Today in Daily Variety, we have a special section highlighting Dennis Dugan becoming a Billion Dollar Filmmaker. Editing the section provided me the opportunity to ask about the origins of my favorite moment of Dugan as an actor — and one of my all-time favorite TV characters — Captain Freedom on “Hill Street Blues.” Here’s what “Hill Street” exec producer Steven Bochco recalled:
“Captain Freedom was a character created by Michael Wagner, who was a wonderful writer, who I hired on ‘Hill Street’ off of a script he had written not for us,” Bochco said. “It was a feature about this wacky character. And I loved the character, and I said to Michael, ‘Come work with us on “Hill Street,” and would you be willing to essentially harvest that character from your screenplay into a multi-episode arc for us? And he said ‘yeah,’ and somewhere in that, in the process of that, is when I thought of Dennis.”
Above is a clip from Dennis’ climactic moment as Freedom, alongside, of course, Bruce Weitz as Mick Belker.