TV… Retro Galaxies of TV Guest Stars

#1970s #1980s #1990s


Retro TV series with super guest stars…


Raving about 5 retro series of the seventies and eighties with an almost hypnotic guest stars gallery.



As a kid, I tuned in religiously every to these now retro series of the seventies and eighties every week. The opening credits with the main actors shown all smiley and happy. These were followed by the most exciting bit, the bit you were waiting for, the almost hypnotic guest stars gallery.

Their names along with their equally jolly faces was a useful device for kids knowing characters more than actors. Weekly I tuned in hoping a Dallas (1978-91) star would make an appearance, as at that time I didn’t realise they were now past the special guest star status and were in the big acting league.

This list could easily be renamed Morgan Brittany Masterpieces, with this particular Dallas star (she played Katherine Wentworth) starring in 4 out of 5 of these series –  she did not star in Tales from the Crypt – but then she starred in an impressive amount of 1980s TV and films. Now with the help of Darlin Husband and the Internet, I can find out which stars of yesteryear starred in these retro greats.


The Love Boat (1977-87)

The Love Boat, puntadeleste

The Love Boat (1977-87) promoted cruise ships for 10 years as hotbeds of the high seas for lovers, star-crossed lovers and romance was a guilty pleasure of my youth and childhood. This image is now tarnished by the Finnish TV series Sinkkulaiva (2013-14) along with its disco Love Boat inspired theme tune which is a reality show which told us the truth (told HERE).

The Love Boat told its guest star tales in a comic way, sadly with that awful canned laughter added. Guest stars included many familiar faces including Corey Feldman (The Goonies (1985)), Pamela Bellwood (Claudia in Dynasty (1981-89)) and Leslie Neilson (Naked Gun Movie Series (1984)).

Dallas stars included Patrick Duffy (Bobby Ewing), Martha Scott (Sue Ellen’s mother and star of Airport 75 (1974)) and Dack Rambo (Jack Ewing). Other stars included Tom Hanks, Michael J Fox and Billy Crystal. It had a shipload of romance every week and it was heartwarming to read it led to some real star-studded romances too.


Hotel (1983-1988)

Hotel Intro, ilovetvintros

Hotel (1983-1988) was inspired by another book by Arthur Hailey. Hailey was the author whose work was dramatised in the 1970s and 1980s in many a mini series. A dramatisation of his book Airport (1970) became an Oscar-winning movie and Strong Medicine (1986) was made into an all TV mini series,

Hotel was first a film then a TV series with the hotel owner Anne Baxter and starred Josh Brolin’s dad James. The series told of the lives and loves of the staff and guests of the plush St Gregory’s Hotel. This programme had a plethora of guest stars including Emma Samms (The 2nd Fallon in Dynasty), Doug Savant (Desperate Housewives (2004-12)) and Tracy Scoggins from The Colbys.

Wikipedia states the series looked at more controversial storylines such as abortion, rape and suicide. But tbh as a kid, these would have gone over my head as I would have been too busy looking for Dallas stars which in this series included Patrick Duffy (again), Christopher Atkins (John Ross’s Counsellor / Sue Ellen’s toyboy)  John Beck (Mark Graison) and Audrey Landers (Afton Cooper). Other more surprising Guest Stars included George Clooney and Johnny Depp.


Fantasy Island (1977-84)

Fantasy Island – Intro [HQ], Jan Schmelter

Fantasy Island boasted the oddest bromance ever starring Ricardo Montalbán as Mr Roarke and his diminutive assistant Tattoo (Hervé Villechaize) who lived together in platonic bliss on a Pacific island. There their guests’ wildest dreams would come true as they learned valuable life lessons with the intrepid twosome overseeing all in their matching natty white suits.

It even had a crossover with The Love Boat which was bizarre when you think about it as everyone visited by aeroplane. Tattoo’s catchphrase was “the plane boss the plane” and signalled the guest star arrivals. Guest stars included Tanya Roberts (Charlie’s Angels (1980-81), Cybill Shepherd (Moonlighting (1985-89)) and Eleanor Parker from The Sound of Music (1965).

Dallasers included John Beck (again), Charlene Tilton (Lucy Ewing) and Victoria Principal (Pamela Ewing). Other Hollywood names included Michelle Pfeiffer and singer, Tom Jones.


Tales from the Crypt (1989-1996)

Tales From The Crypt Intro (HD), CRYPTKEEPERKID

This Horror TV Series is fondly remembered by my Darlin Husband as spawning the spin-off film the excellent Demon Knight (1995) film onto the world. This film has Billy Zane camping it up to the hilt is still one on the to watch pile. The TV series is based on the comic series of the 1950s and is an essential series to spot the early debut or later appearance from your favourite star.

Guest stars included Daniel Craig (Spectre (2015)), Brad Dourif (One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)) and Christopher Reeve (Superman (1978)). Dallas stars included Priscilla Presley and the now more famous Brad Pitt (who played Randy, Jenna’s daughter Charlie’s boyfriend in his screen debut). Other familiar faces included Ewan McGregor and Meat Loaf.


Glitter (1984-85)

Glitter (1984-85) – Intro & Close

Glitter (1984-85) sadly only lasted one series and had the lovely Dallas stars Morgan Brittany (Bobby’s sister-in-law Katherine Wentworth) and Timothy Patrick Murphy (Ray’s nephew Mickey) in lead roles alongside David Birney. Sadly, a film of the same name has been released with Mariah Carey which clouded research for this one series wonder.

Another Aaron Spelling baby along with Dynasty and the aforementioned Love Boat and Hotel. This told the story of a glossy entertainment magazine and its stories of the glamorous entertainment world. It was shown in the UK. I loved this series and was sad to learn that all the episodes were not shown by the Beeb so please powers that be put a rerun on next time I’m home as feeling a bit cheated now.

Guest stars included Kathleen Beller (Kirby in Dynasty),  Jack Coleman (also Dynasty) and Linda Evans (Krystal in you guessed it.. Dynasty). Others included Adrian Zmed and Ginger Rogers. Notables from Dallas were Ken Kercheval (Cliff Barnes) and Mary Crosby (sister-in-law and shooter of J.R. Ewing).

Brittany and Crosby played the two famous sisters-in-law who both shot their Ewing brothers-in-law, Bobby and J.R. respectively, this head to head would have made interesting viewing. Almost as much as seeing Crosby’s dad Bing Crosby singing with Hagman’s mum, Mary Martin, but only for the die-hard Dallas fan…




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