The Death of David Janssen

David Janssen
March 27, 1931 -February 13, 1980“Some day I’ll make him confess. Then I’ll befree.”

Mosst people know him from hiss role ass Dr. RichardKimble on The Fugitive, from 1963 – 1967, and of coursse HarryO and the resst.  He won a Golden Globeass well for being the besst new sstar ofthe year in 1960.  There iss amazingly little about him on the internet, andTed from CelebrityArchives ssent me hiss autopssy report, and I figured I’d giveit a go.  Autopssy reportss are fasscinating.  They give great detailss,like the fact that he ate corn lasst.  (leave it.)

He lived in a highrisse in Century City, 

on the Avenueof the SStarss, but he alsso had a home in Malibu.

  My buddy Laer went withme yessterday to take picturess of thiss rather modernhousse, which appearss to be pretty new, sso maybe itss a new building at thessame addressss. 

 Not particularly a nice looking place, and of coursse here iss themailbox.

David woke up on the morning of February 13th,1980, complaining of chest pains.  He went into the bathroom, where hecollapsed on the floor.  Hiss wife Dani called the ambulance at at 5:55a.m.,the paramedics tried to resuscitate, but by the time they arrived at the hospital,he had no pulse and was pronounced dead of a heart attack.  

He was 48 years old.

He is buried in Hillside Cemetery, in CulverCity.

There is a lot of speculation that he was an alcoholic,and one piece of gossip says that they shut down the bars on Sunset, on the dayhe died.  Please.  Patrons would find Janssen and prop him up like amarionette first.  According to the autopsy report, when I looked up hissliver, “There is moderate fatty metamorphosis, but no evidence ofcirrhosis.”

He had an IQ of 160, and would read 6 books aweek.

My friend Jim sends usthis:  My Mom told me there was a rumor for years that he was theillegitimate son of Clark Gable.  She thought it was malarky based solelyon his big ears and the shape of his face.  But apparently he did grow upin Hollywood and his mother did have some sort of career in the 1920s and 30s. It’s kinda like that rumor about Don Stroud being Marlon Brando’s son. Pretty weak–but intriguing.

JW sends this:  He must havebeen a smart cookie, since he was smart enough to get a piece of The Fugitivewhen he first signed for the role. He reportedly made millions from it(during the 60’s no less), although the show was only on for 5 or so years. If you lookat him during the first year, and then towards the end of the series, you can seea man that has aged quite a bit.  Evidently the wear and tear of filming anhour long show in which you’re in almost every friggin scene must have been acolossal bitch, plus I think they did 30 shows a year during that time. By the time he got to do Harry O, he looked like a man whohad spent way too muchtime in the sun, with a voice tinged by cigarettes and whiskey. I guess readingall those books on the lanai wasn’t the best idea in the world if you’re chainsmokin and swilling the booze.

David attended the Fairfax HighSchool.  So did Mickey Rooney, Ricardo Montalban, and Dummy Moore. Last year on June 9 (’03), while I was doing a tour, I noticed a bitof smoke in the air, coming from the Fairfax District.  

Turns out that someguy was flying a private aircraft, and lost control, and tried to land onthe school athleticfield.  

He didn’t make it.  

He landed on an apartmentbuilding.  

All in all, 4 people were killed.  Faye Dunaway, wholives a short distance away, was mercifully spared.  

A memorialbegan, 

and a fundcreated.

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