Cast and crew of Adam-12 reportedly dreaded parking next to Clint Eastwood on the studio lot, but one writer considered it an honor. The Stephen J. Cannell Productions logo was iconic in the 1980s, with Cannell himself smoking a pipe at a typewriter. He would finish writing, rip off the sheet of paper, and throw it into the air where it would form a “C.”
Stephen J. Cannell was a young, aspiring writer in 1971 when he found out from a friend that Jack Webb’s newest show, Adam-12, needed new scripts for an episode due to shoot soon. He had only until Monday morning at 9:00 am to submit his idea and full 35-page script 5 days later. Although there were other writers working on the project as well, none of them met the early Monday deadline. Meeting this deadline set Cannel on a path with Clint Eastwood, according to a 2020 MeTV article.
Cannell’s script went over well. Actors Martin Milner and Kent McCord praised the script and Cannell was swiftly offered the position of head writer for the following season. His responsibility as a head writer came with several perks, including a parking space on the Universal lot. The location of his parking spot was right next to none other than Clint Eastwood. However, Eastwood already had s bad reputation at the studio for not being the best parking spot neighbor.
Cast and Crew hated parking next to Clint Eastwood’s truck
“Clint Eastwood had this old, red farm truck,” Cannell told the Television Academy years later.”I didn’t really see him…but I had evidence of him coming and going at our parking spot because he was very careless about getting in and out of his truck.” Cannell remembered that Eastwood, “Left dings and red stripes all over my door.” Rather than getting angry, Cannell was actually proud of the dents and would show them off at dinner parties.
“I’d take them into the garage and say, ‘Clint Eastwood put all that on there,'” Cannell told the Television Academy. However, Cannell managed to overcome his brush with Eastwood. He went on to shepherd many iconic tv shows, like The Rockford Files and The A-Team.
That said, Cannell’s collaborator on The Rockford Files, James Garner, worked with Clint Eastwood earlier in his career. It was in a 1959 episode of Maverick, when Eastwood was 29 years old. Titled “Duel at Sundown“, it aired during the show’s 2nd season. Eastwood plays the heavy in the episode as Red Hardigan. He even has an epic fistfight with James Garner, then 31 years old. Though Eastwood is 5th billed, he has quite a bit of screentime. The episode is included in the blu-ray of Unforgiven.