This Date in ROCKFORD FILES History: James Whitmore Jr. makes his first appearance as Rockford wannabe Fred Beamer in “Beamer’s Last Case,” airing Sept. 16, 1977

  1. BEAMER’S LAST CASE
    Original Air Date:
    September 16, 1977

    Synopsis.
    Rockford returns from an aborted fishing vacation in the Caribbean to find that someone has wrecked his car, disturbed his home, used his credit card to purchase several expensive detection devices, and even impersonated him. The culprit: Freddie Beamer, a mechanic at Tony’s Body Shop—and a private detective wannabe. Not only must Rockford clean up the mess Freddie made of his own life, he finds himself having to rescue Beamer (played by James Whitmore Jr.) after Freddie stumbles onto a taxicab company owner’s plot to sabotage his own business.

    In this episode, writer/director Stephen J. Cannell borrows a concept from the classic Maverick episode “The Saga of Waco Williams” by pairing Rockford with a character, Freddie Beamer, with a penchant for landing in the middle of situations that Rockford would normally avoid. James Whitmore Jr., who plays Beamer, had just finished production of the first season of the World War II drama Baa Baa Black Sheep (NBC, 1976-1978) at the time he filmed this episode. Baa Baa Black Sheep was Cannell’s first series as an executive producer.
    LEARN MORE about this episode in the revised third edition of 45 YEARS OF THE ROCKFORD FILES, featuring more than sixty new pages of never before published information about both the original Rockford Files and the CBS reunion movies, including twenty new interviews and six new appendices. 25 percent of the net proceeds from the sales of 45 YEARS OF THE ROCKFORD FILES will be donated to The James Garner Animal Rescue Fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising funds to help rescue organizations, shelters, individuals, fosters, and veterans with emergencies, evacuations, medical care, adoptions, training, pet supplies, shelter, rehabilitation, boarding, transportation, food, and other pressing needs. JGARF is one way for Garner fans to honor Jim’s memory and extend his legacy. Plus… if you order 45 YEARS OF THE ROCKFORD FILES directly from Black Pawn Press, you will receive an exclusive bonus gift. Go to Rockford45.com for more details

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