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)



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.



Sorry for the lack of updates, but I’ve been working on a media archive for the site of Jon’s work. So far I’ve been having all kinds of issues with it and no solutions as to the reasons why the installation is not working out. I’ll have a link to it when I finally get it working properly. I’m really bummed at the reasons why the script I’m using isn’t working because I’ve set a few of these up for other sites I have. I’ll keep knocking my ole head against that proverbial brick wall to get the thing up and running though. I think what I need is Chief Daniels to come in and give me a verbal lashing.



I just found this on Youtube. It’s an Emmy retrospective on HILL STREET BLUES from 1987, the year the show ended its run. Jon of course played the part of the pompous and somewhat bellicose Chief of Police Fletcher P. Daniels for the entire run of the series. There is one shot of Jon in the video. Daniels gets hit by series regular Dennis Franz who played the part of Lt. Norman Buntz. I might say that Jon took that punch pretty good. Here’s the video.

httpvh://youtu.be/b5USQmapnrc



No, that’s not a Jon Cypher film. That’s me. My apologies for not having done any updates for a while, but for the last little while my 91 year-old mother has been ill and I’ve had to focus all my attention on her. She’s doing much better now so I’m hoping to get back to work on getting more of Jon’s work from MAJOR DAD and HILL STREET BLUES. I still have some stills left to get into the gallery. These were rare stills from some of Jon’s film career and a couple from his television work. So please be patient while I get these things together.



Sorry for the lack of updates but there has been a lot of instability in my personal life. I’ve been taking care of my elderly mother as well as some sicknesses in the family. I’m hoping to get back to work on getting more of Jon’s HILL STREET BLUES work up in the gallery, but for now I have his three episodes in the whodunit series MURDER SHE WROTE. Here Jon guested in three different episodes over the series twelve year run. Looking dapper as usual, Jon’s characters included a defense attorney, a shiester attorney and a ship’s captain. No matter his role, Jon certainly makes the most of them and always adds something interesting as well as panache to his performances.

  • [443] SCREENCAPS: MURDER SHE WROTE – E2X12 TRIAL AND ERROR
  • [559] SCREENCAPS: MURDER SHE WROTE – E5X19 DOUBLE EXPOSURE
  • [990] SCREENCAPS: MURDER SHE WROTE – E9X20 SHIP OF THIEVES



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