Social Icons

Social Connect

Efrem Zimbalist Jr.

  • Birthplace: New York City, New York
  • Birthday: November 30
Date of passing: 
May 02, 2014

Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., was an actor best known for his starring roles in the television series 77 Sunset Strip and The FBI.

The son of famed violinist Efrem Zimbalist and opera singer Alma Gluck, he grew up in New York City and studied at Yale University but did not graduate. He worked as an NBC page before trying his hand as an actor. After service in Army during World War II — during which he earned a Purple Heart — he returned to New York, where he began appearing on the stage and also produced successful operas.

Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., was an actor best known for his starring roles in the television series 77 Sunset Strip and The FBI.

The son of famed violinist Efrem Zimbalist and opera singer Alma Gluck, he grew up in New York City and studied at Yale University but did not graduate. He worked as an NBC page before trying his hand as an actor. After service in Army during World War II — during which he earned a Purple Heart — he returned to New York, where he began appearing on the stage and also produced successful operas.

A role on the daytime TV drama Concerning Miss Marlowe led to a contract with Warner Bros. and a few movie roles. But he had his most enduring success on television. After early guest spots on programs like The U.S. Steel Hour, The Phil Silvers Show and Maverick, he rose fame as private detective Stuart Bailey on 77 Sunset Strip, which aired on ABC from 1958 to 1964.

He cemented his reputation as a TV leading man with the role of Inspector Lewis Erskine on The FBI, a fixture of ABC's primetime schedule from 1965 to 1974.

In the years that followed, he appeared on numerous other series, minseries and telefilms, including Scruples, Insight, Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, Remington Steele (starring his daughter, Stepahnie Zimbalist), Hotel, Who's the Boss?, Murder, She Wrote, The Nanny and Picket Fences. In later years he lent his voice to several animated shows, including Batman: The Animated Series, Spider-Man, Superman and Justice League.

Zimbalist received two Emmy nominations — in 1959 for 77 Sunset Strip and in 1978 for A Family Upside Down. In 1958 he won a Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer.

He died May 2, 2014, in Solvang, California. He was 95.

Show more