Cult TV Essentials

Cult TV Essentials: Cover Up

Created by Glen A. Larson, Cover Up debuted in September 1984 and ran for twenty-two episodes. It followed the adventures of fashion photographer Dani Reynolds (Jennifer O’Neill) who learns that not only has her husband been murdered but that he was also an undercover CIA agent. Reeling from the shock and wanting justice for her husband, Dani recruits Mac Harper (Jon-Erik Hexum), a former Special Forces Operator, to help her find catch them.

Upon discovering Dani’s activities her husband’s boss Henry Towler (Richard Anderson) offers her the undercover CIA job that was previously her husband’s. The idea being that Dani would continue as a fashion photographer with Mac playing the role of her model. Henry would then be able to dispatch them to various locations around the world where they could investigate and solve the problem of the week.

Actor Jon-Erik Hexum tragically died during filming. On October 12th 1984, he became bored with the filming delays that were taking place so began playing Russian roulette with what he believed was a harmless .44 Magnum prop gun and jokingly placed it to his temple and pulled the trigger. The shot sent the wadding from the blank cartridge at Hexum’s skull, driving a bone fragment the size of a quarter coin into his brain causing massive haemorrhaging. Hexum was rushed to the hospital, where he eventually was declared brain dead. he was taken off life support on October 18th 1984.

Following Hexum’s death the episode “Writer’s Block” introduced Dani’s new assistant, Jack Striker (Antony Hamilton), a CIA agent who, like Mac, would operate under the guise of a model. It was explained in the show that Mac had been killed undertaking another mission off screen.

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