American comic actor Dennis Dugan did quite well for himself trading on a bumbling-but-huggable screen image. On screen at least since 1972, Dugan established his screen persona in brief doses in such films as Harry and Walter Go to New York (1976) and Norman Is that You? (1976). In 1979, he was ideally cast as the time-displaced hero in Unidentified Flying Oddball, Disney's updated remake of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Television has always held out a welcome mat for Dugan: he was the star of the short-lived series Richie Brockelman, Private Eye (1977), Empire (1984) and Shadow Chasers (1984), and was a semi-regular as an erstwhile "caped crusader" on Hill Street Blues (when Dugan's character was killed off, many disconsolate viewers wrote in to warn that they'd never watch the show again). Dennis Dugan's film credits of the '80s have been plentiful if not distinguished, including Can't Buy Me Love (1987) and The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking (1988).
by Hal Erickson biography