Actor Roger Smith, who starred in “77 Sunset Strip,” has passed away at the age of 84.
Actress Ann-Margret stated that the actor passed away on Sunday morning at a Los Angeles hospital after he suffered from terminal illness, which was the nerve disease myasthenia gravis.
The actor began his career in the 1950s when James Cagney discovered him and introduced him to the industry of filmmaking. He fought a battle with two serious illnesses to launch a second career after “77 Sunset Strip”; he worked as the manager of his second wife, Ann-Margret.
Smith told the Los Angeles Times that the show’s purpose was to give an impression or to promote to the idea that private investigators were well-trained and serious, which proves that he was not a fan of the TV’s regular detectives, who are always with “dangling cigarettes and large chips on their shoulders.” Moreover, he believed that he was recommended because he did not look like a detective.
Late Smith’s wife was the singer, dancer, and actress of “Bye Bye Birdie,” ”Viva Las Vegas” and other films. The pair tied the knot quietly in Las Vegas in 1967. Smith also loved her madly that he stopped his acting career to manage hers.
“Now in Roger I’ve found all the men I need rolled into one — a father, a friend, a lover, a manager, a businessman,” she told writer Rex Reed in 1972. “It’s perfect for me. I couldn’t exist without a strong man.”
In late 1972, Smith told Reeds that his wife could not quit her role.
Roger LaVerne Smith was born in 1932 in South Gate, near Los Angeles. His parents believed that he had the potentials of being a great actor so they enrolled him in a professional school in Hollywood where he sang and danced at the age of 6.