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David Janssen 1931-1980

Country : Malibu, CA
Profession : Actor
Date of birth : 1931-03-27
Date of death : 1980-02-13
Cause of Death : Heart Failure

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David Janssen (March 27, 1931 – February 13, 1980) was a Golden Globe-winning Emmy Award- nominated American film and television actor who is best known for his starring role as Dr. Richard Kimble in the hit television series The Fugitive (1963–1967) with Barry Morse.

Early life

Janssen was born David Harold Meyer in Naponee, Nebraska, to banker Harold Edward Meyer (May 12, 1906 – November 4, 1990) and Berniece Graf (May 11, 1910 – November 26, 1995). They were married on May 22, 1930, in Nebraska and divorced in 1935. Following his parents' divorce, his mother moved with five-year-old David to Los Angeles, California. She eventually married Eugene Janssen (February 18, 1918 – March 30, 1996) on September 29, 1940 in Los Angeles. His father married Reva Kroeger in 1941. David used his stepfather's name after he entered show business as a child. He attended Fairfax High School in Los Angeles. His first film part was at the age of thirteen, and by his twenty-fifth birthday, he had appeared in twenty films and served two years as an enlisted man in the United States Army. During his Army days Janssen became friends with fellow soldiers Martin Milner and Clint Eastwood.

Janssen appeared in many television series before he landed programs of his own. In 1956, he and Peter Breck appeared in John Bromfield's syndicated series Sheriff of Cochise in the episode "The Turkey Farmers". 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. He joined Milner in a 1962 episode of Route 66 as the character Kamo in the episode "One Tiger to a Hill".

Acting career

He starred in the television series Richard Diamond, Private Detective (1957-60), the hit Quinn Martin production The Fugitive (1963-67), O'Hara, U.S. Treasury (1971–72), and Harry O (1974–76). His films include To Hell and Back, the autobiography of Audie Murphy, who is considered the most decorated soldier in the military history of the United States, John Wayne's The Green Berets (1968), the science fiction film Marooned, and a starring role in Generation, a comedy that also featured Pete Duel, Kim Darby, and Carl Reiner. 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. The part was eventually reassigned to actor Ken Howard.

Personal life

He was married twice, first to Ellie Graham on August 23, 1959 in Las Vegas, Nevada; they divorced on August 23, 1969. He dated actress Rosemary Forsyth for a few years. From October 4, 1975 to his death, he was married to sometime actress and model Dani Crayne Greco, born Darlyne Danielle Swanson on December 25, 1934 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Dani was previously married to singer Buddy Greco; they divorced in April 1974.


A smoker and a heavy drinker, plus a constant worker, Janssen was only 48 when he died of a sudden heart attack in 1980 in Malibu, California two days into filming. He was interred in the Hillside Memorial Cemetery in Culver City, California.

* Richard Diamond, Private Detective, 1957-1960
* Dondi (1961)
* Hell to Eternity (1960) which features the wartime career of Guy Gabaldon
* Ring of Fire (1961)
* Target: The Corruptors!, "The Middle Man" episode, February 2, 1962
* My Six Loves (1963)
* The Fugitive (1963–1967)
* Warning Shot (1967)
* The Green Berets (1968)
* The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968)
* Marooned (1969)
* O'Hara, U.S. Treasury (1971-1972)
* Moon of the Wolf (1973)
* Birds of Prey (1973)
* Harry O: Such Dust As Dreams Are Made On (1973)
* Smile, Jenny, You're Dead (1974)
* Jacqueline Susann's Once Is Not Enough (1975)
* Harry O (1974-1976)
* The Swiss Conspiracy (1976)
* Two-Minute Warning (1976)
* Warhead aka "The Prisoner in the Middle" (1977)
* A Sensitive, Passionate Man (1977)
* Nowhere To Run aka "Winner Take All" (1978)
* Sono stato un agente C.I.A. aka "Covert Action" (1978)
* Centennial (1978)
* High Ice (film) (1980)
* Inchon (scenes deleted, 1981)

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