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CBS Sports Spectacular (1964)

Rod Taylor played tennis in this star-studded segment with a dose of silliness, "Professional Tennis at Dean Martin's." 

The celebrity tennis exhibition was recorded in June 1963 at Dean Martin's estate and featured three matches.

Rod Taylor, Dean Martin, Janet Leigh and Rhonda Fleming were the celebrity players. Champions Pancho Segura and Pancho Gonzales were the professionals.

Comedic actor Phil Silvers served as umpire. Starlets, including Ursula Andress, served as ball girls.

"Professional Tennis at Dean Martin's," which aired Sunday afternoon, Feb. 16, 1964, prompted Los Angeles Times TV sports writer Don Page to comment, "Isn't it true that the tennis match ... provided some of the most exciting scenes ever recorded by CBS Sports Spectacular?"

TV columnist Kurt Wachenheim, writing for the Albany, N.Y., newspaper on Feb. 17, 1964, also was not amused:

Martin, Taylor, Leigh and Fleming played "funsy" games, allowing tennis greats Pancho Segura and Pancho Gonzalez on the court to lend an aura of expertise.

Five top-heavy, scanty-panted starlets flitted around mid-court as ball girls.

Only when the Panchos were left to their own devices, with inconspicuous ball boys in attendance, was there sport.

 

 

Rod playing tennis
(Not necessarily on this show)

LINKS

Classic Television Showbiz
Blog has video of the show's mixed doubles match between Pancho Gonzalez and Janet Leigh and Pancho Segura and Rhonda Fleming.
 

 

         
   

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