Flashback Friday: Robert Loggia as T.H.E. Cat on NBC

Out of the night comes a man who saves lives at the risk of his own: Once a circus performer, an aerialist who refused the net…Once a cat burglar, a master among jewel thieves…And now, a professional bodyguard – primitive, savage, in love with danger – T.H.E. CAT!

A week after The Green Hornet made its buzz on ABC, NBC brought T.H.E. Cat to life on Friday, September 16, 1966.  The series starred the late Robert Loggia as the suave, debonair and handsome Thomas Hewitt Edward Cat.  Once a thief, Cat makes a living in extending the lives of people in danger: a bodyguard for those who have been marked for death.  Like Kato from The Green Hornet, T.H.E. Cat is a good-guy in black who is also trained martial artist.  But alas, like The Green Hornet, T.H.E. Cat only had one life to live on television, as the series was canceled in 1967 after just 26 episodes.

However, Loggia went on to have a prolific career on the big screen in films such as An Officer and a Gentleman, Scarface, Big, Over The Top, Independence Day and this summer’s Independence Day: Resurgence, which was filmed before his death.  He earned an Oscar nomination for Jagged Edge opposite Glenn Close and Jeff Bridges, and an Emmy nomination for playing a veteran federal agent in NBC’s short-lived Mancuso, FBI (1989-90).  Robert Loggia died last December from complications of Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 85.

Still, legend has it that T.H.E. Cat may have given one of its nine lives to CBS’ The Equalizer (1985-89) with Emmy nominee and Golden Globe winner Edward Woodward as Robert McCall, a former spy atoning for the sins of his past by helping the helpless: people who have the odds stacked against them, people whose backs are against the wall, people who are in need of someone like McCall to even the odds for them in the name of justice.


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