James G. Murphy once tried out for a role in “Northern Exposure” as an auctioneer. He didn’t get the part, but now he’s selling the canceled TV show’s props for real next weekend.
The suburban Redmond set that used to look like a hodgepodge town in Alaska has been broken down, neatly organized and tagged by Murphy’s auction company.
One lot of Joel Fleischman’s shirts - 10 long-sleeve, button-down cotton shirts worn by actor Rob Morrow as the resident doctor in the fictional town of Cicely.
Maurice Minnifield’s 1967 Lincoln Continental convertible.
Maggie O’Connell’s green plaid wool jackets.
Joel’s examining table from his downtown office.
“It’s a shame,” said John White, cast security during the show’s five seasons, as he walked around the set Friday.
“I’ve been here a long time,” he said in his heavy British accent. “It was like a big family, everybody knew everybody, the cast members treated everybody great.”
The cast is gone, so White’s duty now is to protect the show’s property until it is auctioned off July 7, 8 and 9 at the set.
To him, the auction is akin to a giant family yard sale.
In a mobile auction, Murphy will lead the expected hundreds of collectors, eager fans and the curious through the three large sets as he gets rid of the last of what once was a hit, quirky television show.
The set was where most of the show’s scenes were filmed. For outdoor shots of Cicely, cast and crew drove 80 miles east of Seattle to the tiny town of Roslyn.
The Murphy auction house has been getting lots of phone calls from fans anxious to learn if something they saw on the show will be for sale, said auction company spokesman Terry Moore.
Chris’ Harley Davidson is getting a lot of inquiries, and people are interested in the many antiques used as props, Moore said.
The most unusual item to be auctioned: a block of fake ice encasing a frozen-in-time man named Pierre, discovered during one episode.
Bottles of Cicely water also will be auctioned off, though the liquid probably won’t increase sex drives in women as it did during one “Northern Exposure” episode when Maurice ventured into the bottled-water business.
“They put a lot of detail into their shows, down to the little Cicely water logo on all these bottles and some of the other things. You know, Maurice had his own stationery … ,” Moore said.
Maurice’s collection of stuffed dead animals, including an ox head and a fake snowy owl, will be on sale, as will Maggie’s plane, the grizzly skeleton used on several shows, Chris’ 6-foot metal sculpture of a dust mite, and Maurice’s chair made of antlers and yellow vinyl.
A nearly life-size statue of Maurice will be up for grabs, something actor Barry Corbin won’t be sad to see go. White said Corbin hated the statue because he didn’t consider it an accurate likeness.
Most of the on-camera items will be auctioned July 8, while antiques, collectibles, clothing and restaurant equipment will be offered July 9. On July 7, most of the behind-the-scenes items will be sold.”There’s some serious fans of shows like this, here’s an opportunity for them to get a piece of it,” he said.