#RichManPoorMan #RachelWard @johnrancke March 18

I started the Coach4aday blog in 2014 and have done daily posts on one topic for each year. In 2014 my daily posts were on the “Beer of the Day”, 2015 it was “A Friend of a Friend”, 2016 I wrote about “North Carolina”, and in 2017 it was “Colleges and Universities”.
The one consistent piece of feedback I have received with this blog is the 2015 series on “A Friend of a Friend”. Readers and blog followers said please bring it back. The stats also back that up with the number of views each of those posts received.
So in 2018 two things will happen with the Coach4aday blog; One I plan to collaborate with a friend named John Rancke and revisit some of those 2015 “A Friend of a Friend” posts and do some new ones with a slightly different twist. I write the posts on odd-numbered days each month and John handles the even-numbered days.
In addition John and I will write about things we both are interested which will include basketball, food, people, music, our granddaughters, and great stories.
If you want to follow the blog via email go to the bottom right of the post and click the follow button.
My twitter handle is @coach4aday2 if you want to follow the blog that way.
John’s twitter handle is @johnrancke if you want to reach out to him.

March 18, 2018 Whatever happened to Rudy!

Post by John Rancke

You remember Rudy. Ever wonder what happened to him? Not that Rudy, not the one they made the movie about where he runs out onto the field for Notre Dame. And not that other Rudy either. Not the one in New York that was the Mayor.

I’m talking about the original Rudy. The good looking one that was a volunteer fireman. Had that crazy brother that became a boxer. His dad was a baker and looked amazingly like Ed Asner. In fact his dad was Ed Asner.

peter strauss rudy jordache[1038]

The Rudy that was the goody goody, that became a department store executive and then US Senator. All of this was in the 1976 TV Mini-Series “Rich Man Poor Man”.


Rudy Jordache, yea that’s him. Julie Prescott’s boyfriend who always mistreated Rudy. She never respected the good man he was. Yea, that Rudy. Tom’s brother. You remember Tom. He was voted People’s Man of the Year in 1992 under his real name, Nick Nolte.

Nick Nolte as Tom

Nick Nolte as Tom Jordache[1037]


Rudy Jordache, played by the handsome Peter Strauss. Rudy was Don Draper (Mad Men) long before Jon Hamm. The amazing thing about Strauss’ character is that as Rudy ages, he gets better looking. At the beginning of the series he looks like a high school kid (Strauss was 28 or so) with a boyish haircut. As Rudy matures, he gets more debonair with touches of gray in the Brylcreemed hair, some fine facial lines (kudos to the makeup team) and a killer wardrobe (turtlenecks with jackets). Lean, muscular, great abs, and a tan in many scenes. George Hamilton on the small screen!! Dudley Do-Right in New York!

The Girlfriend, Julie Prescott, was played by Susan Blakely. She treats Rudy like crap pretty much from day one, is extremely selfish (she gets mad that he wants to further his education by going to college first instead of living in sin with her in the Village) and prefers losers and bad guys over Rudy. She gives her cherry away not to Rudy, but to an older, sophisticated rich man played by Mr. Brady himself, Robert Reed. She is a drunk, completely unsupportive of Rudy and his career–especially his political aspirations–and super sensitive to anything he says that she can twist into an excuse to get angry at him. Her hairdos become the most hideous caricatures of teased 60s hair you’ve ever seen.

The Brother, Tom, was played by Nick Nolte, before Nick let his hair go! Tom is the quintessential bad boy. Always getting into scrapes, causing trouble, chasing the wrong type of women, etc. A lot of the stuff he does is just juvenile, dumb and makes you shake your head. He becomes a boxer. And dies at the completion of the 1st season by an unknown attacker.

rich man poor man cast[1039]

The clothing and decor in Rich Man. Poor Man represents the best and the worst of the 1960s and 1970s. Wide lapels, orange and brown for a suit combination, flowery shirts for men and prairie dresses just aren’t flattering in my opinion, but they’re all on display. It was a glorious world of fashion in the 70s (bell bottoms, and huge collars).

The same man that killed Tom at the end of season one also killed Rudy at the end of season 2. The actor’s name was William Smith, who has made more than 300 movies. He is generally considered the Baddest “bad-ass” to ever be on the screen. Smith’s coolness led him to be the final version of The Marlboro Man to be seen in a television commercials.. Marketing firms knew, much like the rest of the world, that William Smith’s aura of Manliness was bigger than what kind of cigarette was in his mouth.

william smith

Rich Man Poor Man was the 1st miniseries created for Network TV. It was based on the novel by Irwin Shaw. It set the stage for North and South, Roots, The Thorn Birds ( Rachel Ward, Rachel Ward), and many more to follow. It was groundbreaking TV. There were 12 episodes the first season and 21 episodes in year 2. There was a later movie made in 1979, Beggarman,Thief that flopped and is really irrelevant.

Rachel Ward


Network television in the 70s was just starting to really blow up with cable on the horizon. Rich Man Poor Man was a great miniseries and I watched every episode.. Now I’m thinking about Rachel Ward on the Thorn Birds!!!

Thorn Birds-83- TV Guide-sf


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