Clarence Williams III, of Mod Squad fame, died on Friday of colon cancer. His death has revived interest in his co-stars, including actor Michael Cole, and what they’re doing today. Where is Mod Squad’s Pete Cochran today, and what is his net worth? Is Michael Cole still alive?
Michael Cole has always considered himself lucky
“There’s not many people from Madison, Wisconsin, who get to fly to Australia,” Cole told Studio 10’s Craig Bennett in 2018 (see video below).
“I’ve always considered myself lucky.”
He started drinking at 12 years old, he says, and found himself in jail aged just 14 or 15.
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He spent time living under freeways before his acting career found its feet, and remembers looking up at the Mod Squad billboard atop Paramount Studios.
It bore his face, and overlooked a freeway under which he had slept only a year prior.
What happened to Michael Cole that left him with 130 stitches?
Cole required surgery after a near-fatal car accident early on in his career.
It occurred in the 1970s, during a hiatus of Mod Squad’s second season.
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The crash and subsequent medical procedures left him with 130 stitches – he almost lost an eyelid.
He feared his career would be over and, he jokes, he would be doomed to play Quasimodo forever.
How many children does Michael Cole have?
Michael Cole dropped out of high school and married his first wife when he was just 16.
She gave birth to two children, Jeff and Candi, but she and Cole divorced by the time he was 20.
His second marriage produced one daughter, Jennifer, but also ended in divorce.
Cole married his third wife, Shelley Funes, in 1996.
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He credits Shelley Funes with saving his life
In his memoir, I Played The White Guy, and in his interview with Craig Bennett of Studio 10, Michael Cole opens up about his alcoholism and, eventually, beating addiction.
By 1993, he writes, he was “tired of being drunk and hurting people”.
Funes staged an intervention. “Shelley was crying. We called Betty Ford (a non-profit, residential rehab centre in California), and I was down there right after Christmas.
“She did save my life.”
If it wasn’t for Shelley offering him an ultimatum, Michael Cole says he wouldn’t be alive today.
What has he been in since Mod Squad?
Mod Squad ran from 1968 to 1973 and defined Michael Cole’s career – but he was in plenty more besides.
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What is actor Michael Cole’s net worth?
Information Cradle estimates Michael Cole’s net worth to be in the region of $1 million to $5 million.
Meanwhile, Super Stars Bio reckons his net worth is close to $4 million.
Where is Michael Cole today?
Born 3 July 1940, Michael Cole is currently 80 years old.
Since then, he has fallen off the radar and hasn’t yet publicly acknowledged the death of Mod Squad co-star Clarence Williams III.
Today, Michael Cole is the last living member of The Mod Squad, aka “the hippest and first young undercover cops on TV”.