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Dr. Kildare (1961–1966)

TV Series  |   |  Drama
Your rating:
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 425 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 5 critic

The dramatic relationship between a young medical intern and his surgeon mentor.

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5   4   3   2   1  
1966   1965   1964   1963   1962   1961  
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 9 nominations. See more awards »
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Series cast summary:
 Dr. James Kildare (191 episodes, 1961-1966)
 Dr. Leonard Gillespie / ... (191 episodes, 1961-1966)


The story of a young intern in a large metropolitan hospital trying to learn his profession, deal with the problems of his patients, and win the respect of the senior doctor in his specialty, internal medicine. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

28 September 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Doctor Kildare  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(58 episodes) | (132 episodes)

Sound Mix:


| (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Over 30 actors auditioned for the lead role with William Shatner the eventual winner, though he then declined it. James Franciscus was also offered the role but had committed himself to another (eventually unmade) series at the time. See more »


Referenced in Mondo Hollywood (1967) See more »


Three Stars Will Shine Tonight
by Hal Winn, Jerry Goldsmith and Pete Rugolo
EMI Hastings Catalog, Incorporated (ASCAP)
See more »

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User Reviews

The Best of all Medical Hour-Long Series; a TV Landmark of Quality
11 October 2005 | by See all my reviews

Producer David Victor's tendency was to saddle his television scripts and programs with some neurotic character of the week; but the sheer narrative quality of the scripts , the direction and the acting of "Dr. Kildare" centering around the most attractive young Richard Chamberlain and the very able Raymond Massey surmounted all artistic obstacles. This very popular TV series debuted the same year as did "Ben Casey"; and while both shows' producers provided viewers with strong dramatic scripts and episodes, critics noted that "Dr. Kildare" looked clean, whereas "Ben Casey" seemed to be shot in tones of gray, in lower light, etc. For five years, the show remained relatively unchanged; in its last season, innovations of length and cast were tried, to save the series. A simple look at this 1960s transforming of the older MGM "Dr. Kildare" series reveals how immensely superior the television version was made to be. The list of directors who made "Dr. Kildare" a quality offering included Jack Arnold, John Brahm, Marc Daniels, Lawrence Dobkin, David Friedkin, Robert Gist, James Goldstone, Lamont Johnson, Alf Kjellin, James Komack, Robert Ellis Miller, John Newland, Boris Sagal, Richard Sarafian, Elliot Silverstein, Don Taylor, and Paul Wendkos--some of TV's best directors. Writers for the series included Theodore Apstein, William Bast, Douglas Benton, Jerry de Bono, Louis S. Peterson, Gene Rodenberry and Jim Thompson. In addition to young, untrained but promising Chamberlain and the veteran Massey the cast included at various times Ken Berry, Jud Taylor, Jean Inness, Robert Paget, Joan Patrick, Jo Helton, Lee Kurty, John Napier and Cynthia Stone among others. Fine talents such as Leslie Nielsen, Lee Meriwether, Hayden Rorke, Diane Baker and Donn Loren appeared numerous times. Guest stars were memorable from the series but the chief ornament of the show were its plots--a mysterious and dangerous virus, Massey's vacation, Dr. Kildare facing death for the first time, the results of a teenaged gang fight, and many more such episodes. Because Blair General was a big city hospital;, and because of the presence of an older practitioner, with a wealth of life and professional experience, the design of Dr. Kildare provided far more potential for interesting hour-long story lines than would any show's premise concerning any private medical practitioner. This was and is THE hour-long medical series for most Americans. It was a landmark series for many reasons, and has been much imitated.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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