Black Dahlia: RIP Efrem Zimbalist Jr.

"Who Is the Black Dahlia?"

Efrem Zimbalist Jr., who died yesterday at the age of 95, is better remembered for “77 Sunset Strip” and “The F.B.I.”  He’s probably even better remembered for “The Chapman Report.” But yes, he did portray LAPD Det. Harry Hansen in the 1975 TV movie “Who Is the Black Dahlia?” As far as I know, this film only exists in various bootleg versions. And for the moment, there is a copy on YouTube. The important thing to remember is that many individuals were still living when the movie was made, so their identities and details of the case were changed because of clearance issues.

L.A. Times obituary | N.Y. Times obituary

"Who Is the Black Dahlia?"

And yes, that’s the saintly Tom Bosley as reporter Bevo Means.

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About lmharnisch

I work at the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Film, Hollywood, LAPD, Obituaries and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Black Dahlia: RIP Efrem Zimbalist Jr.

  1. Duane Laible says:

    Efrem Zimbalist was a class act(or).

  2. Pingback: RIP Efrem Zimbalist Jr. | Old Guv Legends

  3. JAMES says:

    I thought that Black Dahlia TV movie was pretty good. Far superior to that Brian DePalma mess. Lucy Arnez was fine in the role which her mother didn’t want her to play. Lucy Arnez portrayed Kitty Genovese, another famous murder victim, in another TV movie.

    • lmharnisch says:

      Again, it’s important to remember that Robert Lenski, the screenwriter, changed numerous details about the case because many people were still alive and the production company couldn’t get clearance to use their names, notably Phoebe Short and Red Manley.

  4. Charles Seims says:

    Well, I finally get to see this movie after nearly 40 years. In 1975 I rented my 1936 Ford coupe to the production company in Burbank. It only appears once, in the scene of the killer calling from the phone booth, parked right next to the booth. They kept the car for a week and for this I got a couple of hundred bucks. They left the windows down in the rain, spilled coffee on the seat, smashed in the tire cover and broke off a bumper guard. I don’t know where they took it for filming. I fixed the car but it wasn’t worth it and I will never do that again.

    • lmharnisch says:

      I’m afraid movie cars don’t get treated very well. Years ago I encountered some young guy driving an old Studebaker en route to a movie shoot. For some reason, we were discussing the car (a rental from a movie supply house) and as I recall now, the radiator was bone dry. He couldn’t have cared less. The only important thing was to get the car on the set and shoot it. If they wrecked the engine, so what?

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