When I was a child in the 70's, my parents used to be rabid fans of a silly TV Special called Battle Of The Network Stars.
Most of stars are long forgotten now, but back then it was a huge pseudo-athletic event filmed over at Pepperdine University in Malibu. The performers in television hit shows would attempt to become track stars and run obsticles courses, or participate in grueling tug-of-war competitions in the quest to bring home a trophy for NBC, ABC or CBS television networks. Nobody took the dumb thing seriously...except for one 5' 7" guy named Robert Conrad.
Conrad, so it seemed, was always team captain for NBC and for him the "Battle" took on World Cup proportions. His attitude and gravity for the event made him a TV favorite, and all went well up until the day when Robert Conrad had an enormous dispute over a referee's call.
Referees and the producers came up with a solution- a match race between Conrad and the star of "Welcome Back Kotter," a comedian named Gabe Kaplan. It would be a 440 yard foot race, one around the track, between the two network stars. Before running, Conrad fumed and walked around like a strutting bantam rooster while Kaplan looked hopelessly overmatched like a totally non-athletic Jewish accountant vs. an Olympic Gold Medalist. At the gun they were off with famed Monday Night Football sportscaster Howard Cosell,
his toupee slightly askew, supplying the running commentary.
"Into the turn they go...little Bobby Conrad isn't the biggest guy around but nobody ever said he doesn't have heart..."
He also didn't have any athletic prowess whatsoever. In the back stretch, his tiny legs flailing furiousy and with a grimmace on his face, Conrad looked like a VW Beetle matched up against a Turbocharged Porsche. Kaplan pulled away smartly and won the foot race by an embarrassing margin. I never thought of Robert Conrad in the same way after.
Note: The actor was involved in a tragic crash a couple of years ago. Driving under the influence of alcohol, Robert Conrad struck and killed the driver of the other vehicle. Conrad has been in and out of a courtroom several times since that time. As a result of the accident he suffered partial paralysis- he is not the same man in alex8's photos.