I SPY and The Wild, Wild West

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

May 20th, 2018, 6:32 pm #1

And something for Karen ...
I always really enjoyed Wild, Wild West, too, Karen. So many of the truly great actors and character actors of the day appeared regularly on the TV shows of that era. But today, if a famous actor appears on a show - he or she is definitely the one "Who Done It" - a famous guest star is a dead give-away to who is the guilty party.
We've done lots of lists of guest stars who appeared on both I SPY and other contemporary 60s shows - like Star Trek, Mission: Impossible, and Man from U.N.C.L.E. Jimmy Mitchell (and Herbie?) did some 3 way lists, too. I recently did the one for Perry Mason, and I am pretty sure we have one for Trackdown, too.
You can find these through the Search box, if you are interested, but quickly
The Star Trek ones are introduced on
and continue on with 3 pages of photos and information on the dual guest stars  at
- just follow on to the other pages at the bottom.
And for the Man from U.N.C.L.E. - we did an extensive multi-part Quiz with 100 guest stars that appeared on both shows. You can just search for I SPY/U.N.C.L.E. CROSSOVER QUIZ.
SO, I guess we need to add one for The Wild, Wild West.

Wild Wild West.jpg

Yes, I  agree Ross Martin was a wonderful actor - right now ME-TV is running an ad mixing Artemis Gordon with his guest-starring role on Hawaii 50. Some of the THEN-NOW actor spots on ME-TV are very, very cute. 
O.K. Here goes (with thanks to IMDB's extensive cast lists). These are just names I recognized going through the list very quickly. I am sure there are probably more.
Wild Wild West - I SPY.jpg

Victor Buono - (his Count Carlos Manzeppi was wonderful)
Nehemiah Persoff
Calvin Brown
Arthur Batanides
Richard Kiel
H.M. Wynant
Theodore Marcuse
Oscar Berengi Jr.
John Van Dreelan
John Hoyt
Charles Horvath
Lou Krugman
Bill Quinn
Byron Morrow
Elisha Cook Jr.
Nate Esformes
Larry Duran
Ricardo Montalban
Carroll O'Connor
Don Rickles
Madlyn Rhue
Frank Silvera
Pilar Seurat
Kent Smith
Irene Tsu
John Abbott
Richard Anderson
Antoinette Bower
Benson Fong
Will Kuluva
Sara Marshall
Susan Oliver
Miiko Taka
Malachi Throne
Viviane Ventura
Norman Fell
Richard Loo
Walter Burke
Kurt Kreuger
Henry Wilcoxon
Philip Ahn
George Murdock
Jim Backus
Nina Foch
Beulah Quo
Roy Jensen
Jerry Fujikawa
Lee Kolima
Lee Weaver
Paul Lambert
Bernard Fox
Ken Swofford
Jose De Vega
Soon-Tek Oh
Walter Coy
Victor Sen Yung
Linda Marsh
Ahna Capri
Rodolfo Hoyos Jr. 
and there were SO many other Wild, Wild West guest stars that Robert Culp co-starred with in many other productions and shows, like
Dabbs Greer 
Arlene Martel
Beverly Garland
Peter Mark Richman
Sammy Davis Jr.
Pernell Roberts
Norman Leavitt
Simon Oakland
Ralph Moody
James Gregory
Audrey Dalton
Jack Elam
Sue Ann Langdon
Barry Atwater
Paul Fix
Val Avery
Harry Townes ... and many others ...

I have been known to say often that Our Man Culp has worked "with everyone out there twice ..." but I don't think he worked with Robert Conrad or Ross Martin, in any theatrical endeavors, at least none that come to mind. Does anyone know of anything?
Of course, there was that "Celebrity Tennis Game" ...  :-)
Tennis Game - Culp & Ross Martin Duo.jpg

Culp, Ross Marrin St John 4 Tennis from game.jpg

All my best,
Tatia :-)

Joined: March 26th, 2018, 7:14 pm

May 21st, 2018, 12:47 pm #2

Tatia, this is so sweet of you! I had wondered about the celebrity tennis thing, as I knew Ross hosted several celebrity tournaments for charity back in the '70s. How nice to see that they did get together. Because Ross was a very quick-witted, funny, smart guy (with 3 academic degrees, he had to be the best-educated actor in Hollywood), I think he could have gotten along quite well with Mr. Culp. They met in 1963, when Culp was on Stump the Stars, where Ross was a regular that year. But AFAIK they never acted together. 

Culp did work with Conrad once, in an episode of Conrad's series A Man Called Sloane, called "Seduction Squad." I haven't seen it, though I'd be happy to if I could find it. 

With his command of foreign languages and accents, Ross would have been a natural guest star for I Spy, but he was tied up with WWW for the entire run. Conversely, Culp would have been right at home on WWW's Western sets (although, if he didn't like camp, no doubt he would have been unhappy with the script!). 

Anyhow, I could go on and on, but I have to get to work. (See, you've been spared!)

Joined: March 26th, 2018, 7:14 pm

May 21st, 2018, 7:13 pm #3

P.S. I did want to mention that there's some overlap in the list of writers for the two shows, and a few of the directors. Gilbert Ralston wrote the pilot for West, which is highly regarded by the fans. (And features Victor Buono in a wonderful role--Buono's larger-than-life style fit West much better than I Spy, I think.) Other writers included Edward Lakso, Robert C. Dennis & Earl Barret, and Jackson Gillis. Directors included Richard Sarafian and Ralph Senensky.

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

May 21st, 2018, 11:05 pm #4

Thanks so much Karen for refreshing my memory. That's what I get for trying to post something while being beguiled watching the Royal wedding.
I've got some photos here from both A Man Called Sloane and Stump the Stars (a.k.a. Pantomime Quiz).
Man Called SLOANE Cover-2.jpg Man Called Sloane NBC info Seduction Squad - bb.jpg Man Called Sloane - Culp & Conrad-bb.jpg

This is from an old posting about A Man Called Sloane - the "Seduction Squad" (1979) episode.
from IMBD ...  "Sloane (Robeert Conrad) is a freelance spy. Although he doesn't work for the government, he frequently accepts assignments from The Director (Dan O'Herlihy), the head of a secret government agency. He's assisted by Torque (Ji-Tu Cumbuka), a man with a detachable hand, which can be replaced by a variety of implements drills, guns, and what-not."
Seduction Squad ... Let's just day you need a heaping bowlful of "suspension of disbelief" to get through this one! (Derek Flint, Matt Helm, and all the other "lighter" Bond-like heroes need not fear from this competition ... )
Guess no one was even a little bit shocked that this show was cancelled after only 1 season. 
Our Man Culp's dog-loving, megalomaniacal, world-controlling "Edward Danton" brought a definite touch of class and sophistication to this premiere episode. But all and all, this show would definitely in listed in the "dog" category. BUT there is one scene where we have Kelly Robinson vs. Jim West playing racquetball together in shorts ... that was definitely re-wind worthy! 
Seduction Squad was a bit of I SPY old home week. It was directed by Michael Preece (I SPY's script continuity guy) and written by the great Stephen Kandel (who wrote Bridge of Spies, It's All Done with Mirrors, So Coldly Sweet, Father Abraham, There Was a Little Girl, Night Train to Madrid, and Tag, You're It. He also wrote for lots of TV shows, especially Mannix, Harry-O, Star Trek,  Mission:Impossible, Hart to Hart" and McGyver).


And Stump the Stars (also known as Pantomime Quiz) was described by its creator/producer/host Mike Stokey, as "celebrities playing charades." It was summer TV replacement show for many years. Robert's outing was on May 20, 1963 - where they had 4 members of the cast from PT 109, including James Gregory, Ty Hardin, and Grant Williams along with Culp - against a team of "regulars" consisting of Hans Conried, Sebastian Cabot, Beverly Garland, and Ross Martin.

Stump the Stars Title-aa.jpg Stump Stars - PT 109 cast-BB.jpg PT 109 - Poster -bb.jpg PT 109 Trio-bb.jpg PT 109 Duo-A.jpg
Stump the Stars - Culp playing to team-4 set.jpg
Stump Stars - Culp 6 set-bb.jpg
Stump the Stars - other team.jpg
Stump the Stars - all - cc.jpg

As always,

Tatia :-)

Joined: June 3rd, 2003, 7:41 pm

May 21st, 2018, 11:26 pm #5

It looks like Culp is acting out an old joke: What do you get if you cross a centipede [or in some versions, a caterpillar] with a parrot? Answer: a walkie-talkie.
Bizarre fact: In French, the walkie-talkie is called a talkie-walkie. Beats me why they bothered to reverse the terms when they're using the English words anyway. But there you have it.

Joined: March 26th, 2018, 7:14 pm

May 21st, 2018, 11:50 pm #6

Alas, all of Conrad's series after West were flops, except Black Sheep Squadron, which I think went 2 seasons. Years ago he held the dubious distinction of starring in more TV series than any other actor--10. (I don't know if that's still true.) So I'm not surprised to hear that this one was a dog. 

Still, I'd love to see the Culp vs. Conrad fight scene (oh, yeah, and the racquetball scene too!). As a fan of West, one learns to pay attention to stunt work and fight scenes. No one did it as well as Conrad, but Culp acquitted himself quite respectably on I Spy. I see him doing a lot of stunt work himself. Cosby, not so much. Culp also did a lot of nice acrobatic moves. (Who knew that being a pole vaulter would be so useful?)

And Stump the Stars seems like a very strange show now, long after playing charades has gone out of fashion. People in evening clothes making fools of themselves, what a concept. That last photo Tatia posted is from the end of the show, when the cast get to mingle and talk. Culp approached Ross Martin, who had taken one of Beverly Garland's shoes and was teasing her by holding it out of reach. Wish I knew what they said!