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Roger Smith (1932 - 2017)

Getty / Nigel Dobinson

Roger Smith (1932 - 2017)

Roger Smith, the actor known best as the hip TV private detective on the series "77 Sunset Strip," died Sunday, June 4, 2017, in Los Angeles of complications from Parkinson’s disease, according to multiple news sources. He was 84.

Smith also starred on the 1960s comedy series "Mister Roberts."


He played the former government agent turned private detective Jeff Spencer on "77 Sunset Strip," which ran from 1958 to 1963. His co-stars were Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and Edd "Kookie" Byrnes. Smith went on to manage the career of his wife of more than 50 years, the actress, singer, and Las Vegas entertainer Ann-Margret.

He went on to manage the career of his wife of more than 50 years, the actress and singer Ann-Margret.


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Roger LaVerne Smith was born Dec. 18, 1932, in South Gate, California. He graduated from the University of Arizona at Tucson, which he attended on a football scholarship.

He began his acting career in the late 1950s, signing first with Columbia Pictures before moving to Warner Bros. In 1958, his first TV appearance was in an episode of "Wagon Train."

After "77 Sunset Strip," Smith starred as Lieutenant Douglas Roberts on "Mister Roberts," a comedy series on NBC from 1965 to 1966.

He retired from acting in the 1980s after being diagnosed with myasthenia gravis. He managed Ann-Margret's entertainment career, producing her Las Vegas shows.

Smith’s first marriage, to actress Victoria Shaw, ended in divorce. He is survived by his second wife, Ann-Margret, and three children from his first marriage, daughter Tracey and sons Jordan and Dallas.

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