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Chapter 12  -  MOVIE STARDOM REDUX  (Mar 1967-Aug 1968)
    "roles that still lack luster"

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This page is currently in a preliminary thumbnail version only. A more detailed page with pictures is in the works....



with production having just ended on 4 seasons on "The Fugitive", Janssen and wife Ellie rest in Palm Springs in their house bordering the Canyon Country Club. Their Beverly Hills Trousdale estates house is sold to producer Don Fedderson ("My Three Sons"). They rent an apartment in the Sierra Towers on the Sunset Strip. The apartment building is known as the "Heartbreak Hotel" as it houses several couples whose marriages are about to be doomed. Singer Buddy Greco and his wife Dani Crayne Greco, a Universal studios classmate of David's during his contract player days, live 2 floors above.

Janssen tries to relax ("I'll play some golf and enjoy the sun. I have no plans at the particular moment; meanwhile I'm talking to all the major studios about film deals, but I'm in no hurry. I am now free of all commitments for the first time since I started a contract with Universal in 1950 (sic). I plan to enjoy not being on the run").

But landing the next job is not far from his mind ("I'd like to do a movie. The guys making them can't keep going with the same people all the time, or can they? I mean how long can they keep using John Wayne?"). Ironically, Janssen's first movie role after "The Fugitive" will be a co-starring role with John Wayne.

may 1 has a filmed screen test opposite Barbra Streisand for the Nicky Arnstein role in ‘Funny Girl’. He is passed over for Omar Sharif.
may takes a European vacation with Ellie. They go via steamship (SS United States) to London with friends Ralph Stolkin, Tony Martin, and Cyd Charisse. The Janssens and also visit Spain on the trip. It's his 1st trip to Europe.
jun 6 is a nominee again for an Emmy award for continued performance by an actor in a dramatic series-loses again to Bill Cosby.
jul goes to the Virgin Islands for another vacation. In the US, the publicity heats up and the tension builds for the approaching wrap up of "The Fugitive" series . Reruns of the 4th season have been airing all summer with the 2-part conclusion, in the can since March, scheduled to air the last 2 Tuesdays in August. Janssen is hired to go to Tanzania to shoot a lion hunting expedition for "The American Sportsman". On the way to Africa, he's reached by his agent Abby Greshler and told that he's wanted in the co-starring role in "The Green Berets".
aug reports to work to Ft. Benning in Georgia for "The Green Berets". Ellie spends some time at the Abby Greshler vacation home in the South of France, then joins her husband for a short visit on location for their 9th wedding anniversary (Aug 23rd) before returning to LA.
aug 29

the last ‘Fugitive’ broadcast is aired and Dr. Richard Kimble is vindicated with much of America watching.

Janssen's watches from his location accomodations at the Camellia Motel in Columbus, Georgia.

On the Joey Bishop show which is broadcast right after the show, a split screen interview with Janssen is shown.

Taped hours before the FUGITIVE finale is broadcast, Janssen is disinclined to spill the beans.

Pressed for an answer by Bishop on how it all will wrap up Janssen quips, "I killed her, Joey. She talked too much"

listen to the interview


concludes work on "The Green Berets". On a weekend off from shooting Janssen charters a plane and takes stunt man Eddie Donno and others to Las Vegas. His wife Ellie meets them there.

nov tapes a Bob Hope special at UCLA.


jan 24

Presents an award at his alma mater Fairfax High School to the outstanding member of the Dramatics Department. The award intends to be an annual event and is named the 'David Janssen Dramatics Award.'  

David had occasion to speak to newspaper columnist Abe Grunberg of the Hollywood Citizen-News this day and reminisce about the life changing event which occured 20 years earlier on the campus. It spawned a letter which was published in the paper. (link)    

feb leaves for Rome for ‘The Shoes of the Fisherman’ in a supporting role. He lives in a villa on the Via Appia Antica that Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor once occupied. During his time there, he entertains visiting friends like James Farentino & Michelle Lee and Buddy & Dani Greco.   
may 30 on The Joey Bishop Show again--this time in person in Hollywood and for Photoplay's 46th Annual Gold Medal Awards. Janssen accepts absent Paul Newman's Actor of the Year Award. He wears a black Nehru jacket with a green turtleneck causing Bob Hope to comment. A party occured afterwards at Arthur's discotheque.
jun-jul shooting a new film ‘Where It’s At’ which shoots in part in Las Vegas. Janssen has a starring role. The female lead is an attractive blond ingenue named Rosemary Forsyth. While shooting on the film, wife Ellie has a health scare in California and developes with a serious thyroid problem which requires surgery. (check with VG/who are you? story)
jun 23 in Seattle to participate in a Pat Boone celebrity golf classic at Ocean Shores.
jul 4 makes a short trip to Atlanta for the premiere of "The Green Berets".
summer starts to build a spectacular Palm Springs home on a hilltop lot he owns near Bob Hope. Due to circumstances about to unfold the house project is never completed.
aug on his 10th wedding anniversary, at a party at the Grecos, David leaves the marriage telling Ellie that he is in love with his 'Where It's At" co-star Rosemary Forsyth.


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