Series television has been the pivotal base of Gerald McRaney's career, who first became known to the collective television audience when cast as the male lead, private investigator Rick Simon, in his first dramatic series, "Simon and Simon." Right on the heels of the show's eight year run on CBS came a starring role in his second series, "Major Dad," followed by "Central Park West" and finally "Promised Land."
On the hit drama series "Promised Land" Gerald McRaney portrays Russell Greene, a benevolent patriarch who must lead his family on an adventure that challenges each of them to bond as a family, find a new home and reclaim the meaning of the American Dream. In 1999 he became the recipient of the International Gold Angel-Lifetime Achievement Award while "Promised Land" won a Gold Angel for Best Drama Series.
McRaney also served as executive producer on the television film, "Simon & Simon: In Trouble Again." He directed several episodes of the original namesake series, followed by a group for "Major Dad," and also helmed, "Love and Curses...And All That Jazz."
McRaney garnered a long list of credits from ratings rich TV movies and miniseries including: "Take Me Home: The John Denver Story," "A Thousand Men and A Baby," "Not Our Son," " D-Day, The Total Story," "Someone She Knows, ""Nothing Lasts Forever, " "Home of the Brave," and "Deadly Vows."
McRaney first worked as an assistant stage manager for a repertory company before landing roles in front of the camera. Reportedly, he was the last guest star to appear on Gunsmoke in 1975. His guest star appearances span the gamut. A few include: "Gunsmoke," "The Waltons" to "Designing Women" "Magnum P.I." "Burke's Law," ""Coach" and "Touched By An Angel."
In 1989, Gerald McRaney was honored with a PRISM Award, sponsored by the Entertainment Industries Council and supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, for recognition of his efforts and work in the entertainment medium in depicting the ills of substance abuse.