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Chapter 14  -  O'HARA US TREASURY  (Sep 1970-Apr 1972)
    "a show for 'Joe Friday'-an old friendship changes"

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

 

1970

oct

David and girlfriend Rosemary Forsyth are now a year into their co-habitation in Coldwater Canyon. Their whirlwind romance has settled some and is replaced with a daily routine and a dose of reality. His feelings on marriage post-divorce have soured ("the cliches don’t work....certainly the pursuit of the house with the white picket fence and kids being brought up in the same place has gone by the boards”).

Differences in style between he and Rosemary are hinted at. On acting: "“When she’s studying for a part she goes completely into character, practices her scenes out loud. I keep wondering who she’s talking to. It drives me mad.” 

Adding to the domestic pressure, David is out of work. His next part as Treasury Agent Jim O'Hara awaits a green light from CBS pending approval of his recently completed pilot. It will be 7 months before he has daily filming commitments again.

nov 4 appears on "The Merv Griffith Show".

nov 13

tapes an appearance on an episode of "The Kraft Music Hall" segment called 'Don Adams Investigates the Detectives'.

1971

winter

with David Janssen's 3rd TV series "O'Hara United States Treasury" approved for production in the summer, David takes a trip to Washington D.C. where the pilot is shown to government officials and David receives an orientation from the Treasury Department. The new Secretary of the Treasury John Connally and Janssen have previously met--they were in Africa together in 1967 on the same "American Sportsman" safari .

mar 26

is announced to co-star on a film "The Alien" at Universal to be squeezed in before the series begins production. Cast is to include Robert Stack and Genevieve Bujold. When Bujold drops out shortly before production begins, the film is delayed and Janssen is no longer available. It will be later made as “The Groundstar Conspiracy” with George Peppard, Christine Belford, and Michael Sarrazin in the part originally earmarked for Janssen.

It is also believed a young director on the Universal lot offers Janssen a part in his first TV movie. The film is "Duel" and the director, Steven Spielberg. Dennis Weaver does the role instead.

apr 2

The series pilot "O'Hara United States Treasury-Operation: Cobra" airs as a 2-hour TV movie.

apr

takes a short trip to Florida and the Bahamas for some big game fishing .

may

signs to do another Excedrin commercial. They will cease when he begins his series.

may 9

is a presenter with Suzanne Pleshette at the Emmy Awards. Seemed more interested in making private comments to his co-presenter assuming the microphones were off than in carrying out his presenter duties. (photo with Lee Grant)

jun

starts filming the run of 22 episodes for his new series which will keep him busy for the rest of the year and into 1972. The studio portion of his work will be at the same Universal studio lot where he got his start 20 years earlier. He's paid $30,000 a week--a nice improvement over the $100 a week of his youth. And the type of star dressing room that he used to pose in front (like the one assigned to Tony Curtis when he was a flegling contact player) is now his own. (photo).

The tabloids will soon report trouble in his relationship with Rosemary with David dating a "O'Hara" guest star, etc.

jul 28

Where the turf meets the surf is where the sh** hits the fan.... David and Rosemary attend the opening of the Del Mar racetrack season with friends the Joey Formans and Dani Greco (who comes without husband Buddy who is performing in Las Vegas). The alcohol-fueled weekend ends badly and the couple splits. (if this was the first running of his horse, it was Aug 11)

aug 11 David's racehorse, Countess Hill, runs in Del Mar. The jockey is Willie Shoemaker and it wins.
aug 18 Countess Hill wins again in Del Mar. It's a claiming race and the horse is purchased. This ends David's foray as a horse owner hobbyist.

aug

David moves out of his Cabrillo Drive house and with nowhere else to go decides to move into his small studio-provided dressing room. It's a bungalow in building 113, a few doors down from Alfred Hitchcock's office. At night, the studio goes quiet and David, probably its only overnight resident, plays his music loud. The living arraigment is convenient but highly unusual. A professional associate comments, "Can you imagine someone who makes thirty thousand a week and he doesn't have his own pot to piss in?". David has a Asian cook named Teruko in his employ.
fall

Dani Greco comes to cook dinner for David at the studio apartment one night. A platonic friend for 18 years, they both were under contact at Universal in the early 50's and Dani and current husband Buddy Greco lived two floor above David and Ellie Janssen at the end of their marriage.

Their friendship takes a unexpected romantic turn despite her still being married. On a short break from "O'Hara" filming, David arranges a secret getaway utilizing the same boat he entertained Rosemary Forsyth and friends on 2 years earlier. On this trip, David is alone with his female guest and the twin beds of the boat's master stateroom are modified, at David's urging, to make it more suitable for a couple.

oct-nov

"O'Hara" filming continues. Janssen plans to build a 7500 sq. foot house on the Southridge Lot in Palm Springs he has retained in his divorce. Architect Edward Giddings has designed an interesting home for the difficult hilltop site. But the project never goes forward.

dec

"O'Hara" filming continues. Janssen appears in public with Dani Greco attending events like the "Nicholas and Alexandria" premiere.

1972

jan 24

David's mother Berniece and nephew Chris Barrere (son of his half sister Jill) come to visit David at the studio during "O'Hara" filming.

It's Chris' 8th birthday and they stay and talk till 2 in the morning.

early feb

end of production on the "O'Hara, United States Treasury" series. The show is not renewed for the coming season and he is now unemployed at Universal and, for all intensive purposes, homeless.

Janssen later acknowledges this show as the only stinker series that he was in but that it had a plus side, "I go straight through Customs..."

feb-apr spends alot of time in Palm Springs to decompress from the rigors of episodic television, a pace he'd not experienced for 5 years. As his former house in the desert was sold at the time of his separation from wife Ellie and his hilltop home project was never realized, secretary Victor Gentile is enlisted to find him temporary lodging. He goes first to the Gene Autry Hotel and then to a rental home.
apr 14 ex-girlfriend Rosemary Forsyth marries Ron Waranch, a man 12 years her senior. It's less than a year since her break up with Janssen

 


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