John Ericson, who starred in 'Honey West', dies from pneumonia at age 93

Born as Joachim Alexander Ottokar Meibes on September 25, 1926, in Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, Ericson emigrated with his family to the US to escape the Nazis as they rose to power


                            John Ericson, who starred in 'Honey West', dies from pneumonia at age 93
John Ericson (Wikimedia Commons)
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German-American film and television actor John Ericson died on Sunday, May 3, at the age of 93. Per a report in The Hollywood Reporter, Ericson died of pneumonia in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he had been living since the mid-1990s. 

Born as Joachim Alexander Ottokar Meibes on September 25, 1926, in Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, Ericson emigrated with his family to the United States to escape the Nazis as they rose to power.

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He studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York in the same class as Grace Kelly, Jack Palance, and Don Rickles. Ericson is best known for his performances in ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks’, ‘Bad Day at Black Rock’, 'Pretty Boy Floyd', and ‘Shirley Temple's Storybook’.

The rugged, good-looking actor appeared on Broadway in 1951 in the original production of Donald Bevan and Edmund Trzcinski's ‘Stalag 17’, directed by José Ferrer. It was a play based on the Second World War, focussing on the residents of a prisoner-of-war camp. It is based on the playwrights' experiences as prisoners in Stalag 17B in Austria.

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His film debut was ‘Teresa’, directed by Fred Zinnemann. In it, he played a World War II veteran struggling to cope with post-war life after marrying a woman he met in Italy. He starred in many films for MGM, including 'Rhapsody', 'The Student Prince', and 'Green Fire'.

Ericson’s most memorable television performance is ABC's ‘Honey West’ where he played the role of Sam Bolt. And even though the show lasted only one season, it was instrumental in immortalizing him in popular culture. 

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His television career was a long one and included several famous roles in shows such as ‘Wagon Train’, ‘The Fugitive’, ‘Bonanza’, ‘Marcus Welby, M.D.’, ‘Police Woman’, ‘CHiPs’, ‘General Hospital’ and many more. 

The film and TV star was known for his good looks and, according to IMDb, Ericson once posed for the nude centerfold in Playgirl magazine's January 1974 issue.

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Ericson was married twice and has two children from his first marriage to Milly Coury (1953). In 1974, he married Karen Huston Ericson. Per IMDb, Ericson was also in a relationship with Anne Bancroft in the early 1950s before his 1st marriage.