Handsome Bob Stack tells why even PTA groups approve of the violence in his sensational cops-and-robber show. He also discloses some of his pet TV hates.
By Pete Martin
Robert Stack is a thinking man’s thinking man – with sex appeal. He can also act. But he doesn’t make with the one-liners, the stand-up comedy bits, the cute anecdotes. He is not a cutup. His thought processes travel through his mind with all the immediacy of a 1920-1930 gangster’s automobile screeching around a Chicago corner on two wheels, just as the ancient crates in his television show, The Untouchables, reel round the corners they turn.
I’d gone to see Stack because The Untouchables is now rated the No. 2 TV show in the country, close on the heels of Gunsmoke. It’s a phenomenal thing for a TV show to become No. 2 during its first year. I Love Lucy did it, but the normal pattern is a build-up of two or three years before a show reaches such heights of popularity.
To anyone interested in peeling back the layers of outer covering to get at the core of what makes a smash TV success, Stack is the right man. As he and I talked, it seemed to me that we came close to doping the answer as to what made The Untouchables the biggest hit among the new TV series of the 1959-60 season. Stack was concerned with the reasons behind the resounding success with which he happened to be connected. “Maybe,” he told me, “if I know the whys, I can help keep them that way.” Read More