Saturday, May 3, 2014

Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. (1918-2014)

Today, Hollywood is mourning the passing of actor Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., best known for his work in the series, 77 Sunset Strip & The F. B. I., and to a generation of younger viewers as the voice of Alfred Pennyworth on Batman: The Animated Series and its sequels, at 95.

Son of a classical violinist, and father to actress Stephanie Zimbalist, Efrem became a TV icon thanks to his role as investigator Stuart Bailey on 77 Sunset Strip. I am assuming that he was a contract player at Warner Bros., since WB co-produced Quinn Martin's seminal The F. B. I. from 1965-74. Zimbalist returned to WB to work on Batman, becoming the 2nd actor to essay the role of Alfred, the Dark Knight's major domo (Clive Revill was the 1st Alfred for a few episodes), this after he'd left The New Zorro after 1 season. His other television credits included Maverick and, alongside daughter Stephanie, Remington Steele. In recent years, he did some interstital reading of Biblical passages for the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN).

Following is a promo for The F. B. I., narrated by Bill Woodson, as the series entered its 5th season:

Rest in peace, Efrem.

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