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est. 2005
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Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.


For some of us, our earliest memories of Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., come from his role as suave private eye Stuart Bailey on 77 Sunset Strip. For others, it’s the nine years he spent playing Lewis Erskine on The F.B.I. every Sunday night; the show ran from 1965 through 1974.

At the end of each episode, Zimbalist would hop into the newest-model Ford automobile and drive away from F.B.I. headquarters, tooling through Washington, D.C. Zimbalist traveled to D.C. every May to meet with J. Edgar Hoover and to film segments for the coming season—in the latest Ford. What we didn’t know is that the latest Ford wasn’t quite ready yet, since cars came out in October, so Ford would send the car to D.C. via van and keep it under wraps until it was time to film. Zimbalist said, “The car itself was so flimsy that if you slammed the door hard, it would fall off. There was no interior to the car at all—no dashboard, no beautiful seats. It was a shell. You drove it gingerly because if you didn’t, the thing would collapse on the road.”

Efrem Zimbalist was a man of many talents: movies, television, music, Broadway (he won a Pulitzer Prize in 1950 for his production of Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Consul). He served in World War II, receiving a Purple Heart for battle-related wounds. He lived an interesting and full life, beautifully summarized by his surviving children, Skip and Stephanie: “He actively enjoyed his life to the last day, showering love on his extended family, playing golf and visiting with close friends.”

Zimbalist was 95 when he died on May 2. Brigid Nelson, Chipmunk Roasting, Grim McGraw, Kixco, Koko-Moxie, Team Bubba, and the Wiz get two points each for the hit.


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