|Tim as a Cylon, circa 1978|
He lettered in football, basketball and baseball. But while at the
University of ,
he caught the acting bug as an extra on the set of “The Naked Ape,” which was
filming scenes in da i r o Fl Gainesville.
Over the next several years, he completed his studies, did a two-year Army
stint in Vietnam, worked a
variety of jobs — and chased his dream of being in movies and TV shows by
moving to Hollywood.
In 1976, he got his start as an extra in “Two Minute Warning.”
His IMDB.com listing doesn’t tell the whole story of his experiences (many of which, due to the names involved and the activities they got up to, you’ll have to ask him about yourself). But the highlights are there: acting and/or stunts on two “Captain
telefilms in 1979, “Hart to Hart,” “WKRP in Cincinnati,” “The Love Boat,” “Bob Newhart” and
many more. He was in the finale of “Cheers,” and regularly played a Cylon on
the 1978-79 “
Battlestar Galactica,” an MP on “ Baa
Baa Blacksheep,” and a SWAT team member on “
Blues.” Hill Street
“It’s been fun,” he said. “It’s anybody’s dream: today, you’re a Cylon, tomorrow you’re a cowboy, next week a gangster in 1935. As kids, we played all these kinds of things. Now you can be something different every day.”
On the big screen, Tim appeared as one of
alban’s henchmen in “Star
Trek: The Wrath of Khan,” and can be seen holding actor Paul Winfield prisoner while
“Khan” places a mind-controlling alien worm inside Winfield’s space helmet. He
points out that Ricardo Mont Montalban,
in his early 60s when the movie was made, was all muscle.
“He worked out and worked out,” Tim said. Pointing at a photo of him and
in their movie costumes, he added, “That was all him. He was one solid guy.”
Culbertson also worked on “An Eye for an Eye,” “To Live and Die in
“The Man Who Loved Women,” “Cheech and Chong's Next Movie” and “Cannery Row.”
He was a Roman soldier in “History of the World Part 1” and claims Madeline Khan
was pointing at him when she hit her high note (“Yesss!”) while choosing
“I’ve become friends with a variety of people with big names over the years,” he said, mentioning Henry Winkler and Tom Hanks as two of the “nicest, most genuine guys in the world.” He also praised Cindy Williams and James Garner, but he was careful not to resort to name-dropping. He had photos with nearly every one of these people while on sets.
As a background actor, much of his work went uncredited, but you’ll recognize his face from role to role — at least, whenever he’s not wearing a mask or body-doubling for other actors. For instance: “I was the real father of (Chicken George) on ‘Roots,’” he revealed, as he doubled for
Chuck Connors in a violent
scene Connors was reluctant to play.
Tim also appeared in numerous TV and print ads for products like
cigarettes, Schlitz beer and more. He joked with Tom Selleck that there would
have been no “Magnum, P.I.” if Salem
hadn’t let Selleck go and hired him.
Tim’s adventures have taken him across the globe, with stories of fishing the
Aleutian Islands, attempting a climb of Mount
searching for gold in the Amazon, and paragliding off s e r e Ev Tabletop in Mountain .
But his life has been hard on his body, also: He jokes that, while he did
stunts on “The Six Million Dollar Man,” he’s been rebuilt more times than Lee
Majors’ character and must be worth $10 million by now. New York State
|Tim Culbertson, April 2014|
Accompanied by his cat, Miss April, Tim is in the area to look at real estate, both for a home and for investment. He’s also looking up old friends and revisiting old haunts, remarking that the older he gets, the more important those ties become.
“I’m always thinking about getting a couple of
Cubans at Tally-Ho,”
he said, even as he finished a sandwich at the Captain’s Table. “I have never not stopped by —
got to get my Tally-Ho fix.”
He’s also looking for a way to contribute locally by supporting area charities, as he has in years past with celebrity golf events: “You try to give back, to find a way to make some money to help people who don’t have the means. … I’m a Christian person, and I believe what I’ve been doing — especially in the last ten years — is more or less God-directed,” he said.