Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Sixty-first birthdays this week for the stars of two series that premiered in 1977. My, how time flies.

First is Erik Estrada, who's celebrating today. He first came to major notice on CHiPs as motorcycle cop Francis "Ponch" Poncherello. Love a man in uniform, and he looked good in and out of it. He's done stuff since, like soap operas (Mexican and American) and reality TV. But he'll always be Ponch to me.

Fun bit of trivia. Robert Pine, who played his superior officer on CHiPs, is the father of the new Captain Kirk, and new hottie, Chris Pine. In fact, Chris sort of made his acting debut on CHiPs. About halfway through this interview with Jimmy Kimmel, the details are revealed.

Before CHiPs, though, Erik was on an episode of one of my all-time favorite series, The Night Stalker.

I can't be sure, but I think he appeared on that classic source of eye-candy in the '70s and '80s, Battle of the Network Stars. I know his costar was. I'm certain that tomorrow's birthday guy, Patrick Duffy, was.

Yeah, when most people think of Patrick, it's Bobby on Dallas or on Step By Step. But for me, the first time I saw him made an indelible impression. Three words. Man from Atlantis. Patrick, smooth all over b/c his character was, like, aquatic, running around in yellow biker shorts and nothing else. I actually cassette taped all the episodes, b/c I hadn't gotten a VCR yet. I may still have them somewhere, though I'm not sure in what condition the tapes are. Need to get around to getting the DVDs one of these days. Can't believe I found the second clip above on the Internet here. May have to check that site out more often.

I was so sorry that the series was cancelled. The story lines were cheesy, yes, but I loved the show anyway. And did I mention, Patrick Duffy shirtless? A whole lot? It's funny, I can remember him being interviewed afterwards, when he got on Dallas. It might've been with Mike Douglas. Anyway, Patrick was so excited about getting the role, in part b/c he didn't have to shave his chest anymore. Sometimes it's the little things.

That's a weird coincidence. Both Erik and Patrick were on The Bold and the Beautiful. I don't think simultaneously, but still.

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