Coronado, CA

Lloyd Hanes: The Beloved Star of TV's "Room 222" Died Too Young

Herbie J Pilato
Photo byThe Classic TV Preservation Society

In 1987, actor Lloyd Hanes, star of the groundbreaking classic TV series, Room 222, died much too young, leaving a remarkable legacy.

As the Los Angeles Times documented at the time, Haynes, "whose sympathetic portrayal of a Black history teacher in an integrated school brought Emmys to Room 222 and a personal commitment to education by the actor himself, died at his home in Coronado."

"He was 52 and had been suffering from lung cancer.

"From Sept. 17, 1969, until the show went off the air on Jan. 11, 1974, Haynes, who had a lifelong fascination with flying, was Pete Dixon, who sought to instill tolerance and understanding among his students in Homeroom 222 at Walt Whitman High School.

"He was the sympathetic, student-oriented and anti-Establishment counselor the students sought out for guidance and his role was played off against Michael Constantine as Seymour Kaufman, the Whitman principal who represented “the system.”

"The Emmy-award-winning series received many commendations from education and civil rights groups for its focus on such issues as drugs, prejudice, and dropping out of school."

Haynes said in a 1970 interview with the Los Angeles Times that he found examples of segregation even among the integrated cast. “There’s unconscious segregation...You’ll see extras lined up, Black with Black and White with White. You have to tell them to integrate.”

As the Times continued to document, "Haynes took his acting persona off the set and into reality, addressing teachers’ groups and education support groups across the country. In 1970 he received the Television Teacher of the Year Award from the Los Angeles High School Alumni Assn. Some of the filming of Room 222 was done at Los Angeles High.

"He also formed an Education Through Aviation organization that sought to stimulate students by exposing them to Haynes’ own love of flying. His Santa Monica-based program was honored by Congress in 1972.

"Haynes’ latest role was as Mayor Ken Morgan on the daytime soap opera “General Hospital.” His wife, Carolyn, an actress, made guest appearances on the show.

"Haynes was born in South Bend, Ind. He graduated from San Jose State University and served in the Marine Corps from 1952 to 1964. He studied acting at the Film Studies Industries Workshop and Actors West in Los Angeles.

"Haynes lived in Coronado and commuted to Los Angeles for filmings. While there he also was a public affairs officer for the Naval Reserve, giving talks to Navy personnel involved in solving racial problems."

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Herbie J Pilato is the author of several books about pop culture including RETRO ACTIVE TELEVISION, THE 12 BEST SECRETS OF CHRISTMAS, MARY: THE MARY TYLER MOORE STORY, TWITCH UPON A STAR, GLAMOUR, GIDGETS AND THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, DASHING, DARING AND DEBONAIR, and NBC & ME: MY LIFE AS A PAGE IN A BOOK, among others. He's also a TV writer/producer, and has worked for Reelz, Bravo, E!, TLC, and hosted THEN AGAIN WITH HERBIE J PILATO, the hit classic TV talk show (which premiered on Amazon Prime in 2019).

Los Angeles, CA

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