Jon Cypher Online
EST 2014 | a tribute site to actor jon cypher
Welcome to MAVERICK JON CYPHER ONLINE @ www.joncypher.org an online resource to American actor Jon Cypher. Well known for his portrayal of Chief Fletcher P. Daniels on the 1982 NBC cop drama HILL STREET BLUES, as Major General Martin Goldman on the CBS Vietnam War drama TOUR OF DUTY and as General Marcus Craig on MAJOR DAD and as Duncan, Man at Arms in the film HE MAN & THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE, as Brian in H. G. Wells' FOOD OF THE GODS, and as Prince Christopher in the live televised version of CINDERELLA starring Julie Andrews from 1957. Jon has a strong resume encompassing film, television and the stage. Although Jon is now retired I hope this site stands as a tribute to his talent.

I want to thank Owain Mattocks of the Facebook HILL STREET BLUES Fan Group for allowing me to post this here. Jon contacted him and related his thanks knowing the show is still being remembered today some thirty plus years after going off the air. Owain has allowed me to post it here for Jon’s fans who either don’t know about the group, or who would just like to see what Jon’s experience was. Thanks again Owain. The all caps is Jon’s and the message is posted here directly as Owain provided with no corrections.

DEAR OWAIN,

WHAT A PLEASURE TO GET YOUR EMAIL AND TO KNOW THAT THERE’S STILL A HILL STREET GROUP REMEMBERING THAT AMAZING SHOW.THE REAL JOB OF AN ACTOR IS NOT ACTING. THE REAL JOB IS GETTING THE JOB. I AUDITIONED FOR HILL ST. FOR THE PART OF A CAPTAIN,A CHARACTER WHO WAS GOING TO RECUR IN 3 EPISODES. BOCHCO, THE PRODUCER, SAID TO ME AFTER MY AUDITION. “WELL, YOU’RE NOT RIGHT FOR THIS BUT THERE’S SOMETHING COMING UP AND WE’LL CALL YOU.” THOSE LAST WORDS ARE THE KISS OF DEATH FOR AN ACTOR.IN OTHER WORDS, “WE’LL CALL YOU” IS A NICE WAY OF SAYING, “GO AWAY, DISAPPEAR, NEVER DARKEN OUR DOOR AGAIN.”

BUT THIS TIME BOCHCO MEANT IT AND A COUPLE OF WEEKS LATER, I GOT A CALL TO COME IN TO PLAY THE POLICE CHIEF. IT WAS TO BE A ONE SHOT.BUT AFTER I DID THAT FIRST SHOW, THEY CALLED AGAIN AND I WAS ON THE SHOW FOR THE DURATION…7 SEASONS. THE FUNNY THING IS THAT WHEN I CAME IN TO DO THAT SECOND SHOW, THE ASST. DIRECTOR SAID TO ME THAT WHEN THE PRODUCERS SCREENED THAT FIRST EPISODE I WAS IN, THEY NEVERSTOPPED LAUGHING AT WHAT I’D DONE. I WAS DELIGHTED. THE ONLY. PROBLEM WAS THAT I WAS PLAYING IT STRAIGHT…NOT FOR LAUGHS…BUT THE PRODUCERS THOUGHT I WAS FUNNY. SO! FOR THE REST OF THAT SEASON AND THE NEXT SIX, I WAS ALWAYS WALKING A WEIRD LINE IN MY BRAIN: IS THIS FUNNY; IS THIS NOT FUNNY? ALWAYS ASKING MYSELF THAT STRANGE QUESTION.

I SAID THE REAL JOB OF AN ACTOR IS GETTING THE JOB. WHEN I STARTED WORKING IN FILM AND ON TV THERE WERE AROUND 35 OR 40 THOUSAND MEMBERS OF SCREEN ACTORS GUILD…THE FILM UNION. WHEN I RETIRED AFTER 43 YEARS, THERE WERE ABOUT 145 THOUSAND. MORE AND MORE ACTORS FOR THE AVAILABLE WORK. AND TO MAKE A LIVING, ACTORS FREQUENTLY HAVE TO TAKE SOMETHING THEY KNOW IS NOT GOOD. THAT THEY KNOW SUCKS!I’VE DONE FIVE SOAP OPERAS FOR SHORT PERIODS DURING MY CAREER…JUST TO PUT FOOD ON THE TABLE. BUT ALL THAT IS A LEAD UP TO SAY THATHILL STREET BLUES WAS, CONSISTENTLY, WEEK AFTER WEEK, YEAR AFTER YEAR, THE FINEST WRITING THAT I’VE EVER HAD THE PRIVILEGE TO DO. I WAS WHAT IS CALLED IN THE BUSINESS, “A RECURRING CHARACTER.” I DID AS MANY AS 15 OF THE 24 EPISODES IN A SEASON AND AS FEW AS 8 OR 10. BUT EVERY TIME A SCRIPT WAS DELIVERED TO MY HOUSE, I WONDERED, “COULD THEY HAVE DONE IT YET AGAIN? COULD THEY HAVE FORGED YET ANOTHER SCRIPT WITH THE SAME BRILLIANT WRITING, THE SAME POWERFUL STORYLINE?? ANOTHER MASTERPIECE? AGAIN?

AND, OF COURSE, I WAS NEVER DISAPPOINTED. ALWAYS BRILLIANT, ALWAYS AWASH IN REALITY. HERE’S HOW IT WORKS: A WRITER SUBMITS A SCRIPT, THEY LIKE IT AND BUY THE SCRIPT FROM THE WRITER. THEN THE PRODUCERS PUT THEIR IMPRIMATUR ON THE STORY. AND, ON HSB THE LAST ONE TO TOUCH THE SCRIPT WOULD ALWAYS BE STEPHEN BOCHCO. AND WHEN BOCHCO TOUCHED IT, IT WAS TRANSFORMED INTO THE GEM THE WORLD SAW ON THEIR TV SCREENS.UNFAILINGLY. BOCHCO DID IT. AND, IF I MAY, WHAT A TRAGEDY THAT HE DIED SO YOUNG.

SO, YEAH, I CAN EASILY SAY THAT HILL ST. WAS THE FINEST THING I EVER DID ON TV. AND I CAN’T CHECK OUT WITHOUT MENTIONING THE LARGE CAST OF WONDERFUL ACTORS, FROM DAN TRAVANTI ON DOWN. I KNEW THEM ALL, CARED FOR THEM ALL, BUT, AS THE CHIEF, OF COURSE MOST OF MY SCENES INCLUDED CAPTAIN: FURILLO! AND I HAVE TO SAY, LOOKING BACK ON A LONG CAREER, I THINK, WITHOUT ANY DOUBT WHATSOEVER, DAN WAS THE FINEST ACTOR I EVER WORKED WITH.

THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR APPRECIATION FOR WHAT I THINK, EVEN TODAY, WAS THE FINEST TV SERIES EVER ON THAT SMALL SCREEN IN OUR LIVING ROOMS!AND I WOULD BET ANYTHING THAT EVERY ACTOR THAT HAD THE CHANCE TO WORK ON THAT SHOW WOULD SAY THE SAME THING.

BEST TO ALL, JON CYPHER (AKA CHIEF FLETCHER P. DANIELS)



I’m so sorry for the long time without an update or anything new. The site was hacked and hacked well. It took me a while to get everything cleaned up and also I’ve moved the site to another host. The one I had it on didn’t provide any way to protect the files and more or less blamed me for not having better protection. If like on my new host they’d give us their clients the ability to protect our sites via their backend, I wouldn’t have had this issue. Ah well. C’est la vie. I’ve also updated a couple of albums in the gallery with some screencaps I forgot. I’ve also added the final episodes of DYNASTY Jon appeared in as Dirk E. Maurier. They are now up in the media section. You can see those if you click on the Media link in the top menu bar. So that’s it for now. I’ve been collecting more of Jon’s work so I’m hoping now we’re on the new host with a lot more room to breath, I can start uploading again.



Shock doesn’t even begin to express how I feel in finding out that Steven Bochco, the creator of such amazing television shows as HILL STREET BLUES, NYPD Blue and many others has died at the age of 74. Bochco was a force in my early appreciation of what television could be. Having watched HILL STREET BLUES in the 80s for my love of Jon as Chief Fletcher P. Daniels, there was never a moment where Bochco didn’t bring his A-Game in terms of the excellence of what Edward R. Murrow termed “just lights and tubes in a box”. Given the spate of really bad network viewing today, Bochco was indeed a standard of what that viewing art could be. I don’t believe we’ll ever have his like again. When you look at the likes of Aaron Spelling and his campy soaps in DYNASTY where Jon played Dirk E. Maurier, I believe Bochco was not only ahead of his time, but in viewing HILL STREET BLUES today, it’s as prescient today as it was back then. Bochco never shied away from the uncomfortable moment. He imbued it with all the glaring light he could to put us in the shoes of not only those uniformed men and women of The Hill Street Station, but also in the shoes of the downtrodden, the gang member, the lonely, the sick, the weak. He also shined as giant a light on police corruption and never let us forget just because you wore blue, didn’t always mean you were good. It’s as if he had a crystal ball to know that what he depicted on HILL STREET BLUES in the 80s, would be just as valid a case today. Thank you Mr. Bochco for your brilliance and for giving me my conscience.



I wanted to let you know there is a new media section for the site. This will house as much of Jon’s work as I can post given length and availability. So far it’s just his work from MAJOR DAD as Major General Marcus C. Craig and a trailer for MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE where he played Duncan, Man-at-Arms. To check that out please click on the image below or navigate to the menu on the top left of this site and click on the “Media” link.



DYNASTY the complete box set will finally be available to purchase on October 10 and will contain all original 217 episodes. As you might know Jon played the part of Dirk Maurier, one of Alexis Carrington Colby’s (Joan Collins) suitors. Jon appeared in ten episodes from seasons four and seven. While it is being released on DVD, no word of a blu-ray treatment. Here’s hoping, at least, the transfers are good and there’s no artifact lost. Most of the copies I know of that are out there are really bad VHS versions from airings on the old Soap Channel, or other channels. The box set will be available on Amazon for pre-order. Click on the box set graphic below to go to Amazon.



I found an article on Jon’s show MAJOR DAD where stars Gerald McRaney (Major John D. McGillis), Matt Mulherne (Lieutenant Gene Halowachuck) and Beverly Archer (Gunnery SGT Alva Bricker) talk about the show. Interestingly there was a post on the now defunct IMDB message boards for the show where a lot of posters who said the show wasn’t following Marine protocols, particularly in the way the humor ran on the show. This article is from 1993 that marked the show’s fourth season. I’d pretty much say that if the Marines endorsed it, then it followed the Marine protocols faithfully. You can read the full text of the article in the press section at the link below. Click on the .

    



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