One of the great pleasures I get from this blog is being able to write about actors that I just adore. I think when you discover an actor as a child or a young adult, it sticks with you more. Especially when they are no longer with us.
Such is the case with Christopher George. An amazingly charismatic actor, George is probably best known for either his westerns or the slew of B grade horror movies he did before he died in 1983. What people might not realize is that he had a strong career in television that spanned from airy fare like The Love Boat to eerie cop thrillers like House on Greenapple Road (1970) (he was nominated for a Golden Globe for his work in Rat Patrol in 1967) . In fact, he moved easily between the small screen and the big one during the 70s.
The Immortal (1969): A nice mix of sci-fi and thriller, The Immortal is about a race car driver whose immortality is of interest to some sinister types. Also starring Jessica Walter (Home for the Holidays). The Immortal became a short lived television series (1970 - 1971) also starring George.
House on Greenapple Road (1970): An all star thriller involving a missing woman. The character George played, Dan August got his own show with Burt Reynolds, but the chill factor from this film remains. Click on title for full review.
|Dan August is here to help us.. SWOON!|
Dead Men Tell No Tales (1971): George plays two characters in this tense potboiler about mistaken identity.
Escape (1971): Christopher George plays the sexily named Cameron Steele (man of action, no doubt) an escape artist/private eye (!) out to stop a mad scientist turning people into zombies! Now this one just HAS to be good! It's directed by John Llewellyn Moxey (Home for the Holidays again!) and also stars William Windom and Avery Schreiber.
The Heist (1972): Another awesome cast (Norman Fell, people!!!) appears in another George thriller, this time involving an armored car guard out to prove his innocence.
Man on a String (1972): George leads an incredible cast including Keith Carradine, Jack Warden and Joel Grey as an agent out to topple the mob! Directed by Joseph Sargent.
Love American Style, episode titled Love and the Burglar Joke (1973): It's funny for me to think of Christopher George in a comedy, but there you go. Here he plays a practical joker out to pull a fast one on his sister's roommate, but then the real burglar shows up. And hijinks ensue! George also appeared in an earlier episode titled Love and Formula 26B in 1971.
A Beautiful Killing (1974): I couldn’t find any info for this movie, except it aired as a Wide World of Mystery movie and co-starred George’s wife, Lynda Day.
Thriller: The Next Scream You Hear (1974): Thriller was an excellent series in England written by Brian Clemens (The Avengers). Every episode was a stand alone television movie of sorts, which is how it ran here in the states. Shot on video, using suspense over effects, the show was more hit than miss in its six wonderful seasons. In this particular episode, George is again a man accused of a crime he did not commit... the murder of his wife.
The Last Survivors (1975): A remake of Seven Waves Away (1957), this version takes the horrible incident involving a luxury liner accident to the court room ala Caine Mutiny. This time, it's up to Martin Sheen to decide the fate of the survivors afloat on a lifeboat and running out of food and water. Harrowing film.
S.W.A.T., several episodes (1975) – George played a character named Harry in four episodes of this awesome cop show.
|Christopher "Heartbreaker" George in Mayday at 40,000 Feet|
Wonder Woman, Fausta The Nazi Wonder Woman (1976) – George’s wife, Lynda Day co-stars with her hubby in the second episode of WW, which features Day as Fausta the evil Nazi operative desperate to figure out WW’s secrets so she can help Hitler take over the world! Phew! Now that’s a lot to take in!
Love Boat (Several Episodes 1978-1979): Another comedy! Why that Christopher, always surprising me! I have to admit, as big of a fan as I am of both George and the Love Boat, I don’t recall any episodes in particular, however I do remember:
Fantasy Island, episode titled The Racer (1978): One of my biggest Amanda By Night fantasies was to see Christopher George and Paul Burke in a film together, because I thought they looked so much alike. How excited was I to see they were both featured in this episode of Fantasy Island?!? Only, they are in different stories and don’t share any screen time so I can do my side by side comparisons! I was robbed! George would star in several more episodes through 1982.
Cruise into Terror (1978): So good. This would turn out to be George’s last made for television movie. Click on the title to read my review.
Vegas, episode titled Serve, Volley and Kill (1978): aka the best title for an episode of any television series EVER! Seriously. This episode about a tennis match gone deadly features a swarthy George along with his wife, Red Buttons and Mamie Van Doren! Wow. So hot. And it was directed by the late Sutton Roley who also made the fiercely disturbed television movie Satan’s Triangle. Serve is particularly striking episode with fantastic cinematography and lots of awe-inspiring stunts. George is the bad guy and his wife is almost as evil.
|Chris and his wife Lynda serve up chaos in Vega$|
The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo, Pilot episode The Day the Shark ate Lobo (1979): George is a criminal pitted against Lobo his bad self, in the pilot of the criminally underrated comedy show. Sounds a bit like Killer Fish - criminals dump loot in river to be retrieved at a later date only to find some deadly fish have inhabited said area. Geez! Isn't that always the way!
OK, I just can't let this go, don't you think Paul Burke looks just like Christopher George: