Though early on, short, pugnacious American actor Gerald S. O'Loughlin dreamed of becoming a lawyer, the prohibitive cost of law school forced him to steer toward engineering as a career. O'Loughlin was deflected from this ambition by an increasing interest in the theatre. After a long stint with the Marines, O'Loughlin used his GI Bill money to finance his participation at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York. Working steadily on stage and in live TV drama, O'Loughlin made an inauspicious debut as the romantic lead in the Manhattan-filmed turkey Lovers and Lollipops (1956); one year later, he was shown to better advantage re-creating his stage role in the filmization of Michael Gazzo's play A Hatful of Rain (1957). For many children of the '70s, Gerald O'Loughlin will always be the tough-but-tender Lt. Ryker on the long-running cop series The Rookies. Even in his subsequent TV series assignments (Automan [1983-1984], Our House ) one half expected O'Loughlin to drop character and start barking out "Hey! Danko." Gerald O'Loughlin was married to casting director Meryl Abeles.