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From the Mountain Democrat--Placerville, California
Peabody's Place / Richard G. Peabody

Rick Jason : The Dangerous Robin

Rick Jason, along with the late Vic Morrow, starred in the '60s television show Combat! Before that, he played insurance investigator Robin Scott in the series "The Case of the Dangerous Robin."

These shows were preceded by many motion picture roles including the Latino bus driver in John Steinbeck's "The Wayward Bus" and the lead opposite Cyd Charisse in MGM's "Sombrero."

As the son of a prosperous New York stockbroker, Rick had a priveleged childhood. He was privately educated and had little contact with the patois of street kids; thus he has no New York accent.

Rick has the stature (6 feet 4 inches), the looks and the voice of a leading man but the soul of a stand-up comic. Rick is Gregory Peck on the outside and Mel Brooks inside. This incongruity prompted Frank Kowalski, the dialogue director on the Combat! show, to allude to him as the most unforgettable character he had ever met.

Putting aside the obvious qualities of looks, talents and intelligence, Rick's standout feature is a good disposition. He's amiable. He is so easy to get along with that he is sometimes put-upon. As nice a guy as I am, I've been known to "put him on" and "stretch him out."

He is a natural deliverer of straight lines. A conversation with Rick is so loaded with them you can hardly decide which one to jump on. It's a banquet. I've written two columns about Rick and here is his response to the last one:

Invading Peabody's Place

I have just opened my mail and on top of all the junk throwaways there is a fat envelope from Dick Peabody. Just a few days ago we had a lengthy phone conversation between Camino and Moorpark (in Ventura County) and he'd said that he had written another column about me and would send it down. I assumed the thickness of the envelope would also contain a lengthy letter, so I got a big cup of tea and headed for my study.

Out of the envelope, neatly held together by a paper clip, came not a letter but five (count 'em, five) of his columns and a scribbling on top, right under the paper clip, on the absolutely smallest note paper I have ever seen. A piece of paper with his name imprinted in large red letters at the top, and just over 2-2/3 inches X 4-3/4 inches. I know, I measured it. It was like writing on a large postage stamp. It said, in part, "Here's the column about our Massachussetts adventure with four more thrown in for the hell of it."

We had a lot of laughs about that incident in Mass. during our conversation. That is, he had a lot of laughs. You see, when we talk he laughs a great deal. I've never been sure whether he's laughing at me or with me; whether he thinks I'm genuinely funny, or a sad case to be humored and thought well of in spite of himself.

Nevertheless, something struck me odd about those columns, all photocopied, of course. They were dated Thursday, June 20, 1991, Thursday, July 4, 1991, Thursday, October 3, 1991, Thursday, October 17, 1991, and Thursday, May 21, 1992. This last column, and the only one of the five, carried his picture. I found this odd because it's my birthday. I don't mean Thursday. I mean May 21; and they carried his picture! I know it's his column, but isn't it strange that on my birthday they should carry his picture?

Well, no matter, I thoroughly enjoyed the columns. He's a helluva writer and I'm glad he sent them. Besides, I was running out of paper clips.

Dick Peabody's columns about Combat!:
Dick Peabody writes about Rick Jason
Dick Peabody writes about Vic Morrow
Dick Peabody writes about Robert Goulet
Dick Peabody writes about Vic Morrow's death
Combat Guest Stars
Dick Peabody writes about Jack Hogan
Dick Peabody writes about Rick Jason on The Dangerous Robin

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