Hill Street Blues actor Daniel Travanti disparages atheists in foxholes

Hill Street Blues actor Daniel Travanti disparages atheists in foxholes October 27, 2011

EllenBeth Wachs, the Florida atheist who has been harassed and arrested by a religious zealot in the Polk County Sherriff’s Dept recently shared something with me.

It involves B-list Hollywood actor Daniel Travanti of Hill Street Blues ‘fame’. He played Captain Frank Furillo, if you were trying to remember this ‘Where are they now’ thespian.

Apparently he sent a rambling hate letter to my friend EllenBeth, and invoked the ‘No atheists in foxholes’ canard. But he doesn’t seem to pull it off, or write coherently.

His little rant might as well have looked like this:

That is an actual picture of him. Anyway, brace yourself for some bat feces.

After God was kind enough to provide the role of Captain Frank Furillo, on the acclaimed television drama, “Hill Street Blues”, I learned that it is best not to screw around with Him (or Her – I do not presume to know).  Hell, I don’t even think Steven Bochco was a jew, so what are the chances?  You might want to mull that over next time you begrudge a church getting a ratty old basketball hoop.

Also, it is not healthy to carry around the unresolved anger and rage that you harbor against your parents for giving you a “given name” that is actually two separate names stuck together.  Perhaps they were drunk when the birth certificate was processed, or they simply thought it was funny – in the humorous way, not in the context of being odd, or weird – which it most definitely is.   Certainly we can agree that life is not fair, except in the case that you are, in fact,  jewish, and to tell you the truth, I had my doubts about Bochco; and now that I think about it, “Wachs” doesn’t exactly sound Irish.

Remember, there are no atheists in foxholes, as I famously said to my good friend George Patton, as we rolled through the town of Foy in France.




Did God bless him with that 2005 lawyer advertisement for asbestos / mesothelioma?

Some of EllenBeth’s friends pointed out that George Patton died in 1946, and Daniel “I’ve got DT’s” Travanti was born in 1940.

There are many ways to respond to the ‘No Atheists in foxholes’ BS. Pick your poison, and commence with the troll feeding emails! Let me know if you get back anything especially crazy.

there are only atheists in foxholes - J. Anderson Thomson

There are no atheists in fox news - bill o'reilly subtle

Justin Griffith, Military Director for American Atheists

"Here I'd thought my friend had gone off the deep end. I am very much ..."

Dawkins is Worse than ISIS But ..."
"Go "back" to FB?You're talking about alternate futures."

Dawkins is Worse than ISIS But ..."
"JT is trolling today too. Was there a behind the scenes note to play knifey-spooney?"

Dawkins is Worse than ISIS But ..."

Browse Our Archives

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • There are no atheists in foxholes, except the ones who are.

  • ebwachs

    My Response to him-

    Thanks for the laugh. How sad for you. You are obviously the one that is quite angry and bitter that you have to email a total stranger and insult her dead parents. How pathetic of you.

    I don’t begrudge a church getting a ratty old basketball hoop. As long as it is not taxpayer dollars. By the way, it wasn’t a ratty old basketball hoop. They were brand spanking new backboards. Oh shock! Grady lied.

    There are lots of atheists in foxholes, silly. There are certainly NO Chaplains in them though! Meet Justin Griffith, the founder of Rock Beyond Belief. He is a Sergeant in the US Army stationed in Fort Bragg, NC and fighting for your right to be rude to a total stranger

    EllenBeth Wachs

    Acting President, Atheists of Florida

    Skype: EllenBeth.Wachs

    Twitter: @EllenBethWachs



  • hoverfrog

    Great. Another old TV series that I won’t be able to watch without thinking that one of the actors is a douche. I blame Charlie Sheen.

  • lordshipmayhem

    I’d join in the chorus pointing out that when Patton was marching through France, Daniel Travanti was four years old.

  • Jeff

    I know nothing about EllenBeth’s situation beyond what I skimmed at the site linked to above, but I have to say…

    How do we know this was from the *real* Daniel Travanti? I mean, there are Daniel Travanti poseurs *everywhere*. EVERYONE wants to be Daniel Travanti.

    Assuming it’s really him, he’s obviously got some issues. Or a very odd sense of humor.

  • Ryan

    Oh snap! He made fun of her name! I guess God exists.

  • beerslayer

    How about “There are no whiny, overpaid actors in foxholes”?

  • ebwachs

    This keeps getting more amusing- this came in this morning- obviously satire but a riot-

    As Daniel’s old friend and compatriot, I felt compelled to speak up on his behalf regarding his recent missive, which I feel may have been misunderstood, or at the very least poorly articulated.

    I know Daniel had been spending a lot of time lately, watching and re-watching his old VHS tapes of the HSB episodes. Just two nights ago, he called me after he had watched Episode 100, ironically entitled “Grin and Bear It”, which originally aired May 16, 1985. I am sure you recall the episode, in which Detective Harry Garibaldi’s (portrayed by the fabulous Ken Olin – who incidentally, I believe is Amish, having grown up in rural Pennsylvania) legal efforts to quash the drug test screenings are successful. Sadly, in an instance where art imitates life, Furillo’s drug screening comes up positive for alcohol.

    I fear that Dan still bears the scars of those days so many years ago. Like a lot of our contemporaries that didn’t make it back from the beaches of Anzio, Normandy, Tarawa, Guadalcanal, Longboat Key and St. Bart’s, he lied about his age to get into the action. I remember, like it was yesterday, and as if it were a scene from a movie that keeps replaying in my mind, what I said to him when we first met, when he was fresh out of OCS: ” Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country. When you put your hand into a bunch of goo that a moment before was your best friend’s face, you’ll know what to do.”

    I don’t think he heard me though, as there was a half-track rumbling by when I said it to him.

    Anyway, I don’t know what possessed Dan to send that message – I doubt he does either. As far as I know, he doesn’t even care for basketball, and I don’t recall ever seeing him in a foxhole. In addition, he has told me that he is a fan of Richard Dawkins, who he thought was very funny on Hogan’s Hero’s by the way, and arguably, even, Family Feud. However, I don’t think he realized that Richard was an atheist, and apparently, quite a prolific scholar once he left the show-business world behind.

    I do know that Dan did not mean to imply that atheists are not patriotic when he threw out that well-worn aphorism, and on top of everything else, I’m pretty certain Steve Bochco is Presbyterian.

    In any event, I have said my piece from the great beyond, and I like nothing more than a spirited battle. God help me I do love it so.

    Gen. GSP, Ret.


  • davidct

    Just goes to show that the heros of TV land are not real. Without a script some of them cannot be properly be called people. There are atheists in foxholes just as there are dumb-asses in entertainment.

  • tuibguy

    In any event, I have said my piece from the great beyond, and I like nothing more than a spirited battle. God help me I do love it so.

    Gen. GSP, Ret.

    I keep waiting for you to be reincarnated, General. What’s keeping you back?

    • Dear Diary – Boy what a couple of weeks! I allow myself three fingers of Cutty Sark after taking my evening Elavil, and one impulsive e-mail later, I made acquaintance with enough M-16 toting, foxhole-digging, atheist Travis Bickle doppelgangers to cast a Marty Scorsese film, or a Gustav Hasford novel, for that matter. But it hasn’t been all bad. It’s like my “wife” Fay Furilllo (played by the wonderful Barbara Bosson – who was married to Steven Bochco until 1997) used to say to Frank: “Hey Buster, the Lord works in mysterious ways.” Now I realize you atheists don’t say this much, seeing as how you all “pretend” not to believe in the Lord, but by golly, I have come to realize, that is O.K. Actually, at the time, I didn’t know if by “Lord” she was referring to the big-guy God, or Jesus – who as I understand it, was definitely Jewish. It didn’t matter though, as I soon dumped her for that “dish”, Joyce Davenport, who was a real tiger in the sack – although a true gentleman does not, as they say, kiss, do a “rusty trombone”, and tell, and I don’t intend to start now. However, I will reveal that it was Joyce who talked Frank into wearing his “trademark” vests.

      Anywho, I digress – getting back to the “mysterious ways” thing – my agent tells me that none other the Coen brothers (do I even need to mention the Jewish angle?) called to offer to have me read for the part of Albert Einstein in their rumored latest project with the working title: “It’s All Relative”. I was so taken aback, I thought about converting to Judaism myself, but then I open the morning paper here in Kenosha, (continued)

  • and see that Patriots wide receiver, Julian Edelman, was arrested at a Halloween party (a pagan holiday, by the way). Now I’m no Patriots fan, but that could spell suspension for the fastest Jew in the NFL. Then it would be back to Adam Goldberg (who’s a lineman for Christ’s sake – sorry Jesus) and Sage Rosefels, who I once saw talking to Tony Dungy, so I’m not even sure. Either way, I am re-thinking the whole conversion deal.

    So maybe there is no God. Who really knows? I guess I will, if I get a call-back from Joel and Ethan.

    As Sgt. Esterhaus always used to say: “Let’s be careful out there.” Whatever the hell that was supposed to mean. Now where did I set the Cutty?

  • elan

    this was not sent by daniel J travanti.

    a) that is not his email.

    b) he would never sign his name, or refer to him or his initials without the “j” for his middle name.

    c) i know mr. travanti – and this is not even his political bent.

    d) an apology is in order

    • Justin Griffith

      check your email, or let me know if you used a false email address (I’ll resend).