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R.I.P. Jack Bannon of 'Lou Grant' and 'Petticoat Junction'

Bannon passed away on October 25 at the age of 77.

Image: The Everett Collection

On The Mary Tyler Moore Show spin-off Lou Grant, actor Jack Bannon played assistant city editor Art Donovan. He's the first person to catch Lou Grant's attention when he comes in for his first day at the Los Angeles Tribune offices. Grant mistakes Donovan for the current city editor, the one who he's been hired to replace. When he's told Donovan is the assistant city editor just filling in, Grant nods and eventually takes his seat across from his assistant. Then we see Donovan, ready to pass the torch to his new editor, with a friendly nod and light joke that sums up his role on the show that unexpectedly took a sharp dramatic turn away from Mary Tyler Moore's workplace comedy vibes. For his part, Bannon delivered this even-tempered character through every arc right up to the series finale.

Bannon became a TV staple after he broke into acting at 24 with his first role on the 1964 series Karen. From there, he appeared on episodes of a variety of classic shows, including The Andy Griffith Show, The Beverly Hillbillies, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Green Acres and many more. He also showed up in more than a dozen episodes of Petticoat Junction, a show that starred his actress mom, Bea Benaderet. Both his parents were TV stars. His father Jim Bannon was the star of the 1951 series Red Ryder. When Jack Bannon sought a wife, he chose an actress, too, marrying Ellen Travolta, sister of John Travolta.

After Lou Grant ended in 1982, Bannon continued working on TV, appearing on shows like Newhart, Matlock, and St. Elsewhere on through the 1980s. The '90s saw him on Charles in Charge, Night Court, MacGyver, and The Golden Girls. It seems there isn't a hit show that didn't pull his talents in. His final role was for a film due out in February 2018 called Mistrust, which he stars in alongside his wife Ellen and actress Jane Seymour.

Bannon passed away on October 25, 2017, at the age of 77.

People we have lost in 2017

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DINA MERRILL, THE BILLIONAIRE HEIRESS WHO PLAYED BATMAN VILLAIN CALAMITY JAN

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RICHARD HATCH of 'BATTLESTAR GALACTICA'

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Chuck Barris, host of 'The Gong Show'

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ELENA VERDUGO OF 'MARCUS WELBY, M.D.'

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CURT LOWENS, HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR, WAR HERO AND 'HOGAN'S HEROES' ACTOR

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FILM HISTORIAN ROBERT OSBORNE

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CHELSEA BROWN OF 'ROWAN & MARTIN'S LAUGH-IN'

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QUINN O'HARA OF 'THE GHOST IN THE INVISIBLE BIKINI'

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PETER HANSEN OF 'GENERAL HOSPITAL' AND 'GOMER PYLE, U.S.M.C.'

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  • ADAM WEST, TV'S BELOVED BATMAN
  • Mary Tyler Moore
  • BARBARA HALE OF 'PERRY MASON'
  • Roger Moore
  • ERIN MORAN OF 'HAPPY DAYS' AND 'JOANIE LOVES CHACHI'
  • DINA MERRILL, THE BILLIONAIRE HEIRESS WHO PLAYED BATMAN VILLAIN CALAMITY JAN
  • Mike Connors, star of 'Mannix'
  • Don Rickles
  • RICHARD HATCH of 'BATTLESTAR GALACTICA'
  • MICHAEL PARKS OF 'THEN CAME BRONSON' AND 'TWIN PEAKS'
  • Chuck Barris, host of 'The Gong Show'
  • Roger Smith of '77 Sunset Strip'
  • ELENA VERDUGO OF 'MARCUS WELBY, M.D.'
  • CURT LOWENS, HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR, WAR HERO AND 'HOGAN'S HEROES' ACTOR
  • JUDGE JOSEPH WAPNER OF 'THE PEOPLE'S COURT'
  • FILM HISTORIAN ROBERT OSBORNE
  • Dick Gautier, Hymie the Robot from 'Get Smart'
  • LAWRENCE MONTAIGNE OF 'STAR TREK'
  • LOLA ALBRIGHT OF 'PETER GUNN'
  • CHELSEA BROWN OF 'ROWAN & MARTIN'S LAUGH-IN'
  • QUINN O'HARA OF 'THE GHOST IN THE INVISIBLE BIKINI'
  • PETER HANSEN OF 'GENERAL HOSPITAL' AND 'GOMER PYLE, U.S.M.C.'
  • JUNE FORAY, THE VOICE OF ROCKY THE FLYING SQUIRREL
  • RED WEST, THE ELVIS PRESLEY BODYGUARD WHO PLAYED THE PERFECT TV TOUGH GUY
  • JOHN CYGAN OF 'THE COMMISH' AND 'BOB'
  • MIGUEL FERRER, SON OF JOSÉ FERRER AND ROSEMARY CLOONEY
  • Francine York, 'Batman' actress and 1960s star
  • BRUCE LANSBURY, BROTHER OF ANGELA, PRODUCER OF 'WONDER WOMAN' AND 'WILD WILD WEST'
  • JEFFREY HAYDEN, DIRECTOR OF ALL OF OUR FAVORITE TV EPISODES
  • ADAM WEST, TV'S BELOVED BATMAN
  • Mary Tyler Moore
  • BARBARA HALE OF 'PERRY MASON'
  • Roger Moore
  • ERIN MORAN OF 'HAPPY DAYS' AND 'JOANIE LOVES CHACHI'
  • DINA MERRILL, THE BILLIONAIRE HEIRESS WHO PLAYED BATMAN VILLAIN CALAMITY JAN
  • Mike Connors, star of 'Mannix'
  • Don Rickles
  • RICHARD HATCH of 'BATTLESTAR GALACTICA'
  • MICHAEL PARKS OF 'THEN CAME BRONSON' AND 'TWIN PEAKS'
  • Chuck Barris, host of 'The Gong Show'
  • Roger Smith of '77 Sunset Strip'
  • ELENA VERDUGO OF 'MARCUS WELBY, M.D.'
  • CURT LOWENS, HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR, WAR HERO AND 'HOGAN'S HEROES' ACTOR
  • JUDGE JOSEPH WAPNER OF 'THE PEOPLE'S COURT'
  • FILM HISTORIAN ROBERT OSBORNE
  • Dick Gautier, Hymie the Robot from 'Get Smart'
  • LAWRENCE MONTAIGNE OF 'STAR TREK'
  • LOLA ALBRIGHT OF 'PETER GUNN'
  • CHELSEA BROWN OF 'ROWAN & MARTIN'S LAUGH-IN'
  • QUINN O'HARA OF 'THE GHOST IN THE INVISIBLE BIKINI'
  • PETER HANSEN OF 'GENERAL HOSPITAL' AND 'GOMER PYLE, U.S.M.C.'
  • JUNE FORAY, THE VOICE OF ROCKY THE FLYING SQUIRREL
  • RED WEST, THE ELVIS PRESLEY BODYGUARD WHO PLAYED THE PERFECT TV TOUGH GUY
  • JOHN CYGAN OF 'THE COMMISH' AND 'BOB'
  • MIGUEL FERRER, SON OF JOSÉ FERRER AND ROSEMARY CLOONEY
  • Francine York, 'Batman' actress and 1960s star
  • BRUCE LANSBURY, BROTHER OF ANGELA, PRODUCER OF 'WONDER WOMAN' AND 'WILD WILD WEST'
  • JEFFREY HAYDEN, DIRECTOR OF ALL OF OUR FAVORITE TV EPISODES

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