A few episodes of the famed “Route 66” television drama from the early 1960s had been posted online in dribs and drabs over the years.
However, earlier this summer, The OTR Collection uploaded all 116 episodes of the drama that starred George Maharis and Martin Milner. The entire playlist is below, starting with the first episode, “Blac,k November”:
The “Route 66” drama became of the key moments of pop culture that cemented the real Route 66 highway in the public consciousness. (Ironically, “Route 66” seldom ever shot episodes on Route 66.) Milner, who portrayed Tod Stiles, and Maharis, who portrayed Buz Murdock, were a couple of restless chums who traveled the country in a Chevrolet Corvette convertible, looking for odd jobs and adventure.
“Route 66” was unusual in that it shot in a different location every week, providing a real-life glimpse of America to viewers decades later.
The show also proved to be a training ground for young directors and up-and-coming actors, the latter including James Caan, James Coburn, William Shatner, Robert Duvall, Jack Lord, Cloris Leachman, Lee Marvin, Walter Matthau, Martin Sheen and many others.
“Route 66” sported top-notch scripts, many by head writer Stirling Silliphant, that delved into social issues that portended the upheaval of the late 1960s.
Milner died in 2015. Maharis, at last report, still is around at 93 years old. (You can our interview with him in the early days of Route 66 News.) Glenn Corbett, Maharis’ replacement in the latter days of the show, died in 1993 at age 59.
(Hat tip to Paul Greeley; publicity image of Martin Milner with co-star George Maharis on the set of “Route 66”)