DAVID JANSSEN captured the hearts of women, young and old, as the suave, debonaire “RICHARD DIAMOND-Private Detective” (1957-1960). Then in September of 1963, he skyrocketed to International fame as “DR, RICHARD KIMBLE”. Wrongly convicted of murdering his wife, being escorted to Death Row at Indiana State Prison, the huge hand of fate spared him . . . the train derailed . . . allowing him to escape . . . to be free . . . to run . . . and hide . . . and search for the “One Armed Man” (BILL RAISCH), he had seen running from his home the night his wife was killed. He was relentlessly pursued by “Police Lieutenant Phillip Gerard” (BARRY MORSE). As he crisscrossed the country, chasing leads on the whereabouts of the real killer, taking menial jobs, being thrust into situations where he was forced, by the nature of his own character, to help others . . . always looking over his shoulder for the police. On August 29, 1967 . . . The DAY THE RUNNING STOPPED, the world watched in awe and relief . . . “Dr. Richard Kimble” is exonerated . . . and he and Lieutenant Gerard shake hands . . . and without a word, “Dr. Richard Kimble” walks into the sunset.
DAVID JANSSEN went on, as “Journalist George Beckworth” to shadow “Colonel Mike Kirby” (JOHN WAYNE) around the jungles of Viet Nam in “THE GREEN BERETS”. From Viet Nam, he moved onto Rome, Italy, this time as “Television Journalist George Faber”, to report on the ascension of “archbishop Kiril Lakota” (ANTHONY QUINN) to be the new Pope of the Catholic Church in “THE SHOES OF THE FISHERMAN”
Returning to the United States, DAVID JANSSEN took a job with the United States Government, and for a year he was “O’HARA, U. S. Treasury Agent”. Tired of the federal bureaucracy, he moved to San Diego and became an uniformed Police Officer. Shot in the back, as he responded to a “Burglary in Progress” call, a bullet lodged dangerously close to his spine, he was forced to take medical retirement. To supplement his Police pension, he opened his own Private Detective Agency, and “HARRY O” solved cases, many at great risk to his own life, from 1973 to 1976.
DAVID JANSSEN, appeared in Forty-four Feature Films, Twenty Made-for-Television Movies, starred in Four Television series and made countless television Guest appearances in a career spanning thirty-four years.
Sadly, in the early morning hours of Wednesday, 13 February 1980, DAVID JANSSEN succumbed to a massive heart attack at his Malibu Beach home. He had just completed the third day of filming his 21st. Made-for-Television Movie, “FATHER DAMIEN”. Although he had been separated from his second wife, Dani, she had appeared, unexpected and uninvited, the evening before and prepared a dinner for him. Perhaps, she was hoping for a reconciliation.
NOW, thirty-five years after his sudden death, millions of his devoted fans can read the innermost, private thoughts of “TH FUGITIVE”, as recalled bu his good, “non-Hollywood” friend, Michael Phelps.
Topics include his career, his relationships with his mother Berniece Janssen, step-father Gene Janssen, sisters Jill and Teri. His marriage to and bitter divorce from his first wife, Ellie Janssen, many of the top Hollywood Stars, Producers, Directors and Writers with whom he worked. His drinking habits, the two women he truly loves and lost, his turbulent courtship and volatile marriage and planned divorce from his second wife, Dani.
“DAVID JANSSEN~Our Conversations, Volume One-The Early Years (1965-1972( and Volume Two-The Final Years (1973-1980) are now available in Softcover and E-book Editions at all Internet Booksellers and for signed copies at www.MichaelPhelpsNovels.com (David Janssen Books).
Michael Phelps is also co-author, with Ellie Janssen of her memoir, “DAVID JANSSEN-MY FUGITIVE”. Originally published in December of 1994 (Hardcover), with Paperback Editions released in 1995, 1996 and 1997 the book sold in excess of 1.2 million copies world-wide. The Fourth Edition, in Hardcover is available as well.
Since the release on October 31, 2014, DAVID JANSSEN~Our Conversations have received over 21 Five Star Reviews.
I hope you will read Dave’s books and let me know if I have met my objective . . . to give his fans an insight into this extraordinary actor, who was really a sensitive, compassionate man, a ‘down-to-earth’ guy who just wanted to live a ‘ordinary life’, yet his celebrity would not allow him to have an ordinary life. He left us all too soon, but with so many wonderful memories. He lived his short life, His Way.