PEOPLE Online: June 1998
by Maria Ciaccia

 

"It wasn't a year-round, full-time job, so it enabled me to think about other things," Terry Carter says of his role as the beleaguered Sgt. Joe Broadhurst in McCloud. The series, part of a rotating mystery show with an ever-changing name ("Four-in-One", "The NBC Mystery Movie" and the "NBC Sunday Mystery Movie"), ran from 1970-1977. McCloud shared the line-up with Columbo, MacMillan and Wife, Banacek and several other less-successful productions. Although often set in different cities -- McCloud in New York, MacMillan in San Francisco and Banacek in Boston -- the series was filmed mainly on the Universal Studios lot. Today the trilogy is part of the Arts and Entertainment channel's daily lineup.

In McCloud, Carter's character was constantly covering for or defending (against his will) Dennis Weaver, who had the title role of a Taos (NM) marshal who comes to New York to learn big city crime-fighting techniques.

"I had one of those rare experiences in which I was offered three different series at the same time," the 60-year-old Carter told PEOPLE Online during a recent visit to his native New York City. "Douglas Selby, D.A., San Francisco Int'l and McCloud. None of these names meant anything to me. I'd never been offered three roles at once before and haven't since.

"The only reason I decided on McCloud was Dennis Weaver. I had seen him in Touch of Evil [the 1958 Orson Welles film], Gunsmoke, a variety of things. I had a great respect for him. I put my money on the right horse. The other series went nowhere. McCloud was one of the high points of my career and my life."

At one point Carter took on the role of Broadhurst in real life. In 1978, during a business trip to Washington, D.C., he saw a man run out of a restaurant, pursued by a woman screaming, "Stop, thief!" Carter followed the man in his car and eventually caught him, returning him to police at the restaurant. The police called Carter's bravery "a real fine piece of work," but Carter's reaction was to shrug and say, "I guess I'm still playing that role."

Besides his one-year stint on Battlestar Galactica (from 1978-1979) and the TV movie The Return of Sam McCloud in 1989, Carter hasn't done much acting since McCloud ended. He lives in Copenhagen, Denmark, a city he fell in love with in the '60s. "I went as a tourist and stayed a year and a half," he recalls. "I have an affinity for Europe. My first wife, Anna Scratuglia, was an Italian I met in Rome. We were married for 24 years." In the early days of their marriage, the couple settled in California.

While doing McCloud, Carter formed a production company. "I opened an office and hired a secretary and tried to become a producer. We sat there for a year waiting for the telephone to ring. My first contract was a half million dollar one with the Department of Health and Human Services. I did films on child abuse and neglect."

In 1979 he founded CPI, the Council for Positive Images, Inc., a nonprofit company. Out of that came his critically lauded A Duke Named Ellington for the PBS American Masters series. He recently sold the program, which originally aired in 1988, to South Africa and is now talking to video distributors as the 100th anniversary of Duke Ellington's birth approaches.

Life continued to move in interesting ways for the man who appeared in Foxy Brown, a Blaxploitation movie, in 1974 (the precedessor to Quentin Tarantino's 1997 film Jackie Brown with the same star, Pam Grier). "There was only one TV channel back in Copenhagen in the '80s, and they were starting a second channel. My partner and I proposed for the second channel that we do a program of jazz masters. We did 13 -- Carmen Macrae, Chet Baker, Herbie Hancock, among others. My marriage in California broke up, as can happen when you spend a lot of time away from home." He married his production manager, Beate Glatved, in 1991. He has two children, Miguel and Melinda, from his previous marriage.

Carter continues to receive fan mail from all over the world for his work as an actor. "I get a lot of mail about Battlestar Galactica -- it was on one year, and the mail is equal to the seven years of McCloud. Sci-fi enthusiasts are devoted. We're going to be at a sci-fi convention this Labor Day weekend at Universal City."

He's still available for acting assignments and appeared recently as a CIA agent in Hamilton, a Swedish film. Carter says with a sigh, "It's practically impossible to sell me when I'm not available for meetings. It's not because I don't want to act, but other things are compelling in my life."