Gerald S. O’Loughlin, best known for role in 1970s series “The Rookies,” dies


Actor Gerald S. O’Loughlin was best known for his TV work, but he also appeared in several movies, including the 1956 independent film, “Lovers and Lollipops” with Cathy Dunn.  


Actor Gerald S. O’Loughlin, who racked up more than 100 credits in films and television, died July 31 at West Hills Hospital of natural causes, said his son, Christopher.

He was 93.

O’Loughlin, who was long associated with the Actors Studio and also studied at the famed Neighborhood Playhouse in New York with Sanford Meisner, was probably best known for his role as Lt. Ed Ryker in the 1970s TV series, “The Rookies.”

“I sort of enjoyed being a lieutenant on ‘The Rookies,’” said O’Loughlin in a 2011 interview with the Classic TV History blog. “Maybe because I was a lieutenant in the Marine Corps.”


Because of his popularity in that role, he was offered a part that probably would have boosted his fame -- the captain of “The Love Boat.” But O’Loughlin turned it down.

“I was insulted,” he said. “I play lieutenants with the police department, I don’t play captains on an excursion cruiser!” But he later regretted the decision. “I’d have a couple of million more dollars.”

O’Loughlin appeared on scores of hit shows, including “Mission Impossible,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “ER,” “MASH,” “Charlie’s Angels” and “Room 222.”

His movies included “In Cold Blood,” “Ice Station Zebra” and “A Hatful of Rain.” He also had a leading role in the independent, low-budget film “Lovers and Lollipops” by influential filmmakers Morris Engel and Ruth Orkin.


O’Loughlin was born Dec. 23, 1921, in New York. After serving in the Marines during World War II, he studied acting on the G.I. Bill.

His Broadway credits include “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Golden Boy.” And in a 1950s touring production of “A Streetcar Named Desire” he played Stanley Kowalski opposite Tallulah Bankhead.

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