B.J. & The Bear

Greg Evigan is one of the nicest actors in show business.
He's kind, smart, funny, works hard, and is extremely professional.
He's also a terrific human being.

The "Bear" was played by a great monkey named Sam.  He and I got along famously...and, you know, I really thought that chimp liked me. As a matter of fact, when I came back to do the opening show of another season, he remembered me! (At least, that's how he acted!) Those big teeth didn't scare ME!

The first episode that I did was a Christmas special, and one of the most enjoyable experiences I've had working in television. Despite the long hours of night shooting under a hectic holiday schedule, the crew and cast became a tight unit. I played the part of a pregnant girl who gives birth in the back of BJ's truck in a snow storm. Ted Danson played my husband, who in this show is terribly preoccupied with his work, but BJ is there in a desperate moment to help deliver my child. During long hours and lots of night shooting, BJ and my character shared many adventures. Greg and I worked very well together, and were subsequently cast opposite each other frequently.  We worked together on a second two-part BJ and the BEAR, as well as on MURDER, SHE WROTE; FAME;  and MASQUERADE. A wonderful side note to this story is that Greg's wife - who's name, coincidentally, is Pam - became pregnant while we were shooting this episode. I always felt it was the practice Greg got with all that grunting and groaning I did in the back of that truck!

Peter Altobelli, who also did my make-up for the pilot episode of MAGNUM, PI., is a wonderful make-up artist. We became good friends, and always had such fun on set...as did my dog, Devon. She loved to go to the studio with me every morning, and was never at a loss for people to walk her. The only time she ever barked was once on my close-up!