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Gene Hackman on TV: How His Star Power Went Beyond the Big Screen

By    |   Monday, 23 March 2015 08:05 PM

Although Gene Hackman is most known for his film performances, the actor star has shined on TV as well.

The first time Hackman appeared on television predates his movie career. In April 1959, he appeared on the “United States Steel Hour.” According to TV.com, Hackman made six appearances on the show from 1959 to 1962. The show was a live dramatic anthology produced by the Theatre Guild.

From 1963 to 1968, Hackman made sporadic appearances on the television networks, including work on the following shows:
  • “The Defenders,” CBS, 1963
  • “DuPont Show of the Week,” NBC, 1963
  • “East Side, West Side,” CBS, 1963
  • “Route 66,” CBS, 1963
  • “Hawk,” ABC, 1966
  • “Trials of O'Brien,” CBS, 1966
  • “The F.B.I.,” ABC, 1967
  • “The Invaders,” ABC, 1967
  • “Iron Horse,” ABC, 1967
  •  “CBS Playhouse,” CBS, 1968
In 1971, Hackman’s Hollywood career took off with his award-winning lead performance in the film “The French Connection.”

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As Hackman’s career began to flourish, his television appearances began to increase. He made two appearances on “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh In” in 1972.

Talk shows began asking Hackman for appearances as well. He appeared on “The Dick Cavett Show” in 1972, and in 1975, sat alongside Johnny Carson during an appearance on “The Tonight Show.”

From 1971 to 1980, Hackman made eight guest appearances on the “Merv Griffith Show.” He also presented Oscars five times to fellow actors during the Academy Awards.

As Hackman’s film career began to wind down, he began to take on more television work again.

In 1999, Hackman narrated an episode of PBS's “American Masters” titled “Hitchcock, Selznick, and the End of Hollywood.”

Hackman also lended his gravitas and warmth to a number of commercial voice-overs.

From 2001, he became the voice of the home improvement chain, Lowe’s, for nearly a decade. He also did voice-overs in TV spots for Oppenheimer Funds.

In 2004, the year he retired, Hackman narrated the television special “Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust,” a show that examined how Hollywood dealt with the Holocaust in terms of portraying it in cinema.

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Although Gene Hackman is most known for his film performances, the actor star has shined on TV as well.
gene hackman, tv, star, power
Monday, 23 March 2015 08:05 PM
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