77 Sunset Strip

77 Sunset Strip Cast

Series Description

77 Sunset Strip was a 60 minute drama series on ABC about two suave and "hip" private detectives who worked out of their Los Angeles, California office located at ... you guessed it ... 77 Sunset Strip. Often, their buddy "Kookie" would lend them a hand on a case. He was a valet parking attendant at the restaurant next door from their office. "Kookie" was so helpfull that, later in the series, he quit his parking job to join the detective agency.

77 Sunset Strip Cast

Efrem Zimbalist Jr. .... Stuart "Stu" Bailey
Roger Smith .... Jeff Spencer
Edd Byrnes .... Gerald "Kookie" Kookson III
Louis Quinn .... Roscoe
Jacqueline Beer .... Suzanne Fabray
Byron Keith .... Lieutenant Roy Gilmore
Robert Logan .... J.R. Hale
Joan Staley .... Hannah
Richard Long .... Rex Randolph

77 Sunset Strip Trivia:

Stu Bailey was a language expert and former OSS agent. He also had a Ph.D. from an Ivy league university. Jeff Spencer was also a former government agent and had a law degree. They were both black belts in Judo. Efrem Zimbalist Jr's daughter is Stephanie Zimbalist, best known as Laura Holt on the TV show, "Remington Steele".

While it was not originally planned for Edd Byrnes to have a starring role on the show, he soon dominated the attention of fans. Young female viewers instantly fell in love with his character and, therefore, young males imitated him in every way. He recorded a song (along with Connie Stevens) titled, "Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb", which reached the number 5 slot on the pop charts. He was able to use his popularity to demand that his role be "upstaged" from the parking valet "side kick" to a partner in the detective agency who wore a suit and tie. He was temorarily replaced by "Troy Donahue", but got what he wanted a few months later. His popularity, however, ultimately prevented him from expanding his career. His contract with Warner Brothers Studios forced him to turn down many excellent roles in what would become hit movies such as "Ocean's 11", "Rio Bravo", and "North to Alaska"! He also lost the lead in "PT 109" because President John F. Kennedy didn't want to be portrayed by "Kookie". This resulted in his having problems with drug and alcohol abuse for well over a decade, but he eventually got sober in1982.

Following Edd Byrnes recording success, the other two stars thought they'd give it a try. Roger Smith recorded an album titled, "Beach Romance". It failed miserably. Efrem Zimbalist Jr. ("The F.B.I.") recorded "Adeste Fideles" in both English and Latin with very little success. There was one other hit song from the show, however. The theme song was produced into a best-selling album!

Roger Smith left the show in 1963 when a blod clot was discovered in his brain. In 1965, he was forced to retire from the performing arts altogether as he developed myasthenia gravis, a muscle disorder. He's probably best-known today as the husband of Ann-Margaret.

The restaurant where "Kookie" worked was called "Dino's".

The show declined in the ratings pretty badly during the fifth season. In an effort to save it, all of the cast were fired except for Efrem Zimbalist Jr. He was sent all around the world on cases. Jack Webb ("Dragnet") took over as producer and William Conrad ("Cannon" and "Jake & the Fatman") as director. The sixth season began with a five-part extravaganza. Dozens of top-name guest stars appeared. Eight of the top writers available were hired to do the scripts. Stu Bailey chased after a smuggling ring across two continents. Unfortunately, it didn't help and the show was canceled in the sixth season after only twenty episodes.

Theme Song

Title: "77 Sunset Strip"

By: "Mack David & Jerry Livingston"

77 Sunset Strip. (Three times)

The street that wears a fancy label,
That's glorified in song and fable.
The most exciting people pass you by,
Including a private eye.

77 Sunset Strip. (Three times)

You'll meet the high brow and the hipster,
The starlet and the phony tripster.
You'll see most every kind of gal and guy,
Including a private eye.

77 Sunset Strip. (Two times)

Opening Narrative

"Sunset Strip is a body of county territory entirely surrounded by the city of Los Angeles, a mile and half of relentlessly contemporary architecture housing restaurants, bistros, Hollywood agents, and shops where the sell is as soft as snowflake and just as cold."

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