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Undercover with the KKK

rowe robert jim thomas

(NBC, 10/23/1979, 120 mins). The story of Gary Thomas Rowe Jr., who worked undercover for the FBI to infiltrate a Klan klavern in his Alabama hometown, later testified as a key prosecution witness during the trial of several klansmen, and wrote about it in his 1976 book, “My Undercover Years With the Ku Klux Klan.” Filmed in the spring of 1978 as “Freedom Riders,” it had to be updated by a prologue (on-camera) and a voice-over epilogue by Robert Stack when Rowe subsequently was indicted for the killing of Detroit housewife Viola Liuzzo during the historic Montgomery Freedom March led by Dr. Martin Luther King.

Production Company Columbia Pictures Television. Director Barry Shear. Executive Producer Douglas Benton. Producer George Lehr. Teleplay Lane Slate. Based on a Book by Gary Thomas Rowe Jr. Photography Robert C. Moreno. Music Morton Stevens. Editor Jack Kampschroer. Art Directors Robert Purcell, Ross Bellah.

Cast Don Meredith (Gary Thomas Rowe Jr), Ed Lauter (Rawley Porter), Clifton James (Jimmy Eakin), Albert Salmi (Lester Mitchell), Michele Carey (Mary Beth), Lance LeGault (Weasel), Margaret Blye (Billie Ruth Rowe), Edward Andrews (Pat Murray), Slim Pickens (Yancey Hicks), James Wainwright (T.J. Barker), Don ‘Red’ Barry (Klan jewelry salesman), Ron Trice (Roscoe Cobb), Earl Montgomery (Dr. Sheffield), John Lawrence (Lt. Jim Collins), Cliff Emmich (Orville), Michael Meredith (Tatum), Jim Mansinne (Herb Scott), Julius Varnado (Jim), Karl Felch (Durwood Walker), March McCandless (Sam Jones), Stephen Bradley (Galvin), Dixie Wade (Waitress), Victor Hall (Kevin Ryan), Jim Haynie (1st officer), Peter Scribner (1st jury foreman), Carl Lumbly (Reverend Howell), Blair Leatherwood (Counterboy), Robert Stack (Narrator).

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