HALF-NELSON/NBC/1985 (Short Person)

Rocky Nelson (Joe Pesci), a pint-sized New York undercover cop who moved west to pursue an acting career but ended up working as a private security consultant. Hunk (played by Tony the dog) is Rocky’s canine sidekick.


While he waits for his chance to become an actor, Rocky works for the Beverly Hills Patrol, a private security service that caters to celebrities. Singer Dean Martin, who is part owner of the BHP, gave Rocky a part time security job and let Rocky live in the guest house on his estate.

On day, Dean Martin asked Rocky how did things go at the audition? Rocky confessed he was not having any luck yet because he was either “too young, too short. I’m too ethnic. I’m too old. I don’t think he quite saw me in the part.”

Kurt (Bubba Smith) and Beau (Dick Butkus) were two fellow security guards at the Patrol – all brawn and no brains. Chester Long (Fred Williamson) a partner in the business with Dean Martin, was Rocky’s boss. Annie O’Hara (Victoria Jackson) was the agency’s slightly daffy secretary.

Occasionally, Rocky uses his background as a policeman to solve crimes, much to the chagrin of Lt. Detective Hamill (Gary Grubbs) of the Beverly Hills Police.

Whenever Rocky needs props, he visits the movie studio lot and borrows a few things for his assignments (tuxedo, Ferrari, etc).

Note: In the 1985 movie pilot  Rocky sells his life story to Hollywood after making a big drug bust. Then he quits the force and heads off to California to screen test for the lead role in a movie based on his life and career. Sadly, he is declared too short to play himself.

The “short-lived” HALF NELSON series was canceled after six episodes.


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