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Actor Jack Bannon Dies at 77

Former 'Lou Grant' Actor was the Son of 'Petticoat Junction' Star Bea Benaderet

Jack Bannon, who is remembered for his role as assistant city editor Art Donovan on 1977-82 CBS drama “Lou Grant,” died Wednesday in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, according to a report in The Spokesman-Review. He had lived in the town with his wife, actress Ellen Travolta — the older sister of John Travolta — since 1995. He was 77.

Born on June 14, 1940, Bannon was the son of “Petticoat Junction” star Bea Benaderet, and Jim Bannon, who played the cowboy Red Ryder in four 1940s movies.

Bannon graduated in 1963 from UC Santa Barbara, where he studied acting, and was hired as a dialogue coach on “Petticoat Junction.” In addition to multiple appearances on “Petticoat Junction,” Bannon guest starred in series like “Judd for the Defense,” “The Andy Griffith Show,” “The Beverly Hillbillies,” “Daniel Boone,” “Here’s Lucy, “Mannix,” “Kojak” and “The Rockford Files.” Following Lou Grant,” Bannon co-starred in one season ABC drama “Trauma Center” in 1983, and appeared as a guest star in series like “Knots Landing,” “St. Elsewhere,” “Falcon Crest,” “Hunter” and “Night Court.”

Bannon also showed up on the big screen in “Whatever Happened to Aunt Alice?” (1969), “Little Big Man” (1970), “Death Warrant” (1990) and “Da Vinci’s War” (1993). Bannon also spent two decades in the company of the Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre, often alongside his wife Ellen Travolta.

Bannon’s other survivors include his sister Maggie and stepchildren Molly and Tom.

Written by Marc Berman

Marc Berman

Marc Berman has been writing professionally since 1999 and is the author of weekly column “Mr. Television” for Campaign US (www.campaignlive.com). Most recently, Berman was the creator and Editor-in-Chief of website and newsletter TV Media Insights for Cross MediaWorks. From 1999-2011, he was the Senior Editor for Mediaweek and has also written for The New York Daily News, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Emmy Magazine, among others. Berman has also appeared on “Entertainment Tonight,” “Extra,” “Access Hollywood,” “Inside Edition,” “The CBS Evening News,” E!, CNN, CNBC, Fox News and MSNBC.

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