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McCord at right with Martin Milner in 1970.
|Born||Kent Franklin McWhirter
September 26, 1942
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Cynthia Lee Doty (m. 1962-present)
Life and career
McCord was born Kent Franklin McWhirter in Los Angeles, California to Bert and Laura McWhirter. Using the stage name Kent McCord, he first appeared on television in 1962 The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet. He became a close friend of Ricky Nelson and made a total of 44 appearances on the program over the next few years. He also landed small parts in three Elvis Presley films. He also appeared as a motorcycle courier in a McHale's Navy episode titled "Monkey Business 007" under the name Kent McWhirter.
After working in a variety of secondary roles, he got his big break in 1968 when he was given a lead role next to Martin Milner as rookie LAPD police officer James A. "Jim" Reed on Adam-12, a police drama television series created by Jack Webb. The popular show ran on NBC from 1968-75. In the first season of Jack Webb's Dragnet 1967, he appeared twice. The first appearance, in the episode "The Big Explosion", saw him credited under his legal name.
In the second episode, "The Interrogation", McCord was credited under his stage name, and he played the role of a Los Angeles Police Department officer who had allegedly robbed a store while working an undercover narcotics detail fresh out of the police academy. McCord went on to appear five additional times in the second season, three times as unnamed officers and twice as his eventual Adam-12 character Jim Reed. He appeared one more time on Dragnet as Reed before the character became exclusive to Adam-12.
In 1972, McCord was elected to the National Board of Directors of the Screen Actors Guild and served on the board for 11 years. He served as the first national vice president while on the National Board of Directors.
McCord appeared as a downed fighter ace on the 1970s series Baa Baa Black Sheep. In 1980, he played Troy on the short-lived series Galactica 1980. Two years later, Webb tabbed him for a new Dragnet series he was ready to launch, with McCord to play the partner to Webb's Joe Friday. Webb died in December 1982, however, before any of the episodes he wrote could be produced. In 1982, McCord played Mr. Unger on Airplane II: The Sequel, his only comedy role to date.
In 1989, he co-starred on the short-lived crime drama Unsub. He re-teamed with Martin Milner, his co-star in Adam-12, in the cable TV-movie Nashville Beat (1990), originally shown on The Nashville Network (now Spike). In 1990, McCord appeared in the film Predator 2 as Captain Pilgrim. He appeared as Jack in Out for Justice (1991), and played John Reynolds in Return of the Living Dead 3 (1993).
From 1994-95, McCord played the recurring role of Scott Keller on seaQuest DSV. He appeared in three episodes of JAG, and, most recently, became a semiregular guest star on Farscape. He played two versions (one human and one alien appearing in the physical form of the human) of the same character, Jack Crichton.
- Screen Actors Guild National Vice Presidents, sag.org; accessed July 17, 2015.
- Screen Actors Guild National Board of Directors official website, sag.org; accessed July 17, 2015.
- Kent McCord on IMDb