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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 matches at at Dean Martin's Beverly Hills estate were charity events to benefit handicapped children. The exhibition was recorded in June 1963 and aired Sunday afternoon, Feb. 16, 1964.

In the first doubles match, Rod teamed with Pancho Segura to play Dean Martin and Pancho Gonzalez. (Dean's team won.)

Next, Pancho Gonzalez teamed with Janet Leigh to square off against Pancho Segura and Rhonda Fleming, who were the victors of the mixed doubles match. 

Comedic actor Phil Silvers refereed the pro-am games. Five Hollywood starlets, including Ursula Andress, served as ball girls.

Finally, the two Panchos hit the court for some real tennis.

TV columnist Kurt Wachenheim, writing for the Albany, N.Y., newspaper on Feb. 17, 1964, 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)


Video clip, on the Phil Silvers Channel at YouTube, of the doubles match between Pancho Gonzalez and Janet Leigh and Pancho Segura and Rhonda Fleming.