…but picked a pretty damn good movie to make a debut in! Robert Culp made his feature film debut in the Warner Brothers epic “PT-109” which was released this date (June 19) 1963. Personally overseen by Jack Warner himself (after the first director was fired and things were looking dicey), the film took more than a year to complete and runs for over 2 hours in length.
The film depicts the story of John F. Kennedy’s WWII experiences as the skipper of the Patrol Torpedo boat number 109, which was sliced in half by a Japanese destroyer in August of 1943. Kennedy (portrayed by Cliff Robertson in the film) lost two of his 13 crew members and managed to lead the others to safety on one of the islands. Culp plays Ensign George Ross, who ended up on the 109 more or less as a hitchhiker, joining Kennedy’s crew after his own boat got shot up.
PT 109 is a very good film and worth the two plus hour running time, and waiting for Culp to show up (about an hour into it).
The fact that Culp is shirtless for portions of this movie is simply a bonus.