Originally aired as a Movie of the Week on ABC, Marcus Welby, M.D. became a successful hit in the 1970s. Created by David Victor, who is best known for producing the hit shows Dr. Kildare, The Rebel, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E., the tV show follows family practitioner Marcus Welby and his younger partner Steve Kiley. While the series ended on July 29, 1976, they brought back the title character for the TV movies The Return of Marcus Welby, M.D. and Marcus Welby, M.D.: A Holiday Affair. We take a look back at the cast of the show and some nifty trivia from its successful run.
Robert Young, who is also known for portraying Jim Anderson on Father Knows Best, played the title character on the show, which earned him a Golden Globe win for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama in 1972. On July 21, 1998, the Chicago native passed away at the age of 91 from respiratory failure.
James Brolin had his breakthrough role of Dr. Steven Kiley on the show. During the time Marcus Welby, M.D. was on air, the Los Angeles native won two Golden Globes and one Emmy Award for his work. After the show’s ending, Brolin went on to star as Peter McDermott in the prime time drama Hotel, which earned him two Golden Globe nominations. Recently, he has been on the series Life in Pieces, Castle, and Community.
Elena Verdugo played the role of secretary-nurse Consuelo Lopez. Her performance earned her two Emmy Award nominations and one Golden Globe nomination. After an appearance in the 1985 TV movie Suburban Beat, Verdugo retired from acting, but she did make an appearance in the 2014 documentary Pioneers of Television. She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Anne Baxter, who is best known for her Oscar-winning performance in the film The Razor’s Edge, played the role of Dr. Welby’s girlfriend Myra Sherwood. After that, she would join fellow Marcus Welby, M.D actor Robert Young on the show Hotel. On December 12, 1985, she passed away at the age of 62 from a brain aneurysm.
Christine Belford played the role of Dr. Welby’s daughter Sandy. The New York native would go on to gain recurring roles of Jackie Willow on Empire, Maggie Randall on Outlaws, and Samantha Sanders on Beverly Hills, 90210. Since 1993, she has been married to Beverly Hills, 90210 actor Nicholas Pryor.
Sharon Gless’s first TV role was program director Kathleen Faverty on the show. Since 1982, the Los Angeles actress has received numerous Emmy nominations for her roles as Det. Sgt. Christine Cagney on Cagney & Lacey, Rosie O’Neill on The Trials of Rosie O’Neill, Madeline Westen on Burn Notice and Colleen Rose on Nip/Tuck.
In the show’s final season, Pamela Hensley portrayed public relations director Janet Blake, who would get married to Dr. Steven Kiley. The California native is best known for playing Princess Ardala on Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and C.J. Parsons on Matt Houston. In 2004, she released a cookbook titled The Jewish-Sicilian Cookbook. Since 1982, she has been married to television producer E. Duke Vincent.
Cliff Potts played the role of Dr. Paul Moran on the show. The California native is also known for his recurring roles of First Sgt. Eugene Allard on For Love and Honor, Courtenay Massengale on Once an Eagle, and Boaz Harper on Dallas. His last appearance was in the 2016 short film The Ravine.
Before Lindsay Wagner could be immortalized as The Bionic Woman, she played a few characters on Marcus Welby, M.D. In 1977, the Los Angeles native won an Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her performance as Jaime Sommers on The Bionic Woman. Recently, she appeared on the shows NCIS and Warehouse 13.
Belinda Montgomery had the recurring role of Mary Ann Graham. After leaving the show, the Canadian found success as Caroline Crockett on Miami Vice and Katherine Howser on Doogie Howser, M.D. Her last role was Grandma Flynn in the 2010 film Tron: Legacy. She is currently a full-time painter.
Joseph Campanella appeared on the show as Howard Garsen. The New York City native is known for his portrayal of Jonathan Young on The Bold and the Beautiful and Harper Deveraux on Days of Our Lives, which earned him a 1989 Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. His last appearance was in the 2009 film Lost Dream.
Michele Lee played the roles of Katie and Rowena Dancy on the show. Seven years after her last appearance, the Los Angeles native landed the role of Karen MacKenzie on the hit series Knots Landing, which earned her six Soap Opera Digest Awards. Her last TV appearance was in a 2013 episode of How to Live with Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life).
For a handful of episodes in 1974 & 1975, Tom Selleck played the roles of Sgt. Ed Brock and Lt. Rogers. In 1980, the Detroit native would become a huge TV star with his portrayal of the title character of Magnum, P.I., which earned him an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his work. Recently, the actor has found more TV success as Frank Reagan on the CBS drama Blue Bloods.
Anthony Geary had a couple small roles in the 1971 episode “A Passing of Torches” and the 1975 episode “The Tidal Wave.” Three years after his last appearance on the show, the Utah native would gain the biggest role of his career as Luke Spencer on the hit soap opera General Hospital. He would win eight Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his performance. In 2015, he left the soap opera after 28 years.
In 1972 and 1973, Marion Ross played the roles of Mrs. Johnson and Dr. Helen Cartwright on two episodes. In 1974, she picked up her most famous role of Marion Cunningham on Happy Days, which earned her two Emmy nominations. Recently, she’s appeared on the show Two and a Half Men, The Middle, andHot in Cleveland.
The series did manage to cross the line on two separate occasions. On the 1973 episode “The Other Martin Loring,” Dr. Welby advises that Martin Loring doesn’t send homosexual advances his way. As a result, the Gay Activists Alliance picketed ABC’s New York City headquarters. The next year, the episode “The Outrage” equated homosexuality to pedophilia, which led to several network affiliates refusing to air the episode.
We’re Number One
In the 1960s and 1970s, ABC had a plethora of hit shows, such as Room 222, The Fugitive, and The Legend of Jesse James. During its second season, Marcus Welby M.D. has the distinct honor of being the first show in ABC history to be number one in the ratings.
Marcus Welby, M.D. took part in two crossover events with the ABC legal drama Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law. The first crossover (“Men Who Care”) featured Owen Marshall defending the father of Dr. Welby’s patient, and the second crossover (“I’ve Promised You a Father”) had Marshall defending Dr. Kiley in a paternity case.
Marcus Welby, M.D. star Robert Young got the chance to reunite with his Father Knows Best co-star Jane Wyatt on the episode “Designs,” which first aired on March 12, 1974. In the episode, Wyatt plays a fashion designer that falls in love with the doctor but keeps her marriage a secret.
Dr. Welby’s office
Have you ever taken a serious look at Dr. Welby’s office and thought that it looks familiar? For fans of the hit show Leave It To Beaver, it is! The exterior of the office building is the same used as the Cleaver family’s home. They decided to spice it up by adding shingles.