ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

“The Adventures Of Little Diego - Former Child Star” Chapter 2 - 'Look Ma, I'm On TV!'

Updated on December 28, 2013

Look Ma, I'm On TV!

In spite of my early, but brief appearance in the movie “Tammy And The Doctor” at six weeks of age, my next gig in the biz didn’t come until some five years later. I really wasn’t some kid trying to break into show-business who had been going out on auditions at that point. My next gig did however turn out to be a really big one! My father was an actor.

John Copage

I was with him when he stopped by to see his agent one day to drop off some new head shots. The agent saw me and thought I would be perfect for the role of the son in a new pilot that was being cast for 20th Century Fox Studios that was to be aired over the NBC television network.

Marc Copage

At first, I didn't want to audition for the role. There were quite a number of kids auditioning for this role, but I just wasn't interested in being on TV.

Marc Copage

All those who were involved knew the show was going to have quite an impact! "Julia" was going to be the first television show to star a non-stereotypical, independent African American female in the title role! Up until this point, African American women were primarily portrayed in the media playing subservient roles as Mammy’s and domestic servants.

Hattie Mcdaniel

This show was going to be ground breaking television! however, I had no idea and really was not interested in being on TV. I was quite happy just being a kid. I didn't need to be a kid on television.

Marc Copage

With some gentle prodding from both the agent and my father, I was convinced to go out on the audition.

Marc Copage John Copage

The show was written, created and produced by one man at a time when shows were not written, produced and created by committees. A man that had written and produced shows for many of Hollywoods greatest entertainers during their prime. Bob Hope, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lewis, Lucille Ball. Legendary entertainment figures.

Hal Kanter Directing Elvis Presley

The man who created the show would turn out to be a Hollywood legend himself. He's had a long and very successful career in hollywood with producing and writing credits that have spanned over 60 years. Some of these people and shows may not mean anything to some of my readers, but they were huge and very popular in their time. "The George Gobel Show", "The Jimmy Stewart Show", "The Milton Berle Show", "Chico And The Man", "All In The Family". He was also one of the head writers for the Academy Awards show for over thirty years. ironically enough, he wrote for the ever so popular "Amos 'N Andy" television show.

Amos 'N Andy

I affectionately came to refer to him as “Uncle Hal”. He was a very sweet and dear soul who has since passed on.

Hal Kanter

From the moment I first met him, I’m told I was his choice for the role of the son. Once again, at first I didn't want to do it. I just wasn't interested in being on TV! Prior to this job, I was a non-actor with no acting credits other than my brief appearance in the movie “Tammy and The Doctor” as an infant. I had no ambitions or desires what so ever of entering the entertainment arena. Perhaps that is what he was looking for. With some gentle prodding, once again, I was convinced into doing it. For whatever reasons it seems to have been my destiny. It seems to have been my fate.

There was a lot going on in the country around the time “Julia” premiered. It was a very turbulent period in our nations history. A whole social revolution was going on. A demand for more freedom and rights for minorities and women. The Vietnam War. An anti-war movement. Marches, protests, riots, hippies, a sexual revolution, a questioning of authority and the government, and the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Emerging groups like The Black Panthers that reflected a growing militancy within numerous segments of African American communities.

The Black Panther Party For Self Defense

Martin Luther King Jr.

Film and television have always been safe ways for Americans to deal with race. A way for mainstream society to have ‘a conversation’ about race in a non threatening way.

Sydney Portier with Spencer Tracy and Katherine Houghton

From the movie "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner".
From the movie "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner".

“Julia” premiered at a time you had a very minimal amount of Blacks represented on television and film in general. Predominantly they were images of ‘The Magic Negro’. Negros that appeared to be quite happy cast in their roles of servitude.

Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson with Shirley Temple

From the movie "The Little Colonel"
From the movie "The Little Colonel"

It was a year of turmoil, a year of tragedy, and a year of change. Just prior to the shows premiere 67% of all African American children still attended segregated schools.

“Julia” represented hope. “Julia” represented change. Yet, Julia was still a non-threatening enough role model to be consumed by the american public.

"Julia"

The whole thing was a bit odd and rather ironic. Here I was cast in the role of a child being brought up solely by his mother without a father, who was in reality being brought up solely by his father without a mother.

I sometimes wonder if my real mother ever knew that I was a famous TV star? Upon my mother and father's divorce, a good three years before the premiere of “Julia”, I'm told my mother moved to live in Italy. I wonder if she ever knew that I was on a hit television show that was watched by millions? That the show debuted at #1 in the Neilson ratings and for a period of time was one of the nations most watched television shows? There are not a lot of people on the planet who can say that. I wonder if my real mother ever knew?

Marc Copage

Former Child Stars

What feature film director began their career as a child star on a weekly television series?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Little Diego profile imageAUTHOR

      Marc Copage 

      5 years ago from California

      Thanks so much G!

    • GPAGE profile image

      GPAGE 

      5 years ago from California

      Great Marc.....really great!! Awesome writing also :) G

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)