14 February 2008 | Cheyenne-Bodie
Night life on the Sunset Strip circa 1960
Thirty-year old Skip Homeier played Lieutenant Dan Raven, who worked out of the Hollywood sheriff's office. Raven worked the night beat, as suited his name. Raven never ran into "77 Sunset Strip" private eyes Stu Bailey or Jeff Spencer, who must have been working cases near by.
"Dan Raven" was an hour-long detective drama series. It was on NBC Friday nights at 7:30 eastern during the first half of the 1960-61 season. "Dan Raven" was produced by Screen Gems, the TV arm of Columbia.
The executive producer was William Sackheim ("The Law", "Delvecchio").
The producer was Anthony Wilson. The next season Anthony Wilson produced "Follow the Sun" (where he hired Homeier as a guest star.) Wilson was later executive producer of "The Immortal" (1970) with Christopher George. Anthony Wilson also created "Banacek". William Sackheim was known for bringing along talented young writers.
Guest stars included entertainers such as Julie London, Paul Anka, Mel Torme, Gogi Grant, Buddy Hackett, Bobby Darin and Paul Winchell. Sometimes the guest stars played themselves and sometimes a character who was an entertainer. Other non-entertainer guest stars included Kent Smith, Paul Richards and John Larch.
The creators of the Dan Raven character were Donald L. Gold ("Diagnosis Murder") and Jonas Seinfeld.
Skippy Homeier made his film debut at 14 as a Nazi youth in "Tomorrow Never Comes". He must have made an indelible impression. My father commented on the performance whenever he saw the adult Homeier. In his twenties Homeier excelled at playing virile but violent young men with strongly neurotic tendencies ( e.g., "Halls of Montezuma"). Dan Raven was one of his few straight leading man roles, and there still seemed to be a hint of the neurotic about him.
Skip Homeier got a supporting series role ten years after "Dan Raven" on "The Interns", although now he was billed as G.V. Homeier. Homeier made a fine authority figure as senior doctor Hugh Jacoby. Homeier was also impressive a couple of years later as the judge in the TV movie "Helter Skelter".
I watched an episode of "Dan Raven" on DVD last night. The writing, directing and acting still hold up a half century later. Not a great show but a nice try. The show had a viable premise and a lead actor who could have become a star.
Six years after Dan Raven, Burt Reynolds played another detective lieutenant who worked the night beat, but this time the show was set in and filmed in Manhattan. That detective also had a bird's name-Hawk.