This actor/singer was one of the first to do it and when he left, the show didn’t have a chance, and crashed and burned the next year.

He will say he left the show because he was sick.

Yes, sick from drinking too much, but that isn’t the reason. The reason was that he knew, that despite him being the second lead, he was the star of the show.

People watched because of him.

He wanted a raise that would have made him the highest paid actor of the time, whether in movies or television.

The name of the show is also memorialized in song.

The producers of the show thought he was bluffing.

He wasn’t.

They thought they could be a hit without him.

They were wrong.

It limped through the one season without him.

They tried to get him to come back during that final season, but he asked for even more money than before, because he knew they were desperate.

Not desperate enough to pay him his fee though.

So, what happened to our actor?

He never had another hit.

He worked and worked, but no hits.

George Maharis (92)
American actor who portrayed Buz Murdock in the first three seasons of the TV series Route 66. Maharis also recorded numerous pop music albums at the height of his fame, and later starred in the short-lived TV series The Most Deadly Game.

Show: Route 66

Second lead: Martin Milner

American film, stage, radio, and television actor. Milner is best known for his performances on two television series: Route 66, which aired on CBS from 1960 to 1964, and Adam-12, which aired on NBC from 1968 to 1975. Died in 2015

Song: Get Your Kicks on Route 66

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