The nickname of an honest and congenial professional gambler (John Vivyan) who owned a floating gambling casino called the Fortuna II (ID #27533) on the adventure series MR. LUCKY/CBS/1959-60. Mr. Lucky carried a pocket watch that played (when opened) the first five notes from the Henry Mancini theme song for the series.
Additional crew on the Fortuna II included Andamo (Ross Martin), a close friend/right-hand man of Mr. Lucky and an onboard Maitre d’ played by Joe Scott.
Because California state law prohibited gambling, the Fortuna II wisely moored itself offshore in international waters, just outside the three-mile legal limit of the United States.
Originally, Mr Lucky owned the Joba Lobo Gambling Club and a pleasure yacht christened The Fortuna (that later sank) which he used to smuggle guns in Latin America. When Lucky unwillingly got mixed up in the assassination of El Presidente, he and Andamo fled to the safety of America.
Using borrowed money, Mr. Lucky wins a fortune at gambling and buys a yacht (from con-man Julius Shank) which he calls The Fortuna II ” (“Fortuna the Second”).
Note: The Fortuna II was converted to a supper club later in the series when the those opposed to gambling put pressure on the show’s sponsors. To save the show, the Fortuna II was turned into a members only floating restaurant, but in the end, the sponsor bailed and the show went off the air.
Created by Blake Edwards (of PETER GUNN fame), the series was based on an original story “Bundles for Freedom” by Milton Holmes which had inspired the motion picture Mr Lucky (1943) starring Cary Grant as a gambler named Joe Adams, aka Joe Bascopolous. The movie character was loosely based on Anthony Cornero Stralla, also known as “the Admiral” and “Tony the Hat” (1899 – 1955).
In the 1930s and 1940s, Anthony “Tony” Cornero operated two gambling ships, the SS Rex and the SS Tango, outside the three-mile limit off the coast of Southern California. His operations were shut down in 1946 by Governor Earl Warren (1891-1974), who later became Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
See also – “Mr. Lucky – Opening Scene” @ You Tube