Tod Stiles

Last updated

Tod Stiles is a fictional character portrayed by actor Martin Milner on the 1960s American prime-time dramatic television series Route 66 . Tod was one of three main regular characters on the program, and the only one to appear in all 116 episodes of the show's four seasons.

Contents

Character history

Tod was born March 12, 1936, [1] in New York City at 4:30 AM, and raised in Rye [2] [3] (although he gives his birthplace as Connecticut on at least one occasion;[ citation needed ] his driver's license states that his hometown is Rye, New York [4] ), the son of Lee and Martha Stiles. His father was the owner of a shipping company in New York City. In 1960, shortly after Tod's graduation from Yale University, the elder Stiles suffered a series of business misfortunes that left him bankrupt. He then died of a coronary thrombosis, leaving Tod an inheritance consisting of little more than a brand new convertible Chevrolet Corvette. With his future now in his own hands, Tod and his best friend Buz Murdock (George Maharis), an ex-gang member whom Tod's father had taken under his wing, decided to hit the road in the new car, traveling across America to seek their fortune in a variety of different jobs.

After more than two years of adventuring on the road, Buz became seriously ill and was unable to travel with Tod any longer. Tod traveled by himself for a while, and then while working in Houston he encountered ex-Army Ranger and P.O.W. Lincoln Case (Glenn Corbett), who had just returned from a stint in Vietnam. Although circumstances of their first meeting initially drew Tod and Linc into conflict (including a fistfight), the two soon became fast friends and Linc became his new traveling partner.

After a year or so more of hopping around the country with Linc, Tod met Margo Tiffin (played by Barbara Eden), whose father Alexander had previously known Tod, in Tampa (where the episode was filmed). Mr. Tiffin had been so enamored of Tod that he left a stipulation in his will that required his daughter to marry him. Despite the forced circumstances of the relationship, Tod and Margo did indeed end up actually falling in love with each other and were married. After having to spend some time fending off the efforts of unscrupulous family members to claim Margo's father's fortune, Tod and his new bride determined to settle down, ending both Tod's nomadic lifestyle and the series. This occurred during the two-part series finale of Route 66, both episodes of which aired in March 1964.

Personality Traits

The boyish-faced Tod usually presents a glib, affable, extroverted front which lightly masks a deeply thoughtful, introspective nature. At heart, he is a serious and analytical personality type with a strong moral code of ethics. Although primarily a pacifist, when the occasion calls for it he demonstrates himself just as able in fisticuffs as his more streetwise companion Buz. Throughout the series Tod shows an interest in racing sports of all kinds, and in one episode even modifies the Corvette to become a race car. He is also a licensed pilot. Due to his privileged upbringing, he is generally more comfortable in dealing with wealthy or aristocratic "society" types than Buz. Though Tod is seldom overtly snobbish, Tod and Buz will occasionally clash if and when Tod unthinkingly flaunts his education and/or society charm.

Tod's eventual marriage to Margo Tiffin, while it seems the result of a hurried and circumstantially forced romance, is actually very much in keeping with the tendency Tod displayed over the course of the series to fall quick and hard for whichever young female happened to be handy. In fact, on at least two previous occasions during the course of his adventures, Tod very nearly married women whom he had only briefly known.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">David Janssen</span> American actor (1931–1980)

David Janssen was an American film and television actor who is best known for his starring role as Richard Kimble in the television series The Fugitive (1963–1967). Janssen also had the title roles in three other series: Richard Diamond, Private Detective; O'Hara, U.S. Treasury and Harry O.

<i>Adam-12</i> American police procedural television series, 1968–1975

Adam-12 is an American television police procedural crime drama television series created by Robert A. Cinader and Jack Webb. The series follows Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers Pete Malloy and Jim Reed as they patrol the streets of Los Angeles in their police cruiser, designated "1-Adam-12". Like Webb's other series, Dragnet and Emergency!, Adam-12 was produced in cooperation with the real department it was based on. Adam-12 aimed to be realistic in its depiction of police, and helped to introduce police procedures and jargon to the general public in the United States.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Martin Milner</span> American actor (1931–2015)

Martin Sam Milner was an American actor and radio host. He is best known for his performances on two television series: Route 66, which aired on CBS from 1960 to 1964, and Adam-12, which aired on NBC from 1968 to 1975.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Glenn Corbett</span> American actor (1933–1993)

Glenn Corbett was an American actor in movies and television for more than thirty years. He came to national attention in the early 1960s when he replaced George Maharis in the cast of the popular CBS adventure drama Route 66. He followed this with roles in high-profile films and television shows, including a guest role in the original Star Trek series, the daytime soap opera The Doctors, the prime-time soap Dallas, and movies such as Chisum with John Wayne, as one of Jimmy Stewart's sons in Shenandoah, and the World War II epic Midway.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">In Praise of Pip</span> 1st episode of the 5th season of The Twilight Zone

"In Praise of Pip" is an episode of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. In this episode, after learning that his soldier son has suffered a mortal wound in an early phase of the Vietnam War, a crooked bookie encounters a childhood version of his son.

<i>Shaft in Africa</i> 1973 film by John Guillermin

Shaft in Africa is a 1973 American blaxploitation film directed by John Guillermin, and the third film of the Shaft series, starring Richard Roundtree as John Shaft. Stirling Silliphant wrote the screenplay. The film's budget was $1.5 million, but the film was a box office flop, grossing just $1 million. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer quickly sold the property to television, but the television series was cancelled after just seven episodes.

<i>Route 66</i> (TV series) American television series

Route 66 is an American adventure crime drama television series that premiered on CBS on October 7, 1960, and ran until March 20, 1964, for a total of 116 episodes. The series was created by Herbert B. Leonard and Stirling Silliphant, who were also responsible for the ABC drama Naked City, from which Route 66 was an indirect spin-off. Both series employed a format with elements of both traditional drama and anthology drama, but the difference was where the shows were set: Naked City was set in New York City, while Route 66 had its setting change from week to week, with each episode being shot on location.

<i>The Creeping Terror</i> 1964 film by Vic Savage

The Creeping Terror is a 1964 horror–science fiction film directed and produced by, and starring, Vic Savage. The plot is centered upon an extraterrestrial, slug-like creature that attacks and eats people whole in a small American town. Widely considered to be one of the worst films of all time, The Creeping Terror has become a cult film.

Stirling Dale Silliphant was an American screenwriter and producer. He is best remembered for his screenplay for In the Heat of the Night, for which he won an Academy Award in 1967, and for creating the television series Naked City, Perry Mason, and Route 66. Other features as screenwriter include the Irwin Allen productions The Towering Inferno and The Poseidon Adventure.

<i>Naked City</i> (TV series) American television series

Naked City is an American police procedural television series from Screen Gems that aired on ABC from 1958 to 1959 and from 1960 to 1963. It was inspired by the 1948 motion picture The Naked City and mimics its dramatic "semi-documentary" format. As in the film, each episode concluded with a narrator intoning the iconic line: "There are eight million stories in the naked city. This has been one of them."

<span class="mw-page-title-main">George Maharis</span> American actor (born 1928)

George Maharis is an American actor who portrayed Buz Murdock in the first three seasons of the TV series Route 66. Maharis also recorded numerous pop music albums at the height of his fame, and later starred in the TV series The Most Deadly Game.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Buz Murdock</span>

Buz Murdock was a fictional character portrayed by actor George Maharis on the 1960s American prime-time dramatic television series Route 66. Buz was one of three main regular characters on the program, and his tenure lasted for two and a half of the program's four seasons. It ended with Maharis' departure from the show. All told, Buz appeared in 71 of the 116 original episodes.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lincoln Case</span> Fictional character from Route 66

Lincoln Case was a fictional character portrayed by actor Glenn Corbett on the 1960s American prime-time drama Route 66. Linc was one of three main regular characters on the program. His tenure began midway through the show's third season, when he was written in as a replacement for the departed Buz Murdock. Linc appeared in the final 32 of the program's 116 episodes as a sidekick to the character of Tod Stiles.

<i>Marlowe</i> (1969 film) 1969 film by Paul Bogart

Marlowe is a 1969 American neo-noir film starring James Garner as Raymond Chandler's private detective Philip Marlowe. Directed by Paul Bogart, the film was written by Stirling Silliphant based on Chandler's 1949 novel The Little Sister.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wendell Mayes</span> American screenwriter

Wendell Curran Mayes was a Hollywood screenwriter.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tod Andrews</span> American actor

Tod Andrews was an American stage, screen, and television actor.

Wolf Peter Rilla was a film director and writer of German background, although he worked mainly in the United Kingdom.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tiana Alexandra</span> Vietnamese-American actress

Tiana Alexandra-Silliphant is a Vietnamese-American actress and filmmaker. Her indie movie From Hollywood to Hanoi was the first American documentary feature film shot in Vietnam by a Vietnamese-American. Tiana's life's work, Why Viet Nam? is about her personal story as a child of war and a widow of peace.

Route 66 is an adventure drama sequel series and a remake of the same name that aired on NBC from June 8 until July 6, 1993.

References

  1. Terrace, Vincent (1993). Television Character and Story Facts. McFarland & Co. p. 402. ISBN   978-0-89950-891-7.
  2. Silliphant, Stirling (writer); Ralph Senensky (director) (March 8, 1962), "In the Closing of a Trunk", Route 66, Lancer-Edling Productions; Screen Gems, vol. 83, no. 3–21{{citation}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. Gianakos, Larry James (1992). Television Drama Series Programming. Scarecrow Press. p. 611. ISBN   978-0-8108-2601-4.
  4. Silliphant, Stirling (writer); Tom Gries (director) (December 21, 1962), "Give the Old Cat a Tender Mouse", Route 66, Lancer-Edling Productions; Screen Gems, vol. 76, no. 3–14{{citation}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)