Greatest American Hero

The Greatest American Hero is an American science fiction TV series that aired for three seasons from 1981 to 1983 on ABC. It premiered as a two-hour movie pilot on March 18, 1981. It starred William Katt as teacher Ralph Hinkley ("Hanley" for the latter part of the first season), Robert Culp as FBI Agent Bill Maxwell, and Connie Sellecca as lawyer Pam Davidson. The show chronicles Ralph's adventures after he is given a red suit by a group of aliens, which gives him superhuman abilities.

The aliens give Ralph Hinkley an instruction booklet on how to use the suit, but Ralph, who hates wearing the suit anyway, loses the instruction booklet and has to learn how to use his super powers by trial and error, often with comical results.

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The Greatest American Hero Symbol

On the DVD of Season 1, Stephen J. Cannell notes that the symbol was actually based on a pair of scissors that he had on his desk during the design of the uniform. However, in Jeff Rovin's book, The World Encyclopedia of Superheroes, the author claimed that it was actually an "open book and needle emblem." The issue was even further confused by the use of Elton John's song "Rocket Man" in the pilot episode, leading some fans to assume that the suit's logo actually did depict some kind of rocket.
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Ralph Hinkley

Actor: William Katt

Ralph Hinkley is a fictional character on the ABC television series The Greatest American Hero, portrayed by actor William Katt (1951-). Ralph Hinkley. is a high school teacher of special education students. Determined to get through to them, Ralph takes them on a "geological survey" field trip to the desert. Coming back from the field trip later that night, the school bus breaks down. Ralph starts to walk back through the desert to get help and he encounters a swerving car driven by FBI Special Agent Bill Maxwell (Culp) that stops just in time to avoid hitting Hinkley. Maxwell insists that he could not control the car. An alien spacecraft appears and the aliens tell Ralph and Bill (by way of the car radio) that they are to work together to save the world and Ralph will be given the power to change it. They are given a black case. Later Ralph opens it and finds a red suit (with cape), which endows him with superhuman abilities. Pam Davidson is an attorney, who often joins Ralph and Bill on their adventures. She is an attorney who handled Ralph's divorce and later becomes his wife.
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Bill Maxwell

Actor: Robert Culp

Bill Maxwell is a fictional character on the ABC television series The Greatest American Hero, portrayed by actor Robert Culp (1930-2010). Maxwell is an FBI Special Agent partnered with a special education high school teacher given a superhero suit by aliens.
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Pam Davidson

Actor: Connie Sellecca

Pam Davidson is a fictional character on the ABC television series The Greatest American Hero, portrayed by actor Connie Sellecca (1955-). Davidson is a lawyer hired by Ralph to represent him in a custody fight for his son. They begin to date and eventually get married.