For the Cognac, see Hennessy. For other uses, see Hennessey.
Genre Sitcom/drama
Created by Don McGuire
Starring Jackie Cooper
Abby Dalton
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 95
Executive producer(s) Jackie Cooper
E.W. Swackhamer
Producer(s) Jackie Cooper
Running time 2426 minutes
Production company(s) Hennesey Productions
Jackie Cooper Productions
Outlet Productions (in association with the CBS Television Network)
Distributor CBS Films
Paramount Television
CBS Paramount Television
CBS Television Distribution (current)
Original network CBS
Picture format Black-and-white
Audio format Monaural
Original release September 28, 1959 (1959-09-28) – September 17, 1962 (1962-09-17)
Chick and Martha (1960)

Hennesey is an American military sitcom/drama television series that aired on CBS from 1959 to 1962, starring Jackie Cooper.

Cooper played a United States Navy physician, Lt. Charles W. "Chick" Hennesey, with Abby Dalton as Navy nurse Lt. Martha Hale. In the story line, they are assigned to the hospital at the U.S. Naval Station in San Diego, California.

Extended cast

Guest stars

Actor and singer Bobby Darin was cast in the second episode (October 5, 1959) with the unlikely name of "Honeyboy Jones". Less than a year earlier, Darin had rocketed to fame with his version of the song, "Mack the Knife".

Prior to being cast as Opie Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show, child actor Ron Howard played "Walker", a little boy temporarily left in Hennesey's care in the 1959 episode "The Baby Sitter". Gary Hunley, another child actor, appeared in the same episode.

Charles Bronson, en route to a long film career, was cast twice as Lt. Cmdr. Steve Ogrodowski, a Navy intelligence officer.

Don Rickles was cast in the 1961 episode "Professional Sailor" as CPO Ernie Schmidt. From 1976 to 1978, Rickles played the lead with the same rank in the NBC military sitcom, C.P.O. Sharkey.

Bandleader Les Brown and His Band of Renown and comedian Soupy Sales appeared in separate episodes as themselves.

Other guest stars:

Production notes

The series was notable for an extremely catchy theme tune (by Sonny Burke), a jazzy hornpipe played by tuba and piccolo. Hennesey was also innovative for being the first series to employ what has since become a standard device in television: beginning the dialog and action of each episode during opening credits.

Cooper starred in, produced and directed the series, drawing upon his real-life experience as a World War II Navy veteran and his continuing service for many years as an officer in the United States Naval Reserve. He was a former child actor who starred in the Our Gang comedies of the early 1930s and then moved into feature films.

Scriptwriter Richard Baer wrote thirty-eight of Hennesey's episodes beginning in 1960, which earned him an Emmy nomination.[1]

In the series finale, "I, Thee Wed" (May 7, 1962), characters Chick and Martha tie the knot and get married.


Hennesey aired the pilot for the 1961-1962 CBS sitcom Mrs. G. Goes to College, also known as The Gertrude Berg Show, starring Gertrude Berg in the role of Cooper's "Aunt Sarah". In the last of Berg's television series, the character, as a 62-year-old widow, enrolls in college.


  1. "Writer Richard Baer dies at 79". Variety Magazine. 2008-02-25. Retrieved 2008-03-22.
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