Monday, March 21, 2016
This Week in Television History: March 2016 PART IV
Listen to me on TV CONFIDENTIAL:
As always, the further we go back in Hollywood history, the more that fact and legend become intertwined. It's hard to say where the truth really lies.
March 22, 1931
William Shatner was born.
The Canadian actor, musician, recording artist, author and film director. He gained worldwide fame and became a cultural icon for his portrayal of James T. Kirk, captain of the USS Enterprise, in the science fiction television series, Star Trek, from 1966 to 1969; Star Trek: The Animated Series from 1973 to 1974; and in seven of the subsequent Star Trek feature films from 1979 to 1994. He has written a series of books chronicling his experiences playing Captain Kirk and being a part of Star Trek, and has co-written several novels set in the Star Trek universe. He has also authored a series of science fiction novels called TekWar that were adapted for television.
Shatner also played the eponymous veteran police sergeant in T. J. Hooker from 1982 to 1986. Afterwards, he hosted the reality-based television series, Rescue 911 from 1989 to 1996, which won a People's Choice Award for Favorite New TV Dramatic Series. He has since worked as a musician, author, producer, director and celebrity pitchman. From 2004 to 2008, he starred as attorney Denny Crane in the television dramas The Practice and its spin-off Boston Legal, for which he won two Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award.
March 26, 1971
Frank Cannon was a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department, however he retired after the deaths of his wife and son in a car accident and later became a private detective. The series begins at the point where Cannon is just beginning this new career (the pilot film picks up after Cannon has just spent 2 1/2 months overseas on an investigation). The cause of death of Cannon's wife and child was not clear through the first four seasons of the show. However, the first episode of the fifth and final season revolves around Cannon's investigation of the deaths, and he finally finds out the reason they were killed.
The noticeably overweight Frank Cannon had expensive tastes, especially in food and cars. (His primary vehicle was an ice-blue '72Lincoln Continental Mark IV.) During the series' run, his car would range from a Lincoln 1971 Mark III to a 1976 Mark IV in various color schemes, all dark over light blue exteriors, with interiors ranging from red velour to dark-blue leather... Cannon's investigations were mostly for clients in the Southern California area, although on occasion he was called in for investigations much farther away (e.g., New Mexico in the pilot).
Cannon occasionally would get hurt (shot or beaten) and knocked unconscious. He carried a gun for self-defense, usually a snub-nosed.38 Special revolver (which appeared to be a Colt Detective Special). Sometimes he used other guns (Including an M1911 and a B.A.R). He was known to subdue suspects with karate chops, judo holds, and occasionally he would thrust and knock down adversaries with his huge abdomen.
In the first two seasons Cannon was a pipe smoker. In the third season, the pipe was seen occasionally; it was subsequently dropped altogether.