Markie Post had an unlikely rise to fame in the Eighties
She appeared twice on The A-Team before landing her biggest role on a hit show.
Fans of sitcom history get a kick when they catch The A-Team episode "Hot Styles" because it features Markie Post as a model donning a range of loud Eighties fashions.
It shows a rarely seen wild side of Post, most famous for portraying a serious, strait-laced lawyer who sported an endless series of skirt suits on Night Court from 1984 to 1992.
For Post, two appearances on The A-Team (in her first, she played an impostor nun) were part of her unlikely rise to fame in the Eighties.
Post grew up in a family where her physicist father and brother set the tone for academic pursuits as the brightest future to pursue.
Attempting to follow in their footsteps, Post did study physics in college, but "did quite poorly in it. I was intimidated by my father. He’s the dearest man in the world, and he tried to help me through math and equations. But constantly muttering ‘It’s so easy!’ didn’t make it easy for me."
By chance, Post took an acting class and liked it so much, she started looking at Hollywood as a potential career path.
Rather than put all her eggs in one basket by trying to become an actor, though, Post also put her school-book smarts to good use in generating a steady paycheck.
She told the Courier-Post in 1986 that she tried out to be a contestant on a game show and did so well, she got hired as a game-show researcher instead.
"I took all the tests and passed all the tests," Post said. "I beat everyone flat. So, they gave me the chance to be either a contestant or a researcher with a steady job. I chose the job."
Once she got started working behind the scenes on game shows, she continued to get gigs like buying "unusual prizes" on The Price Is Right and eventually working as a producer on Double Dare!
Working on game shows got Post thinking about acting more and more, though, and in the late Seventies, she made her first appearances on shows like CHiPs and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.
Through the start of the 1980s, her acting career was picking up, with bigger roles offered and even some work on the big screen, leading to her joining the cast of The Fall Guy in 1982.
You’d think that would’ve been a huge moment for Markie in her career, but she got bored quickly with The Fall Guy, always looking for more exciting roles to play on other shows.
"I am very functionary on the show," Post told The Times and Democrat in 1984. "I am like the tape at the beginning of Mission: Impossible. But, on occasion, they bring me into the caper and that makes it more exciting."
That’s why Post was easily persuaded to leave The Fall Guy when the sitcom Night Court sought a new female lead in its third season.
Post had guest-starred in Night Court’s second season, and producers were so impressed, they decided to make her one-off character a regular on the show the next season.
Saying yes to Night Court was clearly a good call made by the unlikely TV star — she started earning $400,000 annually for her sitcom work as the show became more popular. "Audiences are crazy about our show," Post said.
Post enjoyed a prolific acting career that spanned three decades before she passed away in 2021, proving to her father that pursuing a creative career like acting could be a smart move after all.
And though she didn’t get the gift of understanding physics from her father the way her brother did, her brother did give her the gift of a memorable stage name.
Post told United Feature Syndicate in 1982 that her brother struggled to say her name — Marjorie — when they were younger. When he tried, it came out "Markie," and the nickname stuck. She went by Markie from that point on.