Earl Holliman Poster


Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Trade Mark (4)  | Trivia (122)  | Personal Quotes (35)

Overview (3)

Born in Delhi, Louisiana, USA
Birth NameHenry Earl Holliman
Height 6' (1.83 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Louisiana-born actor Earl Holliman, after a stint in the Navy, studied at UCLA and the Pasadena Playhouse before earning his break in the Martin/Lewis comedy Scared Stiff (1953). He gained clout after portraying a variety of young, manly characters in rugged westerns and war drama, ranging from dim and/or good-natured to overly impulsive and/or threatening. He won a Golden Globe for his support performance as a girl-crazy brother in The Rainmaker (1956), holding his own against stars Burt Lancaster and Katharine Hepburn. He distinguished himself in a number of "A" grade films around the same time, including Broken Lance (1954) with Spencer Tracy, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957), again with Lancaster, Giant (1956) with Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson, Visit to a Small Planet (1960), again with Jerry Lewis, Summer and Smoke (1961) with Geraldine Page and The Sons of Katie Elder (1965) with John Wayne.

When the film offers started drying up in the 60s, he found TV a more welcoming medium, scoring in a number of westerns. His virile stance was perfect for a series of crime yarns. It all culminated with a four-year stint as the macho partner to sexy Angie Dickinson in Police Woman (1974), a role that helped make him a household name. Holliman operated the Fiesta Dinner Theatre for many years in San Antonio, Texas.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Trade Mark (4)

Distinctive soft, high resonant voice
Portrayed adventurous men, macho types, and often simple souls.
Cleft in his chin.
Dark brown eyes.

Trivia (122)

Holliman had an entire host segment of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1988) (episode 418 - Attack of the Eye Creatures) dedicated to him and his career. Joel Hodgson stated sardonically, "Earl Holliman: who would have been William Shatner, had there not already been one".
Played the main character in the very first The Twilight Zone (1959) episode to be telecast, "Where is Everybody?" (October 2, 1959).
A staunch conservative Republican, Holliman campaigned for President Eisenhower's re-election in 1956. He supported Ronald Reagan's run for governor of California in 1966 and 1970 and later endorsed him for president in the 1980 and 1984 presidential elections. He also endorsed Richard M. Nixon for president in the 1968 and 1972 presidential elections, and later endorsed George W. Bush in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections. He was one of many celebs who worked with Nancy Reagan in advocating and raising awareness of her "Just Say No" anti-drug campaign.
In 2015, Holliman appeared in the documentary Children of Giant (2015), which took an in-depth look into the making of of the film Giant (1956).
Out of all his movie roles, he has reportedly cited The Rainmaker (1956) as being his personal favorite.
For over 25 years, he was president of Actors and Others for Animals.
Once visited the Vatican with former actress turned nun, Dolores Hart.
He is a resident of Studio City, California.
In a July 1998 fan letter response, he said that if he hadn't gone into acting he would've either become a schoolteacher, a writer, or even both.
For his work in The Rainmaker (1956), he's one of only 7 actors to win the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in a motion picture without receiving an Oscar nomination for the same performance. The other 6 are, in chronological order: Millard Mitchell in My Six Convicts (1952), Stephen Boyd in Ben-Hur (1959), Oskar Werner in The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965), Richard Attenborough, The Sand Pebbles (1966) and Doctor Dolittle (1967), Richard Benjamin in The Sunshine Boys (1975) and Aaron Taylor-Johnson in Nocturnal Animals (2016).
On October 2, 1959, CBS showcased Holliman in two starring TV roles on the same night in the debut episode of The Twilight Zone (1959) and as the "Sundance Kid" in his own series, Hotel de Paree (1959).
On February 24, 2018, South Carolina based artist Greg Joens submitted a caricature of Holliman on his official website honoring Earl as his Sketch of the Day.
Holliman was selected over Elvis Presley to play the role of "Jim Curry" in The Rainmaker (1956).
He and his Police Woman (1974) co-star Charles Dierkop both observe their birthdays on the same day. (Dierkop was born in 1936.).
In 1974, while he was starring as Bill Crowley in Police Woman (1974), he was stopped by a policeman while driving one day and when asked to show his drivers license, the office paused after examining it and asked, "Do you know a girl named Pepper?" When Holliman answered, "Yes", the officer reportedly handed him back his drivers license, smiled, and said, "You're free to go, I'll let you off with a warning".
Between 1958-63, Holliman had a moderately successful career as a pop and country singer and had a record deal with such major recording studios as Capitol Records, Prep, and HiFi. Songs he recorded included: "A Teenager Sings The Blues", "Nobody Knows How I Feel", "Don't Get Around Much Anymore", "Sittin' And A Gabbin'", "If I Could See The World Through The Eyes Of A Child", "La La La Lovable", "Wanna Kiss You To-Night", "I'm In The Mood For Love", "We Found Love", "Willingly", "There'll Be No Teardrops Tonight", and "Road To Nowhere".
In the late 1950s and mid-1960s, Earl courted such actresses as Valerie Allen, Anne Francis, Dolores Hart, Tina Louise, Judi Meredith, Yvonne Lime, and Susan Oliver.
On April 21, 2018, he was caricatured by American graphic artist "peterpicture" via his profile on the website DeviantArt honoring Earl as the sketch of the day.
On March 12, 2010, he was caricatured by American illustrator James O'Brien in his Twilight Zone appearance with the drawing simply titled, "Earl".
He is one of many notable names in the entertainment industry who have been cited in the short saying "There are five stages in the life of an actor" by Hollywood columnist Mike Connolly (e.g. "Who's Earl Holliman? Get me Earl Holliman. Get me a Earl Holliman Type. Get me a young Earl Holliman. Who's Earl Holliman?").
On May 9, 2018, he was honored with a slideshow style tribute video on the YouTube channel, Movie Legends.
During the filming of Broken Lance (1954), he and Hugh O'Brian were roommates.
On Holliman's 25th birthday, East of Sumatra (1953), in which he starred as "Cupid", had its Hollywood premiere.
On June 21, 2018, a profile was established on the website DeviantArt entitled, "EarlHollimanTributes". The website posted more than 25 caricatures in honor of the actor (whom is described not only as his favorite actor but "the greatest actor of the 20th-century and evermore") which includes a variety of original drawings, in both B&W and color, hand sketched, and even digitally replicated. The site displays Holliman in some of his memorable film and TV appearances.
In 1957, the Associated Press reported Holliman was Hollywood's biggest "Overnight Sensation".
In the late 1970s, he was a National Honorary Chairman for the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.
In 1959, while starring in the lead role in Hotel de Paree (1959), he appeared in a commercial for L&M Cigarettes.
In 1998, he authored a short story for the book Chicken Soup for the Pet Lovers Soul, entitled "The Woman Who Took Chickens Under Her Wing" which was based on a real account of his experience with an animal rescuer.
In 1960, MGM toyed with the idea of doing an all-male remake of 1939's The Women which would have been entitled, Gentlemen's Club. Like the female version, this would have involved an all masculine cast and the plot would have involved a man (Jeffrey Hunter) who recently discovers among his friends that his wife is having an affair with another man (Earl Holliman) and after going to Reno to file for divorce and begin a new life, he later finds himself doing what he can to rectify matters later on when he discovers that the other man is only interested in money and position and he decides to win his true love back again. Although nothing ever came of this, it would have consisted of the following ensemble had it did: Jeffrey Hunter (Martin Heal), Earl Holliman (Christopher Allen), Tab Hunter (Simon Fowler), Lew Ayres (Count Vancott), Robert Wagner (Mitchell Aarons), James Garner (Peter Day), Jerry Mathers (Little Martin), James Stewart (Mr. Heal), Ronald Reagan (Larry), Troy Donahue (Norman Blake), and Stuart Whitman (Oliver, the bartender who spills the beans about the illicit affair).
After seeing his dramatic performance of Luhan in the 1971 made for TV movie, Montserrat, a critic in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was noted as saying of him, "I didn't know he could act".
During World War II, he lied about his age and enlisted in the U.S. Navy at 15. He was discharged a year later when his real age was discovered. Following his high school graduation he rejoined the Navy at 18 and was stationed in Norfolk, VA, where he became involved in the Norfolk Navy Theater and appeared in leading roles in several productions.
In his early teens, he was a movie usher at a theatre in Shreveport, Louisiana.
He served as a guest presenter at the 1979 National Film Society Convention.
In March 1974, he was dubbed the actor with the most "desire and variety" by the Independent-Press Telegram in Long Beach, CA.
A 1946 graduate of Oil City High School in Oil City, Louisiana, he was Senior Class President and played right tackle on the football team. He returned in 1965 for a week long motivational seminar as an Honorary Guest Speaker. Prior to Oil City High School, he had previously attended Fair Park College Preparatory Academy and C.E. Byrd High School.
In March 1957, Louella Parsons cited Holliman as Hollywood's "First Real Cinderella Man" and "newest and shining star".
On August 9, 2018, he was caricatured by British graphic artist "paulb" on the website Star Portraits honoring Earl as his Sketch of the Day.
For his contribution to the television industry, Holliman has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6901 Hollywood Blvd in Los Angeles, CA.
Holliman had originally not wanted to play Bob Dace in Giant (1956) but after meeting with George Stevens he accepted after learning Stevens had personally chosen him to bring the character to screen life, having been impressed by the actor and wanted him to be part of the production.
In addition to his Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture for The Rainmaker, Holliman also earned a nomination for a Golden Globe Award for "Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Television Series" for his performance as Darden Towe alongside Delta Burke in her short-lived 1992 series Delta (1992).
On April 8, 1987, he, Veronica Hamel, and Jo Anne Worley, traveled to New York City to host the first annual 9 Lives National Morris Award, a cat lovers tournament where the judges choose the top household cat in the entire city.
One of Holliman's fondest memories of Police Woman (1974) includes moving into an unfurnished house and procrastinating decorating and later when he returned from working on a TV movie he found his house fully furnished courtesy of Angie Dickinson.
He is profiled in the 2017 book "Television Western Players, 1960-1975: A Biographical Dictionary" by Everett Aaker.
On March 8, 2006, he was featured in an interview segment of Box Office Mojo.
Although his role in Scared Stiff (1953) was uncredited, Holliman stayed up for three nights straight to practice the perfect delivery of his only line which was less than a sentence long.
In his The Twilight Zone (1959) appearance, Holliman paid tribute to his real-life adoptive mother and his stepfather, Alexander Guy Bellotte, when his character is leafing through the Oakwood Directory in the phone booth and he calls out "Bellotte" as one of the names.
After Hotel de Paree (1959) folded in 1960, Holliman reportedly received 26 different pilot scripts in his mail to choose from for his next project from several major studios.
"The Sundance Cocktail" and "The Mitch Guthrie Cocktail" are adult beverages named in honor of Holliman, having been the title characters he portrayed in the series, Hotel de Paree (1959) and Wide Country (1962).
He turned down the lead roles in Laramie (1959), Riverboat (1959), and The Deputy (1959) to play the role of "Sundance" in Hotel de Paree (1959) (1959-60).
Holliman was reportedly considered for the male leads in such films as: Lonelyhearts (1958), Operation Petticoat (1959), The Apartment (1960), Love with the Proper Stranger (1963), Charly (1968), and Nashville (1975).
On Halloween Day 1971, he was profiled in the Oakland Tribunes "Outside Hollywood" column as their celebrity of the week.
In the mid-1980s, he was an honorary spokesman for The Alzheimer's Association.
During the 1970s and mid-1980s, he use to camp out in Big Bear Lake, California, when he was free from making movies and TV shows.
In honor of his 90th birthday on September 11, 2018, he had a worldwide recognition when his name was listed first and foremost in celebrity birthday mention columns.
Despite the fact, he was the first well-known actor to ever star in the debut episode of Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone (1959), he never appeared on its spin-off series, Night Gallery (1969) (another program which Serling created and produced).
While riding on a train to Marfa, Texas, in 1956 to start filming "Giant", Earl was sitting with the cast and crew in one of the passenger cars when it was announced by one of the conductors that Elizabeth Taylor's club car was up front. After hearing this, Earl went up to her cabin to introduce himself and when she answered she invited him in to sit and visit with her so she would be able to get to know him somewhat better before they were to begin work on the production. Not long after he was sitting with her, he happened to look out the window into the desert the train was riding through and remarked, " Look at those flowers! Aren't they pretty?". When Elizabeth looked at the cactus flowers, Earl was speaking of she than looked at him and asked, "Do you want one?". Before Earl could answer Elizabeth's question, she immediately stood up, pulled the emergency break, after the train came to an immediate screeching halt, she than proceeded to run outside and pick the biggest cactus flower she could. While the engineers ran around trying to calm the rest of the cast and crew aboard and find out what happened, Elizabeth had promptly returned to her cabin with Earl still sitting there in amazement to find Ms. Taylor approaching him with a smile on her face, and still looking beautiful as ever with no broken sweat whatsoever, handing him a cactus flower simply saying, "Here".
He has a street named after him in Torrance, California.
In the mid-1950s, Academy Award winning screen actress Bette Davis was once asked in an interview when it came to up and coming actors and actresses which one did she feel had the most potential and would likely enjoy a fruitful career. Immediately, without hesitation, she replied with, Earl Holliman, and how she hoped that someday she and him would be able to appear with one another in either a film, a television show, or both (which never did transpire).
In 1994, he was in negation to appear in a Lifetime made for TV movie entitled, "Our Anniversary". It told the story of a couple nearing their 40th wedding anniversary who not only look back on the years of their marriage but also ponder as too whether how many more they'll have when the misses discovers she has contracted a health condition that might be fatal, which later proves to be a negative prognosis ensuring they'll have many more happy years ahead due to her rediscovered perfect health. It was never made.
In 1997, he was considered to appear in a TV adaptation of "12 Angry Men" in the role of Juror No. 8 but the part was later given to Jack Lemmon when Holliman had to decline due to his busy schedule appearing in the lead cast of "Night Man" and appearing in a guest spot on "Caroline in the City" at the same time.
Holliman was considered for the part of Paolo di Leo in The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (1961) but the role went to Warren Beatty.
He was considered for the part of Beauregard Decker in "Bus Stop" (1956) but the part was later given to Don Murray.
On October 15, 2018, he was honored with a Sketch of the Day caricature on the website Star Portraits by a French artist known as Guegan.
In 1998, he was in talks to be in the title role of a made for TV Christmas special for Hallmark Hall of Fame entitled "Joshua's Wish" and would've told the story of a man whose family wants to gift him with a holiday season to remember by reuniting him with a childhood comrade whom he hadn't seen in years having been separated from one another during the final years of the Great Depression. It was never made.
In 1999, he was in talks to be in a made for TV comedy film for ABC entitled "Doctor's Orders" about a family of doctors trying to push the patriarch of the family into retiring following several years of serving his community in the medical field and the antics they use to push him towards it.
During the 2018 Holiday Season, the company Fantastic Vinyl sold a set of handmade wall clock's (which were made from vinyl records) featuring Holliman with a selling price of $29.99 a piece.
He was in an interview segment with "Skip E. Lowe Looks at Hollywood" on August 22, 2000.
After Holliman and Angie Dickinson starred together in two different episodes of Police Story (1973), NBC decided to make Police Woman (1974), a new series in which both would star, based on the success of the episodes in which the two actors had appeared in the earlier series.
During the filming of The Bridges at Toko-Ri (1954), Holliman and co-star Mickey Rooney shared a hotel suite together.
During his time studying at the Pasadena Playhouse, he supplemented his income working for Blue Cross as a file clerk.
In a 2006 interview with actress Betty White, when asked of Actors and Others for Animals she praised Holliman for his work and dedication over the years and how if it had not been for him the organization would not have proved so successful. In 2010, Actors and Others for Animals established a fund entitled The E.A.R.L. (Emergency Animal Relief Lifeline) to carry out his vision to help animals in need. This fund provides larger subsidies for a select number of more serious medical requests.
Holliman reportedly decided to become a movie star at the age of 5.
In the 1960s, he had an official fan club publication entitled "Earl's Ledger".
He appeared as Mike Mitchell in the 1963 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania summer tour of "Sunday in New York".
In the spring of 1963, after "Wide Country" finished its run, he spent the next two months touring the country in the acclaimed musical "Oklahoma!" appearing in the role of Curly McLain.
Between September 4 and September 9, 1963, he starred in a production of "The Tender Trap", opposite Anthony George, in the role of Charlie Y. Reader at the Westchester County Playhouse in Dobbs Ferry, New York.
From September 15 to October 14, 1981, he starred in a stage production of "Mister Roberts" at his Fiesta Dinner Playhouse in San Antonio, Texas.
He was considered for the role of Brick Pollitt in the 1958 film adaptation of the acclaimed Tennessee Williams play "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" but lost the part to Paul Newman.
At the start of his film career in the 1950s, he was always given the star billing when his films were shown in his home town of Oil City, Louisiana, and The Strand Theatre where he had ushered in Shreveport, however minor the role.
He claimed during his childhood and teen years he literally saw ever movie that was ever made.
On December 1, 2018, he was in the spotlight when it was announced that several letters signed off as anonymous had been sent to Santa Claus asking him to bring Holliman an Oscar statuette as a gift to make not only his Christmas more enjoyable but also make his longtime wish come true.
He was profiled in the July 2, 1960 edition of TV Guide.
He was profiled, and interviewed, in the 2007 book "Dimensions Behind the Twilight Zone: A Backstage Tribute to Television's Groundbreaking Series" by Stewart Stanyard.
The interior of his home consists of framed movie posters of every single movie he ever starred in hanging throughout various rooms.
In 1960, he developed acute hepatitis and had to undergo a 2 week hospitalization from which he fully recovered.
In 2018, three of his former co-stars passed away in the same year: Dewey Martin, Tab Hunter, and Burt Reynolds.
Holliman was reportedly considered for the role of Mr. Parker ("The Old Man") in A Christmas Story (1983) but the part went to Darren McGavin.
On December 24, 2018, he was honored with a Sketch of the Day caricature on the website Star Portraits by American artist Ronda West.
In 1968, he starred in the Los Angeles Mark Taper Forum production of Tennessee Williams's "Camino Real" in the role of Kilroy. His performance was well-received by critics.
In 1970, he was filmed in a made for TV movie for 20th-Century Fox entitled "The Legend of Joaquin Murrieta" but it was never released and has since been lost.
In his early teens, he worked in a magic shop as a magician's assistant.
In 1963, he appeared at the Avondale Playhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana, in a production of "The Country Girl" in the role of Bernie Dodd opposite fellow leads Lee Bowman and Julie Wilson.
On January 27, 2019, he was honored with a Sketch of the Day caricature by an artist known as "bati" on the website, Star Portraits.
On February 26, 2019, he was honored with two Sketch of the Day caricatures on the website Star Portraits by two artists: one from Austria known as veitsberger and one from Germany known as Patoux.
On February 26, 2019, he was honored with a Sketch of the Day caricature on the website Star Portraits by a German artist known as Patoux.
In the May 26, 1957, edition of the Hartford Courant he was profiled by famed columnist Hedda Hopper as her celebrity spotlight of the week with the article title being, "Earl Holliman - A Man of Two Faces".
On April 9, 2019, he was honored with a Sketch of the Day caricature on the website, Star Portraits.
In the Spring of 2019, he received a homemade Academy Award for his work in "The Rainmaker" (1956) from a fan of his in Pennsylvania as an Easter gift.
In 1983, he appeared as himself in 2 commercials for Actors and Others for Animals promoting the importance of spaying and neutering during pet ownership.
On April 25, 2019, he was honored with 3 different sketch of the day caricatures on the website, Star Portraits.
On May 7, 2019, he was honored with a Sketch of the Day caricature on the website, Star Portraits.
In 1959, he was featured in LIFE Magazine swimming in a pool at his California home with his dog, whom he named Charlie Brown, jumping in with them both smiling at one another.
On May 8, 2019, he was honored with a Sketch of the Day caricature on the website, Star Portraits.
In 1977, he was the celebrity spokesman for United Way.
In his adolescence, he was a newsboy for the Shreveport Times. In May 1955, he headlined the same newspaper for one entire week when it was announced that he would be in Oil City visiting his mother for Mother's Day.
At the beginning of the 1950s, prior to his entry into film acting, he had been employed for North American Aviation.
Earl was the seventh out of ten children in his biological family. In later years, despite being put up for adoption at birth, he was able to reconnect and establish relationships with them. He was adopted from an orphanage one week after his birth by Henry Holliman, a World War I veteran and oil field worker, and his wife, Velma. After his adopted father died when he was 13, he worked with his mother waiting on tables for $1 a night and in the oil fields on the side.
In May 1976, he appeared on The John Davidson Show (1969) performing a solo rendition of The Carpenters' "Rainy Days and Mondays" as well as singing a vaudeville themed duet with Davidson of B.J. Thomas's Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song".
On May 13, 2019, he was honored with a Sketch of the Day caricature on the website, Star Portraits.
In 2006, he appeared with Warren Stevens and Richard Anderson at the 2006 Comic Con in San Diego, California, to partake in the 50th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition DVD release of "Forbidden Planet".
In May 2005, when "Broken Lance" was released on DVD he provided the audio commentary.
He was invited to be an honorary guest at the 2019 Serling Fest in Binghamton, New York, to celebrate both the 60th Anniversary of The Twilight Zone (1959) and the career of Rod Serling. Despite wanting to be there, he declined the offer citing that at his age it would prove rather difficult for him to make such a long trip from California.
In 1976, he was the Grand Marshal of the Huntington Beach Fourth of July Parade.
On May 30, 2019, the website Fine Art America released a water-colored painting of Earl Holliman by artist John Springfield with a selling price of $24.
Holliman and his Sharky's Machine (1981) co-star Henry Silva were both born in the same month and year. Earl was born on September 11, 1928; Silva was born four days later. Holliman and his "A Covenant with Death" co-star George Maharis were born the same month and year but 10 days apart (George was born on September 1 and Earl was born on September 11).
He was honored with Sketch of the Day caricatures on the website Star Portraits on August 1, 2019.
On September 15, 2019, he was honored with a Sketch of the Day caricature on the website Star Portraits.
On November 14, 2019, he was honored with a Sketch of the Day caricature on the website Star Portraits.
On December 27, 2019, he was honored with a Sketch of the Day caricature on the website, Star Portraits.
On January 18, 2020, he was honored with a Sketch of the Day caricature on the website, Star Portraits.
On January 21, 2020, he was the Special Guest Star Interviewee in the first ever Twilight Zone podcast.
Earl and his "Forbidden Planet" and "Don't Go Near The Water" co-star Anne Francis were both born in the same month but 2 years apart. Earl was born on September 11, 1928, and Anne was born on September 16, 1930.

Personal Quotes (35)

It's like I've died and gone to Heaven. When I did 'Police Woman,' we worked 12- and 14-hour days. Sometimes I would get up at 3:30 a.m. to go to San Pedro and by the end of the day we'd end up in Chatsworth! With a sitcom, we have banker's hours. One day a week you work late in front of an audience. It's a whole different process and incorporates what it's like to be on the stage.
The adrenaline was really going. Sometimes, when they had a close-up on your face, your wardrobe was being changed. You'd be talking to someone who had long gone for their own costume change. I think all the actors who did that live television really miss that stuff.
I think Angie came up with that. I think her character's real name was Lee Ann.
Of course I would, if they asked. I had a good time doing that show. We had a wonderful relationship, a marvelous producer, and the four of us got along great.
Charlie Dierkop and I, who share the same birthday, September 11, stay in touch from time to time.
[on his work in the short-lived series "Delta"] At the end of the first act, I was up to my neck in quicksand. As I'm being rescued, I have 90 seconds to have the folks backstage strip me down to a jockstrap, rinse me off, change my clothes, and I have to get on the other side of the stage for the next act, which has me cracking open a coconut.
Everybody, including you and me, would like to get everything we can for free, but people who can afford to pay their pet's expenses don't realize that if they call up and expect all that money, then we may not be able to help the people who really need it. If you do call us for financial help, the first question you'll be asked is what can you afford? We try to help those people in the direst need.
Animal people can be a difficult lot. When I first joined Actors and Others, I thought, I'm going to get all these people together. Let's get the heads of all the organizations and let's all work together and form a big group. Well my God, it was like asking the Muslims and the Baptists and the Catholics and the Methodists to work together! I feel like we're all trying to get to Heaven and we're all doing it in a different, holier than thou way.
We all have a big laugh about that. The tabloids write about the tension on the set, and there isn't any. They look like lovebirds to me. I've never worked with anyone easier to get along with than her. She's not temperamental at all. I have no tolerance for the tabloids.
No, though there should have been. It was a natural and I don't know why it didn't happen. For years, we all looked good. Apparently, it's past its moment. So many generations coming up now haven't even heard of Police Woman. That's the way it is in this business. There's something permanent about movies but not with television. Let's face it, it was a long time ago.
[on Fossey's War] When she went by she took her knuckles and gave me a big thump right on top of the head! It was like 'so there, too!' They were so humanistic, I fell in love with them.
I've learned that you can always count on animals. You can't always depend on people.
[on Angie Dickinson]That's the kind of friend she is. She really knows the right thing to give, the right thing to do.
I'm a lucky guy. I've made a great living doing what I've always dreamed about doing and what I love doing.
After my dad died, I got a job working as an usher at the Strand [movie theater] in Shreveport [Louisiana] making 25 cents an hour. I saved a few bucks and hitchhiked to Hollywood. I had my 15th birthday on the highway. I brought along a pair of dark sunglasses, which I associated with Hollywood, and, on my first day in Hollywood, I went to Grauman's Chinese Theater and I remember walking up and down the forecourt of Grauman's [where movie stars put their handprints and footprints] in my dark glasses hoping everyone would wonder who I was. I didn't last long. I thought I'd be able to get a job but I couldn't get one. This nice lady talked me into going home, which I did. I went back to high school, played tackle on the football team, was president of the senior class and then joined the Navy-I was unhappy at home because my mother had remarried and I didn't like him-and the Navy sent me up to radio [communications] school in Los Angeles at a big armory. Whenever I'd get liberty, I'd hightail it over to the Hollywood Canteen and I met people I'd later work with like Roddy McDowall. Later, I applied for and was accepted at the Pasadena Playhouse.
That gave me a lot of visibility which was very helpful, since it IS called Actors and Others.
The only movie I remember my father [who died when he was 13] liking was a picture called The Biscuit Eater, made by Warner Bros, I think. It was a beautiful story about a dog, and my dad kept telling me about this movie. I did see it in my hometown. Ironically, I ended up doing a remake at Disney [a two-part episode for Disney's television series in 1976]. My dad would have been pleased.
When you look at it and think of John Wayne who was 65 or so at the time, and Dean Martin and me and Michael Anderson Jr. looked about 16, all playing brothers, you said to yourself, 'What kind of woman was this Katie Elder?".
No. I remember when my mother was sick in the hospital-she was in the intensive care unit after a heart attack-a nurse said to me: "I wanted so bad for you to take Pepper into your arms and kiss her," and then she thought about it and said, "and yet I'm glad you didn't." Our relationship was like Marshall Dillon and Miss Kitty [on TV's long-running Western Gunsmoke]-you never saw them doing anything and yet there was no question that Marshall made it up those stairs to Miss Kitty's room. I think that's like what Pepper and Bill were about. They adored each other. He loved her, he protected her, he was crazy about her-though he wasn't exclusive about it. He was able to flirt with other ladies on the show and there was an unresolved, sexual tension on screen.
I was adopted when I was a week old... and fortunate enough to be raised by people who loved animals and taught me to love animals. As a kid I had everything. I always had dogs and cats. And I had a goat named Napoleon. And a pig named Alexander. I raised a little baby named 'Bill' which was a nest egg, but he wandered off and the town sheriff caught him and ate him.
Here's a page and a half devoted to Poacher, my dog and my visit there. We spent 10 days with Dian up on the Karasoake. It was the most exciting time of my life.
My real name really is Earl Holliman. I weighed six pounds when I was a week old-I had yellow jaundice-and I was adopted. My natural father died six months before I was born-my birth mother lived until the 1970s-and I went to the orphanage. I was adopted by the Hollimans-and, as far as I'm concerned, the Hollimans are my parents. Henry Holliman, a World War 1 veteran, worked in the oil fields. My [adoptive] mother couldn't have children and they had wanted to adopt a child. When they came to see me, I was sick and they took me right away to the doctor, who apparently said: "you don't have a baby here, you have a funeral expense." They paid the midwife seven dollars and fifty cents for me-this was in the backwoods of Louisiana. I had wonderful parents who gave me all the love in the world. They encouraged me to be whatever I can be. I was their only child.
[on Angie Dickinson] We didn't work on it at all. When they saw the first day's rushes, which took place in a hospital, they were raving about the chemistry between us. Angie was so beautiful, attractive and sexy and she had a marvelous sense of humor and a great vulnerability. She was very sexy yet at the same time there was something about her you wanted to protect, a little girl quality, that made you want to put your arm around her and say it was going to be OK. We were together 12 or 14 hours a day and Angie's very opinionated-when she thinks she's right that's the way it is-and we had our share of disagreements but you could tell we had a warmth. It looked like two people who adored each other. It was there.
She was always sexy Pepper. Feminists had a problem with the show in the first season and we got a few letters because she was a cop using her sexuality on the street as a hooker and things like that. Some feminists wrote in that she was [being] exploited but it was not a big deal. We also did a show [during the first season] called "Flowers of Evil," about three lesbians running a nursing home-they were wiping out the old ladies-and we got mail on that. The Variety headline [about that episode's controversy] was: "Gays Finger Police Woman." In that same show, Pepper even admitted [to a lesbian character] that she had known a love like that. But they kept Angie looking as sexy, provocative and beautiful as possible. She was gorgeous.
That I don't know. Quite possibly there wouldn't be. That takes the kick out of it, doesn't it? It's very precise, when you say, Police Woman, it means: tune in to see this woman as a police officer. Police Officer is kind of generic.
[on Hotel De Paree] The edict came down that the dog was too cute. I said, if the dog goes I go.
The importance of spaying and neutering. Too many people think of animals as something disposable - or property. I wish we could all wake up one morning and realize this is another living creature. This isn't my property. This is something I'm going to take care of. It would also be nice if we could get people to stop eating animals.
I was told that, even though I was a good actor, I wasn't handsome enough to be a leading man and I wasn't offbeat enough to be a character actor. I was just kind of in between. Well, when I sat in the barber's chair [for a bit part in The Girls of Pleasure Island], they cut my hair about a quarter of an inch long and in the front it laid down like bangs-that haircut you see all the time now but then nobody had it except Truman Capote-and, with my big ears, my broken nose, my two front teeth, my little eyes and my funny-looking haircut, I was suddenly a character actor. Just like that.
There was one they wrote particularly for my character called-I think it was-"Sarah Who?" The star of Bridget Loves Bernie, Meredith Baxter-Birney, played the daughter of one of my best friends who had died-a cop who had been killed long ago-and she was like an adopted daughter. Somebody was killing policewomen and she was killed and I had a breakdown, crying and all that. I got to play a little bit of everything in that-tough guy, soft guy-and I always liked that.
Actors & Others discovered that sometimes even the best intentions can lead to untenable situations for the very animals we're trying to help. We used to take animals and put them in a shelter in Chatsworth. We had a deal out there. We were paying a gentleman only $1 a day per animal. When I joined, we had 70 dogs. We'd alleviate an emergency - then move on to the next emergency - and the next thing you know these animals had been there a long time. We stopped doing that because we're not good at placements. When somebody calls up and says "I have a dog and she has 6 puppies and what do you people do if you won't (take them)?"... that's not what we do. What we excel in is spay and neuter, the hot lines, the information, and the medicals
It's a volunteer job but it's always been a hands-on job for me, and I wouldn't want it any other way. When somebody comes up to me and says Actors & Others didn't help him, I take great umbrage because I feel a responsibility for the character of the organization. We get anywhere from 100 to 300 calls a day for help in the office and sometimes they expect more than we can do. We're really out there for the infirmed, the elderly, the low income, fixed income people. The homeless. Aids patients. For many of these people, the only warm body they curl up next to is a dog or cat. And often they can't afford to feed them properly and certainly not pay for vet bills. We even have a food supply for them.
In the beginning, I was paired with [policeman] Royster [played by Charles Dierkop] while [actor] Ed Bernard [as policeman Styles] would play a pimp to Pepper's undercover hooker, but, after a while, they began to put us together. She'd get into trouble and I'd run in and save her. I would make some smart remark and she would come back at me in some sexy kind of way and a lot of that was ad libbed. We had a tacit kind of permission to do that and it really helped the chemistry.
At that time, Angie was married to [composer] Burt Bacharach and they had a young daughter, and it was very important for her not to work after six o'clock at night-it was part of her contract-though she got looser about that as time went on, because there were many times when we had to work at night. Sometimes, we'd work 'til midnight on location. We might start in the morning in San Pedro and finish the day on the streets of Burbank. It was tiring.
The first part Loni Anderson ever had was with me on Police Woman. She played a waitress. She had very dark hair-she looked Oriental-and it was before she had the blonde hair. She came up and took my order and I'm coming on to her and I asked her how she liked Ella Fitzgerald and she said "oh, my husband just loves her, why do you ask?" and my line was "I guess I'm just taking a survey." I'd get away with murder. [In one episode,] I had a stewardess at the little bar in my apartment. She said something about how to solve crime and I said, listen, I'll make a pact with you, you don't ask me how I solve a murder and I won't ask you how that pilot uses that big thing up in the air. Everyone on the set would snicker but we'd get away with it. I remember once when Angie and I had to get into [police] uniform and at the very end of the show we were walking back and, just as we walked past camera, Angie said "I can't wait to get back into my pants" and I said "neither can I."
We had a very big, hit show. We were always in the top 15, sometimes in the top ten, and I remember one summer when we reached number one in the ratings-and that was before cable. They put on Baretta against us, Get Christie Love, the thing with Darren McGavin [Kolchak: the Night Stalker]-Police Woman was a hit. The entire Friday night lineup was a smash on NBC: Chico and the Man, Sanford and Son, The Rockford Files-and Police Woman. Friday night was NBC night. What happened was they would start taking us off [the regularly scheduled night] and put us on someplace else [on the schedule] for a couple of weeks to get our audience to watch some other show, so people looking for Police Woman couldn't find us. They moved us from Friday night to Tuesday night opposite M*A*S*H, which was a huge, established hit, and we began to slip in the ratings. We could have been on the air for another few years.

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