Gil Gerard casts in the 1979 television series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. The star thought that he is going to have quite the career ahead of him! While Gil still remembers that momentary cult-classic series, his role in it didn’t yield a very impressive career afterward. Instead, Gil sped his days after Buck Rogers in the 25th Century struggling to free himself from various addictions. It includes issues with excessive eating and substance abuse. Join Facts Verse as we explore how playing the character of Buck Rogers ended Gil Gerard’s career for good.
Gil Gerard was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, on January 23, 1943. His mother was an instructor at a local college, while his father was a salesman. Starting in 1960, Gil began attending a school named Maryknoll Seminary, located in Illinois. While there, he began acting, portraying the title character in a production of The Music Man. After graduating high school, Gil attended college at the University of Central Arkansas. However, before graduating, he decides that he wants to drop out of school in hopes of becoming an actor.
After abandoning his college career and deciding to dedicate his life to acting, Gil headed to New York City. He pays the bills by driving a taxicab during night hours, while in the daytime he is studying his craft. One day, Gil picks up and drops off fares in his taxicab. He lifts up a man who expresses some interest when Gil shares that he is an aspiring actor. Seeing some potential, the fair told Gil that he is part of the production team filming Love Story. It shots are on location nearby. The man told Gil that if he comes to the film’s set, he’ll give him a role as an extra. Feeling that it was an excellent opportunity, Gil made sure to show up and accept the chance.
When Gil Gerard arrives on the set of Love Story, filming in New York City, he casts as an extra. However, over time, he singles out by another member of the production. Gil promotes from an extra on the film to a bit player, though his removed from the final project. They give Gil crucial experience but he’ll go on to slowly rise until the role of Buck Rogers in 1979.
After Gil’s experience on the set of Love Story, he continued seeking out acting roles. The most prominent roles that the actor was getting at the time were in commercials. During Gil’s early career, he stars in around 400 commercials. One of his most notable commercial gigs is performing as a spokesperson for the Ford Motor Company. Gil sets his heart set on dramatic acting and takes roles in commercials in order to prepare.
In 1971, Gil received a small film role in a production named Some of My Best Friends Are… Several years later, he is performing an equally small role in the 1974 thriller Man on a Swing. Gil gets a little break when he plays a prominent role in a daytime soap opera called The Doctors. Gil performed in the soap opera for two years. However, Gil eventually decided that his role wasn’t meeting his ambitions.
After his role on The Doctors ends, he decides to do it himself instead of relying on the producers. Joining his friend, Gil starts his own production company and starring vehicle for himself by the name of Hooch.
Hooch releases in 1977. After its release, Gil is in a variety of different projects before the role of Buck Rogers in 1979. He appeared in the 1977 films Ransom for Alice! and Airport ’77, and also made guest appearances on the hit shows Hawaii Five-O and Little House on the Prairie. While performing on Little House on the Prairie, Gil catches the attention of the show’s star and producer, Michael Landon. Michael subsequently got Gil his first leading role, which came via the made-for-television motion picture Killing Stone.
After finishing production on the made-for-television picture Killing Stone, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century was just around the corner! Sadly, Gil’s role in the seminal science-fiction series will end up signaling the end of his career, despite the show as a cult hit. If you’re enjoying this video so far, be sure to hit the like button to show your support! Also, subscribe to the channel if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!
When Gil Gerard is cast in the title role on the television series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, the star feels like he gets his big break! In many respects, the show did end up being his big break, though a variety of problems Gil experienced after his time on the series essentially halted his career for good. Buck Rogers in the 25th Century run from 1979 to 1981 and precedes a feature-length pilot that releases in theaters as a standalone film. Because of this, Gil can technically be said to have starred as the lead in a hit theatrical motion picture!
After Buck Rogers in the 25th Century came to an end, Gil Gerard’s career didn’t come to a halt immediately. Instead, there was a period of a few years over which time the star slowly succumbed to various addictions, including addictions to both food and drugs. In addition to these issues, Gil was experiencing some domestic problems around the time that distracted him from his career. Still, Gil appeared in a few notable roles after playing Buck Rogers, including playing parts in the short-lived series Sidekicks and E.A.R.T.H. Force. In 1982, Gil got another lead role in a made-for-television film: Hear No Evil.
By the time the 1980s were over, Gil had already gone through four different failed marriages throughout his lifetime. Not much is known about Gil’s first two wives. His first wife was said to have been a secretary that Gil met in his home state of Arkansas, and their marriage only lasted for eight months. After heading out to New York City, Gil met and married his second wife while attempting to become an actor. Gil’s second wife was a bank executive, and the two were married for around seven years. After divorcing his second wife, Gil headed out to California and met and married a model and actress named Connie Sellecca. The two tied the knot in 1979, the same year that Buck Rogers in the 25th Century premiered.
Gil and Connie had a child, who was born in 1981. The child was named Gilbert, after his father. Sadly, the introduction of Gilbert to Gil and Connie’s lives didn’t make their marriage any easier than Gil’s prior two had been, and his third marriage ended up only lasting as long as his second had. After being together for seven years, Gil and Connie divorced in 1987. The mid-80s represented an incredibly dark time for Gil. Not only was he not making the progress in his career that he had hoped that he was going to after performing the role of Buck Rogers, but he had also slowly begun succumbing to his various addictions.
Gil and Connie’s separation was not amicable, and it resulted in a tumultuous custody dispute that saw Connie gain custody of their son. Seeking escape from his current situation, Gil plunged into a fourth marriage the very same year of his third divorce, this time marrying an interior designer by the name of Bobi Leonard. The marriage proved Gil’s second-least successful overall, with it lasting a little bit longer than his first had but not as long as his second or third. Gil and Bobi divorced in 1989, coinciding with the former star hitting rock bottom and weighing 300 pounds.
Throughout the 1980s, Gil had begun consuming massive amounts of alcohol and junk food, leading to his immense weight gain. Gil had attempted to escape into these indulgences as a means of dealing with the pain of his failed career, but he eventually realized that he was only making things worse. Following his fourth divorce, Gil decided that he needed to get his life back under control. He began losing weight and was back to a far more appropriate weight of 220 pounds by 1990.
Following his attempts to get back into shape, Gil was allowed a little bit more work in the entertainment industry. In 1992, he hosted a reality series named Code 3 that documented the real-life exploits of various teams of firefighters attempting to control fires. The show only lasted for around a year, but it gave Gil a chance to feel like he was getting back into the swing of things. He went on to appear in a variety of other television series over the course of the decade. In recent years, Gil has done his best to keep himself healthy, though he still suffers from health problems related to his consumption, including type 2 diabetes.
While Gil Gerard is still fondly remembered today for playing Buck Rogers on the hit 1979 series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, he sadly didn’t manage to turn his titular role on that series into a very successful career. Now it’s time to hear from you: did you know that Buck Rogers in the 25th Century’s Gil Gerard weighed 300 pounds only a mere decade after his time on that seminal series, or did you think that action stars couldn’t gain weight? As always, like this video to show your support, and subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!