Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona on July 26, 1981 · Page 258
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Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona · Page 258

Phoenix, Arizona
Issue Date:
Sunday, July 26, 1981
Page 258
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Actor divides his time between two networks Randy Hamilton, star of the NBC soap opera Texas, started his show business career more than a decade ago as a singer in his native state of Ohio. He was in his late teens, rambling around Buckeye land playing venues ranging from small clubs to rubbery chicken banquets where the post-meal orator was likely to be a member of the Cleveland Browns. "Out of that I got The Bob Braun Show," he recalled, referring to the daily 90-minute talk and variety program out of Cincinnati on which he appeared. Braun 's show is seen in a four-state area. Hamilton appeared on it for five years, using his full name of Randy Hamilton Weidner. He later dropped the surname at the suggestion ' of his agent.' "The agent said, 'You've got to do something about your name.' It (Hamilton) just stuck. Nobody had trouble pronouncing it or spelling it," he said. Hamilton gave up crooning after he moved to Los Angeles. "The singing went by the wayside. The nightclubs went by the wayside in '78," he said. Acting became his goal. He studied and clicked with his first major audition last summer. Hamilton now plays Rikki Dekker, one of the white hats on Texas, and is once again singing regularly before a national TV audience. "They didn't hire me to actually sing," he said, calling recently from a summer place on Long Island. He had hopped up on the bandstand during a cast party and his other talent was "discovered" by Proctor & Gamble Productions. Hamilton, 33, is a tall and muscular man. "I've been doing Nautilus (an exercising system) for a long time. It's quick and effective," explained the ex-high school football, player, who graduated from Ohio University in 1972. He never followed up on an intention to play collegiate football. "I did consider playing college football. I didn't get any scholarships. I didn't m.w ...! mm : ii Hjjl .u. II nil i, j 1 1 Randy Hamilton f Bud Wilkinson Television Radio have the discipline or desire. I just let it slide," he said. Much of his professional work has been in Ohio. Besides the Braun show, and before Texas, he hosted the nationally-distributed cable program for teens entitled America Goes Bananaz for QUBE in Columbus. He succeeded Michael Young, who went on to host Kids Are People Too on ABC in 1979. Ironically, he was tapped earlier this year to take Young's place on Kids Are People Too. Credit goes to producer Burt Dubrow, the former producer of America Goes Bananaz. "He had used those (Bananaz) tapes when he got the job. They just called and offered me the job. I was amazed," said Hamilton, terming his two-time succession of Young "an unusual coincidence." " "It doesn't make any difference to me. Michael Young did a fine job on the show." Young has spent the last few months touring in a summer stock production of Bye Bye Birdie. Hamilton is in the equally unusual position of working full time for two networks. "I think my agent did a good job of selling them," he said. "They were hesitant to give me permission initially." NBC and Proctor & Gamble soon "saw it would be beneficial for Texas because they wanted that teen-age viewership." Daytime serials are extremely popular with the young audience, especially college kids, and Texas has had a particularly rough time since premier-ing last August. Its main opposition is a video behemoth, General Hospital on ABC. Battling against "the most popular soap opera on television" has not been accomplished without changes, Hamilton said. Less than half of the original cast remains. Also ousted were Texas' original producer and co-writers. Split,' 4 (2 KNAZ (NBC) Flagstaff (S) KUAT (PBS) Tucson O KZAZ (Ind.) Tucson (BKNXV (Ind.) Phoenix O KTVK (ABC) Phoenix O KAET (PBS) Phoenix CD KPNX (NBC) Phoenix Q)KPAZ(Ind.) Phoenix GD KVOA (NBC) Tucson CD KGUN (ABC) Tucson Q) KOLD (CBS) Tucson G) KTVW (Span.) Phoenix O KPHO (Ind.) Phoenix KOOL(CBS) Phoenix KYEL (NBC) Yuma KTVW (Span.) Tucson Log listings copyright Associated Press, 198! JULY 26, 1961 THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC TV DIGEST PAGE 3

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