Chad Everett ‘Medical Center’ & ‘The Singing Nun’ actor has died
Handsome television and film actor Chad Everett, best remembered as Dr. Gannon in the TV drama series Medical Center, died on July 24 at his home in the Los Angeles area. Everett was 75.
A successor to the likes of Ben Casey and Dr. Kildare, a more “adult” Marcus Welby, M.D. contemporary, and a precursor to Chicago Hope, ER, Nip/Tuck, and Grey’s Anatomy, Medical Center aired on CBS from 1969 to 1976. Following the lives and professional paths of the staff at a university hospital in Los Angeles, the series also featured James Daly, Chris Hutson, Virginia Hawkins, and movie veteran Audrey Totter.
While the show was still on, Everett became embroiled in a long-running paternity suit: an extra on the Medical Center set, Sheila Scott, claimed the actor was the father of her son, born in 1973. Everett, who had visited Scott’s apartment on one occasion in 1972, denied they had ever had sex. In 1981, a Los Angeles County Superior Court jury finally ruled in Everett’s favor. A California appeals court upheld the verdict, and the state’s Supreme Court refused to hear another appeal.
Chad Everett television career
The son of a race car driver, Chad Everett was born (as Raymon [no “D”] Lee Cramton [no “P”]) on June 11, 1936 (or 1937), in South Bend, Indiana. He decided to try his luck in show business “because I’m easily bored,” as he explained to the Los Angeles Times in 1966.
Everett began getting small roles on TV shows, usually Westerns (Maverick, Lawman, Bronco), in the early 1960s. In 1963, he landed a featured role in The Dakotas, and later guested in numerous television shows from the mid-’60s all the way to 2012 (Castle). Here are a few: Supernatural, Love Boat: The Next Wave, Caroline in the City, Touched by an Angel, Police Story, Branded, Route 66.
Additionally, Chad Everett starred in the short-lived series Hagen and Centennial, and had recurring roles in several other shows. He also starred in a handful of television movies, including Peter Carter’s sci-fier The Intruder Within (1981), with Jennifer Warren and Joseph Bottoms; Peter Medak’s period suspense drama Mistress of Paradise (1981), with Geneviève Bujold and Anthony Andrews; and E.W. Swackhamer’s glitzy melo Malibu (1983), with a stellar cast that included Eva Marie Saint, Susan Dey, Anthony Newley, James Coburn, William Atherton, George Hamilton, Steve Forrest, Ann Jillian, Kim Novak, Valerie Perrine, and Troy Donahue.
Chad Everett movies
Though popular on the small-screen, Chad Everett’s movie career never quite took off. His first big-screen role was in Gordon Douglas’ 1961 “sex” melodrama Claudelle Inglish, with Diane McBain in the title role. In the mid-’60s he was cast in a couple of important roles in the MGM releases Made in Paris (1966), starring Ann-Margret and Louis Jourdan, and The Singing Nun (1966), with Debbie Reynolds in the title role and Everett as the man who helps Reynolds’ nun become a recording star.
Other major Chad Everett movie roles at the time include a young gunslinger in Richard Thorpe’s Western The Last Challenge (1967), opposite Glenn Ford and Angie Dickinson; and the romantic lead in Michael Gordon’s “generation gap” dramatic comedy The Impossible Years (1968), with David Niven and Lola Albright.
Later on, Everett had cameos in movies as diverse as Ken Finkleman’s broad comedy Airplane II: The Sequel (1982); Gus Van Sant’s 1998 flop remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, supporting Julianne Moore, Vince Vaughn, Viggo Mortensen, and Anne Heche; and David Lynch’s Mulholland Dr. (2001), in which he plays the older actor appearing in a scene with Naomi Watts’ character.