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Efrem Zimbalist Jr. Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (3)  | Trade Mark (1)  | Trivia (17)  | Personal Quotes (4)

Overview (3)

Born in New York City, New York, USA
Died in Solvang, California, USA  (natural causes)
Height 6' (1.83 m)

Mini Bio (1)

It's hardly surprising that the son of renowned Russian-born concert violinist Efrem Zimbalist Sr. (1889-1985) and Romanian-born opera singer Alma Gluck (1884-1938) would desire a performing career of some kind. Born in New York City on November 30, 1918, surrounded by people of wealth and privilege throughout his childhood, Efrem Zimbalist Jr. received a boarding school education. Acting in school plays, he later trained briefly at the Yale School of Drama but didn't apply himself enough and quit. As an NBC network radio page, he auditioned when he could and found minor TV and stock theatre parts while joining up with the Neighborhood Playhouse.

Following WWII war service with the Army infantry in which he was awarded the Purple Heart after being wounded, a director and friend of the family, Garson Kanin, gave the aspiring actor his first professional role in his Broadway production of "The Rugged Path" (1945) which starred Spencer Tracy. With his dark, friendly, clean-scrubbed good looks and a deep, rich voice that could cut butter, Zimbalist found little trouble finding work. He continued with the American Repertory Theatre performing in such classics as "Henry VIII" and "Androcles and the Lion" while appearing opposite the legendary Eva Le Gallienne in "Hedda Gabler".

Zimbalist then tried his hand as a stage producer, successfully bringing opera to Broadway audiences for the first time with memorable presentations of "The Medium" and "The Telephone". As producer of Gian Carlo Menotti's "The Consul", he won the New York Drama Critic's Award and the Pulitzer Prize for best musical in 1950. An auspicious film debut opposite Edward G. Robinson in House of Strangers (1949) brought little career momentum due to the untimely death of his wife Emily (a onetime actress who appeared with him in "Hedda Gabler" and bore him two children, Nancy and Efrem III) to cancer in 1950. Making an abrupt decision to abandon acting, he served as assistant director/researcher at the Curtis School of Music for his father and buried himself with studies and music composition.

In 1954, Efrem returned to acting and copped a daytime television soap lead (Concerning Miss Marlowe (1954)). It was famed director Joshua Logan who proved instrumental in helping Zimbalist secure a Warner Bros. contract. Despite forthright second leads in decent films such as Band of Angels (1957) with Clark Gable and Yvonne De Carlo; Too Much, Too Soon (1958) starring Dorothy Malone and Errol Flynn; Home Before Dark (1958) with Jean Simmons and Rhonda Fleming; The Crowded Sky (1960) with Dana Andrews, Rhonda Fleming, Troy Donahue and Anne Francis; A Fever in the Blood (1961) opposite Angie Dickinson and (his best) Wait Until Dark (1967) with Audrey Hepburn, it was television that made the better use of his refined, unshowy acting style. His roles as smooth private investigator Stu Bailey on 77 Sunset Strip (1958) and dogged inspector Lewis Erskine on The F.B.I. (1965) would be his ultimate claims to fame.

A perfect gentleman on and off camera, Zimbalist's severest critics tend to deem his performances bland and undernourished. Managing to override such criticisms, he maintained a sturdy career for nearly six decades. In 1991, he made fun of his all-serious reputation and pulled off a Leslie Nielsen-like role in the comedy parody Hot Shots! (1991). In addition to theater projects over the years, he has made fine use of his mellifluous baritone performing narrations and cartoon voiceovers, including that of Alfred the butler on a "Batman" animated series.

In 2003, he completed his memoirs, entitled "My Dinner of Herbs". The father of three, grandfather of four and great-grandfather of three, he settled in Santa Barbara and later in Solvang, California with longtime second wife Stephanie until her death in 2007 of cancer. Their daughter, also named Stephanie (Stephanie Zimbalist), is the well-known actress who appeared with Pierce Brosnan in the Remington Steele (1982) television series, in which Zimbalist had a recurring role. He and his daughter also appeared on stage together in his later years, their first being "The Night of the Iguana". His eldest daughter Nancy died in 2012.

Zimbalist died peacefully at his Solvang home of natural causes at the age of 95 on May 2, 2014; he had been outside watering his lawn at his Solvang, Calif., ranch when a handyman found him lying dead in the grass. "He was healthy, playing golf three days a week, and always in his garden," Zimbalist's son said.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Angelo Bellino

Family (3)

Spouse Loranda Stephanie Spaulding (1962 - 5 February 2007)  (her death)  (1 child)
Loranda Stephanie Spaulding (12 February 1956 - 4 December 1961)  (divorced)  (1 child)
Emily Munroe McNair (22 December 1941 - 18 January 1950)  (her death)  (2 children)
Children Stephanie Zimbalist
Parents Efrem Zimbalist Sr.
Alma Gluck

Trade Mark (1)

Deep smooth voice

Trivia (17)

Father of Stephanie Zimbalist.
Son of violinist Efrem Zimbalist Sr. and opera singer Alma Gluck.
He was severely wounded during his World War II service, at Huertgen Forest.
In 1935, after accompanying his father on a concert tour of the Soviet Union, he was enrolled by his parents to a boarding school in Kiev, while they visited western Europe. Expected to learn piano in a class of wonderkinds, he was rather handicapped, for the classes were taught in Ukrainian - a language he did not know. He eventually ran off to Moscow, where his elder sister had been lodged with a family. After spending a bad winter in Moscow, (they only had their summer clothing, at the time). He and his sister hid the last of their money in the bottom of a cold-cream jar to prevent confiscation by Russian border officials, and they escaped from Moscow, by train to Paris.
His father was Russian-born and his mother was Romanian-born; both were from Jewish families. Zimbalist was an early practitioner and proponent of Transcendental Meditation, as taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, prior to his conversion to Christianity.
Children from his marriage to Emily McNair: Nancy Zimbalist and Efrem "Skip" Zimbalist III.
Younger stepbrother of Marcia Davenport.
Has played the same character (Alfred Pennyworth) on five different series: Batman: The Animated Series (1992), Superman: The Animated Series (1996), The New Batman Adventures (1997), Static Shock (2000) and Justice League (2001).
Came out of retirement to act with daughter Stephanie Zimbalist in a stage production of "Night of the Iguana" in Ventura, California. [October 2004]
Occasionally, he does voice-overs, reading Biblical verses, for the Trinity Broadcasting Network, as a commercial-break starts or concludes. [February 2007]
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7095 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on February 1, 1994.
Zimbalist died on May 2, 2014 from natural causes at the age of 95, outliving his father's age of 94 by one year. His daughter Stephanie announced the news saying he was 95 years old, a devout Christian. He actively enjoyed his life to the last day, showering love on his extended family, playing golf and visiting with close friends.
Close friends with then-FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover, Zimbalist ended many Quinn Martin productions on Sunday nights with a description of a fugitive wanted by FBI agents, exhorting viewers to be on the lookout. One of the more prominent names from this segment was James Earl Ray, assassin of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
In 2009, FBI Director Robert Mueller presented an honorary Special Agent badge to Zimbalist.
His daughter Nancy Zimbalist died in 2012.
Shares birthday with fellow Batman the Animated Series actor Kevin Conroy.
Appeared in at least one episode in four out of the five seasons of Remington Steele, alongside his daughter Stephanie Zimbalist.

Personal Quotes (4)

I don't even know the people who are making movies today. I stopped going to the movies over 20 years ago. The movies I used to be fanatic about they stopped making. They started making another kind of movie, and it's not my kind of world.
I happen to believe that the liberating movements of our time are devised and thought up, not for the people they are supposed to champion, but to splinter society. In the case of women's liberation, if the state gets the women out of the house working, they can get to the children and bring them up. I thing that has been the game plan all along.
As for the year 2000 being the time for Armageddon, Jesus himself said: "Even the son doesn't know. Only the father knows." So if Jesus didn't know, you can be sure I've got no idea.
Having been kept pretty strict in prep schools, I guess I couldn't cope with all the freedom at Yale. I had a wild, wonderful time, got abysmal grades and was bounced out in my freshman year. I then came back the following fall as a repeating freshman, lasted until April and got bounced out again -- for the same reason. This time I quit.

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