1961 was an especially busy year for David, who played the lead in five feature films. I participated in life on what might be considered the grand scale, before I decided I had one hangover too many, one party too many, one charted plane and 14 servants too many. Known ForHis starring role as Richard Kimble in the television series The Fugitive. David Janssen died of a sudden heart attack in the early morning of February 13, 1980, at his home in Malibu, California at the age of 48. The star would say, 'Don't you think so.' He also appeared in the suspenseful Two-Minute Warning (1976) opposite Gena Rowlands as his love interest. Though Janssen's scenes were cut from the final release, he also appeared as a journalist in the film Inchon, which he accepted to work with Laurence Olivier who played General Douglas MacArthur. He also played pilot Harry Walker in the 1973 action movie Birds of Prey. After his parents' marriage ended, mom and son moved to Los Angeles, California in 1938. As a contract player at Universal-International in the 1950s, he attended Universal's acting classes with a fellow Universal contractee, Best remembered by the public for his starring role as Dr. Richard Kimble on. I might prefer the life of a film producer: Get up at ten, have two-hour lunch breaks, fire everybody in the afternoon, and be ready for cocktails at 4:30 PM. At the time of his death, Janssen had just begun filming a television movie playing the part of Father Damien, the priest who dedicated himself to the leper colony on the island of Molokai, Hawaii. His wife Dani had called the police and fire department shortly before 5:00 am which arrived at his Malibu home within minutes. Called his highly successful TV series "The Fuge.". At Fairfax High, he was a talented basketball and track athlete who won a scholarship to UCLA. His first film part was at the age of thirteen, and by the age of twenty-five he had appeared in twenty films and served two years as an enlisted man in the United States Army. He starred as a Los Angeles police detective trying to clear himself in the killing of an apparently innocent doctor in the 1967 film Warning Shot. He was taken to the nearby hospital where he was declared dead on arrival shortly thereafter. Janssen was buried at the Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City, California. He married first wife Ellie Graham in 1958. While doing his own show, he had time to appear in a diverse range of projects, from guest starring on other TV series to stage work.In 1959, David, who didn't have the clout then that he would later enjoy, missed out on a supporting role in BUtterfield 8 (1960) when Elizabeth Taylor prevailed upon the producers to cast husband Eddie Fisher instead. Janssen continued appearing in lead roles in nearly 20 made-for-TV-movies during the 1970s as well as other TV projects. [on high school athletics] I broke a cartilage in my left knee cap while pole vaulting. David Janssen rose to fame when he nailed a leading role in "The Fugitive." Suzanne Pleshette delivered the eulogy at the request of Janssen's widow. When he is on, he owns the screen". His ancestry was German, and some Swiss-German and Scottish-Irish. David took the role of Dr. Richard Kimble in The Fugitive (1963) and four very successful years followed. Among the films released that year were Ring of Fire (1961), King of the Roaring 20's: The Story of Arnold Rothstein (1961), Twenty Plus Two (1961), and Man-Trap (1961). [on his divorce from his first wife Ellie]: After 11 years of marriage I dived into what I considered a newfound freedom. David was exceptionally well-liked and admired by his fellow actors and production crews. He starred in the made-for-TV mini series S.O.S. David Janssen played tennis, golf and was ambidextrous. The hold that he had on the television-viewing public didn't wane right up until this untimely death at age 48.David Harold Meyer was born on March 27, 1931 in Naponee, Nebraska, the son of Berniece and Harold Meyer. In his early twenties, he was a contract player during the last years of the studio system, gaining valuable experience in everything from acting and dancing to horseback riding and boxing. [4] They divorced in 1968. The cause of death was that Janssen had major blockage in three heart arteries, probably brought on by years of excessive cigarette smoking. Later, he guest-starred on NBC's medical drama The Eleventh Hour in the role of Hal Kincaid in the 1962 episode "Make Me a Place", with series co-stars Wendell Corey and Jack Ging. Janssen appeared in many television series before he landed programs of his own. The tv actor David Janssen died at the age of 48. During his Army days, Janssen became friends with fellow enlistees Martin Milner and Clint Eastwood while posted at Fort Ord, California. His film debut was a bit part in It's a Pleasure (1945), and at the age of 18 signed a contract with 20th Century-Fox. When it was placed there, it was in front of David's favorite ice cream shops as a child. The film was shot during a break in the spring and summer of 1966 between the third and fourth seasons of The Fugitive. |  Berniece married Eugene Janssen and David later took his stepfather's last name. He was half-Jewish and half-Irish by descent. MissClassicTV, Other Works He died in 1980 from a sudden heart attack at his Malibu home at the age of 48. Honorary pallbearers included Jack Lemmon, George Peppard, James Stewart and Danny Thomas. Nebraska-born David Janssen was the son of a former Miss Nebraska who had toured as a Ziegfeld Follies showgirl. His films include To Hell and Back, the biography of Audie Murphy, who was the most decorated American soldier of World War II; John Wayne's Vietnam war film The Green Berets; opposite Gregory Peck in the space story Marooned, in which Janssen played an astronaut sent to rescue three stranded men in space, and The Shoes of the Fisherman, as a television journalist in Rome reporting on the election of a new Pope (Anthony Quinn). But it was with his career-defining role as The Fugitive (1963) that he gained world-wide fame. His autopsy found physical signs of (and damage from) heavy smoking in his mouth and lungs. Janssen also had the title roles in three other series: Richard Diamond, Private Detective; Harry O; and O'Hara, U.S. Treasury. As a teen, what David really wanted was an athletic career. David Janssen was born David Harold Meyer in 1931 in Naponee, Nebraska, to Berniece Mae (Graf) and Harold Edward Meyer, a banker. Best known for starring in the series, The Fugitive from 1963-1967 and for title roles in Richard Diamond, Private Detective and O’Hara, U.S. Treasury. His last TV movie City in Fear (1980) was broadcast a month after his death.David was exceptionally well-liked and admired by his fellow actors and production crews. This apprenticeship was interrupted after less than a year when the Army called him up. David Janssen suffered a fatal heart attack in the pre-dawn hours of February 13, 1980 at his home in Malibu, California. On ice skates, David Janssen hosted "Highlights of the Ice Capades" (NBC-TV, Nov. 4, 1970). [on why he takes so many acting roles]: I have always considered myself basically unemployed. In 1996 TV Guide ranked him number 36 on its 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time list.[1]. We don't want to produce a generation of eggheads, do we? Died of a sudden heart attack at his house in bed during the early morning hours before dawn. Very articulate. His death was a loss for all the fans, but also for his fellow actors and production crews since David was exceptionally well-liked and admired by them. He had a reputation for working hard and he treated people well. The Janssen family settled in Hollywood when he was a teenager and he attended Fairfax High School, where he developed an interest in acting. Unfounded speculation holds that Janssen succumbed to alcoholism, a problem that plagued him most of his adult life. [3], Janssen was married twice. At the time of his death, Janssen was filming the television movie Father Damien. He had another hit series with the cult favorite Harry O (1973). Co-stars Anthony Zerbe, Deborah Raffin and Jean Seberg thought he was wonderful to work with. I'm suddenly feeling more and more tired every day. Younger half-brothers: Larry and Lee Meyer (twins born in 1942). Milton Berle, Johnny Carson, Tommy Gallagher, Richard Harris, Stan Herman, Rod Stewart and Gregory Peck were among Janssen's pallbearers. It's three times harder than doing a half-hour show and that's not faulty arithmetic. [5] In 1975, he married actress and model Dani Crayne Greco. He resumed his movie career in 1961, a year after the series ended. Nickname:David Full Name:David Janssen Profession:Actor Nationality:American Date of Birth:March 27, 1931 Date of Death:February 13, 1980 Place of Death:Malibu, California, United States Cause of Death:Heart Attack Birthplace:Naponee, Nebraska, United States Zodiac Sign: Aries David rebounded with Hell to Eternity (1960), for which he garnered great reviews and was nominated for a Golden Globe as "Most Promising Newcomer." Hillside Memorial Park,   Culver City,  California,  United States. The actor's persistence led him to stardom — but it was cut short by his sudden death. He took on the surname of his stepfather, Eugene Janssen. Many years after his death, his name would crop up in interviews with people like Nancy Malone, Robert Vaughn, Jerry Orbach, Lee Grant, Cliff Robertson, Kim Darby, Shirley Knight and Marion Ross. In 1974, David embarked on another career-defining role. David Janssen reached the pinnacle of show biz stardom in the late 1960s on the strength of his remarkable, layered portrayal of the heroic, wrongfully convicted Dr. Richard Kimble, a man who had been cast aside by society yet retained his humanity and remained filled with integrity and compassion for others.

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