Jackson Davies, one of Canada’s most recognizable veteran actors, has just published a book about the 40th anniversary of the show that launched his career, and he’s called it, appropriately, Beachcombers at 40.

When The Beachcombers began airing on CBC in 1972, it soon became a Sunday night viewing habit for many Canadian families at a time when there weren’t 200 channels and homes had only one TV.

Davies, who played the tall, earnest and moustachioed Const. Constable, has watched a lot of the shows again in the course of writing the book.

"It's funny. There were some I looked at and I couldn't remember. I went, ‘I did that?’ Again, I think it’s the carry-over of the shows we did," said Davies. "We were really ahead in doing First Nations stories as part of the community. I look back and realize just how much fun we had."

Heart of the show

The late Bruno Gerussi starred as Nick Adonidas, and really was the heart of the show, Davies said. The book is subtitled Bruno and the Beach.

Davies said Gerussi was a man of big passions, whether it was food, wine or acting, and around him were dozens of other cast and crew members who formed a community.

Davies hopes the book reflects that.

"We wanted it to be kind of like a family album, kind of a fun little look back at this show that wasn't supposed to survive but it ended up being the longest running show in Canadian television history."

The Beachcombers was an international hit and was the first look at Canada for many foreign viewers.

"Well, you know, it sold in 50 or 60 countries, and not just one or two episodes. We're talking hundreds of episodes for a number of years."

With files from the CBC's Tim Weekes