Ways That I Could Have Helped Martin Milner's Acting Career

What a ride.
What a ride.

Martin Milner, the unknown actor

I can't help it. For a number of years I have not only felt sorry for the retired Martin Milner, "the ideal co-star" on another Jack Webb creation: Adam-12, seen on NBC. Milner also co-starred with George Maharis on CBS' Route 66.

Milner was "Tod Stiles," on Route 66 and his co-star was "Buz Murdock," played by George Maharis. I love that name, "Buz." But on Adam-12, Milner was more-stoic as "officer Pete Malloy," while Hollywood heartthrob, Kent McCord starred as "officer Jim Reid." And with Jack Webb in the mix, you could bet and win big on the fact that this was a no-nonsense television show. Webb's thinking was that if the daily work of a police department was no-nonsense, so was his creation of Adam-12.

Uh, oh! Let's roll

Milner off the camera, smiled around his loved ones, but on camera, he was stone-faced
Milner off the camera, smiled around his loved ones, but on camera, he was stone-faced
Milner, left, as "officer Pete Malloy, and Kent McCord as "officer Jim Reid"
Milner, left, as "officer Pete Malloy, and Kent McCord as "officer Jim Reid"

I loved Milner early on

I was very young when Route 66 was popular. And although I strained my mind to figure out the plot, it never came to me. All I saw was two Hollywood-types traveling cross country in a sleek Chevy Corvette convertible--encountering a different adventure each week and working odd jobs to afford them their "foot loose, fancy free" journey.

I am sure that Martin Milner had roles in other television shows, but I only remember him on Route 66 and Adam-12. As a footnote, Route 66 had a dynamite theme song that many still enjoy today.

I guess I sound like a carnival barker bellowing about the accomplishments of Martin Milner, but that's the only way I can get my point(s) across about this rather unsung film and television star whom we loved at the time, and when his series, Route 66 and Adam-12, were canceled, we just went along with our lives and never giving Milner a second thought.

Milner/"Malloy" takes time to teach a rookie cop the benefit of good paperwork
Milner/"Malloy" takes time to teach a rookie cop the benefit of good paperwork
Another famous cop duo
Another famous cop duo
A dangerous encounter
A dangerous encounter
Deciding on a strategy to use to capture a con
Deciding on a strategy to use to capture a con

We have ourselves to blame

What in the name of decency are we, heartless barbarians? We should have at least erected a bronze statue of Martin Milner near the NBC corporate offices in honor of his role as "officer Pete Maloy," on Adam-12. That's what I think.

I really cannot bellyache that much, Milner's co-star, Kent McCord, whose role on Adam-12 was "officer Tim Reid," and like Milner, we never bothered to even keep up with this young talent in his life after Adam-12. This is making me nauseated as I type. I mean as bright as the program creators at NBC were, couldn't they, just once, create a show starring Kent McCord, on his own, finding his way in his new life as an explorer, not "Jim Reid," the cop. That to me would have been the thing to do.

As for Martin Milner, I find myself in a mangled-quandry about the mystery of this man. I wonder of he had made some really-sharp stock investments during Adam-12 that "set him up for life?" Seriously. Milner struck me as a man who could see enough into the future that he knew that the days of Adam-12 were not going to last forever, so he invested wisely so he could afford the easy life after his acting days were over.

Now I do not want to come off sounding boorish or self-serving, but "I" might have been able to help Martin Milner as far as his acting career went. One thing's for sure. I sure wouldn't have hurt it that much. So here, without any credit or limelight to me, are . . .

Ways That I Could Have Helped Martin Milner's Acting Career

Adam-12

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  • Adam-12 is a television police drama that followed two police officers of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), Pete Malloy and Jim Reed, as they rode the streets of Los Angeles in their patrol unit, 1-Adam-12.
  • Created by R. A. Cinader and Jack Webb, also known for creating Dragnet, the series starred Martin Milner and Kent McCord and captured a typical day in the life of a police officer as realistically as possible. The show originally ran from September 21, 1968 through May 20, 1975, and helped introduce police procedures and jargon to the general public in the United States.

Route 66 (TV series)


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  • Route 66 is an American television drama [1] that premiered on CBS on October 7, 1960, and ran until March 20, 1964, for a total of 116 episodes. The series was created by Herbert B. Leonard and Stirling Silliphant, who were also responsible for the ABC drama Naked City, from which Route 66 was indirectly spun off. Both series employed a format that employed elements of both traditional drama and anthology drama, but there was a difference in where the shows were set: Naked City was set in New York, while Route 66 had its setting change from week to week, with each episode being shot on location in the area in which it was set.
  • Route 66 followed two young men traversing the United States in a Chevrolet Corvette convertible, and the events and consequences surrounding their journeys. Martin Milner starred as Tod Stiles, a recent college graduate with no future prospects due to circumstances beyond his control. He was originally joined by Buz Murdock, a friend and former employee of his father played by George Maharis, on his travels, Buz leaving midway through the third season. Near the end of the third season Tod met a recently discharged Vietnam veteran named Lincoln Case, played by Glenn Corbett, who decided to follow Tod on his travels and stayed with him until the final episode.

Who is this man?

The controversy is this whether or not this man is Kent McCord, Martin Milner's co-star in Adam-12? Take a long, close look at this man's facial features. It is uncanny how one man can look almost identical to another. After you inspect this man's photo, please, if you will, leave your answer in the comment boxes below. Thank you. Kenneth

  • His name, Martin, was okay for the quiet crowd, but if he ever had a desire to really "shake things up," why not use "Michael," "David," or maybe "Perry," for with any of these names, his very personality would have received a huge boost of interest. Aside from "Martin Landau," who starred on Mission Impossible, the television show on CBS, who else named Martin ever "made it big" in show business? Okay there was "Martin Balsam," who starred with George Peppard in "The Carpetbaggers," "Ross Martin," and the super-comics, "Steve Martin," and "Dick Martin," of "Rowan and Martin's Laughi-in," but were these actors really the "heavy hitters," in Hollywood who were in the same league as Charleton Heston, Gregory Peck and John Wayne? Yes. I believe tht have a point. Martin Milner could have used a name change.
  • A sense of humor -- yes, sir. A sharp, witty demeanor with jokes-a-plenty. This would have been a huge help to Martin Milner. Oh, on Route 66 and Adam-12, his characters did have the occasional snappy come back or funny observation, but that was the beginning and ending of Milner's joking ways.

"Officer Jim Reid": "Pete, look!"
"Officer Pete Malloy": "What, Jim?"
"Officer Jim Reid": "A rock. Have you ever seen a rock like that?"
"Officer Pete Malloy": "Yep. Last year when you cut your head open."

Now I ask you. Was this a lot more interesting and funny than the usual drab dialogue we heard from Martin Milner and Kent McCord on Adam-12? I think giving "Pete Malloy" a sharp sense of humor would have added a few more years to the show's run on NBC.

  • Give Milner a smile -- not a huge, "Andy Taylor" beaming smile just because he saw a turtle on the way to the courthouse, but a moderate, sensible smile. I can tell you with an honest heart. Martin Milner seldom smiled on Adam-12. I always wondered if he secretly-resented Kent McCord's "Officer Jim Reid's" character being so young and full of vim and vigor? Who knows? What I do know is that the occasional smile on Milner's face might have brought in more viewers who loved life and made it their practice to smile once in a while.
  • A he-man body -- while he was Kent McCord "Officer Jim Reid's" superior officer. Just in case the two Los Angeles police officers encountered a drug dealer and his henchmen and they had to use some Martial Arts to save their lives. I can Martin Malloy stepping-up to "Donn Zeebee," a kingpin drug lord who is about to "clean "Jim Reid's" clock and just saying in a low tone, "Donn, get away from the kid or I will beat you like racing odds at the track!" So "Donn" makes a foolish swing at "Malloy," which he ducks and gives the criminal a flip to the ground knocking him senseless. I would have loved to see Adam-12 in this light. Wouldn't you?
  • As for Route 66, why couldn't Milner's character, "Tod Stiles," have this tendency to yell compliments to pretty girls in each new town that he and George Maharis, "Buz Murdock," drove through? Viewers would have loved his laid-back lifestyle and what pretty girl being complimented by this blond-haired guy behind the wheel of a Chevy Corvette wouldn't have went nuts? I know these are feasible ideas.
  • Let "Tod Stiles," Milner's character on Route 66 have a shady past that he never shares with co-star, George Maharis, "Buz Murdock." (I love typing that name). This character segment would have made Route 66 a tad more interesting. But in the last episode, "Stiles," tells "Murdock," his dark and sorted story of why he is really running across the United States in a sharp Chevy 'Vette convertible.
  • Finally. Either "Tod Stiles" or " Pete Malloy," could have "mellowed-out" with their co-stars over a "cold one," after a long, hard day catching criminals or traveling 200 miles through Wyoming. Does this idea make sense. This would give "Stiles" and "Murdock," or "Malloy" and "Reid" a quiet time to share their feelings, hopes, and dreams with each other. This might have given the "sensitive" edge to Route 66 and Adam-12.

My ideas would have worked.

Now we'll never know.




Which of the two shows with Martin Milner, was your favorite?

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"Tod," which way do we go?

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Comments 4 comments

lions44 profile image

lions44 21 months ago from Auburn, WA

Loved ADAM 12. Mostly remember it in re-runs. Have recently started watching Route 66 and found the show groundbreaking for its time. Really liked the location shooting which was new at the time as well. Always liked Martin Milner. I heard he retired soon after the show because he had saved his money wisely and spent a lot of his time fly fishing. The picture is not Kent McChord. Maybe Dak Rambo? Or didn't he have a brother? Nice article.


headshrinker profile image

headshrinker 21 months ago from Western Massachusetts

Remember the show from my 'tween' or early teen days. Also over the years have spotted Martin in some old WWII movies when he was just a kid. Don't think the photo is McCord and not too sure that is Dack Rambo, Guns of Will Sonnet was the show he starred in I think. My big show from the 60's was Combat!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 21 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

lions44,

Nice comment. I appreciate you taking time to read this and leave such warm comment.

You are right. The "mystery" photo is Dack Rambo. Great eye you have.

Come back for a visit anytime.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 21 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi, headshrinker,

My show as Combat as well. Vic Morrow and Rick Jason. My mom would crack me up when we would see Morrow and she would always remark, "Why is that man always angry?" I could never answer.

And you too are right. That photo was NOT Kent McCord.

I thought that I would throw my followers a curve with that one.

Thanks for your comment and visit with me anytime.

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