Bob Seagren won an Olympic gold medal and set six world records
in the pole vault between 1966 and '72, but there's a failure
that still eats at him. To this day he can't understand how
Toni's Boys could have flopped. After all, the pilot of the '80
Charlie's Angels spinoff, in which Seagren co-starred, had TV
gold written all over it: The angels are kidnapped and then
rescued by three handsome male angels--Cotton, who rides horses;
Matt, a master of disguise; and Bob, Seagren's character, an
Olympic champion who was often seen without his shirt. "I
thought we'd hit pay dirt," says Seagren, 54. "With all the
celebrity of the girls' show, we thought it was a can't-miss.
For some reason it never got picked up."
It's little surprise that Seagren was chosen for a starring
role. His square-jawed, all-American looks turned him into a
matinee idol, the Valentino of the vault, and enamored female
fans would wait for him in hotel lobbies and call him long
distance in the middle of the night. His profile only grew with
his Olympic success--the gold in 1968 and a silver in '72--and
his surprising victory in the first Superstars competition in
'73. After he gave up his amateur status to compete on the
International Track Association's professional circuit from '73
to '76, Seagren turned to acting. His first significant part was
as a gay character, Dennis Phillips, for two seasons on the
sitcom Soap. He followed that with guest turns on Fantasy
Island, Love Boat and Wonder Woman; seven unsuccessful pilots
("quite a frustrating experience," he says); and finally a gig
as host of PM Magazine from '83 to '86.
These days Seagren lives in Calabasas, Calif., with his second
wife, Peggy, and their 3 1/2-year-old twins, Mika and McKenzie.
The onetime daredevil, who learned to pole-vault as a teenager
in Pomona, Calif., by springing from rooftop to rooftop on
bamboo poles he'd picked up from a rug store, now sticks to
golf, jogging and tennis. From the offices of his Long
Beach-based consulting business, he serves as CEO of
International City Racing (which organizes the Long Beach
Marathon) and procures sponsorships for a number of entities,
including the California Community College Commission on
Athletics, which governs sports on the state's 107 junior
Though Seagren has filmed a few recent infomercials, his acting
career is essentially over. When asked, in light of the success
of last year's Charlie's Angels movie, whether it's time for
another shot at Toni's Boys, Seagren laughs. "I'm not so sure,"
he says. "I'm way too old for that now."
April 22, 2001