“Dashing, Daring, and Debonair: TV’s Top Male Icons from the 50s, 60s, and 70s” by Herbie J Pilato— These Were “The Men”

daring, dashing and debonair

Pilato, Herbie J. “Dashing, Daring, and Debonair: TV’s Top Male Icons from the 50s, 60s, and 70s”, Taylor Trade Publishing, 2016.

These Were “The Men”

Amos Lassen

The age of classic television is gone (the 50s, 60s, and 70s”) and the men who dominated it have left this world. Herbie J. Pilato wants to make sure that we do not forget them and brings them back in his new book, “Dashing, Daring, and Debonair: TV’s Top Male Icons from the 50s, 60s, and 70s”. The men we read about here were actors, comedians, singers, dancers, and/or talk show hosts and personalities, men whose career was made by the people who watched them on the little screen in living rooms across America. As it is just enough to read about the men, Pilato also includes tidbits from behind the scenes. A few of the men you will read about here include everyone from Desi Arnaz and Rod Serling to James Garner, from Ricky Nelson and Donny Osmond to Johnny Carson and Andy Griffith and many others. We also meet the younger generation of teenage heartthrobs such as Tony Dow and David Cassidy, who left strong impressions on the young girls at that time.

The book is encyclopedic in scope but totally readable and a lot of fun. Pilato takes us back in time and we are reintroduced to the men who had such a tremendous impact on not only how we lived then but also on how we live now. I doubt that anyone has the passion about and the knowledge of early classical television as Herbie Pilato. I found myself tearing up several times as I read because I was taken back to a time when the family was intact and remembered those nightly family viewings that we shared. I was totally surprised to see that Pilato also writes of the men on the other side the camera as well as provides a commentary by some the experts on pop culture. It seems as if Pilato has self-appointed himself to make sure we never forget the early days of television and we are very lucky because of it. His writing is crisp and fresh as are his descriptions. Much of what is included here, we see for the first time.

Herbie J Pilato is known to readers as the historian who has taken it upon himself, to remind us of these great television stars of the golden age of television. This book offers great insights, anecdotes and historical, backstage stories that has never been told. We not only read of the men but also of what made these men cultural icons. Just in case you have forgotten let me just name a few of the lesser known’s—Erik Estrada, Stanley Livingston, Paul Peterson, Larry Wilcox and Radames Pera. These stand alongside Dick Van Dyke, Ed Asner, Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner. There is a wonderful introduction by “Batman” Adam West and a preface by Joel Eisenberg. Closing the covers brought me back to the real world of today but it is comforting to know that the book will always welcome me to a trip back in time and the memories that go hand-in-hand with it.




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