Saturday, December 7, 2013

Classic TV Star Passes

Thanks to Skeeter Ullman for catching this.   Larry Pennell best remembered as Dash Riprock on Beverly Hillbillies, passed away August 28th of this year. (Notice in the second scene in the BH episode below that Mr. Drysdale calls him Ripcord, he had just finished that series.)

Pennell was also seen on Twilight Zone, Gunsmoke and as Clark Gable on Quantum Leap.

Not only was he hilarious as Dash He also starred in one of my fave syndicated shows that I caught as a kid only when we went to the beach - Ripcord.

Ripcord starred Larry Pennell as Ted McKeever, and Ken Curtis as Jim Buckley - Ripcord, Inc - two sky diving crimefighters / rescue workers / free fall instructors. Together they find adventure behind every cloud.

This show was very exciting to me as a kid, the aerial footage wasn't faked, it was actually shot in the sky with real skydivers. That may sound like no big deal today, but it was no easy feat with Fifties technology. I'm surprised the cameraman didn't plummet like a rock! In fact, in the filming of one episode, two planes collided in mid-air - of course the footage was used in an upcoming episode.

Typical plot: Ted and Jim find that a landslide wasn't an accident, but caused by a criminal fleeing from the law. Read more here.

The complete Ripcord Series has been released on DVD.