I first saw Michael Tolan in a thirty minute "Naked City" (1958-59) where he played a decent but cowardly police detective who has caused the death of his partner. When "Naked City" was brough back a year later as an hour show, I think Michael Tolan would have been a good choice to play detective Adam Flint. Tolan always excelled at playing cops. He projected intelligence, persistance, and compassion-and you always wondered what he was thinking. Tolan could also have been good as E.G. Marshall's son on "The Defenders".
Tolan gave a great guest star performance on "The Nurses" as brilliant, difficult, loner Dr. Alex Tazinski. Tolan was brought back the next season as one of the series stars. This could have been a star making performance but he wasn't allowed to dominate the show enough and the title of the show should have changed to "Hospital" rather than the soap opera-ish "The Doctors and the Nurses". Still, the Herbert Brodkin show was beautifully done and so was Tolan's performance.
Tolan was also excellent on the Emmy winning "The Senator" (1970-71). Tolan played Jordan Boyle, the pragmatic aide to idealistic Senator Stowe (the great Hal Holbrook). Tolan, Holbrook, and Sharon Acker worked beautifully together.
The next season Tolan gave a skillful comedy performance as Mary Tyler Moores' journalism professor in that magnificent show. He came back for two more episodes.
Tolan was always highly regarded as an actor. Top movie directors who used him include George Stevens ("The Greatest Story Ever Told"), Bob Fosse ("All That Jazz"), Peter Yates ("John and Mary"), John Sturges ("Hour of the Gun") and Alan Pakula ("Presumed Innocent").
A terrific actor who deserves even more recogntion.moreless