‘F.B.I.’ Actor Was 90  – The Srdtf News

‘F.B.I.’ Actor Was 90  – The Hollywood Reporter

William Reynolds, who portrayed crime-stopping Special Agent Tom Colby opposite Efrem Zimbalist Jr. on the final seven seasons of the ABC crime drama The F.B.I., has died. He was 90.

Reynolds died Wednesday in Wildomar, California, from non-COVID 19 complicated pneumonia, a family spokesperson announced.

The Los Angeles native also starred in three other series, all short-lived: as the trumpet player on the 1959 NBC drama Pete Kelly’s Blues, created by Jack Webb; on ABC’s The Islanders, a 1960-61 adventure show set in the East Indies; and on the World War II-set The Gallant Men, which ran on ABC from 1962-63.

In 1960, Reynolds memorably played a WWII officer who can’t ignore an ominous light on the faces of his men destined to be killed in the acclaimed Twilight Zone season-one episode “The Purple Testament.”

On the big screen, he appeared in the Douglas Sirk-directed melodramas All That Heaven Allows (1955) and There’s Always Tomorrow (1956); worked with Donald O’Connor and a mule in Francis Goes to West Point (1952); and starred in the cult sci-fi film The Thing That Couldn’t Die (1958).

After making guest appearances on the first two seasons of The F.B.I., from Warner Bros. Television and producer Quinn Martin, Reynolds won the break of his career when he was hired in 1967 to play Colby alongside Zimbalist as Inspector Lewis Erskine.

He stayed with the show through its 1974 conclusion, then turned his back on Hollywood and became a successful businessman.

Born William de Clerq Regnolds on Dec. 9, 1931, Reynolds appeared in three films in 1951: Dear Brat, No Questions Asked and, as the son of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel (James Mason), in The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel.

In 1952, Reynolds signed a contract with Universal Pictures and played the son of Laurence Olivier’s character in Carrie and Mustapha, the best friend of Tony Curtis’ Kashma Baba, in The Son of Ali Baba. Those were just two of the seven movies he appeared in that year.

After military service in Japan during the Korean War, Reynolds returned to Universal and co-starred in the supernatural thriller Cult of the Cobra (1955), followed by turns in Away All Boats (1956), The Land Unknown (1957), Mister Cory (1957) and The Big Beat (1958).

An encounter with Webb led to a more productive career in series television, and his small-screen résumé included guest-star stints on Bronco, The Millionaire, Wagon Train, The Roaring 20’s, Cheyenne, Dragnet and Maverick.

In February 1960, Reynolds and Richard L. Bare, creator of The Islanders, were injured when their plane crashed in the Caribbean after they filmed an episode of the series. The pair, along with two others, survived after swimming four miles to the coast of Jamaica.

He was married for 42 years to actress Molly Sinclair until her death in 1992. 

Survivors include their children, Carrie (and her husband, Brian) and Eric (and his wife, Nikki); grandchildren Anthony and Nicholas; and great-grandchild Gianni.

A public memorial service and tribute will be held at 1 p.m. on Sept. 10 at the Miller Jones Menifee Memorial Park in Menifee, California.

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