Saturday, May 03, 2014

Lend Me Your Epitaph

RIP, Efrem Zimbalist Jr.:
Zimbalist's stunning good looks and cool, deductive manner made him the ideal star as the hip private detective ferreting out Hollywood miscreants in "77 Sunset Strip," which aired from 1958 to 1964. As soon as that show ended he segued seamlessly into "The F.B.I." which aired from 1965 to 1974.

At the end of each episode of the latter show, after Zimbalist and his fellow G-men had captured that week's mobsters, subversives, bank robbers or spies, the series would post photos from the FBI's real-life most-wanted list. Some of those pictures led to arrests, which helped give the show the complete seal of approval of the agency's real-life director, J. Edgar Hoover.

The son of violin virtuoso Efrem Zimbalist and acclaimed opera singer Alma Gluck, young Efrem initially appeared headed for a musical career. He studied violin for seven years under the tutelage of Jascha Heifetz's father, but eventually developed more interest in theater.

He became an actor and "77 Sunset Strip" made him a star.

His daughter Stephanie also took up acting -- and small-screen detective work, in the hit 1980s TV series "Remington Steele." Her father had a recurring role in that show as a con man.
Farewell to one of TV's leading men:

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