Discuss 77 Sunset Strip

During season 2, I always noticed there was a long stretch when Edd Byrnes was missing from a lot of episodes, even though he was still in the opening credits. Turned out to be a total of 17 episodes from January to May 1960. I always thought it was because he was away filming a Warner Brothers movie, Yellowstone Kelly with Clint (Cheyenne) Walker, which was released in December 1959.

Considering conflicting filming schedules, that would coincide. IMDB says Edd Byrnes walked out due to a contract conflict. I wonder if that had anything to do with Richard Long being brought in for season 3? As leverage to lower Byrnes' pay demands?

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Roger Smith was gone for a number of episodes as well. When he came back, it was explained that he was gone for military duty, and their dialog made a big deal over his short haircut. That would have been about the same time he had to leave the show because of a blood clot on the brain (according to IMDB). I wonder if it was connected, having to shave his head to do brain surgery, etc?

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