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Efrem Zimbalist Jr. dies at 95


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Loved watching him with his daughter on Remington Steele in the 1980s.

 

WAIT UNTIL DARK is airing tomorrow night...and on May 14th, it's A FEVER IN BLOOD.  Then on June 18th, he appears in BAND OF ANGELS.  All these titles were made while he was under contract to Warner Brothers.  

 

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Loved watching him with his daughter on Remington Steele in the 1980s.

 

WAIT UNTIL DARK is airing tomorrow night...and on May 14th, it's A FEVER IN BLOOD.  Then on June 18th, he appears in BAND OF ANGELS.  All these titles were made while he was under contract to Warner Brothers.  

 

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The first thing I think of is "77 Sunset Strip". He co-starred with Roger Smith, who married Jane Fonda.

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Efrem Zimbalist Jr  will always be thought of as a tv actor but he did occasionally do film work.  His first major part was in the great film HOUSE OF STRANGERS playing one of Eddie Robinson's sons.  He was in a much underrated film THE DEEP SIX with Alan Ladd.  One of a hand full of actors who can claim credit for two major TV successes with 77 SUNSET STRIP and THE F.B.I.  He aged very gracefully and he was fun to watch on REMINGTON STEELE with his daughter.  Stef and I are the same age and her father and mine were both born in 1918 . My condolences to the family and friends.

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Efrem Zimbalist Jr  will always be thought of as a tv actor but he did occasionally do film work.  His first major part was in the great film HOUSE OF STRANGERS playing one of Eddie Robinson's sons.  He was in a much underrated film THE DEEP SIX with Alan Ladd.  One of a hand full of actors who can claim credit for two major TV successes with 77 SUNSET STRIP and THE F.B.I.  He aged very gracefully and he was fun to watch on REMINGTON STEELE with his daughter.  Stef and I are the same age and her father and mine were both born in 1918 . My condolences to the family and friends.

Also co-starred with Lana Turner in BY LOVE POSSESSED.

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I wondered briefly recently if he was still alive.  Sorry to read this, but 95?  That's a good run.  I saw him some five or six years ago on some religious channel.  Must've been in his late 80's I guess.  I should look so good at 70!  And THAT'S just a scant seven years away!


 


RIP, Efrem.  One of my favorites with one of my favorite names.


 


Sepiatone 


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I always loved the opening of "The FBI," which always listed the federal crime being committed just as Bronislaw Kaper's dramatic theme welled up. Of course, it was a Quinn Martin series, and they always had the best openings. Here are two examples:

 

The pilot episode with Jeffrey Hunter:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGliK3tSeyg

 

 

 

And another with Ruth Roman and Gene Hackman:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crCZtW7u-NE

 

 

Warner Bros. TV also had cool openings in the late 1950s and 1960s, as evidenced by these examples from different seasons of Zimbalist's first series, "77 Sunset Strip."

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrrcSieqMH8

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A surprisingly large % of those WB TV leading men are still with us (must've been something in the studio water fountain). In addition to Smith and Byrnes, there's:

 

James Garner

Clint Walker

Robert Conrad

Will Hutchins

Ty Hardin

Roger Moore

Robert Colbert

 

All are 80+

 

WB contractee Adam West is also 80+; juveniles Peter Brown and Van Williams are getting there.

 

Not having seen much 77SS, EZ's finest hour for me remains his turn as Dandy Jim Buckley on Maverick, including the classic "Shady Deal At Sunny Acres" (one of the greatest TV episodes ever, later ripped off by The Sting -- but that's another story).

 

I can vaguely remember The FBI being on when I was wee tot. I found it extremely boring and privately classified EZ in the Dull Dept, unaware of Inspector Lewis Erskine's colorful past under the aliases Dandy Jim and Stu Bailey.

 

In an eerie but not terribly interesting coincidence, I happened to watch the intro of the first FBI episode (with Jeffrey Hunter) just a few nights ago...

 

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RIP, Efrem.  One of my favorites with one of my favorite names.

 

When I was a mere babe in swaddling clothes I found The FBI and him very boring, but I was fascinated by his name* -- both by its strangeness for a TV star, as well as its very rhythm: "efremzimbalist". It sounded like a magic incantation.

 

It was even better than another of my favorite names: "Ilya Kuryakin".

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Thank you Quinn Martin, for always saying your stars' names aloud

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Zimbalist remained active for a long time. In his late 70s, he provided the voice of Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne's trusted butler, in the Daytime Emmy Award-winning "Batman: The Animated Series," which ran from 1992 to 1995. He also provided Alfred's voice in several other productions about DC superheroes, including the "Justice League" animated series that ran during the 2000s.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VixIzWIhGf8

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I was a huge fan of "The FBI" and actually tried to emulate Inspector Erskine (Zimbalist's character) I was a little kid then. Just the other day I was telling somebody about the show's opening with that official-sounding theme music, followed by the announcement: The Ford Motor Company (show's sponsor) brings you...The FBI, in Color, a Quinn Martin Production...starring Efrem Zimbalist Jr....

 

R. I. P. Mr. Zimbalist. And God bless!!!

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Richard Kimble -   Quinn Martin's production company did THE F.B.I. , THE FUGITIVE, and a bunch of other cop/detective series in the sixties and seventies, most all very successful. There  was a bit of  Jack Webb/ Dragnet influence there. And  Martin got started back in the fifties doing the sound  on one of my all time favorites , HIGHWAY PATROL.  By the way, that's ILLYA Kuryakin  , my all time favorite spy guy.

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When I was a mere babe in swaddling clothes I found The FBI and him very boring, but I was fascinated by his name* -- both by its strangeness for a TV star, as well as its very rhythm: "efremzimbalist". It sounded like a magic incantation.

 

It was even better than another of my favorite names: "Ilya Kuryakin".

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Thank you Quinn Martin, for always saying your stars' names aloud

 

Both of his parents had interesting names. His mother was the renowned singer Alma Gluck (1884-1938), whose real name was Reba Feinsohn. His father was the famed violinist Efrem Zimbalist Sr. (1889-1985). Here's one of their joint performances.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PiS4jHETAvM

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Somewhere, buried in my archives, I may still have a copy of my MAD magazine that did a spoof of THE F.B.I. . I don't remember the details  but it made great fun of the fact that every episode had almost exclusively Ford automobiles (even in the background, as if no other make car existed). Watch any FBI episode, if you can spot a non Ford vehicle anywhere, you get a prize.

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Richard Kimble -   Quinn Martin's production company did THE F.B.I. , THE FUGITIVE, and a bunch of other cop/detective series in the sixties and seventies, most all very successful.

 

Yes but aside from The Fugitive and The Untouchables, his shows were quite routine.

 

There  was a bit of  Jack Webb/ Dragnet influence there.

 

Unfortunately, yes.

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Yes but aside from The Fugitive and The Untouchables, his shows were quite routine.

 

 

Unfortunately, yes.

 

Aw, c'mon! You had to love his show themes! Barnaby Jones was a geriatric detective. Cannon was a gourmet detective. Karl Malden and Michael Douglas (later replaced by Richard Hatch) were May/December detectives in "The Streets of San Francisco." Dan August was a daredevil cop. And you just couldn't beat the opening credits for any of them. And let's not forget the openings for "The Fugitive," "The Invaders" and "12 O'Clock High." Wish more dramatic series did openings like that today -- with episode titles!

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqMpYgtjmOA

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEUdsXmCE7g

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R587kM66vxQ

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Both of his parents had interesting names. His mother was the renowned singer Alma Gluck (1884-1938), whose real name was Reba Feinsohn. His father was the famed violinist Efrem Zimbalist Sr. (1889-1985).

 

I could swear I once read that Alma Gluck was somehow related to Jill Clayburgh (which of course would connect Jill to EZJr) but I can find nothing about it online. I guess I hallucinated the whole thing.

 

Alma Gluck was the mother of novelist Marcia Davenport (The Valley of Decision, East Side West Side), EZJr's half-sister.

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Aw, c'mon! You had to love his show themes! Barnaby Jones was a geriatric detective. Cannon was a gourmet detective. Karl Malden and Michael Douglas (later replaced by Richard Hatch) were May/December detectives in "The Streets of San Francisco." Dan August was a daredevil cop. And you just couldn't beat the opening credits for any of them. And let's not forget the openings for "The Fugitive," "The Invaders" and "12 O'Clock High." Wish more dramatic series did openings like that today -- with episode titles!

 

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Yes but aside from The Fugitive and The Untouchables, his shows were quite routine.

 

 

Unfortunately, yes.

"Routine" and successful often go hand in hand.  When one hits on a successful formula they will repeat it and others will follow along. Look at Aaron Spelling and the fortune he made.

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A surprisingly large % of those WB TV leading men are still with us (must've been something in the studio water fountain). In addition to Smith and Byrnes, there's:

 

James Garner

Clint Walker

Robert Conrad

Will Hutchins

Ty Hardin

Roger Moore

Robert Colbert

 

All are 80+

 

WB contractee Adam West is also 80+; juveniles Peter Brown and Van Williams are getting there.

 

Not having seen much 77SS, EZ's finest hour for me remains his turn as Dandy Jim Buckley on Maverick, including the classic "Shady Deal At Sunny Acres" (one of the greatest TV episodes ever, later ripped off by The Sting -- but that's another story).

 

I can vaguely remember The FBI being on when I was wee tot. I found it extremely boring and privately classified EZ in the Dull Dept, unaware of Inspector Lewis Erskine's colorful past under the aliases Dandy Jim and Stu Bailey.

 

In an eerie but not terribly interesting coincidence, I happened to watch the intro of the first FBI episode (with Jeffrey Hunter) just a few nights ago...

Richard, I wonder how Efrem's show would stand up now. Surprisingly, many don't, as we see on ME TV.

 

I found Efrem boring as toast.

 

Now Robert Fuller, hoo boy.

You are not allowed to use that image extension on this community.

 

What does that mean?

Still alive, 81 in July, and single. :wub:  My first crush in Laramie,

You are not allowed to use that image extension on this community.

What does that mean?

 

starred in Wagon Train after Robert Horton, wore a blue shirt on the cover of TV Guide, and who can forget his Oscar worthy performance in The Brain From Planet Arous?

 

You are not allowed to use that image extension on this community.

What does that mean?

 

He ate a hamburger, rare, and was the first to be killed by The Brain. Yes, I am a fan. :wub:

 

Fine, check him out for yourself.

 

http://tinyurl.com/oewshtz

 

Richard, do you remember Jeffrey Hunter's turn in Star Trek? Acted whilst enclosed in one of those old fashioned saunas, if I remember correctly, only his head sticking out. Not taking a sauna, mind you, I think his head was all that was left of him. Still knocked it out of the park.

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You are not allowed to use that image extension on this community.

What does that mean?

 

GIFs -- moving pictures -- are ironically not permitted on this film forum.

 

Richard, do you remember Jeffrey Hunter's turn in Star Trek? Acted whilst enclosed in one of those old fashioned saunas, if I remember correctly, only his head sticking out. Not taking a sauna, mind you, I think his head was all that was left of him. Still knocked it out of the park.

 

From your tone I'm gonna presume you're being jocular and know about "The Cage" and "The Menagerie" and all that stuff.

 

I'm kinda confused by all your Robert Fuller references, so I'll just say I recently rewatched a wagonload of Wagon Trains as well as some Laramies. Fuller certainly dominates the rather bland (and thus aptly named) John Smith.

 

There's an in-depth Fuller video interview done for the 50th anniversary of Wagon Train that's actually pretty interesting.

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