The "Bear" was played by a great monkey named Sam. He and I got along famously...and I really thought that chimp liked me. As a matter of fact, when I came back to do the opening show of another season, he remembered me! (At least, that's how he acted!) Those big teeth didn't scare ME!
This particular episode was one
of the most enjoyable experiences I've had working in television.
I played the part of a pregnant girl who gives birth in the back of BJ's
truck in a snow storm. Ted Danson played the role of
my husband, who in this show is terribly preoccupied with his work, but BJ is there in a desperate moment to help deliver my child. During long hours and lots of night shooting, BJ and my character shared many adventures. Greg Evigan and I worked very well together, and were subsequently cast opposite each other frequently. We worked together on a second two-part BJ and the BEAR; as well as on MURDER, SHE WROTE; FAME; and MASQUERADE. A wonderful side note to this story is that Greg's wife - who's name, coincidentally, is Pam - became pregnant while we were shooting this episode. I always felt it was the practice Greg got with all that grunting and groaning I did in the back of that truck!
Peter Altobelli, who also did my make-up for the pilot episode of MAGNUM, PI., is a wonderful make-up artist. We became good friends, and always had such fun on set...as did my dog, Devon. She loved to go to the studio with me every morning, and was never at a loss for people to walk her. The only time she ever barked was once on my close-up!