Home Television Drama Beacon Hill

Beacon Hill

1 9 7 5 (USA)
1 x 120 minute episode
13 x 60 minute episodes

Blending drama, virtuoso acting, social commentary and soap opera, the British series Upstairs Downstairs drew crowds of viewers to the American PBS channel. This short-lived but lavish period drama series from CBS was ostensibly an adaptation of the superb UK series but placed in an American setting.

The various storylines revolved around the lives of the wealthy Lassiter family in 1920s Boston, and the members of their household staff of Irish immigrants – most prominently Brian Mallory (Paul Rudd), a brash lad who was determined to rise in the world in a hurry – led by head butler Mr Hacker (George Rose).


Ben Lassiter (Stephen Elliott) was a powerful industrialist and political boss, who lived with his worry-prone wife, a suicidally depressed son, three daughters of widely differing personalities and various grandchildren.

The cast was huge (and recruited mostly from the Broadway stage), the sets, costumes and production values were the best, and a special two-hour advanced premiere on 2 August 1975 received top ratings.

But after that, the audience shrank steadily and the series (which aired on Tuesdays at 10:00 pm) was largely unsuccessful. CBS cancelled the programme after only 13 episodes.

Benjamin Lassiter 
Stephen Elliott
Mary Lassiter 

Nancy Marchand
Mr Hacker 

George Rose
Mrs Hacker 

Beatrice Straight
Trevor Bullock 

Roy Cooper
Robert Lassiter 

David Dukes
Richard Palmer 

Edward Herrman
Maude Palmer 

Maeve McGuire
Emily Bullock 

Deann Mears
Giorgio Bellonci 

Michael Nouri
Betsy Bullock 

Linda Purl
Terence O’Hara 

David Rounds
Brian Mallory 

Paul Rudd
Harry Emmet 

Barry Snider

Sydney Swire
Marilyn Gardiner 

Holland Taylor
Fawn Lassiter 

Kathryn Walker
William Piper 

Richard Ward
Rosamond Lassiter 

Kitty Winn