Question: Who co-starred on the old TV show To Catch a Thief with Robert Wagner? I say it was Eddie Albert, but my husband insists it was Norman Fell. Thanks much. Wendy R.
Televisionary: Well, I insist that both of you need a little straightening out, Ms. Wendy. For one thing, To Catch a Thief was the Hitchcock film that starred Cary Grant and Grace Kelly as a former high-class thief and the socialite who had designs on him. It Takes a Thief was the Wagner vehicle that swiped the basic concept and made it into a series, which ran on ABC's schedule from January 1968 to September 1970. The general setup was that high-end thief Alexander Mundy (Wagner) was cooling his heels in prison but was offered a chance to work for the government on clandestine operations. Since tooling around Europe and living the high life with various gorgeous babes was more fun than doing time, he agreed. (Sound familiar to you young 'uns? Yep, ABC trotted out and retooled the concept yet again for its recently cancelled Thieves.)Now, here's where you're both wrong. Mundy's government contact was played first by Malachi Throne and then by Edward Binns, while Fred Astaire portrayed his ex-thief dad, who taught him the ins and outs of the biz. However, hubby's more on the mark than you are, unfortunately for you, since Wagner did co-star with Albert (Green Acres) on Switch, which ran on CBS for three years beginning in September 1975. The set-up there was that Wagner was a reformed con man and Albert a former cop who together turned the tables on those working Wagner's old profession. The cast also included names like Charlie Callas, Sharon Gless and James Hong.