Ohio66 presents an in-depth look at the circumstances surrounding the departure of George Maharis from route 66 in the middle of the third season.
FALLON EAGLE STANDARD --- FEBRUARY 14,1961
WORK STARTS TODAY ON THE FILMING OF ROUTE 66
The production crew and the principal actors of the Route 66 hour long television program will arrive in Fallon this afternoon to commence shooting on location at the Midwest Livestock Commission Yards on the Reno Highway.
In addition to the livestock yards the crew will be working in various other sections of this area for approximately seven working days. Bill Garnick will have the role of auctioneer.
Route 66 follows the adventures of two young men, Buz Murdock, played by George Maharis and Tod Stiles, played by Martin Milner, as they rub shoulders with the realities of life driving their Corvette along America's highways from coast to coast. They are many things , soul searchers, modern day vagabonds, or just two young guys looking for their spot in life.
Tod Stiles, owner of the Corvette inherited from his wealthy father, has decided to see the country before settling on what he is going to do with his life. Buz Murdock , his friend and companion , is a tough and handsome youth from New York's infamous Hell's Kitchen. His rough upbringing stands him in good stead in his attempt to find a life beyond the slums. Together they work their way around the country taking each new job and adventure as it comes, trying to make the present as pleasant and as meaningful as possible.
Milner was born into show business. His father was a film distributor, and his mother was a dancer in the old Paramount Theater Circuit. He began acting at the age of ten, doing children's plays in Seattle. At twelve, he landed a part in "Life With Father", but his career was halted a few weeks later by an attack of polio. After a long recovery,he entered the U.S. Army and directed more than twenty training films. Later he distinguished himself in the film " The Long Gray Line" and drew important parts in "The Sweet Smell Of Success" and " Marjorie Morningstar". He was also starred in his latest movie " The Private Lives for Adam and Eve". He has appeared in more than 150 television shows.
George Maharis, who co-stars with Milner is a tall , agile veteran of three years in the Marine Corps. He began in show business as a singer in New York. A part in a summer stock musical got him interested in acting, and from that moment his rise was inevitable. He got parts on and off Broadway, and studied with the most distinguished coaches in the field. Though Maharis has worked in films and television for some time, this is his first leading role.
Co- creator Sterling Silliphant began writing at the age of five, naming his first work " The Enchanted Lantern" . During his colorful career, he has been a reporter, a public relations expert, a motion picture producer, a novelist , and finally a television dramatist. It was his idea to discard a set format on Route 66 and to push the show out into the actual locations where the action is suppose to take place.
An invaluable member of the team supporting this new idea is Herbert Leonard of Screen gems, who is not only executive producer of Route 66 , but produces Naked City as well. He is responsible for supporting Silliphant's startling ideas, and he is also the man who will face all the headaches which go with the additional complexities of producing a television show on location.
FALLON EAGLE STANDARD --- FEBRUARY 17, 1961
FAMOUS ROUTE 66 NOW AT MIDWEST AUCTION YARD
200 FALLON EXTRAS TO BE USED TODAY
The Midwest Livestock Commission Company auction yards was a hive of activity yesterday morning about 9 a.m. when a caravan of trucks bearing the equipment of the Lancer production Company arrived to commence shooting one of the Route 66 T. V. sequences which will be titled " Like a Motherless Child".
This morning 200 Fallon people will be employed as extras in addition to the large number of professional television actors and stunt men.
Nevada did itself proud with another beautiful day for movie making and it was weather like this that caused the directors and producers of "The Misfits" a few months ago to remark that they wished the studios were located in this area because the visibility and lighting was almost perfect.
During the work yesterday Bill Garnick's luxurious private office was utilized by make-up man Abe Haberman to make-up the actors.
One of the shots taken yesterday morning was of George Maharis applying for a job at the auction yard. Preliminary shots of the stock being loaded and unloaded were also taken.
Several Fallon people have principal parts in the story. Fred Horsley will portray a yard man, Edna Testolin, Bingo Ascargorta and Pat Heaverne will be seen by 70 million people all over the country engaged in penning the cattle.
Howard Winder and Louis Garaventa have been cleared through the Screen Actor's Guild to participate in the scenes to be taken in the auction ring.
Ben Johnson , an actor , will have the part as foreman of the yard. Johnson is well known in the valley. He was discovered by Director John Ford while he was participating in rodeos. He was working with Casey Tibbs and they rode matched broncos in the Methodist Men's Rodeo here two years ago.
Louis Guazzini and Jim Brown , Fallon ranchers , used their cattle trucks in several of the scenes. Other extras used yesterday in the filming included Bill Reeves, Joe Ennes, Ted de Braga, Ed Viera, and Hans Lemme.
The production company took no chances with mechanical trouble with the Chevrolet Corvette sports car that is a familiar sight in all the Route 66 programs ; they brought two of them to Fallon when they arrived yesterday.
It is hard to keep up with this crew yesterday. They moved like streak lightning. First they would have their crew in the office , then in the restaurant and out in the pens and it appeared like a lot of confusion but it was quite the opposite because every single movement was calculated and planned and if each operation was watched carefully. It was soon apparent that it all would fit into the complicated jig saw that will become one hour of adventure packed action on our television screens.
Actual scenes will be taken in the auction ring with Bill Garnick in the role of the auctioneer. It isn't believed that the technical staff will have to give Bill much coaching because he is one of the outstanding cattle auctioneers in the country.
In the Route 66 series Martin Milner is Tod Stiles and George Maharis is Buz Murdock. They are modern day vagabonds , soul-searchers, or just two guys looking for their spot in life, as they travel the great highways of America.
While the production company is in the Fallon area they also plan on working in the area of the Sheriff's office and the Roadside Inn.