Daniel J. Travanti

Actor


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his four-and-a-half hour Archive interview, Daniel J. Travanti talks about his early years breaking into television as a guest-star on shows including Route 66, The Defenders, and Gunsmoke. He speaks in detail about the role with which he is  most closely identified, "Captain Frank Furillo" on Hill Street Blues. He also discusses the production of this series and some of the key series' storylines. Travanti then talks about his later work, including the television movies Adam and Murrow, and the police drama series Missing Persons. He concludes with a discussion of his difficulty finding good scripts. Karen Herman conducted the interview on October 13, 2004 in Chicago, IL.

“If it's good writing and it's going to be made, it means that the people making it have good taste. And if the people making it have the good sense to hire me, I’m completely on board.”

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
Daniel J. Travanti on his appearance on an episode of The Bob Newhart Show
Daniel J. Travanti on his character, "Captain Frank Furillo's," function on Hill Street Blues
Daniel J. Travanti on his reluctance to discuss Hill Street Blues, and on his acting career
Daniel J. Travanti on his reluctance to do a series, and then accepting the role of "Captain Frank Furillo" on Steven Bochco's Hill Street Blues
Daniel J. Travanti on the final episode of Hill Street Blues, and on the end of the series
Daniel J. Travanti on the challenge of playing characters based on real people, like Edward R. Murrow
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on his early interest in acting; on his early acting career
On his earliest experiences with television; on early theater roles

Chapter 2

On his distaste for doing interviews; on his television debut, guest-starring on the Route 66 episode "Child of the Night," and on his reluctance to do television; on being cast on Route 66 for being a James Dean type
On appearing on Flipper, and on his issues with early episodic television; on appearing on The Defenders with Robert Redford; on The Defenders director Stuart Rosenberg

Chapter 3

On working with Stuart Rosenberg on The Defenders; on appearing on East Side/West Side with Moses Gunn
On his guest appearance on an episode of Lost in Space; on his early struggles as an actor
On his guest appearances on Gunsmoke; on his appearance on an episode of The Bob Newhart Show; on playing himself on an episode of Newhart

Chapter 4

On working with Sada Thompson on various projects, including Family; on moving to Los Angeles for his acting career, and on appearing in commercials; on appearing on The Doctors and General Hospital
On his reluctance to do a series, and then accepting the role of "Captain Frank Furillo" on Steven Bochco's Hill Street Blues; on Steven Bochco finding him to play "Captain Frank Furillo" on Hill Street Blues

Chapter 5

On the casting process of Hill Street Blues, and for the role of "Captain Frank Furillo"; on meeting Steven Bochco and Grant Tinker when he read for Hill Street Blues
On the experience of reading with Barbara Bosson for Hill Street Blues for Steven Bochco; on waiting to hear if he was cast after his audition for Hill Street Blues, and on being approved by Fred Silverman to be cast

Chapter 6

On finding out he was cast on Hill Street Blues; on the premise of Steven Bochco's Hill Street Blues, and on the quality of the writing; on his opinion of the notion that Hill Street Blues was the most realistic show on television
On his character, "Captain Frank Furillo's," function on Hill Street Blues; on Hill Street Blues' Emmy wins; on the production of Hill Street Blues
On the ensemble cast of Hill Street Blues; on Veronica Hamel as "Joyce Davenport" on Hill Street Blues; on Michael Conrad as "Phil Esterhaus" on Hill Street Blues, and on the death of the actor

Chapter 7

On Michael Warren as "Officer Bobby Hill" and Bruce Weitz as "Sgt. Mick Belker" on Hill Street Blues; on the ensemble cast of Hill Street Blues; on his relationship with the writers of Hill Street Blues
On his Hill Street Blues character, "Captain Frank Furillo's," alcoholism; on the Hill Street Blues episode "Remembrance of Hits Past," where his character "Captain Frank Furillo" is shot; on the final episode of Hill Street Blues, and on the end of the series
On appearing in A Case of Libel, and on playing "John Walsh" in Adam; on starring as "Edward R. Murrow" in Murrow

Chapter 8

On playing "Edward R. Murrow" in Murrow; on the challenge of playing characters based on real people, like Edward R. Murrow; on starring in Howard Beach: Making a Case for Murder and various feature films
On appearing on American Playhouse in the episode "I Never Sang for My Father"; on starring in the series Missing Persons and Poltergeist: The Legacy; on the life of an actor

Chapter 9

On guest-starring on The Outer Limits; on moving to Chicago; on career highlights
On advice to aspiring actors, and on career highlights and regrets; on his reluctance to discuss Hill Street Blues, and on his acting career
Shows

Adam

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Daniel J. Travanti on appearing in A Case of Libel, and on playing "John Walsh" in Adam

American Playhouse

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Daniel J. Travanti on appearing on American Playhouse in the episode "I Never Sang for My Father"

Bob Newhart Show, The (1972-78)

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Daniel J. Travanti on his appearance on an episode of The Bob Newhart Show

Defenders, The

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Daniel J. Travanti on appearing on The Defenders with Robert Redford
Daniel J. Travanti on The Defenders director Stuart Rosenberg
Daniel J. Travanti on working with Stuart Rosenberg on The Defenders

Doctors, The

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Daniel J. Travanti on appearing on The Doctors and General Hospital

East Side/West Side

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Daniel J. Travanti on appearing on East Side/West Side with Moses Gunn

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

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Daniel J. Travanti on Hill Street Blues' Emmy wins

Family

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Daniel J. Travanti on working with Sada Thompson on various projects, including Family

Flipper

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Daniel J. Travanti on appearing on Flipper, and on his issues with early episodic television

General Hospital

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Daniel J. Travanti on appearing on The Doctors and General Hospital

Gunsmoke

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Daniel J. Travanti on his guest appearances on Gunsmoke

Hill Street Blues

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Daniel J. Travanti on his reluctance to do a series, and then accepting the role of "Captain Frank Furillo" on Steven Bochco's Hill Street Blues
Daniel J. Travanti on Steven Bochco finding him to play "Captain Frank Furillo" on Hill Street Blues
Daniel J. Travanti on the casting process of Hill Street Blues, and for the role of "Captain Frank Furillo"
Daniel J. Travanti on meeting Steven Bochco and Grant Tinker when he read for Hill Street Blues
Daniel J. Travanti on the experience of reading with Barbara Bosson for Hill Street Blues for Steven Bochco
Daniel J. Travanti on waiting to hear if he was cast after his audition for Hill Street Blues, and on being approved by Fred Silverman to be cast
Daniel J. Travanti on the premise of Steven Bochco's Hill Street Blues, and on the quality of the writing
Daniel J. Travanti on Hill Street Blues' Emmy wins
Daniel J. Travanti on the production of Hill Street Blues
Daniel J. Travanti on finding out he was cast on Hill Street Blues
Daniel J. Travanti on his opinion of the notion that Hill Street Blues was the most realistic show on television
Daniel J. Travanti on his character, "Captain Frank Furillo's," function on Hill Street Blues
Daniel J. Travanti on the ensemble cast of Hill Street Blues
Daniel J. Travanti on Veronica Hamel as "Joyce Davenport" on Hill Street Blues
Daniel J. Travanti on Michael Conrad as "Phil Esterhaus" on Hill Street Blues, and on the death of the actor
Daniel J. Travanti on Michael Warren as "Officer Bobby Hill" and Bruce Weitz as "Sgt. Mick Belker" on Hill Street Blues
Daniel J. Travanti on the ensemble cast of Hill Street Blues
Daniel J. Travanti on his relationship with the writers of Hill Street Blues
Daniel J. Travanti on his Hill Street Blues character, "Captain Frank Furillo's," alcoholism
Daniel J. Travanti on the Hill Street Blues episode "Remembrance of Hits Past" where his character, "Captain Frank Furillo," is shot
Daniel J. Travanti on the final episode of Hill Street Blues, and on the end of the series
Daniel J. Travanti on his reluctance to discuss Hill Street Blues, and on his acting career

Howard Beach: Making a Case for Murder

View Show Page
Daniel J. Travanti on starring in Howard Beach: Making a Case for Murder and various feature films

Lost in Space

View Show Page
Daniel J. Travanti on his guest appearance on an episode of Lost in Space

Missing Persons

View Show Page
Daniel J. Travanti on starring in the series Missing Persons

Murrow

View Show Page
Daniel J. Travanti on starring as "Edward R. Murrow" in Murrow
Daniel J. Travanti on playing "Edward R. Murrow" in Murrow

Newhart

View Show Page
Daniel J. Travanti on playing himself on an episode of Newhart

Outer Limits, The (1995-2002)

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Daniel J. Travanti on guest-starring on The Outer Limits

Poltergeist: The Legacy

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Daniel J. Travanti on starring in Poltergeist: The Legacy and his semi-retirement

Route 66

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Daniel J. Travanti on his television debut, guest-starring on the Route 66 episode "Child of the Night," and on his reluctance to do television
Daniel J. Travanti on being cast on Route 66 for being a James Dean type
Topics

Advice

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Daniel J. Travanti on advice to aspiring actors, and on career highlights and regrets

Characters & Catchphrases

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Daniel J. Travanti on his character, "Captain Frank Furillo's," function on Hill Street Blues

Emmy Awards

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Daniel J. Travanti on Hill Street Blues' Emmy wins

First Big Break

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Daniel J. Travanti on finding out he was cast on Hill Street Blues

Pivotal Career Moments

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Daniel J. Travanti on finding out he was cast on Hill Street Blues

Pop Culture

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Daniel J. Travanti on his character, "Captain Frank Furillo's," function on Hill Street Blues

Television Industry

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Daniel J. Travanti on advice to aspiring actors, and on career highlights and regrets
Professions

Actor

View Profession
Daniel J. Travanti on the challenge of playing characters based on real people, like Edward R. Murrow
Daniel J. Travanti on the life of an actor

Performers

View Profession
Daniel J. Travanti on the challenge of playing characters based on real people, like Edward R. Murrow
Daniel J. Travanti on the life of an actor
Genres

Classic Anthology Series

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Daniel J. Travanti on appearing on American Playhouse in the episode "I Never Sang for My Father"
Daniel J. Travanti on guest-starring on The Outer Limits

Comedy Series

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Daniel J. Travanti on his appearance on an episode of The Bob Newhart Show
Daniel J. Travanti on playing himself on an episode of Newhart

Commercials

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Daniel J. Travanti on moving to Los Angeles for his acting career, and on appearing in commercials

Cop/Detective/Mystery Series

View Genre
Daniel J. Travanti on playing "Captain Frank Furillo" on Hill Street Blues
Daniel J. Travanti on the casting process of Hill Street Blues
Daniel J. Travanti on starring on Hill Street Blues
Daniel J. Travanti on playing "Captain Frank Furillo" on Hill Street Blues
Daniel J. Travanti on starring in the series Missing Persons

Daytime/Primetime Serials

View Genre
Daniel J. Travanti on appearing on The Doctors and General Hospital

Drama Series

View Genre
Daniel J. Travanti on appearing on Route 66
Daniel J. Travanti on appearing on East Side/West Side with Moses Gunn
Daniel J. Travanti on starring in Poltergeist: The Legacy and his semi-retirement

Legal Dramas

View Genre
Daniel J. Travanti on working with Stuart Rosenberg on The Defenders

TV Movies/Miniseries/Dramatic Specials

View Genre
Daniel J. Travanti on appearing in A Case of Libel, and on playing "John Walsh" in Adam
Daniel J. Travanti on starring as "Edward R. Murrow" in Murrow
Daniel J. Travanti on playing "Edward R. Murrow" in Murrow
Daniel J. Travanti on starring in Howard Beach: Making a Case for Murder and various feature films

Western Series

View Genre
Daniel J. Travanti on his guest appearances on Gunsmoke
People

Lucille Ball

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Daniel J. Travanti on briefly meeing his idol Lucille Ball

Steven Bochco

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Daniel J. Travanti on his reluctance to do a series, and then accepting the role of "Captain Frank Furillo" on Steven Bochco's Hill Street Blues
Daniel J. Travanti on Steven Bochco finding him to play "Captain Frank Furillo" on Hill Street Blues
Daniel J. Travanti on meeting Steven Bochco and Grant Tinker when he read for Hill Street Blues
Daniel J. Travanti on the experience of reading with Barbara Bosson for Hill Street Blues for Steven Bochco

Edward R. Murrow

View Person Page
Daniel J. Travanti on starring as "Edward R. Murrow" in Murrow
Daniel J. Travanti on playing "Edward R. Murrow" in Murrow

Bob Newhart

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Daniel J. Travanti on his appearance on an episode of The Bob Newhart Show

Stuart Rosenberg

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Daniel J. Travanti on The Defenders director Stuart Rosenberg
Daniel J. Travanti on working with Stuart Rosenberg on The Defenders

Fred Silverman

View Interview Page
Daniel J. Travanti on waiting to hear if he was cast after his audition for Hill Street Blues, and on being approved by Fred Silverman to be cast

Sada Thompson

View Person Page
Daniel J. Travanti on working with Sada Thompson on various projects, including Family

Grant Tinker

View Interview Page
Daniel J. Travanti on meeting Steven Bochco and Grant Tinker when he read for Hill Street Blues

John Walsh

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Daniel J. Travanti on appearing in A Case of Libel, and on playing "John Walsh" in Adam

Michael Warren

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Daniel J. Travanti on Michael Warren as "Officer Bobby Hill" and Bruce Weitz as "Sgt. Mick Belker" on Hill Street Blues

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