Two television legends died on Friday — Don Knotts and Darren McGavin. Both will be greatly missed.
I never met Knotts but I was lucky enough to meet McGavin — I interviewed him over twenty years ago, over a long lunch, for an article in STARLOG magazine. It was a real thrill for me, because I was a huge fan of his two series KOLCHAK: THE NIGHT STALKER and THE OUTSIDER, both short-lived classics. I remember him as a very gracious man and a wonderful storyteller. Over the years, I’ve also enjoyed his terrific readings of the Travis McGee novels… so much so, that I can’t read the books myself now without hearing his voice.
We tried to hired McGavin for a guest-starring role on a DIAGNOSIS MURDER episode but he’d suffered a stroke and was unable to work. We ended up giving the part to Jack Klugman instead.