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David Janssen


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I just got thru watching The Fugitive as I always do sunday nites at midnite on MeTV. Janssen plays Dr. Richard Kimble to perfection eliciting pity and projecting a quiet strength as well as vulnerability, humanity but most often a noble heroism. Janssen died long before his time. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A few years ago, we went through the entire Fugitive series on DVD.  It was a trip down memory lane for us because we really enjoyed that show back in the '60s when it was first shown.  It holds up well.  It's one of the best series ever.  Now we are watching David  Janssen's other TV series, Harry O.  It's not as good as the Fugitive, but we like it, too.  

bOb39

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I just got thru watching The Fugitive as I always do sunday nites at midnite on MeTV. Janssen plays Dr. Richard Kimble to perfection eliciting pity and projecting a quiet strength as well as vulnerability, humanity but most often a noble heroism. Janssen died long before his time. 

 

 

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Anyone remembers "Richard Diamond - Private Detective"?

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyuTBASP_8g

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRNjlnrQd9Y

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Not only did I like David Janssen in "The Fugitive", and when as a 11-15 y/o, my parents would let me stay up late until 11pm on Tuesday(and a school) night to watch his Dr. Richard Kimble seek the elusive real killer of his wife, but I wanted to BE David Janssen back then TOO, 'cause he was JUST so friggin' cool. And, for a while I even affected that little quick one-side of his face grin thing he'd do. LOL

 

Years later in the late '70s and when I was a ticket counter agent at LAX for the old Hughes Air West airlines, I spotted my old idol walking past our ticket counter during a slow time of day. I fixed my gaze upon him and he must have noticed that, as he turned and said to me, "Hi. Slow day, huh?!"(and yeah, as I recall he DID do that little one-sided grin thing as he said it), and I was so startled that all I said in return was, "Aaah, YEAH, it is!"

 

Yep, he was one cool dude alright, and one of the three of my "idols" as a kid...the others being Steve McQueen and William Holden, ironically all three of whom would also die fairly young in age and around the same time in the very early 1980s, and with Janssen and Holden both unfortunately being very heavy drinkers which contributed to their early demises. 

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Not only did I like David Janssen in "The Fugitive", and when as a 11-15 y/o, my parents would let me stay up late until 11pm on Tuesday(and a school) night to watch his Dr. Richard Kimble seek the elusive real killer of his wife, but I wanted to BE David Janssen back then TOO, 'cause he was JUST so friggin' cool. And, for a while I even affected that little quick one-side of his face grin thing he'd do. LOL

 

Years later in the late '70s and when I was a ticket counter agent at LAX for the old Hughes Air West airlines, I spotted my old idol walking past our ticket counter during a slow time of day. I fixed my gaze upon him and he must have noticed that, as he turned and said to me, "Hi. Slow day, huh?!"(and yeah, as I recall he DID do that little one-sided grin thing as he said it), and I was so startled that all I said in return was, "Aaah, YEAH, it is!"

 

Yep, he was one cool dude alright, and one of the three of my "idols" as a kid...the others being Steve McQueen and William Holden, ironically all three of whom would also die fairly young in age and around the same time in the very early 1980s, and with Janssen and Holden both unfortunately being very heavy drinkers which contributed to their early demises. 

Maybe Janssen was drunk when he played Angie Dickinson's abusive alcoholic husband in "A Sensitive Passionate Man"? He sure was loaded when he gets up in front of his son's schoolmates to talk about airplane design. He simplified it for the kids real good.  :lol:

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Not only did I like David Janssen in "The Fugitive", and when as a 11-15 y/o, my parents would let me stay up late until 11pm on Tuesday(and a school) night to watch his Dr. Richard Kimble seek the elusive real killer of his wife, but I wanted to BE David Janssen back then TOO, 'cause he was JUST so friggin' cool. And, for a while I even affected that little quick one-side of his face grin thing he'd do. LOL

 

Years later in the late '70s and when I was a ticket counter agent at LAX for the old Hughes Air West airlines, I spotted my old idol walking past our ticket counter during a slow time of day. I fixed my gaze upon him and he must have noticed that, as he turned and said to me, "Hi. Slow day, huh?!"(and yeah, as I recall he DID do that little one-sided grin thing as he said it), and I was so startled that all I said in return was, "Aaah, YEAH, it is!"

 

Yep, he was one cool dude alright, and one of the three of my "idols" as a kid...the others being Steve McQueen and William Holden, ironically all three of whom would also die fairly young in age and around the same time in the very early 1980s, and with Janssen and Holden both unfortunately being very heavy drinkers which contributed to their early demises. 

I also idolized adults who drank heavily.

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I finished watching all of The Fugitive a few months ago on YT. Somebody had

posted about half of them a few years back and then, more recently, someone

had posted the others. Great show, but the one thing I always had a problem with

was how stoic Kimble was. Getting a full bodied laugh or smile out of the doc was

like pulling teeth. I don't know if that was how Janssen was told to play the character

or if he did it on his own. Not that it's a major problem, but it's something I always

notice, plus that one sided little grin. It certainly didn't hurt him any with the ladies.

Kimble must have gone through a lot of those satchels and small suitcases he

carried. At the first sign of trouble, away they went.

 

The Invaders is also on YT. Another QM production, it's basically a sci-fi version

of The Fugitive, though nowhere as popular.

maybe his stoicism was more pronounced because you saw many eipsodes back to back instead of a week apart.

 

im catching many epis myself on MeTV for the first time. he's rarely in a pleasant situation for very long and the opening and closing narration paints a very bleak existence for him.

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As you might guess from my screen name, I am a huge fan of The Fugitive (my all time favorite TV drama).

 

An intriguing thing about Janssen is that while he became immortal as the grim Fugitive, his previous series Richard Diamond was often (darkly) comic in tone, prefiguring Rockford in its banter.

 

Another irony is that Janssen was something of a joker in real life. I once saw an outtake from Harry O with Janssen and another actor on an airplane. The actor says a line, and Janssen does not respond. After staring at him stonefaced for several seconds, Janssen finally says, "You ad-lib once more and I'll break your legs". They both erupt in laughter.

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I was wonderin' when you'd chime in here, Doc!

 

Just thought of another Janssen story here...well, sort of anyway.

 

Just about the time of his death, I met an attractive young lady in a bar and struck up a conversation with her. When I asked what she did for a living and she said she was trying to break into The Biz as an actress but in the meantime did a lot of valet parking at Hollywood parties. I then asked if she had any juicy stories to tell about that, and she replied that she had recently spent an hour outside one of those parties talking to David Janssen after he had evidently gotten bored with the proceedings inside.

 

She went on to say that she felt kind of sorry for him as she got the impression that he wasn't a very happy guy, though she added that he was a gentleman with her at all times, and wasn't all THAT drunk.

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Anybody remember how ,,Inspector Gerard'' was constantly dogged by people who pleaded to him in favor of Dr Kimble?

 

Well sure. After Dr. Kimble(or whatever name he was using at the time) saved your life, your love, or your career while passing through town, OF COURSE you'd sing his praises to anybody who'd listen...and ESPECIALLY to that martinet, Lt.(not Inspector) Gerard!!! ;)

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I was a bit too young when The Fugitive aired but I do remember it being on and being watched in my household.  I did see an episode on you tube recently which guest starred Lois Nettleton. Good stuff.

 

Anyway, there is an urban legend that Janssen was the love child of Clark Gable. True? I don't know but he did kind of resemble him, I think. I do know that Gable fathered Loretta Young's daughter. At least according to the daughter.  

 

Didn't Peter Falk marry his widow Dani? 

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I was a bit too young when The Fugitive aired but I do remember it being on and being watched in my household.  I did see an episode on you tube recently which guest starred Lois Nettleton. Good stuff.

 

Anyway, there is an urban legend that Janssen was the love child of Clark Gable. True? I don't know but he did kind of resemble him, I think. I do know that Gable fathered Loretta Young's daughter. At least according to the daughter.  

 

Didn't Peter Falk marry his widow Dani? 

 

Yep, just an urban legend, yogiboo. There of course was somewhat of a resemblance between Janssen and Gable, with the most striking of course being those ears.

 

I remember when there was talk of casting Janssen as Gable in the 1976 biopic "Gable and Lombard" for a while, but I think he passed on the project, and the producers would go with James Brolin instead.

 

(...and re his widow Dani, she would go on to marry action movie director Hal Needham for a while, not Peter Falk) 

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When some local station started showing old "Richard Diamond" episodes, we tuned in generally to see both early Jannsen  and Mary Tyler Moore.  But it turned out to be a pretty good detective series, and Jannsen was good in it, so no loss of time.  Was surprised to find out back then that he had a slight film career before The Fugitive.  "Lafayette Escadrill" and "Dondi", which I never did see.  I do recall the comic strip though.

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When some local station started showing old "Richard Diamond" episodes, we tuned in generally to see both early Jannsen  and Mary Tyler Moore.  But it turned out to be a pretty good detective series, and Jannsen was good in it, so no loss of time.  Was surprised to find out back then that he had a slight film career before The Fugitive.  "Lafayette Escadrill" and "Dondi", which I never did see.  I do recall the comic strip though.

Dondi! You know what Leonard Maltin has had to say about Dondi? It has always cracked me up. He said "see this film and you'll know why Janssen became a fugitive."   :lol:  :lol:  :lol:

 

 

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I was a bit too young when The Fugitive aired but I do remember it being on and being watched in my household. I did see an episode on you tube recently which guest starred Lois Nettleton. Good stuff.

 

Anyway, there is an urban legend that Janssen was the love child of Clark Gable. True? I don't know but he did kind of resemble him, I think. I do know that Gable fathered Loretta Young's daughter. At least according to the daughter.

 

Didn't Peter Falk marry his widow Dani?

I had never heard of dani so i did some digging. she was apparently quite populare but no peter falk connection.

 

after david's death she married director and stunt man hal needham.

 

http://m.whosdatedwho.com/p45421/dani-crayne/

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I was a bit too young when The Fugitive aired but I do remember it being on and being watched in my household. I did see an episode on you tube recently which guest starred Lois Nettleton. Good stuff.

 

Anyway, there is an urban legend that Janssen was the love child of Clark Gable. True? I don't know but he did kind of resemble him, I think. I do know that Gable fathered Loretta Young's daughter. At least according to the daughter.

 

Didn't Peter Falk marry his widow Dani?

I had never heard of dani so i did some digging. she was apparently quite popular but no peter falk connection.

 

after david's death she married director and stunt man hal needham.

 

http://m.whosdatedwho.com/p45421/dani-crayne/

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Dondi! You know what Leonard Maltin has had to say about Dondi? It has always cracked me up. He said "see this film and you'll know why Janssen became a fugitive."   :lol:

 

 

 

LOL

 

Truly a funny line, and pretty much accurate.  I caught that turkey years ago on TV(might have been TCM), and it really just goes nowhere and is neither funny nor touching, and which I suppose it was aiming for.

 

And while Janssen's big screen filmography isn't impressive, I thought he turned in a pretty good second billed performance as Jeffrey Hunter's Marine Drill Sergeant and friend in the WWII movie, HELL To ETERNITY. 

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I thought he turned in a pretty good second billed performance as Jeffrey Hunter's Marine Drill Sergeant and friend in the WWII movie, HELL To ETERNITY. 

 

Yep. That was his best big screen movie - along with 'Warning Shot' (1967).

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Gerard was kind of a jerk. Even some of his fellow LEOs thought he

was a pain. In one of the last season episodes, even his wife was

getting sick and tired of ole chrome dome and his constant search

for Kimble.

 

Quite a few of the actresses played in more than one episode. I

believe Lois Nettleton was in two episodes in the last season.

I think Suzanne Pleshette  was also in two episodes. There were

a number of others too. And a lot of the usual suspects from

the mid 1960s TV world show up too.

 

Wiki says Suzanne gave the eulogy at his funeral.

 

And yeah, LOL, I do remember that episode near the end of the series' run when Gerard's wife seems to get sick and tired of her husband's whole "Inspector Javert" shtick.

 

And didn't Kirk Russell once play Gerard's son in one episode?

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Yep. That was his best big screen movie - along with 'Warning Shot' (1967).

 

And yeah, dark. It's been a few years since I've watched "Warning Shot", but as I recall I thought it a fairly well done movie, too.

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while Janssen's big screen filmography isn't impressive, I thought he turned in a pretty good second billed performance as Jeffrey Hunter's Marine Drill Sergeant and friend in the WWII movie, HELL To ETERNITY. 

 

That's a great story (Guy Gabaldon) -- I wish it had gotten a better treatment

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That's a great story (Guy Gabaldon) -- I wish it had gotten a better treatment

 

I dunno Doc. Other than perhaps the miscasting of Hunter as the Hispanic Angeleno Gabaldon(another issue entirely of course) and Hunter being quite a few years older than the teen-aged Gabaldon, I thought it not only presented his struggles against the racism of the time reasonably well, with him being a "double target" for bigotry due to his being both Hispanic AND raised by a Japanese-American family(though of course with Hunter as the lead, the first of this is downplayed quite a bit), I also thought the battle scenes were well done and seemed fairly realistic in that "pre-Saving Private Ryan" era.

 

 

(...and also considering what I would guess was its relatively meager budget, not a bad film at all in my book)

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