Roy Thinnes

  1. George Lazenby, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, 1969.
  2. William Devane, Family Plot, 1975.    The first time Alfred Hitchcock ever sacked an actor – and on his final movie!Fame of a kind for the TV star of The Invaders, 1967-1968, for not being “strong enough.” Hitch calling him Roy Scheider didn’t help! As per tradition, Thinnes is still seen in long-shots. Hitch had wanted Devane but he was unavailable. Both actors wore moustaches in the role. “First timeHitchsaw me,” said Bill, “he said: William Powell.” And Hitch kept tellingBruce Dern:“Bruce, this is all very boring – wake me up when it’s over.” Only Hitch knew it was two films in one and, as far as he was concerned, both were called Deceit.
  3. Patrick Stewart, Star Trek: The Next Generation, TV, 1987-1994.   Creator blowhard  Gene Roddenberry, hanging to to any power he might still have at a studio that hated him, said a bald  Englishman could not be his new Kirk.  OK, Paramount suits came up with a Top Three: Thinnes, Yaphet Kotto, Mitch Ryan.  Then Roddenberry – power again! – said Stewart should test.  In a wig. He had his own toupee  Fed-exed from London. A bad rug, said one suit. Bad test, too. Too British. Then, Roddenberry, as if  misunderstanding who it was, said: Let’s test Stewart.  They did. He nailed it – with his wig in his pocket. Gene loved him. Now the suits were wary.  “But, Gene – he’s  bald!” Hah! spake Roddenberry, hair doesn’t mean anything in the 25th century. The PS is  from PS: “My agent said there was no way in  hell that Star Trek would survive the first season.”  It ran seven seasons! 
  4. Steven  Hill, Law & Order, TV, 1990.     Thinnes was the DA (called Alfred Wentworth) in Dick Wolf’s pilot episode, Everybody’sFavouriteBagman – not seen until  the sixth week. During the two-year  wait for NBC to agree to a series, Thinnes lost all interest in the law and  had joined Dark Shadows. He was replaced (as DA Adam Schiff)  by Hill, the first Mission: Impossible boss .  He appeared in the first  show on-air. Prescription For Death,  September 13,  1990 and for  228  more episodes until 2000.


 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  4