Articles

Ciné Télé Revue, Issue 35, May 25, 1991:
(Provided courtesy of Peter)
 

Terence Knox: My Dream House
By Isabelle Caron with Roderick Barrand
Photos by Martha Vanegas/Axis Press
(original article in French; translated by SnowFlake with additional thanks to Leslie)
 

25may1991tele7joursCombinedA-tThe hero of Tour of Duty, one of TV5's most popular shows, greets us at his large home, high in the Hollywood hills. He often misses the time when he played Sergeant Zeke Anderson, one of his best roles.

 "Welcome to paradise!" In the Hollywood hills, we're far from "Tour of Duty." (Comment: the French title, “L’Enfer du devoir,” is “The Hell of Duty.”) Terence Knox, Sergeant Zeke Anderson in this very popular show that airs Saturdays and Sundays on TV5, has dedicated this colonial style house, surrounded by an extraordinary garden à la Charles Trénet, to his character. "We shot (the show) during two years, and I dug into all my pockets to find the money to throw myself into that madness.” Terence turns us towards the flower beds of geraniums and wildflowers, and adds with a smile: "I’m sorry the show ended so suddenly, not because of the money, but because it was a high quality show. To this day, we still receive lots of letters. Most of the actors, like me, consider themselves part of a cause. To give the Vietnam vets the place in history they deserve."

The first season, the producers chose Hawaii as backdrop. "We left the hotel at 5:30 am and returned exhausted at 9 pm, filthy to such an extent that the hotel wanted to kick us out because we scared off the tourists. It was hot, dusty, and it was a fight against the clock.” The second season brought a change in setting, as well as disappointment. "Suddenly we were well dressed soldiers, having scenes with our girlfriends. The audience didn't like it and the vets protested. The third year, we returned to the scenarios of the start of the show. Despite the success, this didn’t stop us from going off the air. Each episode cost 1.5 million dollars and the show had the bad luck of having to share the 8 to 9 pm Thursday slot with the Cosby Show, one of the highest rated shows in the US. They moved us to Saturday night, then to Sunday at 9 to 10 pm, and then we were gone.”

Terence Knox was already well known for his role in another show, St. Elsewhere. “At the time, when I went to the studio, I took the bus. On Tour of Duty, they sent a limo to pick me up at home. I enjoy my character in St. Elsewhere too, mainly because he's a peculiar one. He's a psychopath doctor at this squalid hospital, where few miracles happen and few patients pull through. This did not stop the audience from wanting (me) to return."

25may1991tele7joursTK1A-tHis next role? "This afternoon, I auditioned for a new show, a comedy. After having played evil doctors and soldiers in Vietnam, I long for some change." He lives well as he waits. "When I started out, I was fascinated by cocktail parties, where I would meet beautiful women drinking champagne and whiskey. I really don't want to speak any more of it...or to go into any more details. I need space. When I'm knee deep in my flowerbeds, I'm on another planet. I don't notice time passing when I have my spade and clippers. The day my manager dragged me from my loft to go see this place, it was love at first sight. I didn't want to leave even though it was still occupied."

Terence Knox has been married in the past. He doesn't speak of it. "I've forgotten. My memory is not very good. I don't think about anything but the future!"
 

25may1991tele7joursTK2A-t

Terence Knox in front of his colonial style home. He keeps himself busy in the garden. "I was born in the country, in Portland, Oregon, and my first job after college was to patrol the forest near our house, to spot any fires."

Personal note from Terry:
Please excuse the parachute pants. Very comfortable. I planted all the flowers myself, and within 2 years had Bougainville up all the way to the roof. Buster, unknown to either him or me, already had within his noble body the cancer that would kill him before the Bougainville finished its bright climb.”

25may1991tele7joursTK3A-t

Terence in his living room that opens to his garden. "I love to relax with meditation, alone, without music and books." "

25may1991tele7joursTK4A-t

Terence Knox lives alone with Buster Brown, a Rhodesian Ridgeback, and two cats that make themselves well heard. "They follow me all around the house and the garden. And they are always hungry!"

 

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