Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.

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Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.
Efrem Zimbalist Jr.JPG
Zimbalist in 1956
Born(1918-11-30) November 30, 1918 (age 95)
New York City, New York, US
ResidenceSolvang, California, US
EducationFay School
Alma materYale University
Years active1946–present
Known forDandy Jim Buckley,
Alfred Pennyworth,
DC Animated Universe
Home townNew York City, New York, US
Television77 Sunset Strip,
The F.B.I.,
Batman: The Animated Series

Emily Munroe McNair (m. 1941–50)
Loranda Stephanie Spaulding (m. 1956–61)

Loranda Stephanie Spaulding (m. 1962–2007)
ChildrenWith McNair:
Nancy Zimbalist
Efrem "Skip" Zimbalist III
With Spaulding:
Stephanie Zimbalist
ParentsEfrem Zimbalist, Sr.,
Alma Gluck
AwardsGolden Globe Award
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Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.
Efrem Zimbalist Jr.JPG
Zimbalist in 1956
Born(1918-11-30) November 30, 1918 (age 95)
New York City, New York, US
ResidenceSolvang, California, US
EducationFay School
Alma materYale University
Years active1946–present
Known forDandy Jim Buckley,
Alfred Pennyworth,
DC Animated Universe
Home townNew York City, New York, US
Television77 Sunset Strip,
The F.B.I.,
Batman: The Animated Series

Emily Munroe McNair (m. 1941–50)
Loranda Stephanie Spaulding (m. 1956–61)

Loranda Stephanie Spaulding (m. 1962–2007)
ChildrenWith McNair:
Nancy Zimbalist
Efrem "Skip" Zimbalist III
With Spaulding:
Stephanie Zimbalist
ParentsEfrem Zimbalist, Sr.,
Alma Gluck
AwardsGolden Globe Award

Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. (born November 30, 1918) is an American actor known for his starring roles in the television series 77 Sunset Strip and The F.B.I. He is also known as recurring character "Dandy Jim Buckley" in the series Maverick and as the voice behind the character Alfred Pennyworth in Batman: The Animated Series and its numerous spin-offs.

Early years[edit]

Efrem Zimbalist Jr. was born in New York, New York, the son of famed violinist Efrem Zimbalist, Sr. (1890–1985), born in the southwestern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don,[1] and operatic soprano Alma Gluck (1884–1938), who was born as Reba Feinsohn in Iaşi, Romania.[2][3] He attended Fay School in Southborough, Massachusetts.


Zimbalist attended Yale University in the late 1930s, worked as a page for NBC radio in New York, and served in the army for five years during World War II, where he became friends with Garson Kanin. Following the war, Zimbalist returned to New York and had a stage career as both actor and producer. His producing successes included bringing Gian Carlo Menotti operas to Broadway. In 1956, Zimbalist was put under contract by Warner Brothers and moved to Hollywood.[4]

Zimbalist's first recurring role in a television series was as roguish gambler "Dandy Jim Buckley" on Maverick opposite James Garner in 1957; after five appearances, Zimbalist left in 1958 to play the lead, Stuart "Stu" Bailey, in 77 Sunset Strip, a popular detective series running until 1964. In 1959 he was awarded the Golden Globe for "Most Promising Newcomer – Male". After 77 Sunset Strip, he appeared in other series, including CBS's short-lived The Reporter starring Harry Guardino as a journalist, Danny Taylor of the fictitious New York Globe. He also appeared in leading and supporting roles in several feature films, including Harlow, A Fever in the Blood (a film about a ruthless politician), Wait Until Dark, and Airport 1975.

Zimbalist had a recurring role as Daniel Chalmers, a white-collar con man, on his daughter Stephanie Zimbalist's 1980s television detective series, Remington Steele and in the television dramatic series, Hotel.

In 1990, he played the father of Zorro in the (then Christian Broadcasting Network's- aka CBN) Family Channel's remake The New Zorro. Zimbalist relinquished the role after the program's first season due to the filming at studios outside Madrid, Spain, and the role subsequently went to Henry Darrow. He had a small recurring role in the 1990s hit science fiction TV series Babylon 5 as William Edgars.

Also in the 1990s, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. played Alfred Pennyworth in Batman: The Animated Series as well as in Superman: The Animated Series, The New Batman Adventures, Justice League, Static Shock, and the animated films Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero, and Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman and villain Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man: The Animated Series. He has appeared on the Trinity Broadcasting Network[5] and as himself in the 1998 Smithsonian production of Gemstones of America.[6] He performed as he narrator in "Good Morning, America," by Elinor Remick Warren—Cambria CD #1042 (1993).

Zimbalist has written an autobiography, My Dinner of Herbs, published by Limelight Editions, New York.

In 2008, he appeared in the short film The Delivery, where he played a professor who helps a young girl in her struggles for literacy. The film won first place in fantasy at the Dragon*Con Film Festival and was an official selection at the Los Angeles International Children's Festival and the Reel Women International Film Festival in 2009.

The F.B.I. television series[edit]

The F.B.I. 1st episode

Zimbalist was arguably most widely known for his starring role as Inspector Lewis Erskine in the Quinn Martin television production, The F.B.I., premiering on September 19, 1965 and closing with the last episode on September 8, 1974. Zimbalist was generous in his praise of producer Quinn Martin and of his own experience starring in the show. Those who worked with Zimbalist on the show were equally admiring of the star's professionalism and likeable personality.[7]

Star Zimbalist maintained a strong personal relationship with J. Edgar Hoover, who requested technical accuracy for the show, and that agents be portrayed in the best possible light. Actors who played F.B.I. employees were required by Hoover to undergo a background check.[7] Zimbalist passed his background check with ease. He subsequently spent a week in Washington, D.C., where he was interviewed by Hoover, and at the F.B.I. academy in Quantico, Virginia. Hoover and Zimbalist remained mutual admirers for the rest of Hoover's life.[7] Hoover would later hold Zimbalist up as an image role model for F.B.I. employees to emulate in their personal appearance.[8]

The Society of Former Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation[9] honored the character of Lewis Erskine in 1985 with a set of retired credentials.[10] On June 8, 2009 FBI Director Robert Mueller presented Zimbalist with a plaque of an honorary special agent for his work on the TV series The F.B.I., which he worked on in collaboration with the FBI itself and his friend J. Edgar Hoover.[10][11]

Personal life and religion[edit]

Zimbalist in 1972

His first wife was Emily Munroe McNair, who died of cancer in 1950. Zimbalist's second marriage was to Loranda Stephanie Spaulding, in 1956. She died of lung cancer on February 5, 2007, at the age of 73. Zimbalist is the father of actress Stephanie Zimbalist (by Stephanie Spaulding); Efrem Zimbalist, III; and Nancy Zimbalist (by Emily McNair). Zimbalist considers himself a man of abiding faith, and has been involved in a number of Christian media productions. His parents, Alma Gluck and Efrem Zimbalist, Sr., were assimilated non-practicing Jews.[12] Efrem Sr. himself was raised in a non-practicing household and would later state, "As far as I am concerned, there has been no Jew in the family for sixty-five years."[12] Alma and Efrem Sr. had their children baptized in the Episcopal Church and raised them in that faith. Efrem Jr. stated that he was taken to church every Sunday and attended an Episcopal boarding school in New Hampshire.[13] He also attended church every Sunday with his first wife, and it was his faith which allowed him peace when she succumbed to cancer.[14] A spiritual pilgrim, Zimbalist was an early practitioner and proponent of Transcendental Meditation, as taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. He described the Maharishi Yogi as a "fascinating character", but found that his nine-year association with the meditation method "...was a total waste of energy for me."[14] He returned to the Episcopal faith for a time. In the late 1970s, Zimbalist was drawn to the Charismatic Christianity he found on the Trinity Broadcasting Network.[15] After a time, he reconsidered that involvement, telling a reporter in 1989 that "for a while I did go overboard in my association with a fundamentalist group."[16] Eventually, he returned to the Episcopal faith, feeling more comfortable with that particular faith's style.[14]

In 1963 and 1964, Zimbalist joined fellow actors William Lundigan, Chill Wills, and Walter Brennan, in making appearances on behalf of U.S. Senator Barry M. Goldwater, the Republican nominee in the campaign against U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson.[17]

Acting credits[edit]


Opening dateClosing dateTitleRoleTheatre
Nov 10, 1945Jan 19, 1946The Rugged PathGil HartnickPlymouth
Nov 6, 1946Feb 21, 1947King Henry VIIIDuke of SuffolkInternational Theatre
Nov 8, 1946Feb 15, 1947What Every Woman KnowsA Butler, EnsembleInternational Theatre
Dec 19, 1946Feb 22, 1947A Pound on Demand
Androcles and the Lion
SecutorInternational Theatre
Feb 27, 1947Mar 15, 1947Yellow JackAristides AgramonteInternational Theatre
May 1, 1947Nov 1, 1947The Telephone
The Medium
(producer)Ethel Barrymore Theatre
Feb 24, 1948Mar 6, 1948Hedda GablerEilert LovborgCort Theatre
Dec 7, 1948Jan 9, 1949The Telephone(producer)City Center
Dec 7, 1948Jan 9, 1949The Medium(producer)City Center
Mar 15, 1950Nov 4, 1950The Consul(producer)Ethel Barrymore Theatre
Jan 17, 1956Aug 11, 1956Fallen AngelsMaurice DuclosPlayhouse

Film and television[edit]

1946Mr. and Mrs. NorthTV movie
1949House of StrangersTony Monetti
1954–1955Concerning Miss MarloweJim GavinUnknown episodes
1956Star TonightTV series, episode: "The Long View"
1956United States Steel Hour, TheThe United States Steel HourSean O'NeillTV series, episode "Stopover at Sublimity"
1957ConflictStuart BaileyTV series, episodes: "Execution Night"
and "Anything For Money"
1957Band of AngelsLt. Ethan Sears
1957Bombers B-52Colonel Jim Herlihy
1957–1958MaverickDandy Jim BuckleyTV series, episodes: "Stampede" (1957), "Trail West to Fury", "High Card Hangs", "The Jail at Junction Flats" and "Shady Deal at Sunny Acres" (all 1958)
1958Deep Six, TheThe Deep SixLt. Blanchard
1958Too Much, Too SoonVincent Bryant
1958Violent RoadGeorge Lawrence
1958Girl on the RunStuart BaileyPilot for TV series 77 Sunset Strip
1958SugarfootKerrigan the GreatTV series, episode: "The Wizard"
1958Home Before DarkJacob 'Jake' Diamond
1958–196477 Sunset StripStu Bailey163 episodes
1959–1962Hawaiian EyeStu BaileyTV series, episodes: "Malahini Holiday" and "Three Tickets to Lani" (both 1959), "I Wed Three Wives" (1960) and "Blackmail in Satin" (1962)
1960Alaskans, TheThe AlaskansJohn ConradTV series, episode: "The Trial of Reno McKee"
1960Crowded Sky, TheThe Crowded SkyDale Heath
1961Fever in the Blood, AA Fever in the BloodJudge Leland Hoffman
1961By Love PossessedArthur Winner
1961BroncoEdwin BoothTV series, episode: "The Prince of Darkness"
1962Chapman Report, TheThe Chapman ReportPaul Radford
1963InsightTV series, episode: "The Phony"
1964InsightCharles de FoucauldTV series, episode: "The Hermit"
1964Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler TheatrePaul RadfordTV series, episode: "The Sojourner"
1964Alfred Hitchcock Hour, TheThe Alfred Hitchcock HourStrangerTV series, episode: "See the Monkey Dance"
1964Reporter, TheThe ReporterCharles DurwoodTV series, episode: "Super-Star"
1965InsightTV series, episode: "Stranger in My Shoes"
1965RawhideJeff McKeeverTV series, episode: "The Diehard"
1965HarlowWilliam Mansfield
1965Reward, TheThe RewardFrank Bryant
1965–1974F.B.I., TheThe F.B.I.Inspector Lewis ErskineTV series, 241 episodes
1966InsightTV series, episode: "The Coffee House"
1967Cosa Nostra, Arch Enemy of the F.B.I.Inspector Lewis ErskineTV movie
1967Wait Until DarkSam Hendrix
1968InsightDon FordTV series, episode: "He Lived With Us, Ate With Us, What Else, Dear?"
1970InsightTV series, episode: "The Day God Died"
1974Airport 1975Captain Stacy
1974InsightTV series, episode: "When You See Arcturus"
1975Who Is the Black Dahlia?Sgt. Harry HansenTV movie
1978Family Upside Down, AA Family Upside DownMike LongTV movie
1978Terror Out of the SkyDavid MartinTV movie
1979Best Place to Be, TheThe Best Place to BeBill ReardanTV movie
1979Gathering, Part II, TheThe Gathering, Part IIVictor WainwrightTV movie
1979InsightGodTV series, episode: "Checkmate"
1979InsightTV series, episode: "A Family of Winners"
1980ScruplesEllis IkehornTV mini-series
1982Avenging, TheThe AvengingJacob Anderson
1982Beyond Witch MountainAristotleTV movie
1982Family in BlueMarty MaloneTV movie
1983InsightTV series, episode: "The Hit Man"
1983Tempest, TheThe TempestProsperoVideo
1983Charley's AuntCol. Francis ChesneyTV movie
1983Baby SisterTom BurroughsTV movie
1983Shooting StarsRobert ClusoTV movie
1983Fantasy IslandMr. BaldwinTV series, episode: "The Butler's Affair/Roarke's Sacrifice"
1983Remington SteeleDaniel ChalmersTV series, episode: "Sting of Steele"
1984Love Boat, TheThe Love BoatDan WhitmanTV series, episode: "Polly's Poker Palace, Parts 1 and 2"
1984Hardcastle and McCormickEmmett ParnellTV series, episode: "The Georgia Street Motors"
1984Partners in CrimeGrant LathamTV series, episode: "Murder in the Museum"
1984Cover UpE.G. DawsonTV series, episode: "Writer's Block"
1984Remington SteeleDaniel ChalmersTV series, episode: "Blue Blooded Steele"
1984HotelAlexander HeathTV series, episode: "Flesh and Blood"
1984You Are the JuryNarratorTV series, episode: "The Case of the People of Florida v Joseph Lamdrum"
1985Finder of Lost LovesJudge Alex HaleTV series, episode: "Mister Wonderful"
1985Remington SteeleDaniel ChalmersTV series, episode: "Steele Searching, Part 2"
1986You Are the JuryNarratorTV series, episode: "The State of Arizona v Dr. Evan Blake"
1986HotelCharles CabotTV series, episodes: "Opening Moves", "Queen's Gambit", "Enemies Within", "Double Jeopardy", "Hornet's Nest", "Undercurrents" and "Forsaking All Others"
1987Remington SteeleDaniel ChalmersTV series, episode: "Steeled With a Kiss, Parts 1 and 2"
1988HotelCharles CabotTV series, episode: "Power Play"
1988HunterClarence HylandTV series, episode: "Murder He Wrote"
1988Murder, She WroteGen. HavermeyerTV series, episode: "The Last Flight of the Dixie Damsel"
1990ZorroDon Alejandro de la VegaTV series, 25 episodes
1990Murder, She WroteRichard Thompson GrantTV series, episode: "Hannigan's Wake"
1990Who's the Boss?Robert RobinsonTV series, episode: "Operation Mona"
1991Hot Shots!Wilson
1992Murder, She WroteAdam QuatrainTV series, episode: "Sugar, Spice, Malice and Vice"
1992–1993Legend of Prince Valiant, TheThe Legend of Prince ValiantKing Arthur (voice)TV series, 53 episodes
1992–1995Batman: The Animated SeriesAlfredTV series, 57 episodes
1993Jack L. Warner: The Last MogulNarrator
1993Trade WindsChristof PhilipsTV mini-series
1993Gabriel Knight: Sins of the FathersWolfgangVideo game
1993Batman: Mask of the PhantasmAlfred Pennyworth
1994Burke's LawSam GallagherTV series, episode: "Who Killed the Legal Eagle?"
1994Nanny, TheThe NannyTheodore TimmonsTV series, episode: "Material Fran"
1995Street Corner Kids: The Sequel, TheThe Street Corner Kids: The SequelMarty
1995Biker Mice from MarsKing ArthurTV series, episode: "Knights of the Round Table, Parts 1 and 2"
1995One West WaikikiWalter MansfieldTV series, episode: "Flowers of Evil"
1995GargoylesMace MaloneTV series, episode: "Revelations"
1995Iron ManJustin HammerTV series, episodes: "The Armor Wars: Part 1 & 2", "The Beast Within"
1995–1997Spider-ManDr. Octopus
Dr. Otto Octavius
TV series, 11 episodes
1996Picket FencesHal KlostermanTV series, episode: "Forget Selma"
1996Mighty DucksDr. Denton P. HookermanTV series, episode: "Zap Attack"
1997Babylon 5William EdgarsTV series, episodes: "Conflicts of Interest", "Moments of Transition", "Exercise of Vital Powers", "The Face of the Enemy"
1997Visitor, TheThe VisitorWayland ScottTV series, episode: "Miracles"
1997–1998New Batman Adventures, TheThe New Batman AdventuresAlfred Pennyworth12 episodes
1997–1999Superman: The Animated SeriesAlfred Pennyworth4 episodes
1998SubZeroAlfred Pennyworth
1998Batman Superman Movie: World's Finest, TheThe Batman Superman Movie: World's FinestAlfred Pennyworth
1999Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, TheThe Amazing Adventures of Spider-ManDr. Octopusanimated short film
2000Spider-ManDr. OctopusVideo game
2001Batman VengeanceAlfred PennyworthVideo game
2001First Day, TheThe First DayBenjamin HartTV movie
2003–2004Justice League, TheThe Justice LeagueAlfred PennyworthTV series, episodes: "Hereafter Part 1", Starcrossed Part 2 & 3"
2003Static ShockAlfred Pennyworth
2003Batman: Mystery of the BatwomanAlfred Pennyworth
2008Delivery, TheThe DeliveryDr. Engel

Television appearances as self[edit]

1961What About Linda?March of Dimes fund raising program
1962Here's HollywoodNovember 2, 1962
1965Password All-StarsEpisode: "Angie Dickinson vs. Efrem Zimbalist Jr."
1972Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, TheThe Tonight Show Starring Johnny CarsonFebruary 16, 1972
197830th Primetime Emmy AwardsPresenter
1980Anita Bryant Spectacular, TheThe Anita Bryant Spectacular
198638th Primetime Emmy AwardsPresenter
1991Hot Shots: The Making of an Important Movie
1998Gemstones of AmericaHost
1999Year to Remember, AA Year to RememberHost
2003Batman: Behind the Mystery
2004TVLand Moguls
2008Brothers Warner, TheThe Brothers Warner

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ Malan, Roy (May 2004). Efrem Zimbalist: A Life. Amadeus Press. p. 1. ISBN 1-57467-091-3. 
  2. ^ Marston Records bio of Alma Gluck
  3. ^ 1922-Year Radio's Population Soared-Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.'s parents at radio station WSB, Atlanta, in 1922. Broadcasting. May 14, 1962. p. 119. Retrieved March 6, 2014. (PDF)
  4. ^ Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., My Dinner of Herbs, Limelight Editions, 2004.
  5. ^ TBN – Trinity Broadcasting Network
  6. ^ Gemstones of America
  7. ^ a b c Etter, Jonathan (2008). Quinn Martin, Producer: A Behind-the-Scenes History of QM Productions and Its Founder. McFarland. pp. 62–87. ISBN 978-0-7864-3867-9. 
  8. ^ Kessler, Ronald (2003). The Bureau: The Secret History of the FBI. St. Martin's Paperbacks. p. 399. ISBN 978-0-312-98977-4. 
  9. ^ "Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI Inc.". Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  10. ^ a b Robert S. Mueller, III (8 June 2009). "Presentation of Honorary Special Agent Badge to Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.Los Angeles, California". Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  11. ^ "Actor Efrem Zimbalist Jr. honored by FBI". Associated Press. 9 June 2009. 
  12. ^ a b Malan, Roy (2004). Efrem Zimbalist: A Life. Amadeus Press. pp. 139–142. ISBN 978-1-57467-091-2. 
  13. ^ Stanford, Monty (2008). "EZimablist Jr". Christus Rex 1 (5). 
  14. ^ a b c Silversten, Linda (1998). Lives Charmed: Intimate Conversations with Extraordinary People. HCI. pp. 173–194–. ISBN 978-1-55874-593-3. 
  15. ^ Jeannie, Pugh (23 April 1979). "Efrem Zimbalist Jr. Revitalized His Faith Through Christian TV". St. Petersburg Times. 
  16. ^ Mary Evertz, "At 65 Still a Sex Symbol: Veteran Actor Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. is Back on Stage," St. Petersburg (Florida) Times, May 26, 1989.
  17. ^ "The Impact of the Draft Goldwater Committee on the Republican Party". ashbrook.org(archive.org). Retrieved 2013-08-24. 

External links[edit]