LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Actor Efrem Zimbalist Jr., star of the smash 60s and 70s TV drama “The FBI,” has died.
Zimbalist was 95.
The actor played unflappable Inspector Erskine in the series that ran on ABC from 1965-1974. The show dramatized real FBI cases.
Zimbalist Sr. was a concert violinist, the actor’s mother was opera singer Alma Gluck. Zimbalist Jr.’s daughter, Stephanie, had her own successful acting career — most notably as the female lead in the hit “Remington Steele” (1982-87) opposite Pierce Brosnan.
The actor was born in New York City on November 30, 1918. He died peacefully today in Solvang, confirmed daughter Stephanie.
He acted until 2008,
Raised in privilege, Zimbalist went to the Yale School of Drama. After serving in the war (he also received a Purple Heart), Zimbalist landed a series of stage roles and worked in soap operas.
He was often cast as the dry and canny detective. When the role of Erskine came along, he was ready to trade in second banana roles in movies and in stage plays to play the lead.
Other notable roles included 1967’s “Wait Until Dark” (he played Audrey Hepburn’s husband) and “Airport 75.” He starred in many TV shows, most notably “Hotel,” Maverick” and “Hawaiian Eye”/”77 Sunset Strip.” In the latter two shows, he played the role of Stuart Bailey.
On his daughter’s show, he played the recurring role of Daniel Chalmers.