Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Motor City Comic Con: Richard Anderson

The first thing we had to ask Mr. Richard Anderson at this past weekend's Motor City Comic Con in Novi, Michigan, is if he owns one of the 12-inch Oscar Goldman action figures Kenner did in the 1970s, to run alongside the popularity of "The Six Million Dollar Man" and "The Bionic Woman" TV shows on which he starred. Yes, he told us, he does. "And were you at all surprised that it's wearing socks?" we asked. "Very surprised," laughed the actor who became notorious on the set for not wearing socks himself. "What else do you have to say?" he quipped.

The actor, who took time out from signing at his table to talk to Billie Rae Bates of BRBTV and bud Andrea Melchiori, both lifelong fans of the two Bionic shows, elaborated a little more about how that no-socks thing came about in one scene of "Six Mill."

"The plane flew in. They opened the doors and several people come out. I think they cut to it. When I came out, I didn't have any socks on. So I came out, with just the feet, and it felt good, I did the scene without socks. And that next day, the place went crazy. They said you better come down for this new TV show ... And they said, how we gonna do this? They finally came up with the idea that you've got to mix in comedy, too. So I said I don't know how you're going to do that, too. Well, just do it, you know? It will get people more interested in the show."

Andrea asked Anderson what it was like to have to fight his "pal" Steve Austin on the episode of "Six Mill" with the Fembots, as well as about the Venus space probe and its different colors -- was it repainted for a later episode? Anderson wasn't sure about the probe, and laughed about the fight scene with Steve. He didn't mind having to go hand-to-hand with his pal. "I'll tell you, that guy can fight," he said of actor Lee Majors. All in a day's work, right?

We asked him if it was "The Big Valley," of which he did several episodes, where he and Lee first met, and he said yes. "That was a well-made show," he said. "It had Barbara Stanwyck. I'll tell you about Barbara Stanwyck. I came in a half-hour late. She was on the set. She saw me, and she said, 'Do you realize there are no scripts anywhere?' She wanted me to know she knew all of her lines. One of the best-known actresses."

He of course also worked with Linda Evans on that show, then worked with her again decades later on "Dynasty," when he played the legislator with an edge, Buck Fallmont. "I was only supposed to be on for one episode," he told us about the role of Buck. "I ended up being on there for two seasons."

When we asked about his experience working on the movie, "Tora! Tora! Tora!" Anderson kindly took out his wallet and took out two very well-weathered snapshots of the 1936 car he purchased while working on the movie." "I still have it," he said. He keeps it at the garage of a hotel on the West Coast.

Anderson told us one of his secrets -- seven hours of sleep. He goes to bed around 11 p.m. and gets up at 6 a.m. and says that works well with the sun's rising and setting and helps keep him in good health. OK, we've taken it under advisement! This classic actor was such a gentleman. We thank him for talking with us!

Screenshots by BRBTV
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