Saturday, February 1, 2014

Classic 1980s TV: Cynthia Sikes vs. Heather Locklear on Battle of the Network Stars

Video of Cynthia Sikes, who played St. Elsewhere's Dr. Annie Cavanero, taking on Heather Locklear on Battle of the Network Stars in 1983.

Cynthia Sikes, Heather Locklear, and Howard Cosell
Here's some quintessential 1970s-80s nostalgia--remember Battle of the Network Stars? Television stars from CBS, ABC and NBC would compete for network television supremacy in physical challenges. Someone has graciously preserved several clips of these contests on YouTube.

St. Elsewhere is represented in the following video clip by Cynthia Sikes, who played Dr. Annie Cavanero in the show's first three seasons. She takes on a young Heather Locklear in the obstacle course, with a play-by-play and post-contest interview conducted by legendary ABC sportscaster Howard Cosell:


Sikes falls behind after the monkey bars, but Locklear, then 22 and starring on T.J. Hooker, stumbles after clearing the wall and loses her lead. Sikes pulls away after this misstep, and Locklear can't compete with Sikes's long, graceful stride. Victory to NBC!

And as a bonus, here are two clips of Mark Harmon, Dr. Bobby Caldwell himself, representing his pre-St. Elsewhere series, the prime-time soap Flamingo Road (which also featured Sikes in a recurring role). In both clips, Harmon, the former starter on UCLA's football team, demonstrates his prowess on the obstacle course. In December 1981, he dominates against Falcon Crest's Lorenzo Lamas, and in the second, from May 1982, he sets an event record against Dynasty's John James. Cosell is in fine form, especially in describing the agony of Lamas, who injures himself.

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