"From The Untouchables to Unsolved Mysteries, he was a television legend. And a class act all the way."
-- NBC's memorial ad to Robert Stack. "Unsolved Mysteries" first aired on NBC from 1987 to 1997, then on CBS from 1998 to 1999, and on Lifetime from 2001 to the present.
Probably the first time I've seen Robert Stack was when he portrayed Rex Kramer in the 1980 disaster parody Airplane!. I didn't realize who he was at the time until I started watching "Unsolved Mysteries" in fall 2002, almost around the same time I started watching one of my fave shows "Alias". I got interested in "Unsolved Mysteries" when, during an online chat in mid-2002, a friend of mine mentioned "Unsolved Mysteries" as one of his favorite shows. I have heard of that show but never watched it. So, one night on a lark, I watched the show on Lifetime and I've been hooked ever since.
I began to look up on all things related to "Unsolved Mysteries" from what cases have been solved or yet to be solved to the show's host Robert Stack. On the latter, I was amazed to learn how a versatile actor he was. Upon learning this, I finally realized that I did actually see him in Airplane! and when I rewatched the film, not only did it become one of my favorite movies, I found him hilarious!
Last November, when my parents and I visited the Hollywood Walk of Fame, I bought Stack's 1980 autobiography "Straight Shooting" at a bookstore that specialized in movie-related books. I read it and loved it instantly. (As of this writing, I'm nearly finished reading the book.) By that time, I was so caught up on "Unsolved Mysteries", every time I watched it, even if it was a rerun, I would get chills from some of the cases on the show, the eerie music, and most of all, the voice and presence of Stack. Sometime ago, when my mum and I watched "Unsolved Mysteries" during my spring break this year, I told her that his voice is the kind that (as a newspaper article put it) brings up images of bench warrants bearing your name. I added that considering he is best known as Eliot Ness in tv's "The Untouchables", that's very appropriate. Mum told me she was going to say that, since she had seen him in "The Untouchables" long time ago.
Then, on the morning of May 15, 2003, I went to Sitcoms Online Message Boards -- Unsolved Mysteries and the first topic posted was Robert Stack died. At first, I thought I read it wrong but I soon learned otherwise. I cried for several minutes but it seemed like a long time. I was able to get through the rest of the day but I was still devasted by the loss. It was very hard to tell my family and friends about this.
Even if I never had the chance to meet you, I feel I've known you for a long time. I miss you very much, Robert Stack. We will remember you.
"Join me, for an intriguing edition of 'Unsolved Mysteries'." -- Robert Stack
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