Tuesday, June 23, 2015

R.I.P. Dick van Patten

Starting out in radio as a child star member of the REG'LAR FELLERS and later the teenage co-star of TV's MAMA,  Dick Van Patten grew into the consummate character actor. Among his roles were the Jack Benny/Eddie Cantor character in the WONDER WOMAN episode featuring the late Christa Helm. Eventually, after siring his own little mini-empire of acting, tennis-playing Van Pattens, he became an outright star as the beloved father on TV's EIGHT IS ENOUGH.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

TV Father of the Year-Inspector Queen

This year's Booksteve Channel Father's Day TV Father of the Year Award goes to...Inspector Richard Queen as played by David Wayne in the short-lived but top notch TV mystery series from 1975-76, ELLERY QUEEN.

Although the format of the series dictates that he never actually fully solve a crime, Inspector Queen is invariably shown to be a  more than competent policeman, and, in fact, given a richer history and background than many supporting characters.

It's also shown that that he is and has been a loving and nurturing single father to Ellery. They fight and argue about a case but then immediately he might ask what Ellery wanted for dinner that evening. 

With Jim Hutton's quirky and almost Autism Spectrum-like portrayal of Ellery unlike that of the literature version of the character, the writers and actors managed to take what could well have been a typical smart detective/dumb cop relationship and make it into one of the best father/son combos in TV history...even if the short-lived status of the series means that few people remember that.