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Efrem Zimbalist Jr. –

Zimbalist in WAIT UNTIL DARK.

About Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (1918 – 2014)

Efrem Zimbalist Jr. was born on November 30, 1918, in New York City, New York, into a musical, Jewish family. Efrem's parents were also most successfully involved with the arts. His father was Efrem Zimbalist, a famed, Russian-born violinist. His mother, Alma Gluck, was a Romanian opera singer. He grew up in a wealthy household, surrounded with music.

Efrem was sent to strict private boarding prep schools, where he was in school plays, getting a taste of what it meant to be an actor. After he graduated from high school, Efrem enrolled in Yale as a drama student. Unfortunately, Efrem was overwhelmed with all the freedom he had at Yale, and was bounced out twice due to poor grades. Efrem quit college.

After Yale, he worked as an NBC page, and auditioned for minor acting parts in stock theatre and TV. He got his big break after WW2, in 1945, when a friend of his family and a director got him a part in the Broadway play, THE RUGGED PATH, which starred Spencer Tracey.

Once casting agents got a good look at all his talent and personal qualities; good looks, clean-cut, and a baritone voice, smooth as a good liquor, he had no trouble finding work on the Broadway stages. He was readily accepted into the American Repertory Theatre.

His next challenge was becoming a producer of plays. Efrem successfully brought opera to Broadway patrons. The MEDIUM, THE TELEPHONE and THE CONSUL were big hits. In 1950, Efrem received the Pulitzer Prize for best musical for THE CONSUL. He also won the New York Drama Critic's Award for the same operatic play, THE CONSUL.

Efrem suffered some tragedies AND face some hard challenges in his family life. He had to bury both his wives who died of cancer, and also experienced a death of a daughter, Nancy, before his own death.

Efrem married his first wife, Emily Munroe McNair, in December of 1941. They had two children: Nancy Zimbalist and Efrem "Skip" Zimbalist III. Emily died just nine years later, in 1950. Ironically Efrem pulled through after being severely wounded in WW 2, for which he received a Purple Heart, but his wife Emily died too soon.

Efrem found love again after his heart had healed, and married Loranda Stephanie Spaulding in 1956. They had one daughter, Stephanie Zimbalist who followed in her father's footsteps to become an actress. She is best known as Laura Holt in the hit series REMINGTON STEELE.

Efrem began the process in searching for faith, something to hold on to that sustains. After exploring and promoting Transcendental Meditation, as taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Efrem became a devoted Christian, perhaps as a result of meditation.

In 1958, he co-starred in the TV series, 77 SUNSET STRIP;(1958-1964), and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy in 1959, for his performance of a wise-cracking private detective, Stuart Bailey.

In 1990, Efrem played Don Alejandro De La Vega on the TV series, ZORRO.

Another recurring role was on the hit series, HOTEL, where he portrayed the character, Charles Cabot.

A TV favorite, Efrem Zimbalist Jr. has been on several TV series including MAVERICK, THE F.B.I., MIGHTY DUCKS, PICKET FENCES, BABYLON 5, THE NANNY and MURDER SHE WROTE just to name a few.

Because of his fine voice, being the voice of animated characters, and doing narration work became an easy way to make a great living, and have more time with his family and enjoy the moments of life.

To some people, it is the voice of Efrem Zimbalist Jr. that is most recognized. He was the voice of the character, Alfred Pennyworth for a number of animated TV series: JUSTICE LEAGUE, BATMAN, SUPERMAN , SUBZERO, THE BATMAN/SUPERMAN MOVIE and THE NEW BATMAN ADVENTURES.

Another role that Efrem Zimbalist Jr. used his voice for was Dr. Octopus; also known as Dr. Otto Octavius in the SPIDER-MAN TV series.

Efrem Zimbalist Jr. voice was the narrator of many Quinn Martin TV productions. Zimbalist ended many Quinn Martin productions on Sunday nights with a description of a fugitive wanted by FBI agents.

In 1994, Efrem Zimbalist Jr. was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: 7095 Hollywood Boulevard.

In 2004, Efrem Zimbalist Jr. came out of his retirement to be in a stage production called NIGHT OF THE IGUANA with his daughter Stephanie Zimbalist.

Efrem Zimbalist Jr. died on May 2nd, 2014 of natural causes at the ripe old age of 95.

Efrem Zimbalist's notable movie credits include...

HOT SHOTS! (1991)
AIRPORT 1975 (1974)


Efrem Zimbalist Jr. in HOT SHOTS (1991).


Efrem Zimbalist Jr. in WAIT UNTIL DARK (1967).