Tuesday, June 06, 2017

The Strip Loses Another Leading Light

Good grief, haven’t we already had enough deaths lately within the crime-fiction community? Author William Hjortsberg, actors Powers Boothe and Roger Moore, and now this from Variety:
Roger Smith, who starred in the [ABC-TV] series 77 Sunset Strip and was married to actress Ann-Margret, died Sunday in Sherman Oaks. He was 84.

The handsome leading man retired from acting after being diagnosed with myasthenia gravis in 1980. After that, he managed his wife’s career and produced several of her TV specials. The couple had celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on May 8.

77 Sunset Strip, Smith played detective Jeff Spencer,
who partnered with Efrem Zimbalist Jr. … The show ran from 1958 to 1964, though Smith left in 1963. His Spencer character made appearances on other detective shows of the period, including
Surfside 6 and Hawaiian Eye.
About 77 Sunset Strip, USA Today adds:
Smith told the Los Angeles Times that the series aimed to show that private investigators were well-trained, serious men, and not the movie and TV stereotype with “dangling cigarettes and large chips on their shoulders.” He was chosen for the part because “I don’t look like a detective.”
The New York Times offers still more on Smith’s career here.

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