Obit: Pierre Jalbert

Former Canadian champion skier turned actor Pierre Jalbert has died at age 89.

Jalbert was captain of the 1948 Canadian Olympic team and later worked as a ski instructor. He then turned to acting, guesting on such classic series as Mission: Impossible, The Name of the Game and Night Gallery.

Pierre Jalbert’s best known role was as PFC Paul (Caje) Lemay on the 1960s war drama Combat! The show ran on ABC for 5 seasons. He also worked behind the scenes as a film and sound editor.

MeTV Upgrades in NYC and Philly


Chicago-based classic TV programming service MeTV will be changing affiliates in two of the nation’s top four media markets, moving from secondary to primary channel positions.

This change to primary channels means that the new affiliates will be considered “must carry” stations, so cable and satellite companies will be obligated to carry them. Secondary digital channels are not “must carry”, so their viewers often have to rely on an over-the-air antenna to receive those channels.

MeTV’s current New York City affiliate is WWME-TV 43.1, a station licensed to Bridgeport, CT. They actually pre-empt a lot of overnight and early morning MeTV programming.

The new Big Apple affiliate will be KVNV, which airs on digital channel 3. Interesting story here is that KVNV’s license was “moved” from Ely, NV to Middletown Township, NJ. The MeTV affiliation change is scheduled for this spring.

In Philadelphia, MeTV will move from WFMZ 69.3 to KJWP 2. The same company that owns KVNV owns KJWP, which also “moved” from Jackson, WY to Wilmington, DE. The Philly MeTV switch will take place March 1

I know that a lot of this technical stuff is confusing, but this sounds like good news. The bottom line is classic TV fans in New York and Philadelphia will have improved access to MeTV on cable and satellite.

We will update our Classic TV Affiliate Guide when the changes have taken place.

Classic TV Birthdays: January 27

Actor-comedian John Witherspoon leads off today’s birthday list. Witherspoon guested on 1970s classics Good Times, The Incredible Hulk and What’s Happening!!

Also celebrating a birthday: James Cromwell. The veteran film and TV actor played Stretch Cunningham on All in the Family and had regular roles in 2 short-lived 1970s sitcoms: Hot L Baltimore and The Nancy Walker Show. Cromwell has appeared in many movies (including Babe) and guested on dozens of TV shows since the 70s. He’s currently a regular on the ABC drama series Betrayal.

Classic TV stars born this day but no longer with us include Troy Donahue (Hawaiian Eye, Surfside 6), Jerry Haynes (portrayed Mr. Peppermint, longtime children’s TV host in Dallas), Skitch Henderson (the original bandleader on The Tonight Show), Howard McNear (Floyd the Barber on The Andy Griffith Show) and Donna Reed. The lovely film and TV star appeared in the holiday classic It’s A Wonderful Life and later had her own long-running TV series: The Donna Reed Show. Reed also took over the role of Miss Ellie on Dallas for the 1984 season.

A number of classic TV favorites passed away on January 27. The list includes Claude Akins (B.J. and The Bear, The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo, Movin’ On), Tige Andrews (The Detectives, Mod Squad), Jack Paar (2nd host of The Tonight Show) and Sally Starr (early Philadelphia children’s host, died 2 days after her 90th birthday).

One more January 27 death was Don Stansauk (shown above), also known as pro wrestler Hard Boiled (H.B.) Haggerty. Stansauk had quite a career, playing pro football for the NFL’s Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers. He followed that with professional wrestling, then acting. Haggerty guested on classic TV series including Adam-12, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and Happy Days.