THE FAMILY, from left, Carroll O’Connor, Rob Reiner, Jean Stapleton, ‘Archie’s Grand Opening,’ aired October 30, 1977, 1971-79, ©CBS/Courtesy: Everett Collection.

To handle it, Season 2 would begin a few months after the Edith character had died of a stroke, but Archie simply wouldn’t allow himself to grieve. At episode’s end, after his bedroom had been stripped and he was finally willing to sleep in his bed rather than on the couch, he came across one of Edith’s errant slippers. In response, he delivers a powerfully moving monologue (see the video below). It truly was one of Carroll’s finest moments.

The big question, of course, was what had happened between the first two seasons that had convinced Norman to allow the character to die. Jean Stapleton offered up an explanation in her interview at the Archive of American Television.

jean-stapleton
ALL IN THE FAMILY, Jean Stapleton, 1971-1979 Season 3

“I had to leave or risk being buried as far as casting is concerned in this kind of part,” she said. “So that was my decision. And a year later I was on tour in a place in Florida. The show had become Archie Bunker’s Place, which went on for four years. Carroll wanted to expand the stories, get them out of the bar where it was usually set and let him date women so that they would have a greater variety of scripts. [Co-creator] Bud Yorkin called me, I guess, to ascertain that I truly wasn’t interested in returning. And I said, ‘No, Bud. Of course not.’ And then Norman Lear called.”

How did Edith Bunker die in ‘All in the Family’?

jean-stapleton-carroll-o-connor-all-in-the-family
ALL IN THE FAMILY, from left: Jean Stapleton, Carroll O’Connor, 1971-79. ©CBS/Courtesy Everett Collection

Norman was on the phone to discuss the fact that they were talking about killing the character of Edith and it was something that he simply could not say yes to. Jean explained, “So I brought it down to this. I said, ‘Norman, you realize, don’t you, that she’s only fiction?’ There was a long pause and I thought, ‘I’ve hurt this dear man that I love so much.’ And then the voice came back to me and he said, ‘She isn’t to me.’ But shortly thereafter he gave the word and they made Edith die.”

carroll-o-connor
(Sony Pictures Television)

Jean added what she called a “little postscript” to the story, detailing that she was in Winston, Salem participating in the reopening of an old theater. She was in the hotel the night the episode of Archie Bunker’s Place aired. “Archie has found one of Edith’s slippers,” she recounts, “and he did a whole monologue to the slipper. It’s very moving; he was marvelous. So I’d seen that that night in Winston, Salem. The next morning, the maid entered the room. She saw me and she dropped her jaw and said, ‘My God, I thought you were dead.’”

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The post ‘All in the Family’: Remembering the Death of Edith Bunker with Jean Stapleton appeared first on DoYouRemember? – The Home of Nostalgia. Author, Ed Gross

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Why Christopher Plummer Almost Wasn’t The Captain In ‘The Sound Of Music’

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It’s hard to believe that we could have had a Sound of Music film in 1965 with someone else other than Christopher Plummer himself playing the role of Captain von Trapp. But, yes, they did have some other people in mind for the role, for various reasons. Actually, many top stars in Hollywood were considered for various roles throughout the whole cast at the time.

The book The Sound of Music: The Making of America’s Favorite Movie by Julia Antopol Hirsch, she delves into the people who were considered for the role of the intimidating yet captivating sea captain and why.

Christopher Plummer almost wasn’t the Captain we know and love

Why Christopher Plummer Almost Wasn't The Captain In 'The Sound Of Music'
THE SOUND OF MUSIC, from left, Christopher Plummer, Julie Andrews, 1965. TM and Copyright (c) 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved. Courtesy: Everett Collection.

“I was doing The Lark on Broadway with Julie Harris,” Plummer recalls, according to an excerpt from the book, “and I was told that Mary Martin wanted to meet me. They were considering me for the part of the Captain in the stage version. Now, I was only twenty-six years old at the time, and Martin must have been about fifty or so. The Captain was supposed to be older than she was! So I went to Mary’s penthouse to meet with her. She was like a little pixie; she came dancing out to greet me. Rodgers and Hammerstein were also there.”

RELATED: How ‘The Sound Of Music’ Film Is Actually Historically Inaccurate

He continues, “So I told them, ‘I hate to say this, but don’t you think our age differences are a little staggering?’ Well, they were stunned. Apparently, they were just seeing anybody who was hot at the time, and some casting director made a boo-boo.”

Plummer didn’t like the original character of the Captain either

Why Christopher Plummer Almost Wasn't The Captain In 'The Sound Of Music'
THE SOUND OF MUSIC, Christopher Plummer, Charmian Carr, Kym Karath, Angela Cartwright, Julie Andrews, Nicholas Hammond, Heather Menzies, Duane Chase, Eleanor Parker, 1965 TM and Copyright ©20th Century Fox Film Corp.

After Plummer was sent the script from the musical film, he actually had reservations at first about it because of how the character was written. His first answer right away was “No, thanks!” Some of the other names being considered for the role of the Captain were Sean Connery, Stephen Boyd, Richard Burton, David Niven, and Peter Finch.

Finch was actually the director’s second choice after Plummer, but he ended up being unavailable for the role. Can you imagine how different the film might’ve been with Finch as the Captain? Plummer was still apprehensive about the role, but director Robert Wise promised to work with him on improving the character to Plummer’s liking. And the rest is truly history, no?

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The post Why Christopher Plummer Almost Wasn’t The Captain In ‘The Sound Of Music’ appeared first on DoYouRemember? – The Home of Nostalgia. Author, Jane Kenney

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Michael Landon Once Stopped Filming ‘Little House’ Because His Hair Turned Purple

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Michael Landon played Charles Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie. Not only that, he was the executive producer, director, and writer of the long-running series. Basically, he had to be on set every single day! There were some times when he had to stop filming because something went wrong. For instance, the time his hair turned a lovely shade of purple.

When Michael was on the show Bonanza, his hair started graying prematurely. To combat this, he reportedly used Clairol Medium Ash Brown to dye it to his original color. He didn’t like to go to the hair salon, so he would dye and cut his hair himself!

Michael Landon’s hair once turned purple on set

michael landon bonanza
‘BONANZA,’ Michael Landon, 1959-1973 / Everett Collection

Over the years, Michael continued to dye his hair this color. During his time on Little House on the Prairie, there was a time when the sun turned his hair a light shade of purple! They had to delay production and fix the lighting but it kept happening due to the mix of his hair dye and the sun.

RELATED: Whatever Happened To Michael Landon, Charles Ingalls On ‘Little House on the Prairie?’

little house on the prairie
‘LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE,’ from left: Michael Landon, Melissa Sue Anderson, Karen Grassle, Lindsay / Sidney Greenbush, Melissa Gilbert, (1974), 1974-83. ph: Ivan Nagy/TV Guide/©NBC/Courtesy Everett Collection

Eventually, Michael let someone professional dye his hair on set. At least he still didn’t have to go to the hair salon! Can you believe that happened? I would love to see a photo of him with purple hair!

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The post Michael Landon Once Stopped Filming ‘Little House’ Because His Hair Turned Purple appeared first on DoYouRemember? – The Home of Nostalgia. Author, Lauren Novak

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Taking A Look At The Cast Of ‘Lost In Space’ Then And Now 2020

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Danger, Will Robinson! One imaginative ’60s sitcom made that the quintessential warning viewers always heard when danger loomed. In fact, the cast of Lost in Space created a lot of ongoing jokes and timeless references that endured for decades. But what about the cast members themselves?

Lost in Space came at a time when Americans turned their gaze to the stars. The Space Race was in full swing and suddenly anything seemed possible. Maybe, they thought, everyone could chat with a robot while sailing the starry seas in their lifetime. While dreaming of history in the making, Lost in Space also made history by showing the transition from black and white to color. Catch up with the cast who helped make this remarkable show in television history here.

Guy Williams

Guy Williams leads the casts of Zorro and Lost in Space
Guy Williams leads the casts of Zorro and Lost in Space / Everett Collection

Professor John Robinson’s talents ranged from astrophysics to planetary geology – and even piloting a jet pack. Often, though, the Robinson patriarch ended up a bit overshadowed by the wild Dr. Smith. But no one could deny the important leadership role Guy Williams’s character played in the overall Lost in Space cast.

RELATED: Remember TV Classic, “Lost In Space”?

Before donning a silver spacesuit, Guy Williams famously wore a mask and black cape, wielding a saber as the vigilante Zorro. This role earned Williams a ton of love from different demographics for different – and overlapping – reasons. But, remarkably, his career hit a bit of a rough patch when he joined the cast of Bonanza. Pernell Roberts left the show out of protest for his character’s treatment. But Bonanza relied on a setup with four Cartwright lead men, so they brought Williams on. Contracts and competition made his stay very short, however.

Guy Williams
Guy Williams / Everett Collection

Fret not, though. Soon after, Williams joined the cast of Lost in Space, proving an attractive lead who brought on fans – plenty of them female – from his Zorro days. His time as the vigilante also earned him international fame, enough so that when Williams went to Argentina after the sci-fi show, Williams received a lot of love. In fact, Buenos Aires became a sort of new home for him and Williams only returned stateside to participate in themed rounds of Family Feud, where he faced off against residents of Gotham and Gilligan’s Island. Williams got to enjoy fame and retirement until 1989 when he died from a brain aneurysm.

June Lockhart

June Lockhart then and after
June Lockhart then and after / Everett Collection

When the Robinson family becomes lost in space, every episode becomes some wild misadventure. Their whole lives end up turned upside down. Fortunately, they had a solid rock of support, compassion, and reason in the form of Dr. Maureen Robinson. In addition to a distinguished biochemistry background, she also managed to perfect the art of cooking and gardening. The family was lucky to have her on board through their journeys.

June Lockhart
June Lockhart / Everett Collection

Similarly, the Lost in Space cast gained a really esteemed actress. Before joining Jupiter 2, June Lockhart won a Tony Award and earned two Emmy nominations already. Born in 1925, she remarkably earned a starring role in 1946 in She-Wolf of London. But one of her most iconic roles came when she played yet another lovable matriarch, Ruth Martin, Timmy’s Mother, in the 1960’s coming-of-age series, Lassie. She hasn’t slowed down since, earning roles on Petticoat Junction, Grey’s Anatomy, Roseanne, and more.

In fact, after traveling among the stars, June Lockhart’s become one – and helped inspire others to reach them too. Dr. Maureen Robinson’s inspired real-life astronauts into their field. She’s become such an influential figure that she’s been declared an honorary NASA groupie. She also boasts an open ongoing invitation to the White House for press briefings. She brought some of that celestial beauty down to earth with not one but two Hollywood Walk of Fame stars. She turned 95 on June 26, 2020, and guess what? She’s still active and radiant!

Mark Goddard

From Ringo to Lost in Space
From Ringo to Lost in Space / Everett Collection

Every ship needs a captain, even a space ship. That’s where Major Don West came into play, sort of. His main responsibility meant keeping the Robinson from getting lost in space, but, well, viewers know how that went. However, he helped Judy Robinson not hate the trip quite as much. Much like his character, Mark Goddard had a bit of a rocky path but did ultimately enjoy some victories throughout his career. He worked with Aaron Spelling for Spelling’s first series, Johnny Ringo, where he played the deputy to the main character. His role of Sgt. Chris Ballard in the crime show The Detectives remains one of his biggest roles to this day.

From Ringo to Lost in Space
Mark Goddard / Everett Collection

After Lost in Space‘s cast disbanded, Goddard’s career slowed a bit. One stand-out moment comes from a heartfelt episode of CHiPs, but other than that all stayed relatively quiet until he made a cameo appearance in the 1998 Lost in Space film. Outside of acting, he pursued a degree in education and teaches special education acting courses.

Goddard’s relationship with Lost in Space proved complex, nuanced. At the time, he actually disliked how campy the show could get. This sentiment can be seen among actors like Robert Reed about The Brady Bunch. But he came to appreciate what the show did for viewers and even reflected on his time there in his 2009 memoir, To Space and Back. He explained, “It brings you back to a time in your life that was good for most people — and for some not so good — but they have Lost in Space to fantasize about.”

Jonathan Harris

Comedian Johnathan Harris
Comedian Johnathan Harris / Tvparty! / Everett Collection

The events of Lost in Space wouldn’t have happened if the cast of characters didn’t include the conniving Dr. Zachary Smith. From Day One, his scheming sent the Robinson family on a crash-course through space and just kept causing them trouble. Smith could often be heard feuding with the robot, but really, if anyone’s a “Traitorous Transistorized Toad” it was him.

Space Academy
Space Academy / Everett Collection

Behind the personage of Dr. Smith was Jonathan Harris who absolutely relished his job on Jupiter 2. His enthusiasm paid off as he became one of the first actors to receive Special Guest Star billing. All the while, Harris actually worried viewers might grow bored of his character. That’s why he worked tirelessly – even well into the night – to think of new ways to keep Smtih engaging. His comedic timing became so effortless that a lot of his best lines ended up improvised.

Even before joining the Lost in Space cast, Harris played a cowardly character in The Third Man. The ’70s saw him as a reluctant host on Uncle Croc’s Block. Soon, he transitioned from live-action to voice work. Any kids that missed him on Uncle Croc’s Block probably caught him as Manny the praying mantis in Pixar’s A Bug’s Life. He even threw in a Lost in Space easter egg with the line “Oh, the pain!” Though he passed at the age of 87 in 2002, we’ll always remember the nefarious doctor.

Marta Kristen

Marta Kristen then and later
Marta Kristen then and later / Everett Collection

As the oldest daughter, Judith Robinson had a lot to look forward to in life. So, when her family ended up propelled through a wayward space journey, she started off very unhappy. The shy girl dreamed of becoming an actress but celestial travel forced her to give that up for a time. Fortunately, Major Don West helped provide something of a distraction so things could run mostly smoothly.

Angela Cartwright, Marta Kristen, Billy Mumy
Angela Cartwright, Marta Kristen, Billy Mumy / Everett Collection

Similarly, actress Marta Kristen went through some changes of her own. Her journey started with Kristen as an orphan from war-torn Europe and ended up with her a TV star. She first entered the entertainment spotlight as Lorelei in Frankie Avalon’s Beach Blanket Bingo. After Lost in Space, she had a child, which prompted Kristen to stick to filming commercials instead of any big projects – 40 of them to be exact. But she does still do other work; her most recent credit came in 2019 from two episodes of The Vamps Next Door. Now in her mid-seventies, she lives in California with her two rescue dogs.

Angela Cartwright

Young Angela Cartwright
Young Angela Cartwright / Everett Collection

Has anyone seen Penny? What about that bloop creature? Countless younger viewers could relate to Penny Robinson, whose imagination was as wild as they come, matched only by her care for animals. That’s likely why she had no qualms caring for an alien chimpanzee that communicates in blooping sounds.

Angela Cartwright
Angela Cartwright / Everett Collection

Young Angela Cartwright got her start through The Danny Thomas Show, but 1965 proved a big year for her career. She landed the role of Brigitta in The Sound of Music then earned a place among the Lost in Space cast. After the series ended, Cartwright stayed loyal to this monumental franchise in all its versions. In the movie, she made a cameo as a reporter and even played evil Dr. Smith’s mother in Netflix’s reimagined show. Now, she stays behind the camera as a photographer with her own website.

Bill Mumy

Bill Mumy before and after
Bill Mumy before and after / Everett Collection

Tech prodigy Will Robinson got into a lot of dangers. Fortunately, he had the Robot to ring out the famous warning to help him out. And the youngest Robinson had plenty of his own wits to get him out of trouble. Like his character, Bill Mumy had a lot of big visions, going so far as to declare, “As a kid, I had an overwhelming urge to be on TV.”

Bill Mumy
Bill Mumy / Wikimedia Commons

That’s exactly where he landed and where he wanted to stay because then he could be someone he considered a hero. Mumy’s acting experience began when he was just three. Of his two Disney films, Sammy, the Way-Out Seal definitely still gets a lot of well-placed love. Reportedly, viewers could have seen Mumy as Eddie Munster, but instead he played a friend of Eddie’s because his parents disliked the intense makeup requirements. After a great run with Babylon 5, Mumy went on to provide narration for a variety of networks, including Animal Planet, A&E, the Sci-Fi Channel, and E!. All the while, he readily called Lost in Space “perfect,” which is why he was perfect to co-author a book with Angela Cartwright entitled Lost (and Found) in Space. He couldn’t stay away from the stars for long, though, and appeared in Space Command.

Dick Tufeld

Dick Tufeld (middle back)
Dick Tufeld (middle back) / YouTube / Everett Collection

“Warning, warning, danger, Will Robinson!” echoed the voice of the Robot, Will’s trusted, metallic companion. The Robot’s creative barbs fired back at Mr. Smith actually set the stage for how fans would throw insults for years. Bringing the Robot to life proved a group effort with Bob May providing movements while comedic genius Dick Tufeld provided the lines.

Dick Tufeld
Dick Tufeld / Wikipedia

For most of Tufeld’s career, he ended up heard but not seen. He and Lost in Space show creator Irwin Allen developed other projects like “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea” and “The Time Tunnel,” with Tufeld as an announcer on both occasions. Tufeld got to finally understand his character’s impact while attending an event at Syracuse University. When the B9 Lost in Space Robot was introduced, he received a standing ovation. That does not compute! And neither does the sad news that Tufeld passed away in 2012 at the age of 85. Rest in peace.

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The post Taking A Look At The Cast Of ‘Lost In Space’ Then And Now 2020 appeared first on DoYouRemember? – The Home of Nostalgia. Author, Dana Daly

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Taking A Look At The Cast Of ‘Six Million Dollar Man’ Then And Now 2020

This article is from Do You Remember. Click the title to hop over there.

Sundays became a lot of people’s favorite day, even with Monday looming over them. That’s all thanks to Six Million Dollar Man, a unique show with a lasting presence and excellent cast. It provided all sorts of imagination fuel for kids. But where did the Six Million Dollar Man cast slow-motion run off to after the show?

Reporting to OSI, this three-part television movie-turned-show had a small but powerful cast. Ultimately, all the pieces came together to deliver not one but two icons, such was the show’s power. And, of course, the actors often enjoyed resounding star power thanks to their work on it. So, let’s catch up with them between then and now.

Lee Majors

Lee Majors then and now
Lee Majors then and now / Everett Collection / Instagram

Steve Austin became known as a man barely alive. But soon after, he became bionic, the titular six million dollar man, equipped with super-strong arms, legs, and a bionic eye implant to lead the cast to victory. All his limbs had the power of a bulldozer, allowing him to tackle just about any feat with raw strength and agility. These abilities made Austin a famous action hero among the genre throughout the ’70s.

RELATED: Actor Lee Majors Tells All About How ‘The Six Million Dollar Man’ Affected His Life

Fittingly, his actor, Lee Majors, came from an athletic background himself. In fact, if he had his way, he’d have been a sports hero rather than a TV star. In particular, he loved indulging in track and football and competed throughout his school years into college. However, an injury cut his football career short and so he set off down a rocky path to acting. Some of this did pay off, though, because reportedly Majors did 90% of his own stunts. He really was the bionic man!

 

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But before becoming a famous cyborg, Lee broke into the industry through the 1965 western The Big Valley, which put him alongside Dynasty’s Linda Evans. Through Big Valley, Majors met Farrah Fawcett. The paparazzi loved them as a couple – and loved to hound them. But their relationship faltered as her fame grew and the sensational couple split in ’82. In true Steve Austin fashion, Lee Majors kept working hard after leaving the cast of Six Million Dollar Man. His next big project came from The Fall Guy. It tells of a Hollywood stuntman who’s also a bounty hunter. Could be Majors himself. He stuck with the action and thrills as recently as 2019 with the TV revival of Magnum PI. Now 81, you can see him in Narco Sub in 2021.

Richard Anderson

Richard Anderson
Richard Anderson / Everett Collection

Bureaucracy can inspire just about anyone to act calculating and distant. But at the end of the day OSI Director Oscar Goldman had the capacity to be fatherly. He just had to always consider what each situation called for. Regardless, this director proved a lot more approachable after Darren McGavin left the role, when the character proved so cold and hard that even the cyborg Steve Austin called him a robot.

Anderson after The Six Million Dollar Man
Anderson after The Six Million Dollar Man / Everett Collection

Richard Anderson’s position in the cast as OSI Head for The Six Million Dollar Man lasted from the original series through the spinoff, The Bionic Woman. Fittingly, Anderson actually stayed informed on the subject by hosting real-life deep dives into the field of bionics! Only after a tour of service during World War II did Anderson jump headfirst into a lucrative acting career.

His experience made Anderson perfect for his big breakthrough role in Stanley Kubrick’s 1957 war film, Paths of Glory. In many of his later roles, Anderson played the bad guy – omitting, of course, Six Million Dollar Man. But, in his personal life, Anderson was a philanthropist. He also crossed paths with some major icons, acting opposite Guy Williams’s Zorro as a friend and rival. He got to enjoy his prolonged fame and stardom, which helped him collect vintage cars like the 1957 Bentley Continental Flying Spur, until his death in 2017 from natural causes at the age of 91. Rest in peace, director.

Martin E. Brooks

Paging Dr. Wells
Paging Dr. Wells / IMDb / Everett Collection

It takes a person with a very special background to handle medical and bionic needs at once. That’s why OSI often paged Dr. Rudy Wells, a character almost as synonymous with Six Million Dollar Man as Steve Austin himself. Dr. Wells became a familiar face across multiple shows and movies related to the bionic man and his colleagues.

Martin E. Brooks penned a book and composed a CD
Martin E. Brooks penned a book and composed a CD / Amazon

Martin E. Brooks took up the role for seasons three through five after entering Hollywood back in the ’50s and only securing a recurring role through 1972’s McMillan & Wife as Deputy D.A. Chapman. His fame rocketed with the bionic franchise and, indeed, 1994’s Bionic Ever After proved one of his last big projects. But he still kept himself busy, filling his later years with a lot of writing – books and music. His CD, “A Life Filled With Love,” included tracks recorded in the ’60s. Ultimately, Brooks passed away in 2015 at the ripe old age of 90.

Lindsay Wagner

From the Six Million Dollar Man to the Bionic Woman
From the Six Million Dollar Man to the Bionic Woman / Everett Collection / Wikipedia

With a bionic ear that can detect the undetectable, powerful arm that can deliver a killer right hook, and two mechanical legs capable of unmatched sprinting, Jaime Sommers is the Bionic Woman. How much did it cost to create another multi-million dollar super-spy? Well, the jury’s out. Jaime’s actress, Lindsay Wager, actually had to explain a lot of politics surrounding the bionic woman’s cost, so it actually stayed classified for that reason.

Lindsay Wagner today
Lindsay Wagner today / Wikimedia Commons

But Wager would never be deterred. Her role in the Six Million Dollar Man cast already helped her do great things for female viewers and that only expanded when she starred in The Bionic Woman. With this role, Wagner found herself thrust into an influential and inspiring spotlight. Wagner and the German Shepherd Max won viewers of all demographics over with their charm.

Wagner
Wagner / Facebook

And even when the bionic spy turned in all her fancy implants, Wagner still landed admirable – and even nostalgic – roles, like in Scruples. Then, she crossed paths with another icon of the era, Stallone, playing his ex Sly in Nighthawks (1981). Check her out in Warehouse 13 where she has the recurring role of Dr. Vanessa Calder. In her seventies, Wagner has no trouble balancing everything even without bionics, thanks to her use of holistic self-help and meditation. With her cookbooks and workshops, it seems she’s all about vegan meals, quiet thoughts, and an open heart.

Alan Oppenheimer

Alan Oppenheimer then and now
Alan Oppenheimer then and now / Etsy / Wikipedia

Before Brooks took over the role, Alan Oppenheimer played the good Dr. Rudy Wells. But even after he left, fans could easily hear his very recognizable voice that came to define a lot of childhoods. For one, he played Vanity Smurf throughout the ’80s. Then came one of his most famous voice acting credits: that of Skeletor in He-Man Masters of the Universe. He even made it into Pixar’s Toy Story 4 (2019) at the age of 90! What a career!

Alan Oppenheimer
Alan Oppenheimer / Wikimedia Commons

Oppenheimer got plenty of work where he’d be seen too. One of his most notable roles came from the 1973 sci-fi thriller Westworld as the Chief Supervisor. Though, that was also the year his voice acting career started with him as the lead in Inch High, Private Eye. Then, that decade began the age of countless cartoon voice projects. Just as remarkably, Oppenheimer turned 90 in April of 2020!

Darren McGavin

Darren McGavin then and later
Darren McGavin then and later / Everett Collection

Office of Strategic Operations director Oliver Spencer’s been called many things: world-weary, cynical, Machiavellian. Spencer witnessed Steve Austin’s descent and technological resurrection from his seat of power. Right from the telefilm, the OSI director became an important instrument in the show’s goings-on. And through the telefilm, and not its spinoffs, Darren McGavin played this steely, distant director with poise. Though, his character’s existence combined with that of Oscar Goldman caused some confusion among fans. At the end of the day, they’re separate people with separate jobs, both equally part of the bionic lore.

Ray Walston, Darren McGavin, and Judd Nelson
Ray Walston, Darren McGavin, and Judd Nelson / Everett Collection

Outside of The Six Million Dollar Man, Darren McGavin had quite the career. Typically, he played a well-traveled and gruff character. But he could still utilize this persona to land some amazing comedic roles as well. One of the most notable has to be Bob Clark’s A Christmas Story, where he played Mr. Parker who fought against rowdy dogs under the banner of a raunchy leg lamp. He also played another stiff but funny patriarch in Adam Sandler’s Billy Maddison as the titular character’s father. At the time of his death in 2006 at the age of 83, he’d built a massive career and a big family.

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The post Taking A Look At The Cast Of ‘Six Million Dollar Man’ Then And Now 2020 appeared first on DoYouRemember? – The Home of Nostalgia. Author, Dana Daly

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