The Surprised Mr. Stack – TV Guide

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This article was originally published in the December 5th, 1959 issue of TV Guide.

He finds himself starring in a TV series that was supposed to be a movie

When Robert Stack was first shown the script for The Untouchables, he solemnly shook his curly head and pointed the tips of his well-bred thumbs toward the floor. It was his professional opinion that the story of Eliot Ness, United States Treasury agent, was lacking in something.

“From an actor’s point of view,” says Stack, a 40-year-old California socialite, whose approach to his career has always been marked by a certain detachment, “it had no dynamics. Don’t ask me what that is, but I can assure you it’s a quality that’s mighty important to the leading man, two critics and three other actors.”

For this reason, Stack was cool about playing the Ness role when it was first offered him by Quinn Martin, ex­ecutive producer of the Desilu pack­age, and Phil Karlson, its director and a long-time friend of Stack’s. Aside from the fact that Martin and Karlson thought enough of him to drop by his house and make the pitch, Stack says two things made him change his mind and agree to clean up Chicago-on film, at least. Read More