Roy Huggins

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Roy Huggins Trivia

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  • Trivia

    • In 2002, Roy received a Golden Boot Award - given to writers, directors, stunt people and character actors who have made a significant contribution to the western genre in film and, or television.

    • The Producers' Guild honored Roy in 1994 with a Lifetime Achievement in Television Award.

    • Over the course of his career in film and television, Roy wrote over 350 scripts. In recognition of his contribution to the genre, he received the Private Eye Writers of America Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991.

    • Warner Bros. did not acknowledge Roy as the creator of Maverick until the credits for the 1994 Maverick film directed by Richard Donner.

    • Roy deliberately wrote the character of Bret Maverick to not have what he considered to be the "irritating perfection" of most TV western heroes.

    • For years Huggins was accused of basing The Fugitive on the real-life case of Dr. Sam Sheppard. Sheppard, who was convicted of murdering of his wife, claimed that she had been killed by a bushy-haired intruder he saw running from the scene - and was later acquitted. Huggins originally intended for his villain to have red hair, but because that was too common a characteristic (and perhaps too close to "reality"), he chose to have him be a one-armed man instead. Roy always denied that Richard Kimble was based on Sam Sheppard.

    • Roy joined the American Communist Party in 1939 because of his hatred of fascism. He left the party in 1940, in part because of the signing of the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact. In 1952, however, his membership got him called before the House Un-American Activities Committee, where he was a cooperative witness, naming 19 previously named comrades.

    • Roy was certainly not above hiring family. Adele Mara, his second wife, appeared in many of his shows, including Maverick, 77 Sunset Strip and Cool Million. His daughter, actress Katherine Crawford, appeared in The Fugitive, The Virginian and Run for Your Life. Even his brother-in-law, Luis Delgado, who got his start making frequent background appearances on Maverick, eventually had a recurring role on The Rockford Files as Officer Billings.

    • In 1961, the chairman of the FCC, Newton Minnow, launched a campaign against television, claiming that it was a "vast wasteland." One of the shows he singled out in his attacks was Bus Stop, created and produced by Roy Huggins. The show's production company, 20th Century Fox, sidelined Huggins as a result of this criticism.

    • Producer Jo Swerling Jr. remembered Huggins fondly: "Roy was a giant in the television industry, he was brilliant. He had a very fertile mind and was a great storyteller. I think he had a sort of natural sense of popular art of the time."

    • Stephen J. Cannell said "[Roy Huggins] taught me everything that I used through my career on how to create and write and produce a television show."

    • Huggins was educated at UCLA (1935-1941), where he graduated "summa cum laude".

    • Roy Huggins' novel The Double Take may be one of the most filmed detective stories of all time. First, there was the 1948 film adaptation (I Love Trouble); then the story appeared repeatedly on many other Huggins series - including Maverick, City of Angels(1976) and The Rockford Files (twice). Author Max Allan Collins supposed that this was "probably just so Huggins could double dip - get paid for the screen story and for the script."

    • Rarely credited in his own name, Roy actually did most of his work under the pseudonym of John Thomas James - a composite of his sons names from his marriage to Adele Mara.

  • Quotes

    • Roy: The public arts are created for a mass audience and for a profit; that is their essential nature. But they can at times achieve truth and beauty, and given freedom they will achieve it more and more often.

    • Roy (on writing for "Maverick"): In the traditional Western, the situation was always serious but never hopeless. In a Maverick story, the situation is always hopeless but never serious.

    • Roy (describing his groundbreaking arrangement with studios, known as the "Huggins Contract"): I was getting paid my royalty and my fee whether I did the show or not. If I conceived the show, and got it on the air, anyone could produce it and I would still get paid just as if I was doing it. That became known as "the Huggins Contract". Every producer in television would say "I want the Huggins contract," and some of them got it.

    • Roy: (describing his testimony before HUAC) I ended up agreeing that people who had already been mentioned many times were indeed known to me as Communists.

    • Roy: I don't care whether people say The Fugitive was based on the Sheppard case. The only reason I deny it is that it happens to be the truth.

    • Roy: Everyone I consulted about The Fugitive hated the idea - they found it offensive and distasteful. One man called it "a slap in the face of American justice." But the American people never saw a thing wrong with it.

    • Roy (bluntly advising Stephen J. Cannell on Hunter): Get rid of that piece of junk car you have him driving. Only an idiot would drive a car like that.

    • Roy (working with Robert Blake on Baretta): It's a love-hate relationship, I love him and he hates me.