Here's what happened to those foolish mortals you learned to love--or to tolerate, at least--in "The Winds of War." They were all left dangling at the veritable precipice of a dread abyss as the miniseries ended. Veritable precipices are positively the worst kind.
True, there is an "official" published sequel, "War and Remembrance," that covers the next few years in the saga, but the word on the streets (Sixth Avenue and 54th, to be specific) is that author Herman Wouk might demand too much money from ABC for the rights to it, so an alternative author, the less well-known Herman Hawke, has written a top-secret, hush-hush, suitably implausible, unofficial sequel, "The Winds of War and Remembrance."
Forthwith the whereabouts from that tome.
Byron Henry (Jan-Michael Vincent) was lost at sea. Not literally, just figuratively. After the war, he divorced his wife and took his great knowledge of the Italian Renaissance to Venice--Venice, Calif., where he eventually turned up on "Ripley's Believe It or Not" as the world's oldest living beach boy.
Natalie Jastrow (Ali MacGraw) made it through the war, found out she wasn't really Jewish (and after all that fuss! Isn't that a stitch!) and was sent to remedial acting school for the next several years. But it didn't take, and she never did graduate, so she did the logical thing and became a movie star.
Madeline Henry (Lisa Eilbacher) lost her job at CBS because it was discovered she had no talent, bad taste, little intelligence and total contempt for the human race. However, the American Broadcasting Company was forming at about the same time and promptly put her in charge of its programming.
Aaron Jastrow (John Houseman), who had already converted from Judaism to Catholicism, converted to Buddhism and then back to Catholicism and then back to Judaism again. This allowed him to take more meaningless and technically unexplainable trips all over Europe and Asia, war or no war. In his later years he dedicated his life to making rude and insufferable television commercials for Smith Barney.
Palmer Kirby (Peter Graves) died of boredom while dictating his memoirs.
Leslie Slote (David Dukes) stayed with the State Department and, in the early '60s, helped mastermind the Bay of Pigs invasion. He was then assigned to Iran, where terrorists had him exiled rather than endure him as a hostage. He is now in charge of U.S. foreign policy in Central America.
Rhoda Henry (Polly Bergen) divorced Pug, changed her name to Nancy and married a younger man. Ronald Reagan.
And finally, Captain Victor (Pug) Henry (Robert Mitchum)--and a right good captain, too. Well, it took a whole regiment to coax ol' Cap'n Pug down off that cliff where the series left him in prayer, and then it took some heavy-duty debriefing to correct his mistaken notion that the Germans, not the Japanese, had bombed Pearl Harbor.
The war years that followed were busy ones for Pug. He was with Eisenhower when the Allies landed in North Africa. He helped plan the invasion at Normandy. He waded ashore with MacArthur in the Philippines. And he marched with de Gaulle into liberated Paris; in fact, de Gaulle . . . got lost on the way, and Pug had to guide him to the Arc de Triomphe! Love that Pug! Later he secretly visited Der Fu hrer in his bunker and advised him that taking his own life was the only way out.
Then it was off to Iwo Jima to help raise the flag, and back to Washington where he warned FDR not to give away too much to the Russians at Yalta (but would FDR listen?). He also advised Harry Truman to drop the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki but said at the time, to quote him directly, "The world will never be the same. And Mr. President, please give my best to your lovely wife, Bess."
And as the Enola Gay flew toward Japan with her deadly cargo, and Pug along as an observer, he found time to write to Pamela Tudsbury, still waiting for him in London: "Dearest Pamela, I know that my wife has divorced me and I am now a free man, and besides, I never loved her in the first place. But according to the traditional values by which I live, I still cannot bring myself to bunk down with you. Also, if I make love, I might accidentally change expression. Then my makeup would crack and my face might fall off.
"Well, I have to go now, we're bombing Hiroshima."
Soon after attending the official Japanese surrender on the U.S.S. Missouri, Capt. Henry found himself a national hero. Blandishments were many, but he resisted an entreaty from Warner Bros. to name a cartoon character in his honor. He thought "Pugs Bunny" lacked dignity. In London, he visited Winston Churchill, and told him, "You know, Mr. Churchill, an Iron Curtain has descended across the continent. Feel free to use that in a speech if you want."
In the post-war years, Pug warned President Kennedy about sending too many military advisers to Vietnam, urged President Nixon to burn the Oval Office tapes in the interest of national security ("Oh nonsense, Pug," said Nixon, "and how's that fine family of yours, by the by?" "Why, just fine, Mr. President, how nice of you to ask," said Pug) and quietly stowed away on the first trip to the moon.
As for Adolf Hitler (Gunter Meisner), he lost the war and signed with the William Morris Agency to boot (even Pug was fooled by that double who bumped himself off in the bunker). His career languishing in nowheresville, Hitler moved to an exclusive, restricted section of Los Angeles and, through a complicated international banking maneuver, continues to receive a royalty each time he is portrayed in a movie or a TV show. At last count, he was a very rich man, but who's counting?