The sad sacks at K&K have learned that actor Donnelly Rhodes died Monday from cancer. He was 80 and spent his remaining days at Baillie House Hospice in Maple Ridge.
Although Rhodes won a Gemini for his role on Da Vinci’s Inquest, we will forever remember him as marine veterinarian Grant “Doc” Roberts on the Vancouver-shot TV series Danger Bay. Arguably the greatest episode of that series centred around the once-celebrated bathtub race between Nanaimo and Vancouver.
Titled “Bathtub Race,” episode 9 of season 2 aired in 1986 and finds Doc racing against his quaffed-son Jonah and Doc’s love interest J.L. Duval. The episode features plenty of mid-80s fashions — tank tops, silk shorts, unironic moustaches — and the voice of a race play-by-play announcer we at first thought was Gloria Macarenko, but upon further inspection turned out to be Dini Petty.
How Doc, a first time racer with one day of practice, managed to beat a field of international competitors, is anyone’s guess, but that doesn’t make the victory any less sweet.