Beloved Actors of the 'Hardy Boys' Mystery Television Series Then and Now
The “Hardy Boys” mystery television show caused suspense and excitement for its viewers in the ‘70s and is still remembered today. We explore what happened to the characters since the show and reveal who stayed in the show business and who didn't. We also find out why one of its main cast members drove around America in a Volkswagen bus and then quit acting. Excitement is also in the air with confirmation of the show's revamp in 2020! Fans don't have to wait much longer to see their icons back doing what they do best - solving mysteries.
UNEARTHING A FEW MYSTERIES ABOUT THE POPULAR MYSTERY SERIES
Many fans might not know that a young Shaun Cassidy's first audition was for the lead role in the John Wayne film, the Shootist. He missed it as the spot was given to former Mayberry native, Ronny Howard. The actor’s second audition-ever was for the iconic Hardy Boys and he got the job.
The show started with an alternate feature of the Hardys and Nancy Drew. After a while, the two storylines were somewhat combined, until Nancy Drew was written out until entirely. The successful series was recognized with an Emmy Award nomination for Special Classification of Outstanding Individual Achievement.
Fans of the show can thank the incredible cast for taking them on a daily adventure with Parker Stevenson and Shaun Cassidy as the detective brothers, Frank and Joe, and Pamela Sue Martin as Nancy Drew. These big names now have their success and fame because of this monumental crime series.
Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh’s daughter applied to be Nancy Drew. The now-famous Jamie Lee Curtis was still a student at the University of the Pacific when she tried out for the part of the teen sleuth. She was unsuccessful but she did appear in the season-one Nancy Drew tale "Mystery of the Fallen Angels."
It was only during the season-two premiere that the literary legends who wrote the stories met for the first time. The characters, all products of the children's book publisher the Stratemeyer Syndicate, never crossed paths in the novels. It was only after the TV series became iconic that they joined forces on the pages.
In 1977 $15,000 was a fortune for a young man but it was nothing in comparison to the millions Shaun Cassidy was getting from his merchandise. He had an array of products from watches, lunch boxes, pajamas to posters, all bagging him millions of dollars. He was set for life!
Another interesting fact was the real-life education of the character, Frank Hardy. His level of intellect could probably solve mysteries both on and off-screen. The actor, Stevenson (born Richard Stevenson Parker) graduated from the Ivy League school, Princeton, in 1976. Pamela Sue Martin, of Dynasty, went on an adventure after the series ended.
Postseason three, she quit the show and joined a polo team. In this team, the former actress reared horses and drove around the country in a Volkswagen minibus. Along with her young son, she later decided to set down her roots in Hailey, Idaho. When asked about these life choices the star responded: “I think I needed to replenish my inner self."
Born Richard Stevenson Parker, the actor had no intention of pursuing a career in the film and television industry, which showed after he studied architecture at Princeton University. However, fate worked its magic and he ended up in the field.
He was not able to use his birth name as a screen name because another registered it with the Screen Actors Guild, so he had to settle for Parker Stevenson. After the show ended, the “The Hardy Boys Mysteries” star had two kids, a son named William True Stevenson in 1992 and a daughter named Lillie Price Stevenson in 1994.
While still in high school, Cassidy was already a superstar with over three million albums sold, thanks to his contract with Warner Brothers. Afterward, he starred on “The Hardy Boys Mysteries,” which gained him even more popularity, yet he never let go of his career in singing with several tours happening.
Cassidy focused on theater shortly after with productions including “Blood Brothers,” which ran for more than a year on Broadway. While invested in theater, the entertainer learned about playwrights and gained an interest in writing. He wrote his first show, “American Gothic,” before shifting his career behind the screen as a writer.
Cassidy has since written and produced many recognized television shows, including “Roar,” “Cover Me,” “Cold Case,” “The Agency,” “Invasion,” and “Hysteria.” While being successful in his career, he has also found success in his personal and family life, which he sees as his greatest achievement.
The actor was able to start a family of his own and has been happily married for many years. He tied the knot with his wife Tracey Lynne Turner and they have nurtured a good and loving family. Together they have four kids, two boys, and two girls. Their childrens names are Caleb, Roan, Lila, and Marin.
PAMELA SUE MARTIN
Martin, like Cassidy, was already famous before she joined the show, with many advertisements and films to date. Her inspiring story begins with an ambitious mindset where she followed her friend to model in New York so she could earn $60 an hour instead of the $1.4 she was making in a hamburger stand.
Without proper training in the field, Martin auditioned for a role in the 1972 film “To Find a Man” once she heard about the need for actresses. The producers took three months to thoroughly think about the cast, in the end, Martin was cast as the female lead.
Because of the outstanding performance she had, the producer cast her in “The Poseidon Adventure” alongside five Academy Award-winning actors and actresses. Projects started flowing in for Martin, starring in films like “Buster and Billie,” “The Hemingway Play,” and “Strong Medicine,” among many others.
After playing Nancy Drew on the show, Martin was offered to reprise the role of Fallon Carrington in the “Dynasty” spin-off, “The Colbys,” which she turned down. She has since become an advocate for the environment, joining groups such as Greenpeace. She is also the national spokesperson for Nourkrin and Wild Horse Sanctuary.
Edith Atwater was played Aunt Gertrude Hardy on the show, and she had a few roles before “The Hardy Boys Mystery." These included “The Body Snatcher,” “Strait-Jacket,” “Rooftop,” and “Perton Place.” The theater was her first career before taking it to television, given that she trained at the American Laboratory Theater.
Her productions include the comedy “Springtime for Henry,” “The Country Wife,” “Susan and God,” “State of the Union,” and “The Man Who Came to Dinner.” Atwater was married twice to two actors, Hugh Marlowe and Kent Smith. Sadly, she was left a widow by both men, this left her heartbroken a number of times.
William Schallert was no stranger to drama and the entertainment industry as he grew up the son of a drama editor, Edwin Schallert. Before going into screen acting, Schallert first involved himself with the Circle Theater, where he would later become part-owner, and then made his film debut in “The Foxes of Harrow.”
After playing Carson Drew on the show, Schallert became president of the Screen Actors Guild and stayed an active member for a long time. He also appeared in the television series “The Twilight Zone: Mr. Bevis,” “The Twilight Zone: Shadow Play/Grace Note,” and “The Twilight Zone: The Movie.”
THE HARDY BOYS ARE HEADING TO HULU
Come 2020, Frank and Joe Hardy will be back on the case! The series is set to start streaming on Hulu next year. Nelvana and Lambur Productions’ live-action adaptation of Edward Stratemeyer’s classic book series has officially found a home in the U.S., on Hulu. The new revamp of the series will include 13 hour-long episodes.
It will star an all Canadian main cast of James Tupper (Fenton Hardy), Rohan Campell (Frank Hardy), and Alexander Elliot (Joe Hardy) The story will look at 16-year-old Frank and 12-year-old Joe, who have to move to the small town of Bridgeport after their mother’s tragic death. The mystery arises as the boys try to uncover the truth surrounding their mother’s death.
The Hardy Boys form part of the Hulu’s library of licensed and original book-to-television adaptations. Other tales that had a similar fate were The Handmaid’s Tale, Looking For Alaska, Killing Eve and Friday Night Lights. Nelvana wanted to tackle this task in 2010 already but only now got it right. Pam Westman, president of Nelvana said the following:
“Given today’s trend of reimagining classic series, we realized what a hidden gem The Hardy Boys was within Nelvana’s vast catalogue.”
Joan Lambur, executive producer and president of Lambur Productions added this statement: “While we’re excited to bring a fresh new take on The Hardy Boys, we also wanted to evoke a sense of nostalgia. The series remains true to the quintessential Hardy Boys themes of brotherly love, friendship and, of course, mystery-solving.”
The mystery and adventure await and we can't wait for 2020! We only have to wait a few more months until the iconic characters are back on our screens. Which stars are you most looking forward to seeing? Leave your comments in the comment section.