Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Remembering Charles in Charge's James T. Callahan; Knights of Prosperity Returns TONIGHT!

James T. Callahan best known for playing Walter Powell on the sitcom Charles in Charge, has died according to the LA Times. Callahan, who was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in February, died Friday at his Fallbrook home, said his wife, Peggy Cannon-Callahan. On the show, Callahan played Walter Powell, a retired Navy man he referred to as the "blustery old grandfather" in a 2000 People magazine interview. When CBS canceled Charles in Charge after one season in 1985, Callahan joined the cast for the syndicated version, which ran from 1987 to 1990. The role was a favorite that brought him wide recognition.
Scott Baio, who played Charles in Charles in Charge spoke to the LA Times yesterday: "As an actor, he was just an absolute pleasure. He wanted what was best for the team, and that's very rare. He loved hanging out with us and he loved, loved, loved working."
The youngest of three children, Callahan was born Oct. 4, 1930, in Grand Rapids, Mich., to William and Elenora Callahan. His father worked in sales. After serving in the Army in West Germany from 1951 to 1953, Callahan returned home to work at the post office. He discovered acting while attending school in the Midwest. On the advice of a teacher, he enrolled in the University of Washington to study drama and graduated in the late 1950s.
Between 1959 and 2007, Callahan appeared in more than 120 films and television shows. He got his start in guest starring stints on westerns such as The Californians, Two Faces West, and Have Gun Will Travel. His first sitcom appearance was in 1960 on an episode of Dennis the Menace. He co-starred in two short lived sitcoms Wendy and Me in 1964 and The Governor & J.J. in 1969. His long list of TV guest shots include Perry Mason, Combat!, The Twilight Zone, Dr. Kildare, Ben Casey, My Favorite Martian, The Fugitive, The FBI, Adam-12, Marcus Welby MD, M*A*S*H, Love American Style, Barnaby Jones, Cannon, Police Story, The Rockford Files, The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, Dallas, The Ropers, Bosom Buddies, Lou Grant, Benson, Alice, Simon & Simon, Quincy ME, Remington Steele, Little House on the Prairie, The A-Team, Knight Rider, Newhart, Growing Pains, Doogie Howser MD, Highway to Heaven, Golden Girls, Nurses, Harry and the Hendersons, Picket Fences, Hope & Gloria, Caroline in the City, Cybil, The Practice, 7th Heaven, ER and Medium. Wow...what a list and that is just a partial one!
One of his favorite film roles was as the band leader in Lady Sings the Blues (1972), his wife said. He also portrayed a country-western singer in Outlaw Blues (1977) with Peter Fonda. He was in the TV-movie The Burning Bed with Farrah Fawcett in 1984 and Prison for Children with John Ritter in 1987. He co-starred in the Hallmark Channel movie Wild Hearts last year. Callahan's final film, a horror movie called Born, has not been released.
Mr. Callahan's vast TV work and his popularity on Charles in Charge will continue for many decades to come. He will be missed deeply and let's hope we get the second season (his first season) of Charles in Charge on DVD very soon! Mr. Callahan was 76.

Get those televisions on at 8:30pm ET and 9:30pm ET tonight as ABC brings back the fun sitcom The Knights of Prosperity! The sitcom is about a group of blue-collared workers trying to rob a celebrity. They failed doing so with Mick Jagger and now they have a new target...Everybody Loves Raymond's Ray Romano! Ray Romano will be guest starring on both episodes tonight. If you have never watched the show, it doesn't matter because a new chapter is about to begin with Romano. It is very fun and hilarious but it is too bad it was wasted and lost in the schedule. The two episodes tonight are the first two of four unaired episodes. The remaining two episodes air next Wednesday (Aug. 15) and the Wednesday after that (Aug. 22) at 8:30pm ET. Be sure to watch all four because you don't know what you're missing. If you're not home, record, DVR, TiVo it, or whatever.

We'll be back with more news, if anything.

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