I have been focusing my Blast From The Past entries to the Eighties to go along with CNN's salute to the decade. Actor Rock Hudson became the face of the crisis at the time, but two years before he was romancing Krystal Carrington on Dynasty, Timothy Patrick Murphy was romancing Lucy Ewing on the other prime time soap Dallas.
With Sarah Jessica Parker
Unlike Hudson, whose death attracted world wide attention, Murphy's death in 1988, at just 29, went largely unnoticed by the mainstream press. I guess that's why I wanted to give the talented actor a bit of love and attention. Murphy, like far too many men in the 80's, died without much attention.
With Michael Landon in Sam's Son (1984)
Many had family, partners and friends around, but given the fear and ignorance about Aids at the time, many did not have anyone with them when they moved on. They have become #'s for the disease, instead of individuals, they are part of a statistic.
Boarding The Love Boat (1985)
I had not heard of Timothy Patrick Murphy really until after his death. Although I remember watching Dallas as a kid with my parents, it was until The Nashville Network (TNN) re-aired the show in the late 90's that really remember crushing over Lucy's bad boy boyfriend.
Murphy was incredibly sexy, especially in hose jean shorts and was a talented actor. With the soap's over the top story lines, Murphy managed to bring a reality to his scenes that anchored some of the silliness going on around in the other plot lines. Unlike Rock Hudson, who's successful career was mostly behind him by the time he took his television role, Murphy, like so many of the young men who died in the 80's and 90's, had his success waiting to take off in front of him.
Deathbed scenes with Charlene Tilton and legendary stage actress Kate Reid
I was a little young to watch The Dukes of Hazzard when it first aired, but I that didn't stop me from becoming obsessed with the Duke Boys. Shirtless magazine shots of John Schneider and Tom Wopat stimulated more than a few visual fantasy's and I later caught a few episodes when repeats aired in the late 90's on TNN, the old Nashville Network. Even as a kid, it was clear the Duke boys were promoted as sex objects, something sort of unique on television at the time. I am not sure the network was trying to attract a gay young following, but I am sure they made up a fair share of the shows audience.
I don't think I ever saw an episode with Byron Cherry, but he still made an impression. Byron, and actor Christopher Mayer, (who sadly died in 2011) took over briefly for 19 episodes when Schneider and Wopat left the show over a contract dispute of merchandising. Cherry and John Schneider were friends who both originally tried out for the role of Bo. The producers must have remembered Cherry when they needed to find a hot blonde replacement to play cousin Coy.
Cherry epitomizes the perfect southern blonde farm boy and it's too bad the show decided to forget his character when the original stars returned. Cherry continued to work on television and in movies and has a couple of projects due for the release in the next year. Cherry also seems to have kept his time as a Duke alive appearing at many celebrity autograph shows sharing his time, and stories from Hazzard. You can check out some recent shots of the actor at his website HERE:
There isn't any sound, but still a great video and shirtless tribute to all 4 of the Duke boys.
With Bruce Boxleitner on The Battle of the Network Stars