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Efrem Zimbalist Jr.: The Actor Who Went From Private Eye to Mr. FBI

Back in late 1950s and early 1960s, one of the coolest series on the tube was 77 Sunset Strip, a stylish variation on hard-boiled detective noir infused with wise-cracking hipster humor – sort of Raymond Chandler meets the Rat Pack, set in what TV historian Horace Newcomb describes as “a sun-drenched world of cocktails, cool jazz and convertibles.”

The show’s star was Efrem Zimbalist Jr., who, as suave detective Stuart “Stu” Bailey, deftly tangled with tough guys, charmed beautiful dames and unraveled mysteries without getting a hair in his aerodynamically coiffed mane out of place.YouTube Preview Image

Zimbalist, who died on May 2 at age 95 in Solvang, Calif., went on to star in another hit series, The FBI, in which he played Mustang-driving, buttoned-down FBI agent Lewis Erskine.YouTube Preview Image

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Here are some facts about Zimbalist and his career:

Efrem Zimbalist Jr. in 1971

 

 

 

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Photo: From the 1971 season premiere of the television program The FBI (Wikipedia)

 

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