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NipkowDisc

David Janssen, I still wonder...

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about that urban legend that has him being the illegitimate son of Clark Gable.

Image result for david janssen

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Wouldn't count on it.  People for a short while wondered that about( really? ) CLINT EASTWOOD and STAN LAUREL!  :o

Sepiatone

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11 hours ago, NipkowDisc said:

 

about that urban legend that has him being the illegitimate son of Clark Gable.

Image result for david janssen

Don't have the DNA to solve that one, but I can tell you why Janssen always looked so sad and troubled. He had a nutty, over the top stage mother, who probably made him wish he were an orphan. I remember seeing her speak at a festival once and she was like Anita Page on acid and I remember her saying quite seriously "There is only show business, and show business is all that matters in this world." I think she had been a chorus girl in her youth and lived vicariously through David in his career.

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My parents would allow this then 13-16 y/o teenager(during the show's run) to stay up past my usual 10pm bedtime on Tuesday nights to watch The Fugitive with them. Really got hooked on that show.

I thought David Janssen was so cool in it that I even began affecting that quick little one cheeked grin of his.

Some 15 years later or so(and just before his untimely death) and while I was then working as an airline ticket agent at LAX during a slow time of day, I'm standing behind the counter and see him walking past. He must have noticed my staring at him, and so he turned and said to me, "How's it going?". Slightly startled and a little surprised he acknowledged me, I replied with "Oh. Good, thanks".

(...okay sure, not much of a conversation at all, but I always thought my short little encounter with the guy was pretty cool anyway) 

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3 hours ago, Dargo said:

My parents would allow this then 13-16 y/o teenager(during the show's run) to stay up past my usual 10pm bedtime on Tuesday nights to watch The Fugitive with them. Really got hooked on that show.

I thought David Janssen was so cool in it that I even began affecting that quick little one cheeked grin of his.

Some 15 years later or so(and just before his untimely death) and while I was then working as an airline ticket agent at LAX during a slow time of day, I'm standing behind the counter and see him walking past. He must have noticed my staring at him, and so he turned and said to me, "How's it going?". Slightly startled and a little surprised he acknowledged me, I replied with "Oh. Good, thanks".

(...okay sure, not much of a conversation at all, but I always thought my short little encounter with the guy was pretty cool anyway) 

Were you hiding the fact you had a missing appendage?

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4 hours ago, Dargo said:

My parents would allow this then 13-16 y/o teenager(during the show's run) to stay up past my usual 10pm bedtime on Tuesday nights to watch The Fugitive with them. Really got hooked on that show.

I thought David Janssen was so cool in it that I even began affecting that quick little one cheeked grin of his.

Some 15 years later or so(and just before his untimely death) and while I was then working as an airline ticket agent at LAX during a slow time of day, I'm standing behind the counter and see him walking past. He must have noticed my staring at him, and so he turned and said to me, "How's it going?". Slightly startled and a little surprised he acknowledged me, I replied with "Oh. Good, thanks".

(...okay sure, not much of a conversation at all, but I always thought my short little encounter with the guy was pretty cool anyway) 

That tale of yours, Dargo, triggers a memory of my own of an unexpected encounter I had with an actor. Sorry that this anecdote is totally off topic since it has nothing to do with David Janssen.

The actor involved is a character actor named Derek McGrath, who has appeared on Cheers and a few million other TV shows and films, usually in small roles.

derek-mcgrath-13449e4c-cf7a-4edf-99e0-2f

MV5BMjIwMDg3MzEyNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjA0

There are a couple of photos of him as both a young actor and an older one.

Anyway back in the '80s I was walking with a friend along an Ontario escarpment called Rattlesnake Point. It's a beautiful woodsy area which even has a herd of bison living in a corralled field below.

In any event as we were walking along I was extolling the beauty of the area, as I was saying out loud for all to hear, "This area has everything. It has trees and birds and buffalo  . . ."

At this moment I recognized McGrath as he emerged between two trees and walked past us.

" . . . and actors," I added on.

McGrath looked back at us and laughed as he continued his walk. I was sort of pleased with myself at the time since, upon spotting this actor, I hadn't missed a beat as I included his profession in my exultation of the wonders of the escarpment.

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The large ears were part of an interior antennae system that Kimble used to find

good looking female guest stars every week. Richard must have spent a fortune

on suitcases and satchels. 

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That's an unusual anecdote from every angle Dargo. Whew. Surreal.

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:lol:Suitcases and satchels and windbreakers. Why is it wherever he traveled he rarely had to deal with winter weather?

 

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When I hear the name 'McGrath' this is the actor I picture. Eugene Roche.

eugene-roche-04.jpg

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13 minutes ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

That's an unusual anecdote from every angle Dargo. Whew. Surreal.

And in reply to this Sarge, I'll now do that quick little one-cheeked grin and say in my very best gravelly David Janssen voice..."Yeah, you're probably right".

;)

 

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Was David Jansen ever a guest on 'Columbo'? I am wagering not. Jansen was so ephemeral somehow. He was grizzled in 'Macho Callahan' and he wore khaki in 'Green Berets' but he just didnt seem like he could play a villain. Like Alan Ladd. That mellow buttery voice both of them had.

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25 minutes ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

When I hear the name 'McGrath' this is the actor I picture. Eugene Roche.

eugene-roche-04.jpg

Ah, the Ajax Man (professionally speaking).

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9 minutes ago, Thenryb said:

Quote

Ah, the Ajax Man (professionally speaking). 

Ahhh, you're Achilles me here!

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1 hour ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

Was David Jansen ever a guest on 'Columbo'? I am wagering not. Jansen was so ephemeral somehow. He was grizzled in 'Macho Callahan' and he wore khaki in 'Green Berets' but he just didnt seem like he could play a villain. Like Alan Ladd. That mellow buttery voice both of them had.

Nope, Janssen's IMDb filmography doesn't include any mention of a Columbo guest spot, Sarge.

Seems the only other appearance in such a TV series of the time was in another QM Production, Cannon, in 1973.

In this one, Janssen DID play a bad guy though, as the following IMDb review (by someone calling themselves "scearchanddestroy-1") of that episode is one of the three to be found regarding that series' episode titled "He Who Digs a Grave" and directed by Richard Donner...

"I now Watch the whole TV series again. I really like that big fat detective,I think he is quite cute, so offbeat, so unusual. Of course, many of the épisodes seem like the same. You could not miss that. But each time, I really enjoy them. And the fact that we find some guest stars,vets from Hollywood or future greats, is also very exciting. In this episode, that actually has a one hundred minutes length, we have Anne Baxter, David Janssen - far from his FUGITIVE character - Royal Dano, Barry Sullivan. And the tale, if not maybe so unusual, provides us some good moments, such as the out of order elevator scene, when Cannon argues with irony about his overweight, and also the way our favourite detective nails Janssen in the end, in the pure Columbo style - the jacket button trick..."

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Although his looks worked against him in the twilight of his years--almost sad/comical if one can't get past (for example) the sight of Bill at the Oscars where he handed an Oscar out--I'm a big fan of Bill Conrad. It's really quite sad that this man had such an amazing voice and interpretive ability but that his looks held him back from offering us everything he might have. His voice acting is tremendous--how many hundreds of hours of performing was that? I agree that he never reached half of his true potential.

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22 minutes ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

Although his looks worked against him in the twilight of his years--almost sad/comical if one can't get past (for example) the sight of Bill at the Oscars where he handed an Oscar out--I'm a big fan of Bill Conrad. It's really quite sad that this man had such an amazing voice and interpretive ability but that his looks held him back from offering us everything he might have. His voice acting is tremendous--how many hundreds of hours of performing was that? I agree that he never reached half of his true potential.

True, I suppose, but Conrad would use his girth to his full advantage in Cannon, and then later in another of his reasonably successful television crime series, Jake and The Fat Man.

And yes, Conrad's deep and distinctive baritone voice was used to good effect as the narrator in The Fugitive, and along with his other voice-over work.

(...although of course, Boris Badenoff never liked it much whenever Conrad would give away his evil plans to the Moose and Squirrel) ;)

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His phrasing of his lines was as good as Sinatra's handling of a lyric.

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10 minutes ago, Dargo said:

And yes, Conrad's deep and distinctive baritone voice was used to good effect as the narrator in The Fugitive, and along with his other voice-over work.

Not to mention his Matt Dillon on the radio version of Gunsmoke that I grew up listening to on my Silvertone portable radio (AM only).

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No one played suspicious and shady better than Janssen in his series. He looked guilty in every episode. He once guested on Naked City (as a businessman) offering Paul Burke a job and he was terrific.

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