Whatever Happened To: The Cast Of "The Greatest American Hero"

"Look at what's happened to me, I can't believe it myself, Suddenly I'm up on top of the world, It should have been somebody else"

If you grew up in the 1980's you probably remember The Greatest American Hero even if you didn't watch the show. This superhero parody was a big hit, but it was also troubled from the start.

First, the owners of the Superman copyright threatened to sue, charging that the program had stolen their character. Then a man with the same last name as the hero made a real-life assassination attempt on the President of the United States, causing scripts to be hurriedly rewritten. Then the ratings started to fall...but it still had one of the greatest theme songs EVER.
"Believe it or not, I'm walkin' on air, I never thought I could feel so free; Flyin' away on a wing and a prayer, Who could it be? Believe it or not, it's just me."

The Greatest American Hero was a series about Ralph Hinkley (William Katt), a young high-school teacher in Los Angeles, who was set upon by extraterrestrial beings while on a field trip into the desert. The aliens presented him with an incredible red flying suit, which, when donned, gave him (and only him) the ability to fly.

A neurotic FBI agent, Maxwell (Robert Culp), convinced Ralph to use the suit to help him fight crime. Unfortunately, Ralph promptly lost the instruction book for the suit and had to spend the entire series trying to figure out its powers...oh the shenanigans.

The only other adult besides Ralph and Maxwell who knew of the suit's powers was Ralph's girlfriend, attorney Pam Davidson played by Connie Sellecca.

The premise was kinda silly, but kids loved it, and EVERYONE loved the theme song which became a major record hit during the summer of 1981. It was an anthem that taught us about gratitude and believing in ourselves even when nobody else did.

The show ran for three seasons from 1981 to 1983 on ABC, was created by super producer Stephen J. Cannell and was shot mainly on location in Los Angeles, although there were some sets (Hinkley home interior, FBI offices, Maxwell's apt) that were shot in a Culver City warehouse that was converted into a soundstage.

So what happened to the cast?

In 2015, it was reported that FOX had ordered a pilot for a Greatest American Hero reboot, but it never came to fruition. 

Then in 2017, it was announced that there was going to be another attempt at a reboot, this time with a female lead and for 20th Century Fox TV and ABC Studios. For this incarnation, the suit would be worn by Meera, an Indian-American woman, but this concept was not picked up to series either. 

So it seems that The Greatest American Hero will remain a TV series from yesteryear...and ya know what? We ❤️that. All episodes are the series currently available on Amazon Prime Video. 

Whatever Happened To: The Cast Of "The Greatest American Hero" Whatever Happened To: The Cast Of "The Greatest American Hero" Reviewed by #IheartHollywood on August 17, 2019 Rating: 5


  1. Loved the show and you can still catch it on the H& I network on Saturday mornings. They show back to back episodes at 8 and 9 in the morning.

  2. Liked the show back then like the show to this day

  3. Love it then and now. Am really disappointed now that I read they did go ahead with the remake was wondering if there's be one with so many out. But networks always are short sighted! Canceling the new Macgyver because ratings went down. What did they think would happen to a Friday night 8:00/7:00 central show coming out of the pandemic?!?! Hell fox killed a show I never even knew was on(great advertising)FIREFLY would have had a great run but the squints killed it after a year and everyone I know when I lend them my DVD want to know when the next season is! I sadly tell them there's only a tv movie left for them to see.😥