A Real Actor and a Fake Psychiatrist
Afternoon TV Magazine, July 1971
by Sidney London
Article Provided By Wanda
If Patrick Hogan hadn't gone to St. Mary's Hospital in London, then he might have grown up to be just like mom and dad and sister and brother. They're all real doctors. Which is to say, Pat isn't. He's a real actor and a fake psychiatrist.
Since last November, Pat has been seen in living color as a shrink named John Morrison, a medical head hunter who's now trying to help Greta Powers over her difficulties in The Doctors. An ironic twist of fate, that being on The Doctors. Because if things had gone according to script (as written by his father several years ago), he would now be a proper British physician somewhere in Nottingham, England.
"My parents made the disastrous mistake of sending me to St. Mary's," said Pat. "For one thing, I was miles away from parental influence. And then, of course, London can be a very distracting town. Actually, what I really wanted to do was take advantage of a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music. But that was a decision I wasn't allowed to make."
"So I went to St. Mary's and studied medicine for five years. Long enough, in fact, to be just months away from my final exams and a medical degree. But that's when I decided to break out. It was quite sudden; I just realized that doctoring wasn't for me."
"How did my father take it? He was taken aback, of course. But he was pretty good about it when the crunch came."
Nor was that a completely surprising reaction. The father was, according to the son, a man who could appreciate and understand rebellion. After all, he was Irish.
"As a child, I didn't know what I was", said Pat. "Being born in Nottingham, I was a British subject. But my parents were Irish. Of the two, I prefer the Irish. There's a certain excitement about being rebellious toward the establishment."
In 1958, after spending several seasons at the Old Vic and touring Australia in The Reluctant Debutante, Pat came to America, which is a great place for revolution these days. He views the recent national upheavals with Irish wit and British conservation.
"The question of who's right or wrong is only answered after the revolutions," he said. "During the American Revolution the rebels were scorned and vilified. But after it was over, they were proclaimed as heroes.
"Now we have a revolution that's quite different. But it's very difficult to pick and choose between the factions unless you know who's going to win. I will say, however, that I can't quite understand how people can, with one hand, commit the most diabolical evils, and with the other, try and explain it away. It's a bewildering duality, as if you can correct anything by simply saying, 'no, that's not what I meant.'"
A naturalized American ("I'm sure I could come up with things once an hour that I like about this country"), Pat till retains the manner, precise speech and identifiable accent of the proper Englishman. And even the accouterments that go with it. Dressed in suit and vest, he sucked on the end of a pipe that billowed clouds of smoke to the blue ceiling of his east side New York apartment.
Tall, handsome and impeccably groomed, Pat is the perfect image of the courtly gentleman. A versatile athlete, he skis, sails, rides and fences, once almost demonstrating his epee skill when The Beverly Hillbillies thought about, then shelved, a program situation calling for a sword-wielding European prince.
In the 12 years he has been in the United States, Pat has compiled a long list of credits, cutting across all areas of show business. His resume includes Broadway ~ Redhead, The Devil's Advocate, The Importantce of Being Earnest, Baker Street; movies ~ Portrait in Smoke, The Dark Avenger, The Thomas Crown Affair; primetime television ~ Mission Impossible, High Chaparral, Star Trek, Green Acres, The Young Rebels and The Interns.
Despite that background, Pat is not one of those actors whose names ensures full houses on Broadway and in motion picture theatres. Nor does it disturb him that he has not yet achieved the Hollywood definition of stardom.
"When you start out as an actor," he said, "the jackpot feeling is very common. But as you go along in the profession, you come to realize that all you want to be is a good actor. I don't think that's a cop out for stardom. It's a matter of being contented. And contentment comes from working constantly and knowing what you're doing is good."
Besides his work on The Doctors, Pat also gets satisfaction out of recording books for The American Foundation for the Blind. The records are sent to the Library of Congress which in turn releases them to libraries throughout the country.
"I've recorded Pepys' Diary, Paradise Lost, The French Lieutenant's Woman and a book on the Italian Renaissance that ran 36 sides. I also did all the parts in Oedipus Rex. But it was rather difficult dramatizing the Greek chorus. You have to make yourself sound like a lot of people."
Up until last year, Pat was rarely cast in medical roles. Then suddenly, there was a rash of them. He played Dr. Astrov in Uncle Vanya, appeared as a surgeon in The Interns and then moved into his regular running TV character of physchiatrist John Morrison.
Although Pat minimizes the importance that his medical training has had on his acting career, there have been moments when it has come in handy. Just recently, in fact, when he became head of The Doctors' TV hospital after his predecessor was felled by a dread, unpronounceable disease.
"In that instance," said Pat, "all those years at St. Mary's proved worthwhile. Because it meant that I could say Syringomyelia without worrying about it.
[Patrick Hogan had a brief role on Ryan's Hope in 1979 as Thatcher Ross, Mary's boss at Rae's television station.]
Back to Ryan's Bar Online