Tuesday, December 15, 2015

R.I.P. Robert Loggia.

Actor Robert Loggia passed away on December 04, 2015, at the age of 85.

To even attempt to discuss the many and varied roles of this accomplished actor would be folly, when IMDB can do it HERE.   

Instead, I will list what, in my own limited exposure to his work, is my favorite role - followed by what I regard as a very unconventional (but fun) one!  

Robert Loggia guest starred in one of my most favorite episodes of VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA, "Graveyard of Fear" (1966).  

Robert Loggia (at left) in Seaview's Control Room, with Richard Basehart, David Hedison, and Robert Dowdell.  

In it, he played an obsessed scientist (one of many to board the Submarine Seaview over the series' four seasons), but a remarkably low-key, straightforward, and serious one. 

His threats, when made, were to be taken quite seriously, and his "obsession" (unlike most of the show's standard sort of guest lunatic) was not for himself and his own personal gain, making him rather unique in this regard.

Oh, and this episode also features one of VOYAGE'S very best monsters!  A remarkable example of special effects work, on a television budget, for a weekly episode produced in mid-to-late 1965.  

As for that "unconventional role", try Robert Loggia as a non-sequitur cutaway on FAMILY GUY - in live action!  
Loggia, as seen on the FAMILY GUY episode "Brothers and Sisters" (2011). 

Loggia's credit on FAMILY GUY. 

I can't help but point out that the episode also had an appearance by Hanna-Barbera's Doggie Daddy!  

Loggia also appeared in a subsequent episode, "Call Girl" (2013), in a similar cameo.  Why?  Who knows?  But, the sheer unexpectedness of it was sure funny. 

Even in a cut-away cameo, Robert Loggia dwarfs Lois and Peter! 

Rest in peace, Robert Loggia.  What an amazing career you had!  


TC said...

By coincidence, I was watching a Wild Wild West episode, "The Night of the Assassin," in which he played the villain, on YouTube just last week.

I believe "Graveyard of Fear" is also available on Youtube, along with several other Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea episodes. (I felt so sorry for Dr. Ames, and for his assistant, too. At first, he seemed to be just another crackpot scientist, so typical of shlock sci-fi in general and VTTBOTS in particular, but once his motivation was revealed, it was more than understandable.)

Of course, he will also be remembered for playing Elfego Baca in the Disney TV series. There was also a 1960's action series, T.H.E. Cat, in which he played a reformed cat burglar who used his acrobatic skills to fight evil. (Post-Western) Dell published four issues of a comic book adaptation, with photo covers of Loggia. I remember having #3.

Joe Torcivia said...


It is only due to the horrendously busy state of life right now that I did not find time to revisit Robert Loggia on THE WILD WILD WEST, ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS, and other appearances I might have in my DVD collection – as is my custom when someone whose work I’ve enjoyed has passed.

I’m not a fan of watching shows on YouTube, and prefer DVDs seen on the widescreen TV. The VOYAGE DVDs, as you may know, are of superior (almost Blu-ray) quality, so “Graveyard of Fear” sure looked good this past weekend. But, if any of my readers can sample “Graveyard of Fear” on YouTube, I’d say definitely do so! You won’t be sorry.

One thing that particularly spoke well for that episode, and Loggia’s performance therein, was that Esther actually became quite interested in seeing this one through. Such is usually not the case, so kudos to everyone involved with that 50 year old episode of VOYAGE!

I’ve always wanted to see T.H.E. CAT. I can recall when it was originally on, but did not watch it. I’ve never seen it released on DVD. Too bad, as it would make a nice one-season set. I’m sure I could find it on YouTube, but (particularly for a series I’d not seen before), I’d like some sense or episode order and presentation, which I would not get from random YouTube episode viewings.

T.H.E. CAT sounds like an earlier version of IT TAKES A THIEF. I’d sure like to get a season set of it.

Joe Torcivia said...

Three more quick notes:

In addition to the great guest-starring performance by Robert Loggia, a great story, and a great monster (…Have I used the word “great” often enough for one sentence?), “Graveyard of Fear” also has a truly outstanding music score. Especially so, as it was cobbled together from existing VOYAGE scores composed by Alexander Courage, Leith Stevens, and Lennie Hayton - the series best composers! Each pre-existing piece was used to its greatest advantage here.

I actually was able to squeeze out 25 minutes from this horrifically busy period last night to see “The Money” (1960) from ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS – and what a great (…there’s that word again!) performance by Loggia! See that one sometime! On DVD, it’s on ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS Season Six… while “Graveyard of Fear” can be found on VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA Season Two, Volume Two… and, of course, on YouTube. Before long, I hope to find time to see more of his work that exists on my shelves.

Finally, if you take the IMDB link provided in the post, just look at what an amazing career Robert Loggia has had! He worked consistently from the 1950s thru projects that are scheduled for a 2016 release! …No wonder I’ve only seen a relatively small part of the whole!

scarecrow33 said...

My chief memory of Robert Loggia will always be in "The Nine Lives of Elfego Baca." Haven't seen many other things he did, but based on his dynamite performance as Baca, his work was surely first-rate all the way.

Joe Torcivia said...

It certainly was, Scarecrow! It certainly was!