TV LEGEND EFREM ZIMBALIST, JR. DEAD

Published on: May 2, 2014
Photography by: ABC Photo Archives "The F.B.I."
TV LEGEND EFREM ZIMBALIST, JR. DEAD

EFREM ZIMBALIST JR. who made TV history starring on "77 SUNSET STRIP" and the "The FBI" has died at age 95.

Zimbalist who starred on ABC for 17 straight seasons on both series passed at his ranch in Solvang, Ca. his children announced.

Zimbalist portrayed smooth as silk private Stuart Bailey private eye on "77 Sunset Strip" alongside Roger Smith and Ed "Kookie" Byrnes which ran for six seasons.  Efrem then starred as hard-boiled Inspector Lewis Erskine on "The F.B.I." which ran for nine years.

Zimbalist was born on Nov. 30, 1918, in New York City studying at both the Yale Drama School and the Neighborhood Playhouse.

He was awarded a Purple Heart while seeing action during World War 2.

A close pal of FBI top cop J. Edgar Hoover, Zimbalist appeared on all 241 episodes of "The F.B.I." ( A Quinn Martin Production). Storylines came from actual police cases with each ep ending with an actual FBI Most Wanted seg - including most notably James Earl Ray, the assassin of Martin Luther King.

In a career that spanned roughly 60 years Zimbalist costarred with Audrey Hepburn in "Wait Until Dark", “House of Strangers", with Edward G. Robinson, "The Chapman Report" with Angie Dickinson AND his daughter Stephanie Zimbalist on her popular TV series "Remington Steele".

Other notable appearance including spoofing his earnest character in "Hot Shots", Batman's butler Alfred on the animated 90s series, Doc Ock on "Spider Man" and with James Garner on "Maverick".

“A devout Christian, he actively enjoyed his life to the last day, showering love on his extended family, playing golf and visiting with close friends,” his children said in a statement. “We will miss him dearly.”