Saturday, May 3, 2014

Efrem Zimbalist Jr. Dead at 95

Zimbarlist starred in numerous television series
including The F.B.I., 77 Sunset Strip and the daytime
soap opera Concerning Miss Marlowe.
Actor Efrem Zimbalist Jr. died Friday at his ranch in Solvang, Calif. He was 95.

His son, Efrem Zimbalist III, confirmed the death, saying that his father had been outside watering his lawn when a handyman found him lying in the grass.

“He was healthy, playing golf three days a week, and always in his garden,” his son said.

Zimbalist was best known for his leading roles in primetime crime dramas 77 Sunset Strip and The F.B.I.

His life imitated his art. Politically conservative, he was a strong defender of J. Edgar Hoover, the F.B.I.’s director, and a close friend of Ronald Reagan.

Although he had some success in movies, big-screen stardom eluded him; he did his most memorable work on television, a medium he sometimes resented but always understood.

Efrem Zimbalist Jr. was born on Nov. 30, 1918, in New York City. After graduating from prep school, he attended Yale University. He then worked as an NBC page and studied acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York, where Gregory Peck was also a student.

In 1941, he enlisted in the Army. He received the Purple Heart after being wounded in the battle of Hürtgen Forest, on the German-Belgian border.

After returning to New York, he made his Broadway debut in “The Rugged Path,” starring Spencer Tracy. Later roles included one opposite Eva Le Gallienne in “Hedda Gabler.”

Zimbalist won the Pulitzer Prize for music in 1950, the same year his wife of five years, Emily, died of cancer.

In 1954, he returned to New York, where he appeared on the NBC daytime soap opera Concerning Miss Marlowe. That led to a contract with Warner Brothers and roles in a handful of movies, most notably Band of Angels, starring Clark Gable.

Zimbalist's numerous other TV credits include Maverick, Remington Steele, Hotel, Zorro and Babylon 5.

No comments:

Post a Comment