Half the fun of watching some of the old shows on broadcast TV these days is catching glimpses of stars, big and not so big, before they were stars. I spotted one again last night as I caught an episode of "Dragnet" while getting dinner ready, and also had what turned out to be "one of those coincidences" later on that evening.
The plot for that episode centered around a disturbed kid who pops above the radar by splashing acid on the back of another kid. Just from listening to the dialogue I could tell that the victim was some smarmy SoCal pretty boy before I even turned around and spotted...is that?...that looks like...yep...Jan-Michael Vincent:
Little did he know that 17 years later he would be doomed to play a character named "Stringfellow" in one of the more implausible TV series of a decade that was loaded with them.
Also in that episode: Heather Menzies-Urich, who you may remember as Louisa von Trapp in "The Sound of Music."
One other person would click later on when I caught a rerun of "Criminal Minds" on another channel. One of the other characters interviewed by the dynamic duo of Webb and Morgan in the "Dragnet" episode above was played by a kid named John Rubenstein. It turns out he also played the role of a pedophile principal in that "Criminal Minds" episode last night. How's that for a coincidence? Same guy, two shows 39 years apart, reruns I caught the same day.