Thursday, July 19, 2012

In Memoriam

WARNING: Contains NSFW links.

Dennis Cole seemed omnipresent when I was growing up. Checking his resume, I can see why. He was in everything! At least on TV. A sampling to demonstrate:

• 1966-1969 Felony Squad (his first continuing series work, but didn't see it)
• 1973 Love, American Style
• 1974 The Streets of San Francisco
• 1975 Barnaby Jones
• 1975 Barbary Coast (William Shatner vehicle, post Star Trek, Cole played co-lead character Cash Conover, but only in the pilot, he was replaced for the series by Doug McClure)
• 1971-1975 Medical Center
• 1974-1977 Police Story
• 1978 Police Woman
• 1977-1979 Charlie's Angels (where he must've met his second wife, Jaclyn Smith, he was married three times)
• 1980 Vega$
• 1977-1980 The Love Boat
• 1981-1982 The Young and the Restless (Lance Prentiss #2)
• 1983 Matt Houston
• 1983 Three's Company
• 1978-1984 Fantasy Island
• 1984 Automan
• 1984 The Fall Guy
• 1983-1985 Trapper John, M.D.
• 1985 The A-Team
• 1986 Simon and Simon
• 1986-1991 Murder, She Wrote
• 1992 Silk Stalkings
• 1995 Baywatch Nights
• 1998 Pacific Blue (a major guilty pleasure of mine, and his last TV work)

See what I mean? Researching this post was like a trip down memory lane, through my adolescence especially. It seemed like he often played baddies. When you needed a debonair villain, Dennis was one of the go-to guys.

What I didn't know was that before he made it big as an actor, he was an AMG model! It's not surprising. He was in California, and one of the kind of guys that was an AMG staple at the time. You can find links at the end of the post to some of those photos, and others from his later years.

I've not looked at images of Dennis for a while. Seeing him now, I felt like he reminded me of someone. Then it hit me. If Matthew Lawrence were a blonde, he could be Dennis's brother. Or cousin at least. It's not a close resemblance, more an overall impression. I think a lot of it is the part-down-the-middle hair.

Dennis also did some stage work. Things like The Boys in the Band when he was younger, and the national touring company of Victor, Victoria in the '90s. Oh, did I mention he could sing? Surprised me too. Was there nothing he couldn't do?

Don't be envious, though. As I said earlier, he was married three times. Also, his son was shot to death in 1991. That marked the beginning of the reduction of his acting career. He did do some stuff, but not nearly so prolifically. He also hit his 50s, and the looks that had helped him get gigs began to fade. He eventually decided on a complete change, moved from California to Fort Lauderdale and started a real estate company. That was were he passed away, in November 2009 at the age of 69.

A very nice video retrospective can be found here, including a bit of him singing. Below are the links I told you about earlier.

Hilly Blue
OMG Blog
Vintage Male Physique

GAY ROLES (I think): The Boys in the Band

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