My Poetic Path

My journey…shared in poems, prose and photos.

Remembering A Star: Happy Birthday David Janssen



David Janssen would have been 81 years old today.

Tragically, he died at the young age of 48. But his outstanding work as an actor on TV and in numerous movies will live on forever.

Joe and I have been watching and enjoying The Fugitive series (the show that made David Janssen a TV star and a household name) on DVD’s in the past few months. The complete series was not available until a couple of years ago. And with its release, the interest in David Janssen’s work once again came to the attention of fans from long ago. New fans too (young and old) and many people who were not even alive when the original series aired in the 1960’s.

I was a kid at the time but I still remember the excitement of watching the series then. All the way to the final show (which at the time broke all  U.S. audience records for any TV episode). When the quest for the one-armed man comes to an end and Dr. Richard Kimble (David Janssen’s character) is finally vindicated after being wrongly convicted of murdering his wife.

It was always rumoured that The Fugitive was loosely based on the real life story of Dr. Sam Sheppard and the wrongful conviction for the murder of his wife but the producers of The Fugitive denied any connection to this real life story. The similarities are certainly there.

What remains fresh and relevant watching this series again: The superb acting skills of David Janssen. The stellar supporting cast including the late, great Barry Morse who brillantly portrayed Lieutenant Gerard, who is obsessed with the re-capture of Dr. Kimble, week after week.

Also, many of the values of that era, still ring true. Many times, Dr. Kimble puts himself into danger of being caught, hurt or killed, simply to follow his ethics and moral code as a doctor of medicine, first and foremost. The beliefs that never leave him. To do “the right thing” when it is the hardest choice of all.

And there is the nostalgia of watching the day-to-day realities of life in the 60’s. The people who helped and believed in the innocence of Dr. Kimble in spite of the danger to themselves. Seeing the portrayal of children in this simpler time too. Not all good but so much that is. Heartwarming, in a bittersweet way, in spite of the sadness of the plight of the lead character and the challenges that he faces, week after week. It all adds up to a series that is as entertaining now as it was all those years ago. And seeing it as an adult, gives a whole new dimension to the enjoyment too.

Happy Birthday David.  You will never be forgotten.


Sources: David Janssen at Wikipedia. The David Janssen Archive site. Photo courtesy of Flickr

Author: Geraldine

I am a freelance writer, poet, artisan, avid book/product reviewer and award-winning cookbook author. I recently published the second volume of my new vegetarian cookbook series: -The Groovy Green Kitchen II: Simply, Super, Supper Soups and my fun and inspirational book, all about aging well: -Laughing AT the Grim Reaper! Gems of Wisdom for Aging Well I am also the author of: -The Groovy Green Kitchen: Weeknight Veggie Slow Cooker -Third Chapter, Second Chance (a mid-life romance) -Not Just for Vegetarians: Delicious Homestyle Cooking, the Meatless Way and the poetry collections: -Haiku Reflections:The Four Seasons (Volume i and II) and -My Poetic Path All titles available at, .ca, UK.... When I'm not writing or creating new recipes, I love to knit and crochet; usually with some "help" from feline friend, yarn-loving Mr. Cheddar! I hope you will visit and enjoy all of my blogs.Thanks for stopping by. Wishing You a Happy Week and Namaste! :-) You can also visit me at my new author's site:

8 thoughts on “Remembering A Star: Happy Birthday David Janssen

  1. a nice post to honor David. so kind of you~

  2. nice tribute…i have seen some of the old fugitive episodes…why is it so many are cut down before their time…

  3. Happy Birthday Dave. It is so sad that he’s not here and that he died at such a young age. So much talented wasted. He was (still is) such a popular actor.

  4. Thank you, Geraldine, for this nice tribute to David Janssen. I watched a few of his episodes back in the seventies. I had forgotten that he was portraying a doctor and so thanks for that reminder too. 🙂

    Thank you also for peeking in on my row of doggy dishes and dogs. Mr. Cheddar would dig right In, I am sure. That said, our Amber doesn’t as she is a timid cat.

    I am sitting out of OSI this week. It is tax time for me plus there are other things piling up for me to do.

  5. Hi Tammie, So glad you enjoyed it.

    Hi Brian, Yes, it is sad that so many talented people are lost to this world much too soon. Apparently David Janssen was a workaholic and pushed himself very hard. Add in lots of cigarettes and booze…a recipe for disaster. I wish he was still here.

    Hi Joe, That’s the one bright note; the work of an artist will live on forever.

    Hi Jim, Glad you could stop by too Jim. Your doggie-dish post was too cute. 🙂

    Hugs, G

  6. Geraldine,
    I have memories of watching The Fugitive regularly with Mom.
    I”m sure we both had a crush on him, and as well, as you remind us here, there was lots of quiet heroism and good deeds in this show.

  7. Yeah, he was pretty easy on the eyes! 😉

    I love that story about you and your mom. A nice memory I’m sure for you too.

    My grandma also loved David Janssen. Having two sons that were young doctors at that time, was a part of the appeal, I think.

    Happy Weekend, G

  8. Thank you so much for that tribute to David Janssen. We still talk about his amazing acting ability on The Fugitive group online. His performances as Dr. Kimble were so sensitive and brought the character to life as no other actor would have been able to do. That’s why, I think, so many people all over the world were (and still are) Fugitive fans.

    Your observations were very astute. I agree that watching it again is indeed heartwarming but also bittersweet, and it’s sad to watch a way of life that we’ll never see again. Thank you again for remembering a star and a great actor.

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