Multi-part made-for-television mini-series Rich Man, Poor Man was based on Irwin Shaw’s epic, juicy, best-selling novel about the Jordache clan, focusing in particular on two very different brothers: the gentle Rudy (Peter Strauss) and the rougher-hewn Tom (Nick Nolte).
Beginning with their childhood as the sons of the obstreperous Axel (Edward Asner), the series follows the ups-and-downs of their personal and professional lives over three decades, including their dual involvement with the seductive Julie Prescott (Susan Blakely).
Nolte and Strauss vaulted to stardom with their performances, ably supported by veterans Gloria Grahame, Dorothy McGuire, Fionnula Flanagan, Ray Milland and Edward Asner, who won a Best Acting Emmy. The series is further distinguished by an extraordinary (and also Emmy-winning) score from the great Alex North.
USA / ABC – Universal / 1×100 minute episode 11×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 1976
Writer: Dean Reisner / Music: Alex North / Novel: Irwin Shaw / Producer: Jon Epstein / Costume: Charles Waldo / Executive Producer: Harve Bennett / Director: David Greene
PETER STRAUSS as Rudy Jordache
NICK NOLTE as Tom Jordache
ED ASNER as Axel Jordache
TALIA SHIRE as Teresa Sanjorg
RAY MILLAND as Duncan Calderwood
DOROTHY McGUIRE as Mary Jordache
ROBERT REED as Teddy Boylan
GEORGE MAHARIS as Joey Quayles
BILL BIXBY as Willie Abbott
SUSAN BLAKELY as Julie Prescott
LYNDA DAY GEORGE