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Chapter 13  -  TABLOID FODDER  (Aug 1968-Sep 1970)
    "a messy divorce-a blond correspondent"

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David just separated from wife Ellie finds temporary digs at friend Ralph Stolkin’s house, then moves to the Beverly Hills Hotel. He borrows $10,000 from the Bank of California using his Lamborghini as collateral.
fall does some healthy spending on girlfriend Rosemary Forsyth and her toddler daughter fathered by her husband, actor Michael Tolan. This will come back to haunt him in his divorce trial. David eventually leaves the hotel and rents a house at 1240 La Collina Drive with a view of the Sierra Towers apartment building where he lived with his wife Ellie. Rosemary will, after maintaining a separate residence for a time, move in.
nov announced for a film for producer Dino DeLaurentiis called "5 SOBs" also to shoot in Italy. This film is cancelled and David will sue and settle out of court over his negotiated salary.
nov 13 In New York City solo for the "Shoes of the Fisherman" premiere is introduced to Brigitte Bardot which leads, some close to Janssen believe, to a one-night stand.
dec begins a heroic role in the Columbia movie "Marooned" with an all-star ensemble cast which includes Gregory Peck and Gene Hackman. Divorce preparations get underway with Ellie filing for separate maintenance citing extreme cruelty.
dec 13 at a luncheon of the Southern California Motion Picture Council accepts a family film award on behelf of M-G-M and "The Shoes of the Fisherman".


jan 23

invited to Fairfax High School to present the 2nd Annual David Janssen Dramatics Award. Not known if he makes this ceremony, but a recipient, Andee Rabyne, does visit the "Marooned" set to receive her award over the next few weeks.

jan-feb completes work on "Marooned" with some shooting taking place in Florida.

takes a trip to Paradise Island in the Bahamas with Rosemary Forsyth staying at the Brittanica Beach Hotel (now called Atlantis). They register as Mr. and Mrs.


films a starring role in a film for Avco Embassy and producer Joe Levine called "Generation". In it he plays a young grandfather. The film shoots partially in New York City where Janssen and Forsyth stay in his favorite NY hotel , the Carlyle. Henry Fonda had created the role on Broadway.

The Palm Springs home, the former weekend sanctuary of married David and Ellie Janssen is sold as he further divests, materially and emotionally, from his married life.

may 20

intends to trade his Piper Turbo plane in for a Lear Jet 24A. It would have cost him the trade-in and $500,000. He doesn't go through with the deal.

jun 12 in a meeting in David's lawyer Arthur Crowley's office, Ellie’s attorneys communicate Ellie needs more than $8300 monthly to maintain her lifestyle. David’s attorneys communicate she will no longer receive money from David. In the coming weeks, Ellie will arrive at some of her regular spots (the Factory nightclub and Matteo’s restaurant for example) to learn David's business manager Fred Barman has sent letters of non-responsibility.
jun 17 David's paternal grandmother Myra Wert Meyer dies in Nebraska.
jun 24 Ellie signs a ‘supplement complaint for divorce’ citing adultery in California and Nevada with Rosemary Forsyth and other Jane Does.

Rosemary lands a job in Miami on "How Do I Love Thee?" opposite Jackie Gleason. David, who is between films, plays the movie star boyfriend on location influencing her to move out of modest accommodations into luxurious (and expensive) ones at the Fontainbleu Hotel.

aug tapes a Lena Horne special on which he sings. Also tapes a Dean Martin appearance and episodes of the game show "The Movie Game" on which he plays with Rosemary.
aug PHOTOPLAY magazine publishes a home shoot of David and Rosemary together at the La Collina Drive house causing publicist Frank Liberman to fire off an angry letter. The pictures were supposed to be held until after the divorce was final.
sep begins rental of an architecturally-significant house owned by actor Laurence Harvey in the Coldwater Canyon section of Beverly Hills (1196 Cabrillo Drive). Rosemary and her daughter move in full time with him. The move to this house and the lifestyle it implies is a fantasy fulfilled for Janssen. The spending frenzy continues with David dropping $8575 for sterling silver at Beverly Hills' David Orgel store.
oct around court depositions, David charters a boat, the "Sea Diamond", and hosts Rosemary and friends James Farentino & Michelle Lee, Mr. and Mrs. Joey Forman, and Argentine polo player Manuel Rojas and wife Terry on a trip to Mexico. David will charter this same boat to clandestinely take future wife Dani away when his relationship with Rosemary dissolves in 2 years time.
dec A bearded Janssen reports to work in Cuaulta, Morales, Mexico for ‘Macho Callahan’, a 2nd starring role in an Avco Embassy picture.



finishes his filming in Mexico on the 'Macho Callahan' film and returns to California.


many court appearances in Santa Monica court as his divorce trial begins. It is revealed that since his separation in August of 1968, has had to pay back $44, 200 in Vegas gambling debts.

apr 29

Judge Richard Wells files his decision in the Janssen divorce trial and Ellie is awarded $3750 a month alimony, a big reduction from the amount she was seeking. However, David is punished for misappropriated expenditures made to Rosemary and thus unfairly reducing the community property in the amount of almost $36,000. The rest of the community property is divided.

Though a small victory, David makes his feelings known, particularly with respect to losing 1/2 of his 20% of the profits from "The Fugitive": “I think it’s unfair, I think a woman deserves alimony and in some cases community property. But I was the one who got up every morning at six. She may have had mental strain, but I had mental and physical. I’ll tell you.”


rumors of marriage plans abound, David addresses them: "I’ve come to the conclusion I’ll take one thing at a time. Besides, the state doesn’t need my $2.”

There has also been a persistent rumor that Rosemary is pregnant with child. Janssen's loyal secretary Victor Gentile (photo) humors Rosemary with this comment: "According to the talk you’ve been pregnant for 2 years. You must have the gestation period of an elephant."

may 16

appears at the Astrodome for a non-televised Bob Hope benefit to raise money for a memorial youth center for deceased Astronaut Ed White. Participated in two musical numbers, "Showmanship" and "We All Love Those Wonderful Guys" in which he performs with Hope and esteemed company Gregory Peck and Cary Grant. Janssen still sports his "Macho Callahan" beard growth at this appearance.

jun 6

again presents the David Janssen Dramatics Award at Fairfax High School to the outstanding Drama Student.

jun films his first television movie "Night Chase" under the shooting title of "The Man in the Back Seat". Some filming takes place in San Diego.
jun 18 is announced for a forthcoming TV project with Jack Webb called "Treasury Agent".
aug 25 David Janssen's divorce from wife Ellie becomes final, 3 years after his initial separation.
early sep

tapes "Highlights of the Ice Capades" special in Atlantic City. Shoots another in his series of commercials for Excedrin there. He has been their spokesperson since late 1969 in a contract according to divorce disclosures worth approximately $60,000.

sep 17 tapes a guest appearance on "Dinah's Place".
sep 19 The Fugitive, now off the air for 3 years, begins its syndication run.

begins filming the pilot on his previously-announced Jack Webb project now entitled "O’Hara, US Treasury".

Just a year earlier had said, “Don’t let anyone ever tell you that (working in a series) is all kinds of fun and how much they love it. Those are publicity lines. It’s mentally, physically, and professionally a drain. I don’t know what kind of show would make me do it again.” It appears he's found one that he considers worthy. Or could it be that he's depleted enough financially that he needs the steady work...




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