Richard Long On Kids--TV Movies Today, June, 1970

Remember the experiment in which a university athlete's endurance waned as he attempted to keep pace with one tot's round of activities for one day?

Then imagine the life of Richard Long, starring as Professor Harold Everett in ABC's "Nanny and the Professor".

With Juliet Mills toplined as Nanny, Long plays the father of three super-active youngsters ranging in age from 4 1/2 to 12 years. They are co-stars David Doremus as Hal, the eldest, Trent Lehman as Butch, 8 1/2, and Kim Richards as Prudence.

"When I leave the set at the end of the day, I go home to my own three," Long said. They are Carey, 12, Valerie, 11, and Gregory, 9.

During a typical day on the set, the actor is rushed by tiny Kim, a 36-inch tall blonde, and subjected to strangling bear hugs around the neck. Or she bounces enthusiastically on his knee while they chat. David and Trent, while slightly more reserved because they are older, are normal, healthy boys who race each other when they are called from the school room. They share an interest in football and baseball and are not one bit against Long's joining them when they practice passing and pitching outside the soundstage.

Their series father takes the happy hubbub in good-natured stride.

"At least," he said with quiet humor, clutching a giant lollipop Kim had just used in a scene, "here in the series all my problems of fatherhood are neatly resolved by the script or with the word 'cut'." Commenting that he and his actress-wife, Mara Corday, share in matters of discipline, he adds wryly "like any other set of parents, we don't always agree about it.

"As a father," said the actor, "I'm just around and they're around, except for my older boy, Carey. He writes plays for the neighborhood kids which they rehearse in the back yard, and he and I play some golf together."

The Long's take many weekend trips--to the ocean or Disneyland. Occasionally the youngsters accompany their father when he plays in golf tournaments. "We were in Seattle for the Pat Boone tournament and I will probably take them to the next Andy Williams/San Diego Open," he said.

The actor has appeared in numerous motion picture and television roles, most recently as Jarrod Barkley in "The Big Valley" on ABC. He also did some directing on the series.

Long passed along a couple of survival techniques he's developing for coping with the two shifts of juveniles.

"I leave home early in the morning, when no one is stirring. It is my peaceful time of day." And at the studio, he finds becoming absorbed in a cross word puzzle or a book when off-camera is a good escape.

"I've had good experience at this sort of thing--I was the fifth of six children in my own family," he said with a grin.