Action-adventure series exploring the full spectrum of life aboard a US Navy aircraft carrier.
This role was a real thrill for me
and a huge boost to my developing actor ego. I was cast, through a maze of auditions leading up to an appearance before ABC Network execs, to co-star in a prime-time series following the adventures of a trio of naval aviators operating from a huge nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. The old guys in leading roles were myself as skipper of the carrier and Robert Hooks as the Carrier Air Group Commander (CAG). I believe I owe my role to pilot and series director Jackie Cooper who was convinced I was a good enough actor to handle a co-starring role on network television. He was a great mentor and a fine acting coach.
The series aired for ten episodes and drew reasonable numbers, but the story lines got a little outlandish over time and I believe our fans drifted away. At any rate, the network cancelled us after the initial run. Personally, I found acting in a weekly series a real education. Lines and scenes were always being changed at the last minute and we had to be quick on our feet, sometimes improvising when things werent working for camera. Jackie Cooper gave us a lot of latitude in this pursuit despite pressure from the network suits looking over his shoulder on the set. He backed his actors.
One other major personal disappointment came when we were cancelled. At the time, the writers had created a love interest for my character. I was looking forward to my first on-screen romance, but it never materialized. And it hasnt since.