Banacek (1972–1974)
4 user

Let's Hear It for a Living Legend 

When a football player vanishes from the field in full view of network cameras and a live audience, it's up to Banacek to figure out how his kidnappers spirited him away without a trace.


Jack Smight


Anthony Wilson (creator), Del Reisman


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
George Peppard ... Thomas Banacek
Stefanie Powers ... Angie Ives
Madlyn Rhue ... Holly Allencamp
Robert Webber ... Jerry Brinkman
John Brodie John Brodie ... Ritchie Mulligan
Ben Davidson Ben Davidson ... Mangine
Deacon Jones Deacon Jones ... Joe Fabian
Tom Mack Tom Mack ... Ed Wolinski
Gene Washington Gene Washington ... Clay Mills
Clancy Williams Clancy Williams ... Walt Hicks
Conrad Janis ... Video Technician
Michael Lerner ... Bartender
Jock Mahoney ... Albert Bates
Curt Gowdy Curt Gowdy ... Curt Gowdy
Charlie Jones Charlie Jones ... Charlie Jones


In the middle of a televised professional football game, star running back Hank Ives disappears from the bottom of a pileup. Insurance investigator Banacek, seeing the game on TV, soon looks into this curious vanishing act. Even though a ransom note arrives demanding two million dollars for Ives' safe return, Banacek suspects football promoter Jerry Brinkman of pulling off yet another crazy publicity stunt for which he is so well-known. Murder, however, makes it serious business. Written by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery







Release Date:

13 September 1972 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Banacek's chauffeur offers a solution for the missing player by saying they cut a slit in the turf where they hid the player. While it was meant to be a joke here, that idea was the basis of a solution for another case Banacek would solve later in the season. See more »


For some reason nobody (especially Banacek ) never wondered where the football player with the #20 suddenly came from after all of the tacklers got off the ground. See more »


Felix Mulholland: Didn't Jake give you my message?
Thomas Banacek: Well he was going to but your accent is better.
Jay Drury: JAKEE: Well someday I'd like to hear his Sicilian.
See more »

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User Reviews

The Missing Player
28 February 2016 | by AaronCapenBannerSee all my reviews

Thomas Banacek(George Peppard) is called in on a case involving a missing football player named Ives who somehow disappeared during the game on live television in full view of the audience. The team owner(played by Robert Webber) is of course concerned, as is Ives' ex-wife(played by Stefanie Powers) but Banacek suspects a clever kidnapping, which of course is confirmed, as will be the near-certainty that it was a least a partial inside job to collect 2 million dollars in ransom. Can Thomas find the missing man before it is too late? Intriguing story at the heart here will satisfy fans of both mystery and Football. Ralph Manza as Jay Drury and Murray Matheson as Felix Mulholland round out the familiar supporting cast.

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