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 week to these now retro series of the seventies and eighties every week. The opening credits with the main actors shown all smiley and happy but 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 passed the special guest star status and were big league. This list could easily be renamed Morgan Brittany Masterpieces, with this particular Dallas star 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 classic TV. 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, http://www.youtube.com
The Love Boat, promoting 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 now tarnished by the Finnish TV series Sinkkulaiva (2013-) along with its disco Love Boat theme tune which as a reality show which told us the truth (told HERE).The Love Boat told it’s guest tales in an allegedly comic way with that awful canned laughter. 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 (1975) 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 heart warming to read it led to some real star-studded romances too.
Hotel Intro, ilovetvintros, http://www.youtube.com
Arthur Hailey was the author to be dramatised in the 1980s – a dramatisation of his book Airport (1970) was an Oscar winning movie and Strong Medicine (1986) made into a TV movie. Hotel, a TV series with stalwarts owner Anne Baxter and Josh Brolin’s dad James told of the lives and loves of the staff and guests of a the plush St Gregory’s Hotel. This programme had a plethora of guest stars Emma Samms (The 2nd Fallon in Dynasty), Doug Savant (Desperate Housewives (2004-12) and Tracy Scoggins, The Colbys. Wikipedia states the series looked at more controversial story lines 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, http://www.youtube.com
The oddest bromance ever was between Ricardo Montalbán as Mr. Roarke and his diminutive assistant Tattoo (Hervé Villechaize) who lived together in platonic bliss on a Pacific island. There the guests’ wildest dreams would come true and learning 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. The catchphrase the plane boss the plane from those retro days signalled the guest star arrivals. Guest stars included Tanya Roberts (That 70s Show (1998-2006)), Cybill Shepherd (Moonlighting (1985- 1989)) and The Baroness from The Sound of Music (1985), Eleanor Parker. 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, http://www.youtube.com
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 with Billy Zane camping it up to the hilt is one of the to watch pile once I track it down having seen the trailer. The TV series is based on the comic series of the 1950s and is essential spot the early debut of your favourite star fare with stars including Daniel Craig (Spectre (2015)), Brad Dourif (One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)) and Christopher Reeve (Superman (1978)). Dallasers? Priscilla Presley (played Jenna Wade, later of the Naked Gun films) and the now more famous Brad Pitt (Randy, Jenna’s daughter Charlie’s boyfriend in his screen debut). Other familiar faces included Ewan McGregor and Brad Pitt.
Glitter (1984-85) – Intro & Close, Rerund Intros, http://www.youtube.com
This 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 since 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). With Brittany and Crosby the two famous sister-in- laws who both shot their Ewing brother-in-laws Bobby and J.R. respectively, this head to head would have made as interesting viewing. As much as seeing Crosby’s dad Bing Crosby singing with Hagman’s mum, Mary Martin, but only for the die hard Dallas fan.