77 Sunset Strip (1958–1964)
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The Double Death of Benny Markham 

While in England, Jeff is asked by his light-fingered friend, Benny, to help him find who hired him for a job in Liverpool. Unknown to Benny he stole a radioactive isotope. He was not ... See full summary »


Robert B. Sinclair


Leonard Lee (teleplay), James Barnett (story)


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Episode complete credited cast:
Roger Smith ... Jeff Spencer
Edd Byrnes ... Kookie (as Edward Byrnes)
Walter Burke ... Benny Markham
Gale Garnett ... China Mary
Tudor Owen ... Dr. Wm. MacDougal
Lester Matthews ... Inspector T. Carnahan
Jennifer Raine Jennifer Raine ... Betty Linell
Friedrich von Ledebur ... Kurt Strohmann (as Fredrick Ledebur)
Jacqueline Squire Jacqueline Squire ... Barmaid
Kendrick Huxham ... Blinky
Diana Crawford Diana Crawford ... Sheila
Peter Forster ... Blackpool Eddie


While in England, Jeff is asked by his light-fingered friend, Benny, to help him find who hired him for a job in Liverpool. Unknown to Benny he stole a radioactive isotope. He was not warned of the danger of coming in contact with it. They only have two weeks to find who did this to Benny before he dies from the radiation poisoning. Written by Gsasat

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Action | Crime | Drama






English | German

Release Date:

25 November 1960 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This is the first episode whose opening sequence (before the opening credits) introduces the main story element. See more »


77 Sunset Strip
Written by Mack David and Jerry Livingston
[Series theme song; short version played during opening credits; full vocal version performed during closing credits]
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User Reviews

Off-beat episode tries for pathos--and actually achieves it!
15 November 2018 | by sdiner82See all my reviews

In the 11th episode of its 3rd season, "77 Sunset Strip" tries for something different--pathos--and achieves just that without ever becoming maudlin. Credit must go to Roger Smith who has always seemed the most compassionate of the group, and though now only 27, appears to be handsomer and in even better shape than when the series began when he was a mere 25. Nor should I need to remind his fans that the writers, as with nearly every episode, always remember to include a scene that requires Smith to remove his shirt! This time, while he's in London, his diminutive, lovable, leprechaun-like friend Benny Markham comes to him asking his help. Benny has just made off with an isotope the man who hired him neglected to tell him is radioactive, and despite Jeff's immediately rushing him to seek medical help, is told by the physician that Benny has only two weeks to live. After making sure the sympathetic doctor aids Benny with the necessary drugs to help alleviate his failing eyesight and pain, Jeff poses as an intimidating Canadian in a complicated scheme to bring to justice the heartless man responsible for Benny's impending death. It's an action-packed episode tainted with the knowledge that its outcome will be expectedly sad. And Smith & Walter Burke (the terrific Irish-American character actor who plays the doomed Benny) enact it with such subtle empathy that the writers' ill-advised attempt to end it on a light-hearted note by adding a scene of Kookie snuggling with an anonymous cutie in his telephone-equipped convertible (!) simply doesn't work. Otherwise, this unusual episode of "77 Sunset Strip" is more than well-worth watching with kudos to Smith & Burke for making their 'Odd Couple' friendship not only credible but, at times, unexpectedly touching.

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