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Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., star of 'The FBI' and '77 Sunset Strip,' dies at age 95

By Daniel S Levine,

Actor Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., best known for starring on the hit TV shows The F.B.I. and 77 Sunset Strip, has died. He was 95-years-old.

Zimbalist died Friday at his Solvang, California ranch, his children said, reports The Hollywood Reporter. The actor became a household name thanks to his roles on the two shows. He played Inspector Lewis Erskine for nine seasons on The F.B.I. and Stuart Bailey on 77 Sunset Strip for six seasons.

“He actively enjoyed his life to the last day, showering love on his extended family, playing golf and visiting with close friends,” his daughter Stephanie Zimbalist and son Efrem Zimbalist III said in a statement, reports the Associated Press.

The actor began his career in the late 1940s, taking roles on both television and film throughout the 1950s after appearing on Broadway. One of his early roles included Band of Angels (1957) with Clark Gable. He found a role on TV’s Maverick before landing the Stuart Bailey part on 77 Sunset Strip in 1958. The show ran until 1962, but he only had to wait until 1965 for his next big gig - The F.B.I.

Other film roles include Wait Until Dark (1967) with Audrey Hepburn and Airport 1975. Later in life, he transitioned to voice acting, playing Alfred on Batman: The Animated Series and Dr. Octopus on Spider-Man in the 1990s.

Zimbalist was born in New York City and served in World War II in the infantry, earning a Purple Heart. In 1959, he won a Golden Globe for Most Promising Male Newcomer and did earn two Emmy nominations, including one for 77 Sunset Strip.

 

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