CTVA US Adventure - "Ripcord" (ZIV-UA-Ivan Tors)(1961-63) starring Larry Pennell  & Ken Curtis

CTVA
The Classic TV Archive - US  Adventure series

Sky King (1951-59)   Whirlybirds (1957-60)   Ripcord (1961-63)
Ripcord (1961-63)
Episode Guide compiled by The Classic TV Archive
with contributions by:
"Ripcord" skydiver "Bob Henry",  Jorge Reinaldo Galindo, Tom Alger

references:
TV Guide / Library of Congress (telnet://locis.loc.gov)
Internet Movie Database (http://us.imdb.com)
UCLA Film and Television Archive / Writers Guild of America (wga)

Ripcord (season 1) (Syndication) (1961-62)
Ripcord (season 2) (Syndication) (1962-63)
Ripcord  - Copyright Information
-------
RIPCORD
-------
Ivan Tors Films, (early episodes) (1961-62) (black-and-white?)
in association with
ZIV-United Artists Television
Executive Producer,
Ivan Tors (early episodes) (1961-62)
Produced by
Leon Benson

*
Rapier production, (later episodes)(1963)(color?)
in association with
United Artists Television
Executive producer,
Babe Unger (a.k.a. Maurice Unger?) (later episodes)(1963)
Produced by
Leon Benson
for
First-Run Syndication

US Adventure series 1961-63 76 episodes x 30 min bw/color
(later episodes
color ?)
Starring:
Larry Pennell as Ted McKeever
Ken Curtis as Jim Buckley (later to be Festus on Gunsmoke)
Recurring Cast:
Paul Comi as Chuck Lambert, pilot (1961-62)
Shug Fisher as Charlie Kern, pilot (1962-63)
 EITHER  -George Fisher III (born 1944 Montana)
OR  - Shug Fisher (born 1907 Oklahoma)
 
Page Slattery as Brewster

Premise:
Two unusual detectives are trained skydivers.
Similar show to "Whirlybirds", only parachutes instead of helicopters
Ripcord, Inc. called their airplane "Old Betsy."

Opening Narration
"This is the most danger-packed show on television. Every jump, every
aerial maneuver is real, photographed just as it happened, without
tricks or illusions. All that stands between a jumper and death is his RIPCORD."

Stunt Divers include: Bob Henry
Original Music by Stanley Wilson  
   
 ################## Ripcord ###################
####### Feedback from Skydiver Bob Henry #########
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Letter from "Ripcord" skydiver
Bob Henry <vitalforces@hotmail.com> Jan 2001
Here is as much information as I can summon from memory (I'm 63 but still
savvy and jumping periodically at the Beaver Valley Skydivers DZ in Western
Pennsylvania. Ripcord was founded by General James C. Hall, U.S.A.F.,
Retired, and David Burt, deceased. Together, having parachuted into remote
parts of Mexico searching for gold and other special escapades, they formed
Paraventures Incorporated. In 1961, Jim Hall, in colaboration with his
partner Dave Burt, wrote the pilot film for Ripcord and sold it to ZIV
Television. The sale included a contract to do all the jumping for at least
the first year of the series, 1961/62. The subsequent years, were contracted
by Lyle Cameron and others for a flat rate to make whatever and whenever
jumps were necessary. Bob Bouquor did their air-to-air photography until he
was killed while filming for the series. The way the story goes, he was
filming jumpers OVER the ocean bay at Malibu and they opened rather late.
Bob did not have time to open his parachute. One of their jumpers, Rod Pak
made a jump, rigged with a harness and no parachute, but connected with
fellow jumper (I think Jim Tyler or Taylor, since killed making a BASE jump
off El Capitan) who passed a reserve parachute to him. Rod hooked it up and
landed safely. Jim Hall, as of a year ago, resides in Aurora, Colorado with
his wife and son. Dave Burt died after being in a coma due to a car accident

Side note: Jim made the first US zero-zero ejection for Burns (ejected 150
feet into the air from an ejection seat on the ground and his parachute was
BALLISTICALLY DEPLOYED, successfully. I think someone in England prempted
this feat.) Both Jim and Dave were members of the Adventurer's Club in Los
Angeles. Sky God, Bob Sinclair, did most all the air-to-air photography
from the concept to the end of Paraventure's contract.
If ever saw the TV show of Johnny Carson jumping from 12,500
feet, twice, it was Bob who trained him and held him on buddy jumps
(before tandems). Bob is now 74 years old and still making an average of one
jump per WEEK. He has trained astronauts, filmed skydivers in numerous TV
commercials, documentaries, movies and originated the four-line cut on round
canopies in order to make them quasi steerable.   BOB, ALMOST A
PARTNER IN PARAVENTURES, CAN GIVE YOU MORE ACCURATE AND DETAILED
INFORMATION THAN I CAN. HE IS CONSTANTLY VISITING DROP ZONES ALL OVER THE US. 

Two pros, Bud Kesow (spelling ?) and Vern Williams made most of the jumps
for ACTORS Larry Pennell and Ken Curtis. Both were natives of Lake Elsinore, CA
where most of the filming was done during the first year. I made twelve
jumps for the series, one doubling as Ken Curtis. The scene was about an
escaped convict hiding in the woods and Jim Buckley (Ken) was knocked
unconscious by the convict's bullet. The landing had to be an uncontrolled,
accurate landing with 15 mile-an-hour winds aloft and 3 to 6 on the ground.
I left the plane at 2000 feet and opened at 1200. At about 800 feet, I was
signaled by a flag to throw my head back and render myself limp and ride the
round canopy to the ground in a ravine. Other jumps I made were doubling
for ??? a teen-age music idol named "Bobby" and, because I'm short, a girl
in one of the series named "Linda." While only making twelve jumps, they
were used numerous times throughout the first year of the series.
Larry Pennel (Ted McKeever) was a former professional baseball pitcher. I
do not know which team he played for. He might still be living in Santa
Monica, California. Ken Curtis (Jim Buckley) passed away in Arizona, I think
in 1994 from cancer. He was a heavy smoker. You might be aware, Ken played
Festus on GUNSMOKE. Ken was married and subsequently divorced from John Ford's
 daughter. John Ford, a producer, discovered and produced many of John
Wayne's movies in which Ken had small parts. Ken was also one of the original
Sons of the Pioneers singing group in, I believe, the late forties and early fifties.

Bob Henry vitalforces@hotmail.com   Jan 2001


 ################## Ripcord ###################
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