Marcus Welby, M.D.
Show Type: Medical Drama
First Telecast: September 23, 1969
Last Telecast: May 11, 1976
Medical Advisor: Dr. Robert Forten
Creator / Producer: David Victor
Dr. Marcus Welby..... Robert Young
Dr. Steven Kiley..... James Brolin
Consuelo Lopez..... Elena Verdugo
Myra Sherwood (1969-1970)..... Anne Baxter
Kathleen Faverty (1974-1976)..... Sharon Gless
Sandy Porter (1975-1976)..... Anne Schedeen
Phil Porter (1975-1976)..... Gavin Brendan
Janet Blake (1975-1976)..... Pamela Hensley
Robert Young was one of the few actors to be so closely identified with two highly successful TV characters - that of family man Jim Anderson on Father Knows Best in the 1950's and that of Dr. Marcus Welby in the 1970's. The 62-year-old actor came out of retirement to fill the role of Dr. Welby.
Marcus Welby, M.D. revolved around the cases of a veteran general practitioner in Santa Monica, California, whose thoroughness and dedication involved him in the lives of all kinds of patients. Assisting him was young Dr. Steven Kiley, who during the first season contracted to work with Welby for one year before resuming his training as a neurologist (he ended up staying for the duration of the show).
The inevitable tension between youth and experience was evident, but in this particular show, Welby turned out to be the more unorthodox of the the two, often confounding the dedicated but textbook-oriented Kiley with his psychiatric approach to medicine. Welby treated the whole patient, their temperament, fears and family environment as well as their physical ailments.
The ailments were certainly varied for a suburban GP. Some included: LSD side effects, blindness, tumors, autistic children, strokes, leukemia, diabetes, anemia, emphysema, Huntington's Chorea, drug addiction and a host of other conditions.
A romantic interest was added for Dr. Welby in the form of Myra Sherwood, but the role was dropped after the first season. Dr. Kiley's love interest was Janet Blake, public relations director of Hope Memorial Hospital. They were married on October 21, 1975. The was no Mrs. Welby and the only other regular cast members included Nurse Consuelo Lopez and Kathleen Faverty.
Marcus Welby, M.D. premiered in 1969 and soon became the biggest hit in the history of the ABC network up to that time - it was the first ABC show ever to rank #1 among all TV programs for a full season (1970-1971). Once audiences had gotten used to Welby, they stayed, against competition soft and strong. The show won an Emmy and was held in very high esteem by medical groups, with Robert Young serving off-screen as honorary chairman of numerous fund drives and observances.
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