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Sep 07 2015
ADAM-12's Martin Milner Dies @ 83 Comments (0)
  IMG_1402 08a846911fd70edd209acb62d5807f1d 266451__85106.1342529447.380.500 9451776_ori A0dcae9ca8b7e9ae6ec5e302c5bef4a7 Milner-39 Milner57c

 December 28, 1931—September 6, 2015

Studly, stoic Martin Milner, most famous from TV's Route 66 (1960-1964) and Adam-12 (1968-1975), has died at age 83.

ImgVera026Milner, second from left, cut a mean figure in his swimsuit.

What's so odd about this for me is that last night, I for some reason watched “Murder by the Book,” an engrossing episode of Columbo from 1971. In that episode, Milner played one half of a successful writing team (including a slimy no-talent played by Jack Cassidy) who is cleverly killed off by his partner.

When I was watching, I thought, Did Martin Milner die? and looked him up. Alive. Today, dead.

UnknownColby's Columbo performance was one for the ages.

Also interesting about that episode: It was directed by Steven Spielberg, and it contained a mesmerizing performance by an actress named Barbara Colby. Colby played a lovestruck grocery store owner who lived near Cassidy's love shack/private cabin, and who had the misfortune of clumsily blackmailing Cassidy after witnessing a part of his crime. Her goofy, lusty, affecting performance knocked my socks off—it would have fit right into a Hitchcock classic.

Screen-shot-2014-04-27-at-11-45-24-amColby as a prostitute on The Mary Tyler Moore Show shortly before her death

Sadly, I discovered by Colby, in real life, had been randomly murdered, along with an actor boyfriend, by gang members on July 24, 1975. Her companion, James Kiernan, lived long enough to tell police the shooting had come out of nowhere, and to describe their killers—no one has ever been charged in that case.

Morbid, but interesting.