A Year: Day to Day Men: 3rd of July, Solar Year 2018

A Luxurious Sprawl

July 3, 1945 was the birthdate of American actor, Michael Cole.

Michael Cole was born in Madison, Wisconsin. He has appeared in numerous films and television shows, beginning with his first role in the 1961 film drama “Forbid Them Not”. In 1966 Cole had the role of Mark in the 1966 science fiction film “The Bubble”, later re-titled “Fantastic Invasion of Planet Earth”, which introduced the Space-Vision 3-D system. He played  the character Spivey in the 1967 western “Chuka”, known for Cole’s military-fort flogging scene. He later starred in the 1971 science fiction movie “The Last Child” which was nominated for a Golden Globe Award.

Cole also appeared in many television shows. He played Kipp in the 1966 season of “Gunsmoke”. During the 1970s, he made guest appearances on “Wonder Woman”, “The Love Boat” and “CHiPs. He also worked on “Murder, She Wrote”, “Fantasy Island”, and Diagnosis Murder”. Cole later appeared in Stephen King’s 1990 two-part television movie “It”, playing the older version of Henry Bowers.

The role that made Michael Cole an international celebrity was his role as Pete Cochrane, a troubled youth turned crime fighter in the 1968-1973 “The Mod Squad”. Cole’s boyish good looks and brooding, deep voiced personality meshed perfectly with his character’s background. Aaron Spelling, the executive producer of the show, thought Cole was perfect for the part of Pete. Cole, however, originally balked at taking the part; but he was persuaded to do it after reading the script and realizing the show’s potential appeal. “The Mod Squad” resonated with the counter-culture-era viewers and ran for a total of 123 episodes over five seasons.

Michael Cole is also known for an incident in 1973 which was broadcast live on Australian television during the annual TV Week Logie awards.  Stepping on stage to accept an award, Cole, described later as drunk or “emotionally tired”,  gave a barely coherent “thank you” speech that ended with the actor saying, “Oh, shit.” This was the first time this profanity had been heard on Australian television.

Michale Cole continues to act in film and television projects. He appeared as Charles Hadley in a 2006 episode of the television series “ER”. He also made an appearance in the 2007 psychological thriller “Mr. Brooks” as the attorney for Demi Moore’s character Tracy Atwood. The film was directed by Bruce Evans and showcased performances by Kevin Costner,  Demi Moore, Dane Cook, and William Hurt.

Leave a Reply