A co-worker, Bernie, played by the always entertaining Stuart Margolin (Angel Martin on "The Rockford Files"), suspected Christopher's marriage was phony, which set the stage for some of the comic complications. Also appearing in a recurring role was Jack Riley, who played the hilariously caustic Elliot Carlin on "The Bob Newhart Show."
However, what made "Occasional Wife" work was Patricia Harty, who seemed headed for big things. But when the show was canceled she made a dreadful mistake – she agreed to play the title role in "Blondie," a sitcom version of the old comic strip. Will "Sugarfoot" Hutchins played Dagwood. The show was canceled after 13 episodes, which was 12 episodes too many. (In the fall of 1966 I interviewed Harty in Cleveland. I'm still trying to figure out how she missed superstardom. Everything I predicted for her came true for Mary Tyler Moore.)
Callan and Harty got married in real life after "Occasional Wife" left the air. The marriage eventually ended in divorce. Harty dropped out of the business for awhile, then returned as a brunet called Trisha Hart. She became the blonde Patricia Harty a few years after that, but her TV appearances have been few and far between.
Callan's career is the bigger mystery. He started in movies and before he turned to television he had had starring roles in such popular big screen productions as "Gidget Goes Hawaiian," "Because They're Young," "The Interns," "The Victors," "The New Interns" and the classic Western comedy, "Cat Ballou," which earned an Oscar for Lee Marvin.
Marvin and Jane Fonda went on to many more movies and bigger and bigger stardom. Callan went into "Occasional Wife" a year after "Cat Ballou" was released. He has made several TV guest appearances since then, including four episodes of "Murder, She Wrote." He also spent some time on the daytime soap opera, "One Life to Live" in the 1980s.