Roy Huggins

Show Creator / Producer / Director


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his five-hour Archive interview, Roy Huggins (1914-2002) talks about his early years as a novelist and member of the Communist Party. He recalls getting into screenwriting at Columbia Pictures with films like "Hangman's Knot," and subsequently being blacklisted. He describes testifying in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee, where he confirmed the names of several suspected communists. He recounts his early years with Warner Bros. Television, where he wrote for shows like King's Row and Cheyenne, as well as creating the smash hit western series Maverick  starring James Garner and Jack Kelly. Huggins discusses creating 77 Sunset Strip for Warner Bros. before leaving for Universal Television where he wrote and produced The Virginian and created the smash hit The Fugitive. He speaks of creating the movie of the week concept, which he claims was stolen from him, and outlines having a hand in creating several hit '70s shows including Toma, The Rockford Files, and Baretta. He concludes by talking about the many television and feature film revivals of his shows, and recalling several people with whom he has worked in his career. Lee Goldberg conducted the interview on July 21, 1998 in Brentwood, CA.

"I did some things that were widely imitated. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. That was flattering to me. 'Maverick' was imitated, 'The Fugitive' was imitated. I did all right. I had a great time."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Roy Huggins on meeting with ABC's Leonard Goldenson about The Fugitive
Roy Huggins on the Maverick  episode "Shady Deal at Sunny Acres"
Roy Huggins on writing and producing Cheyenne
Roy Huggins on co-creating The Rockford Files  with Stephen J. Cannell
Roy Huggins on his career and his biggest contribution to television
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on his early interest in writing and the entertainment industry; on going to UCLA
On getting into politics; on joining the Communist Party
On his activities during World War II; on becoming a writer

Chapter 2

On writing his first novel; on how his communist leanings impacted the work he was doing as a novelist
On his career as a novelist; on getting into writing for television 

Chapter 3

On learning to write for the screen; on writing various screenplays; on being under contract at Columbia 
On writing unused narration for the feature film "Stromboli"; on writing the feature film "Hangman's Knot"; on being placed on the Hollywood Blacklist

Chapter 4

On writing and directing the feature "Hangman's Knot" despite being blacklisted; on being subpoenaed by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and naming names
On getting into television; on writing and producing King's Row  at Warner Bros. Television; on writing and producing Cheyenne

Chapter 5

On coming up with stories and producing for television; on a typical workweek on Cheyenne;  on Leonard Goldenson and Jack L. Warner's role in shaping television; on working with Cheyenne  star Clint Walker and the success of Cheyenne
On creating Maverick;  on the pilot of Maverick;  on casting James Garner as "Bret Maverick" on Maverick 

Chapter 6

On the production schedule of Maverick,  which necessitated the addition of a second "Maverick" brother; on casting Jack Kelly as "Bart Maverick" on Maverick;  on the writers and directors of the show
On Maverick being a different kind of western and the public reaction to the show; on interference from the studio and network on Maverick  and Budd Boetticher directing the show; on the Maverick  episode "Guy-Shy," which was a spoof of Gunsmoke
On the Maverick  episode "Shady Deal at Sunny Acres"; on Maverick  winning an Emmy; on creating 77 Sunset Strip

Chapter 7

On the creation of 77 Sunset Strip;  on casting Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., Edd Byrnes and Roger Smith on 77 Sunset Strip;  on leaving Maverick  in its third season
On leaving Warner Bros. Television
On his post-Warner Bros. career and pitching The Fugitive

Chapter 8

On The Fugitive  and initial reaction to his concept; on leaving Twentieth Century Fox; on writing and producing The Virginian 
On meeting with ABC's Leonard Goldenson about The Fugitive;  on casting The Fugitive; on going to Universal Television 
On creating Run For Your Life; on The Outsider;  on creating The Bold Ones

Chapter 9

On creating the movie of the week concept; on meeting Stephen J. Cannell and creating Toma; on co-creating The Rockford Files with Stephen J. Cannell
On his relationship with Stephen J. Cannell and the other writers of The Rockford Files; on writing Baretta and working with Robert Blake; on leaving Universal Television in 1980
On revivals of Maverick; on briefly on serving as executive producer on Hunter;  on how changes in television led to him leaving Universal Television; on various feature film and television revivals of shows he created

Chapter 10

On being invited to work on the feature film version of Maverick;  on his career and his biggest contribution to television
On various people with whom he worked in his career
Shows

77 Sunset Strip

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Roy Huggins on creating 77 Sunset Strip
Roy Huggins on the creation of 77 Sunset Strip
Roy Huggins on casting Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., Edd Byrnes and Roger Smith on 77 Sunset Strip

Baretta

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Roy Huggins on writing Baretta and working with Robert Blake

Bold Ones, The

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Roy Huggins on The Outsider and The Bold Ones

Cheyenne

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Roy Huggins on writing and producing Cheyenne
Roy Huggins on a typical workweek on Cheyenne  
Roy Huggins on working with Cheyenne star Clint Walker and the success of Cheyenne

Conflict

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Roy Huggins on writing and producing Conflict 

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

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Roy Huggins on Maverick  winning an Emmy

Fugitive, The

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Roy Huggins on creating The Fugitive 
Roy Huggins on The Fugitive and initial reaction to his concept
Roy Huggins on meeting with ABC's Leonard Goldenson about The Fugitive
Roy Huggins on developing The Fugitive with ABC and bringing in Quinn Martin to produce
Roy Huggins on casting The Fugitive

Gunsmoke

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Roy Huggins on the Maverick episode "Guy-Shy," which was a spoof of Gunsmoke

Hunter

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Roy Huggins on briefly on serving as executive producer on Hunter

King's Row

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Roy Huggins on writing and producing King's Row  at Warner Bros. Television

Maverick

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Roy Huggins on creating Maverick  
Roy Huggins on the pilot of Maverick
Roy Huggins on casting James Garner as "Bret Maverick" on Maverick 
Roy Huggins on the production schedule of Maverick which necessitated the addition of a second "Maverick" brother
Roy Huggins on casting Jack Kelly as "Bart Maverick" on Maverick
Roy Huggins on the writers and directors of Maverick 
Roy Huggins on Maverick being a different kind of western and the public reaction to the show
Roy Huggins on interference from the studio and network on Maverick and Budd Boetticher directing the show
Roy Huggins on the Maverick episode "Guy-Shy," which was a spoof of Gunsmoke
Roy Huggins on the Maverick  episode "Shady Deal at Sunny Acres"
Roy Huggins on Maverick  winning an Emmy
Roy Huggins on leaving Maverick in its third season
Roy Huggins on the various revivals of Maverick
Roy Huggins on being invited to work on the feature film version of Maverick 

Rockford Files, The

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Roy Huggins on co-creating The Rockford Files with Stephen J. Cannell

Run For Your Life

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Roy Huggins on creating Run For Your Life

Toma

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Roy Huggins on meeting Stephen J. Cannell and creating Toma

Virginian, The

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Roy Huggins on writing and producing The Virginian 
Topics

Characters & Catchphrases

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Roy Huggins on casting Jack Kelly as "Bart Maverick" on Maverick

Classic TV series episodes

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Roy Huggins on the Maverick  episode "Shady Deal at Sunny Acres"

Emmy Awards

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Roy Huggins on Maverick  winning an Emmy

Historic Events and Social Change

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Roy Huggins on his activities during World War II

Hollywood Blacklist

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Roy Huggins on joining the Communist Party
Roy Huggins on how his communist leanings impacted the work he was doing as a novelist
Roy Huggins on writing the feature film "Hangman's Knot" and being placed on the Hollywood Blacklist
Roy Huggins on writing and directing the feature "Hangman's Knot" despite being blacklisted 
Roy Huggins on being subpoenaed by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and naming names

Industry Crossroads

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Roy Huggins on joining the Communist Party
Roy Huggins on how his communist leanings impacted the work he was doing as a novelist
Roy Huggins on writing the feature film "Hangman's Knot" and being placed on the Hollywood Blacklist
Roy Huggins on writing and directing the feature "Hangman's Knot" despite being blacklisted 
Roy Huggins on being subpoenaed by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and naming names

Pop Culture

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Roy Huggins on casting Jack Kelly as "Bart Maverick" on Maverick
Roy Huggins on the Maverick  episode "Shady Deal at Sunny Acres"

Television Industry

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Roy Huggins on joining the Communist Party
Roy Huggins on how his communist leanings impacted the work he was doing as a novelist
Roy Huggins on writing the feature film "Hangman's Knot" and being placed on the Hollywood Blacklist
Roy Huggins on writing and directing the feature "Hangman's Knot" despite being blacklisted 
Roy Huggins on being subpoenaed by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and naming names
Roy Huggins on going to Universal Television 
Roy Huggins on how changes in television led to him leaving Universal Television 
Roy Huggins on his career and his biggest contribution to television

War

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Roy Huggins on his activities during World War II

World War II

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Roy Huggins on his activities during World War II
Professions

Show Creators

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Roy Huggins on coming up with stories and producing for television 

Writers

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Roy Huggins on learning to write for the screen
Genres

Cop/Detective/Mystery Series

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Roy Huggins on creating 77 Sunset Strip
Roy Huggins on creating 77 Sunset Strip
Roy Huggins on creating The Fugitive 
Roy Huggins on writing Baretta
Roy Huggins on co-creating The Rockford Files  with Stephen J. Cannell

Drama Series

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Roy Huggins on writing and producing King's Row  at Warner Bros.Television
Roy Huggins on creating Run For Your Life

Legal Dramas

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Roy Huggins on The Outsider and The Bold Ones

TV Movies/Miniseries/Dramatic Specials

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Roy Huggins on creating the movie of the week concept

Western Series

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Roy Huggins on writing and producing Cheyenne
Roy Huggins on writing Cheyenne
Roy Huggins on creating Maverick
Roy Huggins on creating Maverick (Part 2)
Roy Huggins on leaving Maverick
Roy Huggins on creating The Fugitive 
Roy Huggins on writing and producing The Virginian 
People

Richard Bare

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Roy Huggins on various people with whom he worked in his career: Richard Bare

Juanita Bartlett

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Roy Huggins on various people with whom he worked in his career: Juanita Bartlett

Robert Blake

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Roy Huggins on writing Baretta  and working with Robert Blake

Edd Byrnes

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Roy Huggins on casting Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., Edd Byrnes and Roger Smith on 77 Sunset Strip

Stephen J. Cannell

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Roy Huggins on meeting Stephen J. Cannell and creating Toma
Roy Huggins on his relationship with Stephen J. Cannell and the other writers of The Rockford Files
Roy Huggins on various people with whom he worked in his career: Stephen J. Cannell

Harry Cohn

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Roy Huggins on various people with whom he worked in his career: Harry Cohn

James Garner

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Roy Huggins on casting James Garner as "Bret Maverick" on Maverick 
Roy Huggins on various people with whom he worked in his career: James Garner

Leonard H. Goldenson

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Roy Huggins on Leonard H. Goldenson and Jack L. Warner's role in shaping television 
Roy Huggins on meeting with ABC's Leonard H. Goldenson about The Fugitive
Roy Huggins on various people with whom he worked in his career: Leonard H. Goldenson

Jack Kelly

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Roy Huggins on casting Jack Kelly as "Bart Maverick" on Maverick 
Roy Huggins on various people with whom he worked in his career: Jack Kelly

Quinn Martin

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Roy Huggins on developing The Fugitive  with ABC and bringing in Quinn Martin to produce
Roy Huggins on various people with whom he worked in his career: Quinn Martin

Meta Rosenberg

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Roy Huggins on various people with whom he worked in his career: Meta Rosenberg

Jane Russell

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Roy Huggins on various people with whom he worked in his career: Jane Russell

Herbert S. Schlosser

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Roy Huggins on various people with whom he worked in his career: Herbert S. Schlosser

Sid Sheinberg

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Roy Huggins on various people with whom he worked in his career: Sid Sheinberg

Clint Walker

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Roy Huggins on working with Cheyenne  star Clint Walker and the success of Cheyenne
Roy Huggins on various people with whom he worked in his career: Clint Walker

Jack L. Warner

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Roy Huggins on Leonard H. Goldenson and Jack L. Warner's role in shaping television 
Roy Huggins on various people with whom he worked in his career: Jack L. Warner

Lew Wasserman

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Roy Huggins on various people with whom he worked in his career: Lew Wasserman

Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.

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Roy Huggins on casting Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., Edd Byrnes and Roger Smith on 77 Sunset Strip
Roy Huggins on various people with whom he worked in his career: Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.

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