I have watching The Untouchables on ME-TV and been wondering what happened to Jerry Paris (Martin Flaherty) on the Series. At first he was a major character in every episode, then his appearances got smaller & smaller. Then he totally disappeared. They explained it the returned to run the office in Boston. I wonder did he just happen to land the part of Jerry on the Dick Van Dyke Show and left or was it something else? I noticed all the other Untouchables became background characters after that. Was this the producers idea or Robert Stack? Stack was known as one of the "nice guys" in Hollywood so it would seem strange he would want to hog all the action. What do you think?
My first thought was that Jeff's got good taste in classic TV - The Untouchables is a favorite of mine as well. Not great drama in the sense that we think of other shows from the Golden Age, but a lot of fun nonetheless.
I've never read anything that explains why Jerry Paris left The Untouchables. I do know that the show was under frequent pressure from Italian-American groups regarding its portrayal of the Cosa Nostra as being dominated by Italian-Americans, and that the Rico Rossi character (played by Nick Georgiade) was created to counteract the criticism and serve as a positive image for Italian-Americans. Now, does that mean that the producers might have downgraded Paris' role (and his replacement, Anthony George, whose character was actually killed off) in order to emphasize Rossi? Or did Paris really just leave for the Van Dyke show? Or is there another answer out there?
I'm thinking that one of you good reades - Mike Doran, perhaps? - might have some additional information on this. Anyone?