Greg Evigan knows that his biggest hit — the ’70s sitcom “B.J. and the Bear” — probably wouldn’t be made today because of animal rights issues.
The comedy — about a trucker who roamed the highways alongside his faithful pet chimp, who wore a jaunty hat — ran from 1978 to 1981. But the 67-year-old actor hinted that the ape did not enjoy a peaceful retirement.
“Looking back on it I wish I’d known more then and I probably would have tried a lot harder to make sure he had a better life after the show,” he told Page Six.
“I don’t know the exact story but none of those stories are that great,” he continued. “The trainer that was working on the show had the chimp but then they grow up and they’re the size of us and they’re pretty hard to handle.
“That’s why there aren’t too many shows like that because there shouldn’t be shows like that where you have animals in captivity that should be in the wild.”
The New Jersey native got his break on Broadway in shows like “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Grease,” in which he played Danny Zuko.
The “My Two Dads” star worked on “Grease” with Jeff Conaway — who also starred as Kenicke in the famed film and was plagued by substance abuse problems before his 2011 death.
“Poor Jeff,” Evigan said. “He was such a good guy but he always had this … He was tormented, the usual demons, he let them get him. But he was a great guy, talented guy.”
Evigan is keeping busy these days. He has an album coming out that was recorded with London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the famed Abbey Road Studios, and he can be seen in the holiday movie “The Christmas Listing.”
“The Christmas Listing” premieres on Lifetime on Nov. 30.
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