|Gavin Hurrel c.1965
Gavin Wilson Hurrell was born in Casper, Wyoming on August 10th, 1922. He served in the
Army Signal Corps. during WWII, achieving the rank of Captain.
Upon his discharge, he enrolled in NYU under the
G.I. Bill, majoring in theater-arts with an emphasis in acting. While attending university, he worked steadily
as an announcer for the
CBS Radio Network.
By 1949, Hurrell had transitioned from performance into production,
and directed a number of popular dramas, including G-MEN and DRAGNET. Hurrell was a heavy drinker, a regular
denizen of the New York Nightclub scene.
He was also described as arrogant and pugnacious--legend has it he
Richard Donner (LETHAL WEAPON) once traded blows on the set of THE TWILIGHT ZONE. Despite this,
even his enemies acknowledged his high degree of creativity and uncanny story-sense.
Gavin Hurrell and Natalie Wood
1964 Emmy Awards
A self-described playboy, Hurrell was married four times and engaged in a number of affairs with his various leading ladies, including
Kim Carlyle. To his credit, most of the women in his life (with the notable exception of his second wife,
actress Barbara Nichols) continued to hold him in high regard despite his marked womanizing.
In 1957, Hurrell
began what would prove to be a successful career in the fledgling television media, serving as producer or
executive producer on a wide variety of programs including PLAYHOUSE 90, NAKED CITY and ROUTE 66. In 1966, at
the height of his career, he produced HONEY VICARRO.
Last known photo of Hurrell,
his Benedict Canyon Home, c. 1992
Hurrell's star fell precipitously after the
cancellation of HONEY VICARRO. Over the years, he had made many powerful
enemies within the executive ranks
of the television industry, all of whom were likely sharpening their knives in anticipation of his first
failure. The very public (and expensive) fiasco of HONEY VICARRO provided them with an ideal opportunity for
Though he pursued a number of other projects
(a mini-series based on Tom Wolfe's THE ELECTRIC KOOL-AID ACID
TEST, a big-screen version of HONEY VICARRO, and an intriguing
hour drama, MURDER, INC., centered around the life and loves of
a mob hit-man), Hurrell never worked again in series television until his death in 1992. Although he
was married four times and sired no less than 14 children (nine legitimately), Hurrell died without a will.
After its cancellation, Hurrell refused to
discuss HONEY VICARRO with anyone outside his immediate family.
According to his son, Steven Hurrell, he was begrudgingly amused
by the show's cult status and dubious regarding it's subsequent
mystique, as is evidenced by the following quote contained in
his obituary, the only comment he made for the record
"Honey Vicarro was exactly twelve minutes and thirty-seven seconds
ahead of its time."
- Gavin Hurrell, 1990