With Back-to-Back Hit Series Starting in 1958, He Became One of the Best-Known TV Actors of the 1960s and 1970s. Efrem Zimbalist Jr. Dies at 95

May 5, 2014  •  Post A Comment

Actor Efrem Zimbalist Jr. has died. He was 95 and died Friday, April 2, 2014, at his ranch in Solvang, Calif., reports The New York Times.

The Times story reports: "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."

The Times also says: "Mr. Zimbalist personified the suave and unflappable leading man as an Ivy League-educated private eye on the lighthearted '77 Sunset Strip' and as a stalwart agent who always got his man on 'The F.B.I.,' which ran for nine seasons and made him a household name. 'The F.B.I.' was unquestioning in its support of the agency it depicted, and both on screen and off, Mr. Zimbalist became its unofficial symbol."

"77 Sunset Strip" started in October 1958, and starred Zimbalist Jr. as detective Stuart Bailey.

Says the Times obituary, "He played a blinded airline pilot in the film 'Airport 1975' and spoofed his own sophisticated image in the comedy 'Hot Shots!' (1991). His most memorable movie appearance was as Audrey Hepburn’s husband in the 1967 thriller 'Wait Until Dark.'"

One of Zimbalist's daughters is Stephanie Zimbalist, who co-starred with Pierce Brosnan and Doris Roberts in the TV series "Remington Steele."

Adds The Times: "Mr. Zimbalist’s second wife, Loranda Stephanie Spalding, died in 2007. In 2012, his daughter from his first marriage, Nancy, died of cancer.

"Besides his daughter from his second marriage, Stephanie, and his son, Mr. Zimbalist is survived by four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren."

efrem zimbalist.jpg

Efrem Zimbalist Jr.


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