Sunday, July 22, 2018

You wanted to know . . . about Rusty Stevens (Larry Mondello from Leave it to Beaver)

   

I received an email from reader Peter P. who wanted to know what happened to Rusty Stevens, the child star who appeared on Leave it to Beaver from 1957 until 1960.  

Rusty Stevens played Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver's best friend, Larry Mondello, on the classic television series Leave it to Beaver.  Larry was Beaver's classmate at Grant Avenue Grammar School.  He was a pudgy kid, constantly munching on apples and candy bars.  He would often lead Beaver into mischief and then run off, leaving Beaver to face the music alone.  He would always come up with some excuse such as, "I've got to go home now, Beaver."

Rusty as Larry, with apple

Rusty left "Leave it to Beaver" in 1960.  It has been reported that Rusty's father took a job out of state and that his family moved from Burbank, California to Philadelphia.  However, Barbara Billingsley, who played "June Cleaver," shed a different light on Rusty's departure,  In a July 2000 interview with the Archive of American television, Barbara stated, "We all loved Rusty so much.  He was so good in that role.  And, unfortunately they had to let him go . . . Because his mother was such a pain."   She went on to say that his overbearing mother would go to the producer's office and make demands.

Robert "Rusty" Stevens was born in Boston, Massachusetts on December 25, 1948 (some sources say November 25).  He began acting after moving with his parents to Burbank.  From 1957 until 1960, Rusty appeared as Larry Mondello in 67 of Leave it to Beaver's 235 episodes (68 if you include the last episode in which he appeared in flashback.  His first appearance occurred in an episode entitled "Beaver's Crush" (Season 1, Episode 8, Air Date: November 22, 1957).  Larry was not too bright and he didn't have an ideal home life.  His father was always out of town and never around to give him any guidance.  His harried mother, Margaret Mondello (Madge Blake), was full of anxiety from having to deal with Larry alone.

During the early 1960s, after his departure from Leave it to Beaver, Rusty made guest-appearances on TV series such as Angel (1960)National Velvet (1961) My Three Sons (1962), Perry Mason (1962), Wagon Train (1963) and The Rifleman (1963).

Below is a photo of Rusty in a 1963 episode of The Rifleman entitled "Hostages to Fortune" (Season 5, Episode 18, Air Date: February 4, 1963).  He played a boy named Melvin in the episode.


After his appearance on The Rifleman, Rusty seemed to drop out of sight.  In fact, he kept such a low profile that, according to IMDb.com, the creators of Still the Beaver (1983) hired a detective to locate him.  They wanted him to reprise his Larry Mondello role for the CBS TV reunion movie, twenty years after the original show went off the air.  home was located and his wife, Theresa (or Teresa) Marinelli, came to the door.  When the detective inquired as to whether this was the residence of the former child star, Theresa thought he had the wrong house.  She apparently did not know about his past as Larry Mondello,  I find that story very difficult to believe.  If true, it reveals quite a lot about Rusty.  How could he not tell his wife about being a child star?  Even if he didn't tell her, wouldn't she have learned about her husband's past as a child actor from someone else?

Rusty agreed to reprise his Larry Mondello role in Still the Beaver, which aired on March 19, 1983.  He also portrayed Larry in two episodes of the follow-up series, The New Leave it to Beaver.  The episodes are "Inside Eddie Haskell" (Season 4, Episode 7, Air Date:  November 13, 1988) and "Dads and Grads: Part 2" (Season 4, Episode 26, Air Date: June 4, 1989).


Here is a photo of Rusty in a clip from the 1980s.



According to Gary Clothier ("Mr. Know-It-All") in The Star Democrat, an Easton, Maryland newspaper, as of early 2000, Rusty was an insurance salesman in New Jersey.  IMDb.com states that he was an "Insurance salesman in New Jersey [2001].

The anonymous author of a website called Rewind Back in Time wrote a January 16, 2007 article entitled "Whatever Happened to Robert "Rusty" Stevens from Leave it to Beaver?" The post was updated in October, 2014.  According to the author's research, "Rusty has apparently worked in some or all of the following fields: advertising, insurance salesman and/or real estate."  There is a March 28, 2008 comment on that website from someone who thought  Rusty "now works at the Home Depot in Egg Harbor Township in Egg Harbor, New Jersey" and claims to know a couple of people who work there with him."  There are many such comments about sightings of the mysterious Rusty.  They are dubious and unconfirmed.  There are also comments from two people who said they went to school with Rusty (at Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School in Burbank, California and David Starr Jordan Junior High School, also in Burbank).  The one who claimed to have attended elementary school with Rusty, wrote about losing contact with him when he moved to a private school for acting.  The one who claimed to have attended junior high with Rusty told a story about how he showed up for school one day with green hair, which was considered radical in the early 1960s.


END NOTES

* Rusty continues to keep a low profile. He hasn't given any interviews and he avoids the limelight like the plague.  To find more up-date-material on him, I would have to hire a detective.  So, I do not know  if he and his wife, Theresa (or Teresa), are still together.

* Madge Blake, who played Larry's long-suffering mother, died on February 19, 1969 after suffering a heart attack.  She was 69 at the time of her passing.  Madge also played Aunt Harriet Cooper in the 1966-1968 Batman series.

Madge Blake and Rusty Stevens
* Leave it to Beaver ended its run in 1963, three years after Rusty left the show.  He was replaced by Stephen Talbot, who portrayed Beaver's new best friend, Gilbert.  I sometimes wonder about what adventures Beaver and Larry would have had if Rusty had stayed on the show and played Larry in his early teenage years.  In my opinion, Rusty's portrayal of Larry was more authentic and honest than that any other character on the show.


TO RUSTY STEVENS:

Since you are a very private person, I doubt that you will answer the following request.  However, I will still ask anyway.  Many Leave it to Beaver fans would enjoy reading a message from you to set the record straight about yourself.  There is so much misinformation and speculation.   

If you are reading this and feel so inclined, please email me and I will post your message on my website.  I don't expect you to reply, but I will be surprised and delighted if you do.  An email from you would be much appreciated by myself and many others. 


- Joanne


EDITOR'S UPDATE (October 22, 2018):  I received some correspondence from Doug B., who told me he has been friends with Rusty Stevens for about 10 years.  He wrote that Rusty was indeed born on Christmas Day, but in Philadelphia, not Boston.  He called the story about Rusty's wife Theresa not knowing he was a child star an "urban legend."  Rusty is "finally telling some cool Leave it to Beaver stories" after all these years - through Doug..  He does not have his own Facebook page, but Doug has posted his stories and comments on the Leave it to Beaver Fan Club Facebook site.  Check it out by clicking on the link below.



Saturday, July 21, 2018

Y&R Report (July 21, 2018): The Latest on The Young and Restless



Hey Y&R fans, every second Saturday TV Banter discusses the latest happenings and provides commentary on your favourite daytime drama. Note to U.S. readers - SPOILER ALERT: Here in Canada, I watch the show on Global TV which is one episode ahead of CBS.  I will inevitably refer to incidents you haven't seen yet. Read at your own risk.  If you are the curious type, though, you may prefer to discover some things in advance.

In dramatic fashion, the phantom J.T. was unmasked as Nicholas Newman.  We are seeing a new Nick now.  He is focused and fiercely determined.  I think it's wonderful that someone has dared to stand up to the Great Victor Newman.  However, I think Nick went too far.  He was out of bounds.  He employed tactics worthy of Victor himself.  He decided to become like Victor in order to bring Victor down.  He went down to Victor's level.. He was only concerned about the end results, not the means he used to achieve those ends.  I also think he's over-confident.  Victor is not going to take this sitting down.  He'll fight back with all the weapons at his disposal.  I'm afraid that Nick is in for rude awakening.

Sharon, of course, was not amused by Nick's tactics.  She thinks he acted too much like his father.  She concerned about the ethics of his behaviour. but she's also concerned about the fact that J.T. is truly dead.  If J.T. had survived, Sharon and her three co-conspirators (Phyllis, Nikki and Victoria) would have been off the hook.  Still, Sharon isn't as devious as Phyllis.  Yes, she has done some awful things.  However, she has a much sweeter disposition than Phyllis.  Phyllis is attracted to "bad boy" behaviour.  She likes Nick's new aggressiveness and his ambitiousness. She told him that sometimes the end justifies the means. As for their secret tryst, it won't stay a secret for long.

Nick lacks judgement.  Why did he just assume that Sharon called off their engagement without speaking to her first?  I also think that Nick enjoyed Phyllis' approval of his actions, whereas Sharon questioned his conduct.  Sharon told him that she didn't know him anymore.  Nick was disappointed that she wasn't thrilled about what he had done.  He felt misunderstood.  Phyllis stroked his ego.  Sharon didn't.

Now that Billy Boy seems to have had enough of Phyllis, her secret tryst with Nick may not be enough for her.  She may go after him full force. She will definitely come between Nick and Sharon.  It will be interesting to see Summer's reaction to the breakup between her mother and Billy.  I think she'll take Billy's side over Phyllis' side, especially when she learns about her mother's little fling with Nick.  She will accuse Phyllis of not being understanding enough of Billy's gambling addiction.  She will say that Phyllis' infidelity was worse than Billy's poker playing.

Philip Chancellor is not Jack Abbott's biological father.  The DNA doesn't match.  So who is Jack's daddy?  I think there are two possibilities.  Maybe John Abbott is Jack Abbott's biological father.  Maybe Dina, in her confusion, has mixed everything up.  It could be that Traci is the one who is not John's biological child.  The other possibility is that Jack's father is Albert Miller, the father of Victor Newman.  That would make Jack and Victor brothers.

Did you think Hilary had died without seeing Devon?  For some reason, the writers made it appear that she did.  I'm glad, however, that Devon got back in time. Now they'll get married before Hilary dies.  Lily is really going to be in hot water when Devon and the police learn she went through a red light.

Hilary recently had a secret meeting with a man named Mark.  What was that all about?  She is hiding something and it will be revealed after her death.  It must have some significance to the storyline. It will probably affect Devon.  Remember that Mariah and Tessa saw her with Mark.


Fans will really miss Eileen Davidson when she leaves Y&R in September.  What will happen to Ashley Abbott once Eileen goes?  I hope that she is not replaced by another actress.  I would like to see Ashley move to New York.  She's lived in the Big Apple before and her sister Traci is there,  The two of them could make occasional visits to Genoa City.

Ashley is currently COO of Jabot and Billy is sending her to Berlin on business.  I don't think she'll stay there, though.  I also don't think that Billy will remain CEO.  I think he's going to crash personally and professionally.  Eventually, Jack will regain his position as CEO.  I know he's agreed to join Nick's new company, Dark Horse, but I don't think Dark Horse will succeed.  Victor will see to that.



VIEWER FORUM

If you have any comments on Y&R, please email them to me with "Viewer Forum" in the subject line. I will be happy to publish your comments and reply to them  You do not have to use your real name. 

My email address:  jmadden16@yahoo.ca

Here are some comments from regular contributor CC in Etobicoke, Ontario.

Shocked and surprised to see Nick play the J.T. trick on his father.  It is about time he put Victor in his place.  However, I fear the revenge that Victor will bring to him.

Neil and Ashley had a short fling some years ago but it went nowhere.  Now it seems that it is passe - too little, too late.

Hillary is making it pretty plain that she has a strong attraction to Dr. Nate, but Devon seems to have his blinders on

Between nasty Summer, Lily and Cane, Ashley and Neil, and who really is Jack's father, the fun of watching is quickly fading.

I definitely agree that it's about time someone put Victor Newman in his place, CC.  However, Nick should be careful that he doesn't become too much like Victor in the process.  I also think that Nick is about to face the formidable wrath of The Moustache.  Although Victor is in a weakened state, due to his fight with J.T., he is still very powerful and determined.  He is like a wounded beast, fighting for his territory.  Newman Enterprises is his empire and he will protect it fiercely.  It isn't easy to topple an emperor.  Nick may think he's winning, but he hasn't faced Victor's revenge. He's going to be hit by everything his father can throw at him.  I expect Victor to come out on top, as usual.

Back in 2010, Ashley and Neil dated after being friends for years.  Their breakup was amicable as Neil decided to focus on his family and get his life together.  Ashley then became involved with Tucker McCall.

Now, Eileen Davidson is set to leave her role as Ashley.  I wonder why head writer Mal Young had Ashley and Neil briefly rekindle their romance and then suddenly decide they were better off as friends  This was not good writing and it was confusing to viewers.


Y&R fan, Fifi in Collingwood, Ontario, pointed out a glaring inconsistency on Y&R.  Sharon and Nikki were absolutely horrified when they saw Nick disguised as J.T.  Yet, not long after, Sharon opened the door to her house without a worry in the world.  She wasn't frightened that the caller was J.T  She didn't even ask the visitor for his or her identity.  She just opened the door nonchalantly.  It turned out to be Phyllis.


Another Y&R fan, Rosie in Richmond Hill, Ontario, was right on the money when she suspected that Nick was behind the "return of J.T.  She wrote the following:

What are your thoughts on J.T.'s return?  Is it really J.T., or is it someone who looks like him (or is it the real J.T. and the one that was abusing Victoria an imposter)??  I somehow think Nick may be involved in this potential twist as he is determined to get back at Victor.


CAST NEWS
Mishael Morgan (Hilary Curtis) expecting second child




On July 15th, her 32nd birthday, Mishael Morgan made a joyous announcement on social media.  She confirmed that she is pregnant with her second child, a girl.  She wrote: "Best birthday present ever!  My official reveal that YES I am pregnant!  And guess what . . . it's a girl!!!"

To the disappointment of many fans, Mishael has just left Y&R.  Since her character, Hilary, is pregnant on the show, many viewers speculated that she was having a baby in real life.  When I wrote my last Y&R Report post (July 2nd), Michael had not yet made her announcement.  Now I can confirm that the viewers were right.

The new baby will be a little sister for Niam, whom Mishael and her husbant, Navid Ali, had in August of 2015.

nnnnnnnn

Y&R REPORT READERS' POLL

Nick Newman is determined to stand up to his ruthless father.  Are you impressed by the way Nick's behaviour?  He impersonated J.T., Hellstrom and made everyone believe that J.T. was alive.  In the process, he frightened Nikki, Sharon and Victoria.  He obtained Victor'a medical records and harmed his father's company.  He asked family members to choose between staying with Newman Enterprises or joining his new company, Dark Horse.  Let me know what you think of the new Nick.




Do you like the way Nick is acting?

Yes. I agree with what he's done. It's about time someone stood up to Victor.
He's right to stand up to Victor, but he's gone too far.
No, I think he's becoming ruthless, just like his father.
I don't know.
Other
Please Specify:
Created with Poll Maker



That's all for now.  Please remember that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday August 4, 2018.


- Joanne

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Y&R Report (July 7, 2018): The Latest on The Young and the Restless



Hey Y&R fans, every second Saturday TV Banter discusses the latest happenings and provides commentary on your favourite daytime drama. Note to U.S. readers - SPOILER ALERT: Here in Canada, I watch the show on Global TV which is one episode ahead of CBS.  I will inevitably refer to incidents you haven't seen yet. Read at your own risk.  If you are the curious type, though, you may prefer to discover some things in advance.

He's alive! (maybe) Yes, fans, it looks as if J.T. Hellstrom is on the loose.  He may have survived his own burial and is lurking in the shadows.  Still, I'm not convinced he's really alive and  kicking.  Was the man in the hoodie really J.T. or was it some kind of trick or optical illusion.  Is Victor Neman behind it?  Why did Victor take so long to show up at the Newman ranch when Nikki was frantically trying to warn him about J.T.?  Is someone purposely trying to scare Nikki and Sharon?  The writers are going to keep us guessing for a while.

By the way, where is Clueless Paul Williams?  It seems that everyone in Genoa City knows that J.T. has been sighted and that someone has been using his credit card.  Why isn't the GC Police Chief on the case?  No wonder so many people tell him he isn't doing his job.

Does Y&R head writer Mal Young have some weird obsession with graves and burials?  This past week, viewers saw the spectacle of Kyle Abbott trying to dig up Phillip Chancellor's grave.  We've already seen J.T.'s burial in Chancellor Park. He may have been buried alive.

I still don't think Phillip Chancellor is Jack Abbott's biological father.  We'll find out soon, courtesy of Kyle, who managed to procure a piece of bone from the grave.  The DNA will be tested and I suspect it will not match Jack's.

It''s hard to have much empathy for Kyle.  He's far too ambitious for his own good.  There is a better side to him, but he hasn't been showing it much lately.  I thought he sincerely wanted to help Jack find out the truth about his paternity.  Now it seems his only concern is his own advancement in the business world.  He dug Phillp's grave because he hopes to have a high position at Chancellor Industries.  All he cares about is climbing the corporate ladder as fast as he can.  He is not willing to work his way up and learn the ropes.

Is Scott Grainger coming back Genoa City?  There are signs that his return is imminent.  An article Scott wrote about J.T., was given prominence.  Scott, played by Daniel Hall, was written out of the show.  Sharon dumped him after he two-timed her with Abby., Abby also dumped him.  For the moment, she's blissfully happy with Arturo.  The return of Scott would really complicate matters and create conflict, especially if Abby has lingering romantic feelings for him.  It has not been conformed that Daniel Hall is returning to Y&R, but I wouldn't be surprised if he does.

Daniel Hall

Billy Abbott has given into temptation again.  He just can't resist the lure of a poker game.  He is an addict.  He has to quit cold turkey.  Once he starts gambling, he can't stop.  Summer has taken full advantage of his addiction.  Still, Billy didn't put up much of a fight and he didn't seek help or advice.  He chose to cover for Summer.  Billy Boy has already lost the Jabot yacht.  Expect him to lose Phyllis next.  She won't put up with his irresponsible behaviour.


VIEWER FORUM

If you have any comments on Y&R, please email them to me with "Viewer Forum" in the subject line. I will be happy to publish your comments and reply to them  You do not have to use your real name. 

My email address:  jmadden16@yahoo.ca

Here are some comments from regular contributor CC in Etobicoke, Ontario.

Summer is one of the worst characters to have ever landed in Genoa City.  They have made her into a very extreme version of every parent's worst nightmare of a daughter.  They matured her very quickly in the worst ways.  She will not be a good role model for Faith.  

The pool scene was disgusting, as was the strip poker scene with Billy and Phyllis.  I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

In today's episode, Hilary definitely looked like she is pregnant in real life.  Now that she and Devon have reconciled and declared their love again, it feels like a dark cloud is looming on the horizon.  Her days on the show are numbered.

I also do not care for the character o Shauna, Charlie's teenage match.  They are not well-suited.

So much sleaze is unnecessary.  Phyllis and Billy are desperate to hang on to something that isn't there anymore.  Summer will take advantage of that to do her damage.  What is Summer's reason for wanting to break up Phyllis and Billy?  I don't recall either of them doing anything to her that should push her into being so vengeful.  Like I said when she first arrived, I hope she doesn't stay past the summer.  

Do you think that the Hilary character will die in a deadly car crash?


Summer isn't my favourite Y&R character, but she doesn't bother me as much as she bothers you.  I'm not quite sure if it's the fictional Summer who annoys you or Hunter King, the actress, who plays her.  Maybe both of them annoy you. Either way, Summer sure rubs you the wrong way.  You ask about her reason for trying to breaking up Phyllis and Billy.  I don't think she resents Phyllis for any specific reason.  Snowflake is obviously unhappy with her life and takes delight in causing trouble.

I agree with you, CC, that there is a cloud hanging over Devon and Hilary, especially since Mishael Morgan, who plays Hilary, is leaving the show.  When a couple is too happy on a soap, expect the bubble to burst.  According to Internet spoilers, Hilary will have a severe car accident.

In real life, Mishael and her husband, Navid, are the parents of a son, Niam, born August 9, 2015.  As far as I know, there has been know announcement that she is expecting another child.

kkkkk

CAST NEWS
Eileen Davidson (Ashley Abbot) is leaving Y&R




There is some disappointing news for Y&R fans.  Eileen Davidson, who won a Daytime Emmy this year for her role as Ashley Abbott on The Young and the Restless, is leaving the show.  On June 20th, Eileen confirmed on Twitter that she will be leaving in order to spend more time with her family.  She is married to actor Vince Van Patten since 2003 and has a son, Jesse Thomas Van Patten, born May 20, 2003.

Eileen has been playing the role of Ashley Abbott on and off since 1982.  It is not known yet whether the role of Ashley will be recast.  I hope not because it is Eileen's signature role.  It will be much better if Ashley joins her sister, Traci, in New York.  This will leave the door open for her to make appearances on the show now and then.


Brooks Darnell joins the cast as Nate Hastings




The son of Dr. Olivia Barber and the late Nathan Hastings has returned to Genoa City.  He's all grown up.  He's a doctor too, and he's secretly treating Victor Newman for a hidden medical issue. We have also learned that he had a girlfriend who died.

Brooks Darnell, a newcomer to soaps, portrays Dr. Nate Hastings Jr.  Previously he starred in the Shadowhunters series as Charlie Cooper.  Brooks was named after baseball great Brooks Robinson.  He put his acting career on hold while attending pre-med school on a football scholarship.  After a sports injury, he returned to acting.

Brooks' character,Nate Hastings, is staying with Neil Winters, who was married to his late aunt, Drucilla (Olivia's sister,).  He's living right across the hall from busybody Hilary Curtis, who seems fascinated by him. Hilary is determined to find as much information she can about Nate (a.k.a. Dr. Shirtless).


Y&R REPORT READERS' POLL



Well fans, do you think J.T. Hellstrom is really alive?  Let me know what you think by responding to the poll below.

Do you think J.T. is really alive?

Yes, was't really dead when they buried him.
No, someone is playing tricks and making it seem as if he's alive.
I don't know.
Other
Please Specify:
Created with Quiz Creator


That's all for now.  I hope you're enjoying the summer.  Don't forget that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, July 21, 2018.

- Joanne

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Whatever happened to the cast of Silver Spoons?

  

Silver Spoons, an American situation comedy, ran for for five seasons and 116 episodes.  It aired on NBC for four seasons, from September 25, 1982 until May 11, 1986, and then for an additional season in first-run syndication, from September 15, 1986 until March 4, 1987. The series showcased child star Ricky Schroder, who had made an auspicious debut in the 1979 film The ChampSilver Spoons featured Schroder as Ricky Stratton, the 12-year son of divorced parents whose mother had remarried and sent him to a military school.  The youngster wangled an invitation to the palatial home of the wealthy father he had never known.

Edward Stratton III, Ricky's 35-year-old dad was very immature and had avoided taking responsibility for anything in his life. This overgrown child owned a toy company called Eddie's Toys.  His mansion was filled with video games, stuffed animals and a miniature railroad upon which he traversed the rooms of his massive estate.  In a February 2010 interview with Will Harris for Bullz-Eye.com, Rick Schroder stated, "I cannot tell you how many people were, like, blown away by and lost themselves in the world of Silver Spoons.  And everybody asks about the train.  Everybody!  I think the train is in a train park at Griffith Park, over by Universal"

Below is a photo of Joel Higgins as Edward Stratton III in a conductor's hat, riding the train with son Ricky.



Ricky and Edward had their differences.  Ricky recognized that Edward needed to grow up and Edward thought that his son was much too uptight.  He wanted Ricky to loosen up and have fun while he was still young.  Nevertheless, the pair bonded as father and son.  According to The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows 1946-Present, "Ricky soon helped Edward to be a father, while Edward taught his son a little about enjoying life."


WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE CAST OF SILVER SPOONS?

RICKY SCHRODER (Richard Bartlett Schroder,, Jr.) was born April 13, 1970 in Brooklyn, New York and raised on Staten Island.  He was 12 years old when Silver Spoons first aired.  He continued acting as an adult and billed himself as "Rick" Schroder.  In 2007, however, he announced that he was changing his credit back to "Ricky" because "no one wanted to call me 'Rick'."

Ricky appeared on the 1989 TV Western miniseries Lonesome Dove.  From 1998 until 2001, he played Detective Danny Sorenson on the crime series NYPD Blue.  In 2007, he played Mike Doyle in twelve episodes of the action series 24, starring Kiefer Sutherland.  More recently, he portrayed Robert Lee Parton, Dolly's father, in the 2016 TV movie Dolly Parton's Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love.

Ricky Schroder in 1976 photo

Ricky Schroder began his career by appearing in numerous television commercials.  His big break came when he starred opposite Jon Voight and Faye Dunaway in Franco Zefferelli's remake of The Champ.  For his performance in the film, Schroder won international recognition.  He also won a Golden Globe for Best New Male Star of 1979.


Schroder in 2008 photo

Ricky wed Andrea Bernard, an interior designer/real estate developer, on September 26, 1992.  The couple met in Canada while Rick was filming Blood River in 1991.  They had four children, sons Holden (born January 8, 1992) and Luke (August 1, 1993) and daughters Cambrie (born September 14, 1997)  and Faith (born August 8, 2001).  Son Holden is named after actor William Holden with whom Rick co-starred in the film The Earthling (1980).

In September of 2016, after almost 24 years of marriage, Andrea filed for divorce in the Los Angeles Superior Court, citing "irreconcilable differences."

Faith and Cambrie star in Lifetime's reality series Growing Up Supermodel.  The show premiered on August 16, 2017.  It follows the sons and daughters of famous models or actors as they try to launch a modelling career.  The cast also includes their mother, Andrea and actress/model Kelly Le Brock and her daughter, plus size model Arissa Le Brock (Arissa's father is actor Steven Seagal).

Below are photos of Faith Schroder (left) and Cmbrie Schroder (right).




JOEL HIGGINS, an American singer and actor, portrayed Edward W. Stratton III, Ricky's childlike father.  Higgins was born September 28, 1943 in Bloomington, Illinois and is a graduate of Michigan State University  Not only is he an actor, he is an accomplished singer with a stage career spanning over four decades. He originally performed at coffee houses to put himself through school.

During the 1970s, Joel Higgins played the role of Vince in the first national tour of the musical Grease.  He also appeared on Broadway.  In 1975, he appeared on daytime television, beginning his portrayal of Bruce Carson on the CBS soap opera Search for Tomorrow.

From 1981 to 1982, Joel starred in a spoof  of the Old West called Best of the WestBest of the West was a short-lived series, airing on ABC for just one season of 23 episodes.  Higgins  played Sam Best, a Civil War veteran who became a marshal after inadvertently scaring off a gunfighter.

Joel Higgins in 1978 photo
After five seasons on the hit comedy Silver Spoons (1982-1987),  Higgins returned to television in a new ABC comedy called Have Faith. in the spring of 1989.  He played Monsignor Joseph "Mac" MacKenzie, who oversaw a zany group of Catholic priests at an inner-city Chicago church.  The series received poor ratings and was cancelled after just seven episodes.

During the 1990s and the 2000s, Joel Higgins continued to perform on stage around the United States.  Joel has been married to Stacy Alberts since 1983.  They have one child, s son named Graham Franklin Higgins, born 1991.



ERIN GRAY played Kate Summers Stratton, Edward's secretary, whom he married in February 1985.  Erin was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on January 7. 1950, but moved to California when she was a child.  As a teenager, she met Nina Blanchard, the head of one of Hollywood's leading modelling agencies.  This convinced her to move to New York City and pursue a career in modelling.  She eventually became a top model  In 1967, she made her television debut as a dancer in a variety series called Malibu U, hosted by singer Ricky Nelson

After developing an interest in acting, Erin moved to Los Angeles to seek a Hollywood career..  Universal Studios was so impressed by Erin's TV performances in episodes of Gibbsville (1976) and Police Story (1978) that she was signed to a seven-year contract.  Her performance as a newspaper reporter in Irwin Shaw's 1978 television movie Evening in Byzantium was well-received and led to her next role.  From 1979 to 1981,she played Colonel Wilma Deering in the science fiction television series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.  She then appeared as Kate on five seasons of Silver Spoons (1982-1987).


Erin Gray and Ricky Schroder in Silver Spoons cast photo
After Silver Spoons ended its run, Erin made guest appearances on episodes of series such as Superboy (1992) and Burke's  Law (1994).  In 1997, she played the role Nicole Devlin  in Port Charles, a spin-off the soap Gemeral Hospital.  In 2000, she portrayed Congresswoman Karen Archer in the TV drama Profiler.

Along with Mara Purl, Gray co-authored a book titled Act Right: A Manual for the On-Camera Actor, Haven Books, a handbook for actors.



In 2014, Erin guest-starred on the web series Star Trek Continues in an episode entitled "Lolani."  She played the role of Commodore Gray.

Erin teaches Tai chi.

Erin has been married twice.  In 1968, she wed real estate executive Ken Schwartz, who eventually managed her career.  The marriage lasted until 1990 and the couple had one son, Kevan Ray Schwartz (born 1976).  In 1991, Erin married Richard Hissong and their daughter Samantha was born the same year.  Samantha plays Buck Rogers' girlfriend, Maddy in the Internet video series


Erin Gray in 2013   Photo Attribution Luigi Novi.



LEONARD LIGHTFOOT played Leonard Rollins, Edward's lawyer, during the first season of Silver Spoons (1982-1983).  After his departure, Lightfoot was replaced by Franklyn Seales.

Leonard was born on December 2, 1947 in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.  Prior to his role on Silver Spoons, he appeared in episodes of such TV series as The White Shadow (1979). The Incredible Hulk (1979), Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1980), The Brady Brides (1981), The Greatest American Hero (1982), Hill Street Blues (19810 (1982), Diff'rent Strokes (1982) and The Jeffersons (1981) (1982).


Leonard Lightfoot

After leaving his role in Silver Spoons, Leonard continued to work on television during the 1980s and 1990s.  From 1987 to 1989, he played Deputy Alvin Wiggins in the comedy She's the Sheriff.  He also appeared in episodes of Married . . . With Children (1990), Hunter (1990), Quatum Leap (1991), Major Dad (1991) and A Different World (1992).  From 1993 until 1994, he had the recurring role of Detective Henderson on Murder, She Wrote, starring Angela Lansbury.

Leonard guest-starred in a 1996 episode of Seinfeld entitled "The Rye" (Seaspm 7, Episode 11, Air Date: January 4, 1996).  He then appeared in an episode of  The Pretender (1997) and Brooklyn South (1997).  After 1997, he has no further acting credits on IMDb.

In 2003, Leonard appeared in a TV commercial for Toyota.



FRANKLYN SEALES portrayed Dexter Stuffins, Edward Stratton III's finicky business manager.  Seales was born in Calliaqua, St. Vincent, West Indies on July 15, 1952.  The fifth of eight children of Francis Seales, a merchant seaman and government employee, Franklyn was of mixed ethic and racial background: His family left the Caribbean and settled in New York City when he was a child.

Franklyn Seales
Franklyn originally intended to study art.  However, actor/producer John Houseman, who later became Seale's castmate on Silver Spoons, noticed his acting talent and offered him a scholarship at the famed Julliard School.in Manhatten.   Franklyn graduated from Julliard and performed with The Acting Company, a professional theatre company that was co-founded by Houseman in 1972.

Seales caught his first big break in the 1978 PBS drama, Trial of the Moke, in which he portrayed Lt. Henry O. Flipper, the first African-American to graduate from West Point Military Academy.  In the 1979 feature film The Onion Field, he played Jimmy "Youngblood" Smith, the real-life killer of a Los Angeles police detective.

Franklyn went on to play Dexter in 96 episodes of Silver Spoons, from 1983 to 1987.  From 1986 to 1987, he also appeared as Lorenzo Hollingsworth in five episodes of the sitcom Amen, starring Sherman Hemsley of The Jeffersons.  His television credits include a 1987 episode of Growing Pains  entitled "This Is Your Life" (Season 3, Episode 10, Air Date November 17, 1987) and a 1988 episode of the crime drama Wiseguy entitled "Fascination for the Flame" (Season 1, Episode 12, Air Date: January 11, 1988).  In 1989, Franklyn played the role of William Klein in the daytime soap opera Santa Barbara.

On May 14, 1990, Franklyn Seales died from complications from AIDS at his family's home in Brooklyn, New York.  He was only 37 years old at the time of his passing.  During the last years of his life, he worked mostly in non-profit theatre in Los Angeles.



JOHN HOUSEMAN played Edward Stratton II, Edward's father and Ricky's grandfather.  Edward II would make snide comments whenever he visited.  The well-to-do industrialist believed that money should be used to make more money.  His son, in contrast, felt that wealth should be a means of making people happy.

John Houseman
Houseman, a British-American, was born in Bucharest, Romania on September 22, 1902.  A veteran of the stage and screen, he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Harvard University law professor Charles W. Kingsfield in the film The Paper Chase (1973).  From 1978 until 1978, he reprised his role as Professor Kingsfield in the television adaptation of the film.  He also played Jewish author Aaron Jastrow in the acclaimed 1983 TV miniseries The Winds of War,.  He received a Golden Globe Award for his performance.

The actor, who spoke with a distinctive English accent, was known for his commercials for the brokerage firm, Smith Barney.  The ads ended with Houseman dropping this memorable slogan; "They make money the old-fashioned way.  They earn it."

Houseman was married twice.  His first wife was Austrian-American actress Zita Johann, best known for her appearance in the 1932 film, The Mummy, starring Boris Karloff.  They were wed in 1929 and divorced in 1933.  He married Joan Courtney in 1952 and that marriage lasted until his death.

John Housman died of spinal cancer at his home in Malibu, California on October 31, 1988.  He was 86 years old at the time of his passing.  His last film appearances included Bright Lights, Big City (1988) and Another Woman (1988).


END NOTES

* Only Ricky Schroder, Joel Higgins and Erin Gray appeared in all 116 episodes of Silver Spoons.

* Ricky Schroder has an older sister, Dawn Schroder Gregg.  Dawn is a model and actress who played Jenny in the 1980s television series, The Facts of Life.  Dawn is married to American actor, director and producer Bradley Gregg.

* Other member of the cast of Silver Spoons included:

JASON BATEMAN, who played Ricky's scheming school pal, Derek Taylor, from 1982 to 1984

CORKY PIGEON, who portrayed Freddie Lippincottleman, another friend, from 1983 to 1985.

Ricky Schroder with Corky Pigeon

BOBBY FITE, who played J.T. Martin, yet another friend, from 1983 to 1984.

ALFONSO RIBEIRO, who played Alfonso Spears, Dexter Stuffins' nephew, from 1984 to 1987.

RAY WALSTON, of My Favorite Martian, who played Harry Summers, Kate's uncle, in 1985. (Walston died on January 1, 2001 at the age of 86).

Ray Walston

- Joanne