Classic TV Birthdays: February 7

A couple of classic TV stars were born this day but have since passed on. Stage, film and TV star Eddie Bracken guested on shows like Burke’s Law, Ellery Queen, Rawhide and Studio One. Many of us remember him for his role as Roy Walley on the 1983 movie National Lampoon’s Vacation.

Buster Crabbe was a gold medal Olympic swimmer who turned to acting, starring in several movie serials in the 1930s and 40s. He played memorable characters Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon and Tarzan. In the 1950s, he and his son Cullen starred in an early TV series called Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion. He made a few guest appearances too, including BJ and the Bear, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and The Red Skelton Hour.

February 7 is also the day we lost a number of classic TV favorites. Nick Adams starred in the western series The Rebel and a short-lived 1962 drama series Saints and Sinners. He also guested on Burke’s Law, Combat! and The Wild Wild West. Country singer Molly Bee guested on Hee Haw and The Jimmy Dean Show. Dale Evans was the wife and performing partner of singing cowboy Roy Rogers (The Roy Rogers Show). Magician Doug Henning guested on The Tonight Show and starred in a series of primetime specials in the 1970s.

Also passing on this day was the multi-talented Bobby Troup. The actor-singer-songwriter wrote such classics as Daddy and (Get Your Kicks on) Route 66. He guested on many classic TV shows, among them Adam-12, Dragnet, Mannix and Perry Mason.

Bobby Troup’s daughter Ronne also went into acting, playing Chip’s wife on My Three Sons. Troup’s best-known role was as Dr. Joe Early M.D., F.A.C.S. on the 1970s adventure series, Emergency! He starred on the show alongside his wife, Julie London. Interesting backstory here is London was previously married to actor-producer Jack Webb, who starred in Dragnet and produced Adam-12 and Emergency!