Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Rockford Files - Episode: Pastoria Prime Pick - The town called Pastoria in this episode is really Lone Pine, CA - Dow Villa Motel located at 310 South Main Street, Lone Pine, CA

Two things you can always count on in a Rockford Files episode were a car chase and Jim Rockford using a payphone, long before the cell phone era.

 In the above still image, James Rockford is eating at one of the cafes location on South Main Street in Lone Pine, CA. Neither this restaurant or the one seen through the open door are still around in Lone Pine. 

In all 3 of the above still images from the episode "Pastoria Prime Pick"  the motel shown is what is now known as the Dow Villa Motel located at 310 South Main Street, Lone Pine, CA

The above image is the Dow Villa Motel (2011) located in Lone Pine, CA

In the above three images, Smith Evans (Now she is Smith Wordes) played Rita, the underage mayor's daughter.
She was born Sep 18, 1955.

Mayor Karen Sanders was played by the late Kathie Browne.
Born: Sep 19, 1930 and died on April 8, 2003. 
Husband: Darren McGavin - Lead actor in Kolchak - The Night Stalker TV Series
Left: Sheriff Cliff Gladish was played by Richard Herd, who was born Sept 26, 1932 and is still alive as of this writing in 2016 - Right: County Prosecutor Gilbert Univaso was played by Don Billett, who was born Dec 26, 1935 and is still alive as of this writing in 2016.

The cranky mechanic Vern Soper was played by the late Warren J. Kemmerling - He died at age 80 in 2005.

The nylon masked thugs: Far left: Luis Delgado - a regular actor on the Rockford Files and the brother-in-law to Roy Huggins, one of the show's producers. He died in 1997 at 71.
Far Right: Bruce Tuthill, born July 26, 1943 and still with us as of this writing in 2016.
Middle: Unknown & Unaccredited
Waitress was played by Barbara Collentine, she was born on June 17, 1924 and is still with us as of this writing in 2016 at age 91. Retired Sheriff Emmett was played by the late Bill Zuckert who died in 1997 at age 81.

Judge Cline was played by a returning favorite to the Rockford Files, Bill Quinn, who died in 1994 at age 81. He appeared four times on the Rockford Files.


Monday, April 18, 2016

Actor Joe Santos best known as the Rockford Files Lt. Dennis Becker Dead at age 84 on Mar 18, 2016

Joe Santos

Joe Santos was an American film and television actor. Born in Brooklyn on June 9, 1931, the same day his father died. His mother, the former Rose Sarno, sold olive oil and eventually became a nightclub owner and singer in New York and Havana. She later married Puerto Rican-born Daniel Santos, and Joe took his name.

Date of Birth9 June 1931Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA
Date of Death18 March 2016Santa Monica, California, USA  (heart attack)
Birth NameJoseph Minieri
Height5' 9" (1.75 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Brooklyn-born actor of Italian descent, Joe Santos started out a football jock at Fordham University and turned semi-pro before finding a new avenue in acting. Success was long in coming, and he paid his dues for years in a number of blue-collar jobs including railroad worker, tree trimmer, cabbie and barkeep while taking acting classes.

A soap opera job and work in his cousin Joseph W. Sarno's cheap jack film exploitations (Flesh and Lace (1965), Moonlighting Wives (1966) and My Body Hungers (1967)) in the '60s seemed to lead nowhere. His first real break came with the searing film downer The Panic in Needle Park (1971), getting a part at the urging of his friend and star of the film, the up-and-coming Al Pacino, who had played some softball with Santos.

A prime role as a sympathetic sergeant in the acclaimed TV mini-series The Blue Knight (1973) led Santos in the direction of "good cop" parts, with a long-running role as James Garner's long-suffering friend Lt. Becker on the series The Rockford Files (1974) (1974-80). Other series roles in Me and Maxx (1980), a.k.a. Pablo (1984)--as Paul Rodriguez's dad--and Lt. Harper in the 1985-86 season of Hardcastle and McCormick (1983) kept him busy.

Missing out on the one big role that might have put him on the map, the beefy and balding Santos remains a durable and reliable supporting player, getting some deserved notice in 2004 with his recurring role of "Consigliere Angelo Garepe" in the hit hit man series The Sopranos (1999). He has also dabbled in playwriting, having penned "Sunset Normandie", in which he also starred.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh /

Spouse (1)

Mary Montero (31 March 1958 - 18 March 2016) (his death) (2 children)

Trivia (2)

Cousin of director Joseph W. Sarno.
Father of producer/director/writer Perry Santos.

Friday, April 1, 2016

"The Rockford Files" The Hawaiian Headache (1979) - The Royal Surf Hotel Honolulu, Hawaiian Village Hotel, Banyan Gardens Restaurant & Lounge - Ken Swofford, Walter Kirk Stratton Jr., Stuart Margolin, Luis Delgado, Joe Santos, Elissa Dulce Hoopai, Jimmy Borges, Christopher Cary, James Murtaugh, Jack Garner, Julie Blissett, Danny Kamekona

ABOVE PHOTO: First question, WHO SOLD THAT WOMAN THAT OUTFIT??? And being the year 1979 doesn't mitigate the veracity of this question.
In the above photo James & Joseph Rockford are seen in the Honolulu Hawaii Airport after arriving on the island.
BLOOPER: Rocky tells his son Jim this is the first time he was been to Hawaii. But in a previous episode of the Rockford Files - "Dirty Money, Black Light" 1977 - Rocky won a trip to Hawaii and went there only to be subsequently grabbed by the FBI and brought back to Los Angeles California due to a case his son Jim Rockford was working on.

ABOVE PHOTO: Ken Swofford played Col. John 'Howling Mad' Smith who served with Jim Rockford in the Korean War. This was the 5th episode of the Rockford Files that Ken Swofford had a major role in. Ken Swofford was born in Illinois in 1933 and is still with us in 2012. He publicly fought a battle with alcohol abuse in the middle of his career and appears to have beaten it.

ABOVE PHOTO: Walter Kirk Stratton Jr. (W.K. Stratton) played Federal Agent Dwight "Whip" Whipple. In past episodes of the Rockford Files he played LAPD Sergeant Frank Dusenberg (Lt. Dennis Becker's partner). In this episode  Federal Agent Dwight "Whip" Whipple ends up very dead in a hot vehicle trunk.

ABOVE PHOTO: Stuart Margolin who played Jim Rockford's best friend Angel managed to be in this episode...A way to get a free Hawaiian vacation and we all know Angel loves anything that is FREE!

ABOVE PHOTO: Luis Delgado who plays Officer Billings and Joe Santos who plays Lt. Dennis Becker managed to be included in this episode being filmed in Hawaii.
The above hotel room was located in the Hawaiian Village Hotel - This is confirmed by the name of the hotel being printed on the room phone in the below photo.

ABOVE PHOTO: The phone reads: Hawaiian Village Hotel

ABOVE PHOTO: The ROYAL SURF HOTEL was the hotel that James & Joseph Rockford were booked at to stay while in Hawaii. As of this date I am unable to confirmed if this hotel is a real location or not in Honolulu Hawaii.

UPDATE 04/17/2016: I received the following e-mail in regards to this hotel -

Hello there!  Thanks for the great website!  Here's something to add for you:

Regarding Rockford Files " The Hawaiian Holiday" episode --   The "Royal Surf" hotel depicted in the show was fictional and hotel signage added by the studio for effect;  but the location itself really did exist as an actual Waikiki hotel . . . . it was (and still is) The Halekulani (next door to the Hawaiian Village).

Compare your webpage screenshot of the "Royal Surf" with this old photo of the Halekulani - note the details etc.  This photo is from the 'legacy' section of the current Halekulani website -  -  so I'm guessing that portion of the property used for Rockford was torn down during a subsequent remodel.  The area looks very revamped on google Earth.  But the Halekulani has been there since before the Rockford shoot.

Anyhow, thought I'd pass along the info.

Thank you Chris for the above e-mail and the below photo!

BELOW FIVE PHOTOS - Banyan Gardens Restaurant - Honolulu Hawaii
 ABOVE PHOTO: Sexy Cocktail Waitress played by the beautiful Elissa Dulce Hoopai

 ABOVE PHOTO: Jimmy Borges plays the restaurant manager Marshal Mingus at the Banyan Gardens Restaurant.

ABOVE PHOTO: Jim Rockford gets attacked behind the Banyan Gardens Restaurant & Lounge
In the above photo you can see the restaurant's name on the sign hanging off the top of the building and in the below photo you can see a  part of the name "Gardens" along with the same tree logo on the wall behind Jim Rockford.

ABOVE PHOTO: Jimmy Borges plays the restaurant manager Marshal Mingus at the Banyan Gardens Restaurant.

ABOVE PHOTO: Christopher Cary played the slick player Dutch Ingram.
in Surrey, England, UK & died in 2000

ABOVE PHOTO: Good old Chicagoan James Murtaugh makes his 4th appearance on the Rockford Files TV Series playing Gordon Lyle

ABOVE PHOTO: Actor Jack Garner, James Garner's older brother played LAPD Capt. McEnroe. Poor Jack was left behind in Los Angeles as most of the crew were in Hawaii.
Jack Garner passed away in 2011.

ABOVE PHOTO: The very sexy and beautiful Julie Blissett played Mrs. Ingram. You have to hand it to the 1970's for some of the hottest womens clothing ever.

ABOVE PHOTO: What's a Rockford Files TV Episode without Jim Rockford being shot. All is well...Just a flesh wound!

ABOVE PHOTO: I am guessing that these are two real Honolulu police officers from the late 1970's. Any viewers out there who may know these two Honolulu uniformed police officers?
Please let us know in the comment section or

ABOVE PHOTO: The Queen's Medical Center Honolulu Hawaii
1301 Punchbowl Street, Honolulu, HI

ABOVE PHOTO: Danny Kamekona (1935-1996) played Honolulu Police Sgt. Oknemoto

ABOVE PHOTO: Lt. Dennis Becker and Officer Billings walk past some bikini chicks. It appears they are staring at these two women as much as we are now.

Monday, March 21, 2016

What or where was the locations of Jim Rockford's house trailer & office on the Rockford Files TV Show - The parking lot of BOB MORRIS' PARADISE COVE BEACH CAFE & the parking lot of the long defunct Tonga Lei Lounge / Don the Beachcomer's Lounge both in Malibu California - 29 Cove Road - 2356 Pacific Coast Highway - 28128 Pacific Coast Highway - Paradise Cove Beach Cafe - 22878 Pacific Coast Hwy

This Blog's #1 Internet Search Question - What was the location(s) of Jim Rockford's beach front trailer and office?
Over 4,000,000 viewers have reached our blog by searching that question alone!
And thank you to over 10,000,000 viewers who have visited our Rockford Files filming location blog.

ABOVE PHOTO: In the first year of filming the ROCKFORD FILES the house trailer used by Jim Rockford was parked directly next to Malibu's Tonga Lei Restaurant & Lounge which was once located at 22878 Pacific Coast Hwy. Malibu, Calif. 90265 456-6444.  This location was actually right on Pacific Coast Highway unlike the later location which was well off Pacific Coast Highway.
Tonga Lei was a popular Malibu restaurant and motel right on PCH in scenic Malibu, and operated from the '60s probably into the '70s, when it became a Don the Beachcomber.

Later on Jim Rockford's house trailer was moved to the parking lot of what is now the Paradise Cove Beach Café located at 28128 Pacific Coast Highway. Although it has a Pacific Coast Highway address it is actually located down a ways from the highway and is situated right on the oceanfront. The road is called Paradise Cove Road, thus the address they used for this location in the TV series: 29 Cove Road Malibu, CA


The outdoor grill located on the beach where Jim Rockford had parked his trailer had several names during the run of the TV series. In this episode the grill was called CASA TACOS.