Original Air Date: September 27, 1974
Synopsis. Socialite Deborah Ryder (played by Susan Strasberg) hires Rockford to stop Carl Brego (Dick Gautier), an extortionist who knows that Deborah was once linked to a numbers racket in Chicago. As part of his surveillance, Rockford videotapes a meeting between Deborah and Carl. Then, while pretending to be another blackmailer who wants a piece of the action, he confronts Carl and threatens to turn the tape over to the police unless Carl cuts him in. The ploy backfires, however, when Carl is shot to death—Rockford becomes the prime suspect.
Susan Strasberg, daughter of legendary acting coach Lee Strasberg, played the wife of Tony Musante in Toma, the ABC police drama inextricably linked to the creation of The Rockford Files. We’ll see her again in “A Bad Deal in the Valley.” Dick Gautier, aka Hymie the Robot on Get Smart, earned a Tony nomination for his performance as Elvis-like rock ’n’ roll star Conrad Birdie in the original Broadway production of Bye Bye Birdie.
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