Fast Facts

  • Made his (unbilled) film debut at 14 in Sonja Henie's It's a Pleasure, playing Davey, a boy referee.
  • Signed at 18 to a 20th Century Fox contract, later dropped; signed by Universal, appeared in over 30 supporting roles before his big break, starring in the TV series Richard Diamond, Private Detective (1957-60).
  • The Richard Diamond series was produced by Four Star, whose owner, Dick Powell, had played the private detective on radio (1949-52) and chose Janssen to play the role on TV.
  • Most popular role was Dr. Richard Kimble in The Fugitive (1963-67); its final episode drew a then-record audience.
  • Tested to play Nicky Arnstein, opposite Barbra Streisand, in Funny Girl (after Streisand refused to take second billing to first choice Frank Sinatra).
  • Died of a heart attack at 48; among his pallbearers were Gene Kelly, Gregory Peck, Milton Berle, Richard Harris and Rod Stewart.

Awards

  • 1966, Emmy — Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Series: Nominee
  • 1965, Golden Globe — Actor in a Television Series: Nominee
  • 1961, Golden Globe — New Star of the Year - Actor: Nominee
  • 1967, Emmy — Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Series: Nominee
  • 1964, Emmy — Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Series: Nominee
  • 1966, Golden Globe — Actor in a Television Series: Winner

Relationships

  • Jill Janssen — Half Sister
  • Teri Janssen — Half Sister
  • Ellie Graham — Ex-wife
  • Eugene Janssen — Stepfather
  • Harold Meyer — Father
  • Berniece Janssen — Mother
  • Dani Crayne — Wife

Details

  • Birth Name: David Harold Meyer
  • Birth Place: Naponee, NE
  • Birthday: March 27, 1931, Aries
  • Died: February 13, 1980
  • Profession: Actor
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