Robert Loggia in T.H.E. Cat
|Genre||Action drama |
|Created by||Harry Julian Fink|
|Written by||Ronald Austin|
James D. Buchanan
Harry Julian Fink
Bernard C. Schoenfeld
|Directed by||Alan Crosland, Jr.|
Boris Sagal - Jacques Tourneur
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||26|
|Running time||30 minutes|
CBS Television Distribution
|Original release||September 16, 1966 -|
March 31, 1967
Robert Loggia starred as the title character, Thomas Hewitt Edward Cat. The series preceded the 1968-1970 ABC television series It Takes a Thief, which was also about a cat burglar who used his skills for good.
Out of the night comes a man who saves lives at the risk of his own. Once a circus performer, an aerialist who refused the net. Once a cat burglar, a master among jewel thieves. Now a professional bodyguard. Primitive... savage... in love with danger. The Cat!
This was the intro to a series that was, for a variety of reasons, truly ahead of its time. It had a hero who was a reformed thief, having spent an unspecified term in prison, and of Gypsy heritage. In the mold of famed private eye Peter Gunn and the waterfront bar Mother's, Cat operated out of the Casa Del Gato (House of the Cat) in San Francisco, of which he was part owner.
The show was dark and moody, fitting the character, and was one of the first to use martial arts in a realistic way. (The others were The Green Hornet, which premiered on ABC the same year, and the earlier 1960 syndicated series The Case of the Dangerous Robin starring Rick Jason.) This was unknown on TV at that time and rarely seen even in films (an exception was The Manchurian Candidate, the first Hollywood movie to show martial arts in realistic fashion instead of the "judo chops" usually depicted).
Despite rumors to the contrary,[clarification needed] Cat was not an assassin. Nor did he work for San Francisco P.D., although he was brought in on certain operations (such as the pilot episode) where a specialist was called for (his SFPD contact was Captain McAllister, played by R. G. Armstrong). In the October 7 episode, "Brotherhood", Cat performed sniper duty during a hostage situation; this was before S.W.A.T. teams were initially created. Cat carried a .32 caliber Walther PP automatic and a balanced throwing knife strapped to his left forearm. He was lethal with both.
Series star Robert Loggia had previously played a character known as "the Cat" in the 1958-60 Walt Disney television miniseries The Nine Lives of Elfego Baca, in which Loggia played Baca, an Old West Mexican-American lawman whose nickname was "the Cat", a fact viewers were reminded of each week in the series' theme song. The series ran for 26 episodes and was recut into a feature movie.
After T.H.E. Cat, Loggia, an actor with a long history of film and television credits, went on to star in a number of high-profile hit Hollywood films, including the Tom Hanks hit film Big, the sci-fi film Independence Day, An Officer and a Gentleman, Scarface, and Sylvester Stallone's Over the Top. In 1985, Loggia was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of crusty private detective Sam Ransom in the thriller Jagged Edge and had the starring role in another NBC series, Mancuso, FBI, for which he was nominated for an Emmy in 1989.
As of early 2018, there has been no official release of T.H.E. Cat on DVD.
This section does not cite any sources. (September 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Several times he drove a Chevrolet Corvette. It was a mid-'60s convertible Stingray. It was customized with a bar that extended up and over the back of the driver. It was not, however, a roll bar--there were two flaps on the top portion. When the headlights were rolled to the "on" position, there were accents by each light that mimicked a cat's eye shape. Its body was painted black.