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Robert Fuller – (Kelly Brackett M.D., F.A.C.S.)
Julie London – (Dixie McCall R.N.)
Bobby Troup – (Joe Early M.D., F.A.C.S.)
Randolph Mantooth -
Kevin Tighe -
Ron Pinkard – (Dr. Mike Morton)
Series Premier: January 15th 1972
Director: Jack Webb (World premier only)
Producer: Jack Webb
Writer/Creator: R.A. Cinader and Harold Jack Bloom
The Hollywood grapevine is a powerful source of information. Sometimes the rumours are out and the ‘deal done’ before an actor is even aware he is being considered for a part. Such was the case for Robert Fuller and his role of Doctor Kelly Brackett.
While filming a commercial for Budweiser Malt Liquor, Robert learned from his makeup artist that he was to star in a TV series at Universal Studios. Later in the evening Robert’s agent called and officially informed him Jack Webb did indeed want him to star in a new series called Emergency!
Emergency! sounded suspiciously like a medical show and Robert, with his heart still set on starring in a Western, had no interest in taking on the role of a doctor.
Wearing a suit and tie and armed with determination and purpose, Robert attended a prearranged meeting at Jack Webb’s Universal Studios office with every intention of turning Webb down.
“Mr. Webb? I’m Robert Fuller. I appreciate you having me in but I am not interested in doing a medical series.”
Not exactly how one would expect a beautiful relationship to begin, but Executive Producer Jack Webb would not take no for an answer. After seeing Robert in the role of Phil Duncan in the 1971 ‘biker’ movie, The Hard Ride, Webb had his mind firmly set on Robert playing the part of Doctor Kelly Brackett in his new medical drama series Emergency! Two hours after that first introduction, Robert walked out of Webb’s office with only 12 completed pages of script for a two hour world premier movie, ‘The Wedsworth –Townsend Act,’ which was to start shooting in four days time.
Filming for the pilot began on 22nd November 1971 and took 22 days to complete. NBC had ordered six one hour episodes – with five more soon to follow – to start the mid-
One week after the premier, the series aired on 205 NBC affiliate TV stations nationwide. By 1976 Emergency! was being watched in 41 countries around the world.
A few days before shooting began, Robert spent one day at Harbor General Hospital (Rampart General in the series) and another at the Los Angeles County Fire Department preparing for his role.
As well as supporting the paramedic program, Emergency! played a major part in encouraging young people to become fire fighters, paramedics, nurses and doctors. Many of Robert’s fans are in the medical profession today because of the positive way the hospital team was portrayed.
It is a credit to the producers, creators, writers and all cast and crew members that a television show was able to promote the paramedic program nationwide in such a professional light. It highlighted the need for emergency medicine to be practiced in the field and encouraged other states to take up the cause.
The final Season Six episode of Emergency! aired on 23rd April 1977 with the Season Seven movie–length specials screening the last Emergency! on 26th June 1979.
Review by Sally Bahnsen Jan 3rd 2015
Emergency Guest Stars (coming soon)