Roger Smith, ‘77 Sunset Strip’ Star and Ann-Margret’s Husband, Dies at 84

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Roger Smith, who starred in the series “77 Sunset Strip” and was married to actress Ann-Margret, died Sunday in Sherman Oaks. He was 84.

The handsome leading man retired from acting after being diagnosed with myasthenia gravis in 1980. After that, he managed his wife’s career and produced several of her TV specials. The couple had celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on May 8.

On “77 Sunset Strip,” Smith played detective Jeff Spencer, who partnered with Efrem Zimbalist Jr. as his partner. The show ran from 1958 to 1964, though Smith left in 1963. His Spencer character made appearances on other detective shows of the period including “Surfside 6” and “Hawaiian Eye.”

After “77 Sunset Strip” ended its run, Smith had the title role in the comedy series “Mr. Roberts,” adapted from the movie about a World War II Navy lieutenant.

He also appeared in movies including “Man of a Thousand Faces,” “No Time to Be Young” and “Auntie Mame.”

He is survived by his wife, and a daughter and two sons from his first marriage.

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  1. Ann says:

    when i was 16 i was in love with Roger,I visited Los angeles ( i am from the mid west) i actually thought as a member of his fan club that i would get to me him–this was 1962 and i was 16) To this day I Don’t know how my dad pulled if off, but I was in a motel room on sunset strip and the phone rang and Roger was on the other end, I could not believe it. He wanted to meet with me and my parents and my little sister . We got a private meeting that lasted about 1 hour. I was in heaven. We took lots of pictures and he gave us special passes to Warner Brothers where we saw 77 susnset strip being filmed and several other popular shows. I am 70 now and I have treasured that memory my whole life. He was truly the nicest man. My parents were really impressed with him. Rest in peace Roger. I fell like I have lost a family member.

  2. Phyllis Yahola says:

    Of all the comments on Roger Smith, not one person said anything derogatory about him. What a nice legacy. I loved watching him on 77 Sunset Strip.

  3. Vincent Cacaro says:

    So sad for all…our hearts go out to his family. Ann-Margaret, so beatiful and kind, always a lovely lady and half of a great team, I hope you feel a bit of all the happiness and love you created.

  4. laura walker says:

    God be with and Bless Ann Margaret! I am so sorry you lost your husband, and life partner! You were blessed with him for over 50 years. That is so rare in Hollywood, and Says you were meant for each other. In the years to come please try to focus on the wonderful years you you and, not the ones you will never share together. You’re in my prayers Ann Margaret!

  5. Bill B. says:

    Sad, but he has a long life. Feel really bad for the wonderful Ann-Margret. The one left behind has to do the suffering. A wonderful couple.

  6. Jay Raskin says:

    He was my role model when I was 6-10, watching “77 Sunset Strip.” You could tell that he was a nice, ethical, and intelligent person from the way he played his role. I’m glad he had 50 years of marriage to Ann Margret, who is fantastic in every way. I just saw her in “Going in Style,” and fell in fan-love again. I will watch a few episodes of “77 Sunset Strip” tonight and maybe try “Mr. Roberts,” and remember the happiness he brought me and tens of millions of others.

  7. ellen camnetar says:

    I had he pleasure talking to him on the phone many years ago his fan club was looking for a name i called it Just between friends.the prize was a phone call from him was so excited he was my favorite actor loved 77 unset strip just read the article in aarp about him and his marriage to Anne please rip prayers to your family.

  8. My deepest condolences to the entire Smith family. Mr. Smith was a hero both on and off the screen. I recall reading that Ms. Margaret fell from a stage in Las Vegas and sustained severe injuries to her face. Mr. Smith flew through a storm to get her to specialists in LA whose reconstructive surgery restored her beauty. And then she stood by him through decades of myastemia gravis. Not many Hollywood couples last fifty years, but it was clear they truly loved each other–in sickness and in health.

    PS: How much do you folks pay your editors? They’re obviously not earning it. Partnered with as a partner? My five-year-old great-granddaughter would have spotted that!

  9. MR. HARRY D. OSINGA AKA SKIPPER says:

    ROGER WAS MY SECOND FATHER, BOUGHT ME UP WHEN I WAS DOWN/ HE AN ANN MARGRET HAS BEEN IN MY LIFE FOR 40 YEARS, WAS HERE TWO YEARS AGO TO SEE ME AN MOM IN NJ.
    I HAD A STROKE IN FEB AN ANN MARGRET CALLED ME TOO TELL ME THEY LOVED ME AN TO TAKE THINGS EASY, ROGER MADE HIS 50TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY IN MAY.

    I KNOW HE IS LOOKING DOWN ON AM, AN ALL HIS CLOSE FRIENDS,WILL TALK WITH HIM AN ELVIS SOON.

    LOVE YOU ROGER AN ANN MARGRET
    RIP

    YOUR FRIEND ALWAYS
    SKIPPER

  10. MerryMarjie says:

    I had a teenage crush on Roger Smith as he was so good looking, but I ‘gave him up” to Ann Margaret, another of my favorites, and am glad they had a wonderful marriage.

  11. cadavra says:

    “partnered with Efrem Zimbalist Jr. as his partner?” Where’s the copy editor?

  12. judy says:

    Sincere condolences for Ann Margaret and family. What a beautiful marriage you guys had. May God be with you in this horrible time. He was one of my favorites from way back. God Bless…<3

  13. JUDY HUNTER says:

    so sad for Ann-Margaret, both the loves of her life now gone, but I know she would like you to help us get Elvis THE CONGRESSIONAL GOLD AWARD MEDAL, please sign our petition

  14. nubee says:

    I remember Roger Smith of 77 Sunset Strip and Mr. Rogers TV shows and he was gorgeously handsome. These photos don’t even look like him. I’m disappointed. There must be better photos you can find.

    • Thom Augustine says:

      My condolences to Ann-Margret and family. Roger is definitely your true love and he is looking down from heaven and smiling. You and Roger were the classic couple. RIP.

    • bobrzik says:

      Mr. Rogers? Just because his first name was “Roger” doesn’t mean he had anything to do with that children’s show. He didn’t. R.I.P.

  15. George Lewis says:

    R.I.P. & condolences to the family.

  16. R.D. Frable says:

    And this comment belongs here, as opposed to, perhaps remotely, the article on the Apple Music “Planet of the Apps” series review, for what reason exactly?

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