Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (1918-2014) was an American actor best known for his role of secret agent Professor “Stu” Bailey in the television series 77 Sunset Strip.
He was born in Brooklyn to celebrated Russian-born violinist Efrem Zimbalist Sr. and his wife, Romanian-born operatic soprano Alma Gluck. After a distinguished military service during World War II – he won a Bronze Medal, a Combat Infantryman Badge and a Purple Heart – he returned to New York to pursue a career in the theater. In 1954, he joined the new medium of television, appearing in the daytime serial Concerning Miss Marlowe.
In 1956, he moved to Hollywood, where he won his first recurring role playing a gambler in the spoof Western Maverick. 77 Sunset Strip soon followed, as did the equally popular spy series The F.B.I. Although his career was to remain predominantly in television, it was for the film Too Much, Too Soon, the story of the actress Diana Barrymore, that he won the Golden Globe for New Star of the Year – Actor in 1959.
He was married twice, to Emily Munroe McNair, who died in 1950, and to Loranda Spalding, who died in 2007, and had three children, including actress Stephanie Zimbalist.
He died of natural causes at the age of 95.