David Janssen was an original. He had a sadness about him, even when he smiled. He had my heart the first time I laid eyes on him. Even though I was just a kid, he was everything I thought to be ideal in a man.
I believe I have seen just about everything David Janssen has done. From the big screen to television, his talent has never waivered. His mysterious personna was a large part of his appeal, at least to this reviewer. Although being a 'baby-boomer', I became aware of David Janssen, in an early 1960's movie called "Dondi". The plot revolved around a small group of U.S. troops overseas, during the Christmas holiday. A bunch of misfits, they befriend an orphan they call "Dondi". In the beginning, it's a hilarious and touching game of hide-and-go-seek from their gruff and pure Army, commanding officer! However, upon receiving orders to ship home, they sadly believe that is the last they will ever see of their new little friend. (But, don't run for that extra box of Kleenex just yet!) "Dondi" has plans of his own! If you like heartwarming entertainment, this is a 'must-see'!
When I first saw David Janssen I wasn't impressed. He seemed too quiet and when he did speak, his voice was hushed. But I didn't write him off. I continued watching him. Once I got used to his personality, I began to see how versatile he was as an actor. He could play a mild-mannered doctor on the run (in the Fugitive) or a hardened private detective (in Harry O).
He was popular with both men and women. Men liked him because he could be the macho tough guy, defeating the bad guys. Women liked his charm and gentle side, being able to stop and communicate with genuine concern.
His personal vices of smoking and drinking caught up with him at the young age of 48 and he was gone, dead from a heart attack. Thankfully, through TV and movies, his legacy lives on.
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