I’ve always had a crush on doctors. Not the real ones that adjust my innards and demand hefty co-pays (because the nice insurance people tell them that they can.) No, my admiration has always been reserved for television folk, who both look and sound better than the average flesh-and-blood M.D. And before I get the AMA after me, I will also state that the people who play lawyers on TV are a lot better looking than the legal eagles you see traipsing through City Hall and at the Criminal Justice Center. Believe me, there is no one that looks like Harry Hamlin from old L.A. Law hanging out at immigration court.
But I digress. As I was saying, I’ve always thought TV docs are dreamy. I’m too young to have seen Ben Casey and Dr. Kildaire during their original broadcasts, but they looked pretty darn snazzy in re-runs (although Vince Leonard was a little hairy for my tastes.) I had a poster of Dr. Steve Kiley on his motorcycle on my bedroom wall in the 4th grade, because James Brolin was my 8 year old idea of hot (he and Roman Gabriel.)
I also loved Marcus Welby, but the feelings he aroused in me did not warrant poster-on-the-wall status. Then, there was Marc Harmon on St. Elsewhere, who had the biggest puppy dog eyes and hair that just begged to be brushed out of them.
But my biggest crush, my longest love, my greatest desire was Chad Everett. Joe Gannon was the epitome of cool, the doctor that every early-70s starlet wanted to either date, mate with or die in the arms of. I was too young to do any of those things, but, as Pascal said, the “heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of.” My childhood heart knew that Dr. Gannon was the yin to my yang, the “exis” to my “tential,” the man who would take me, with my excess avoir du poids and my coke bottle glasses and my un-stylish haircut and heal my soul.
Chad Everett died yesterday, at the age of 76. I hope I’ll see him again in that big Medical Center in the sky.