BARNEY MILLER began in 1975, originally centered around Hal Linden's title character juggling his work and home life. Barbara Barrie, cast as his wife "Liz," was meant to have a far bigger role than it eventually turned out to be. By the middle of the first season, it was obvious the big laughs were coming from the squad room and not the home setting. Barries' role was significantly reduced, and even though her name would still appear in the credits until the end of the second season, she was not in that many episodes. At the beginning of the third season, she is off of the credit roll but would make some memorable appearances in the squad room.
The ensemble cast soon became Hal Linden with Max Gail, Abe Vigoda, Ron Glass, Jack Soo, and Gregory Sierra. From time to time, James Gregory would appear in early episodes as "Inspector Lugar." His role became more important as the series continued.
The show had trouble trying to introduce a female detective into the mix. Linda Lavin was cast as "Det. Janice Wentworth" but lasted only five episodes before getting her own television show "Alice." They tried again with a very talented actress Mari Gorman appearing as "Det. Rosslyn Licouri." The chemistry was just not there; after three episodes, she was gone. She had appeared as another character in an earlier episode. It was not just women. They tried adding another male detective Paul Lieber as "Det. Sgt. Eric Dorsey." Dorsey played a former vice cop who naturally assumed Barney and his men were all corrupt. Like Gorman, he had been in a previous episode and only lasted three as Dorsey. Of the main cast, only Linden was in all 171 episodes, with Max Gail being in all but the pilot episode.
The main cast of Barney Miller was:
Hal Linden (Capt. Barney Miller)
Abe Vigoda (Det. Sgt. Phil Fish)
Max Gail (Det./Det. Sgt. Stanley Wojciehowicz)
Ron Glass (Det. Sgt. Ron Harris)
Steve Landesberg (Det. Sgt. Arthur Dietrich)
Jack Soo (Det. Sgt. Nick Yemana)
James Gregory (Inspector Frank Luger)
Ron Carey (Officer Carl Levitt)
Barbara Barrie (Elizabeth "Liz" Miller)
Below is a signed still by Hal Linden.
James Gregory was amazingly nice. He would sign your item, send a photo from one of his many movies or tv shows and also a note, usually a "tip" from him to date photos or letters.
MAX GAIL (1943- ) is an outstanding actor who has appeared in scores of movies and television shows. His role as the hot-tempered and impulsive "Wojo" made him a great character for comedy. Gail was in a great made-for-television horror movie Curse of the Black Widow starring Anthony "Tony" Franciosa and Patty Duke. That movie had Jeff Corey and Mari Gorman, both Barney Miller alumni. This is a signed 8x10.
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