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Actor Jack Bannon Dead At 77

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Actor Jack Bannon has died at age 77.

Jack was best known for his role as Art Donovan, the assistant editor on the hit television series "Lou Grant," The New York Times reported. He died on Oct. 25 in his Idaho home, which has been confirmed by his stepdaughter, Molly Allen.

The show was a spin off of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” It ran on CBS from 1977 to 1982 and also starred Ed Asner. Before that, Jack made appearances on "Daniel Boone," "Kojak," "Here's Lucy," "Mannix," "Trauma Center" and others.

He comes from a line of actors. His mother, Bea Benaderet, starred in sitcoms such as “The Beverly Hillbillies" and “Petticoat Junction.” His father, Jim Bannon, also appeared in numerous movies.

Jack married Ellen Travolta Bannon, John Travolta’s sister. They both worked with the Coeur d’Alene Summer Theater.

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“It was sweet because sometimes he would do small parts in a play at summer theater because he wanted to be part of it, and he’d do two scenes. Another show, he would be the lead,” Allen told The Spokesman-Review. “He just wanted to be a part of it.”

Several actors have since paid tribute to Jack, thanking him for his contributions.

“I have such fond memories of working with Jack on a few different occasions,” Cheyenne Jackson, star of “American Horror Story,” said in a statement. “He had a wonderful ease and confidence about him. He made you feel comfortable in the world and was the epitome of a gentleman.”

“He was always available to any local actor,” added Patrick Treadway, a longtime friend of Jack's. “When he was invited, he was an excellent teacher. He was a master of dialects and he certainly knew his way around acting. But he was not one to force his opinions or his techniques on anyone. If you asked him, he was a wealth of knowledge.”

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Treadway also worked at the Coeur d’Alene Summer Theater with Jack. He said he learned a lot from the seasoned actor.

“Kindness in the workplace, i.e. the stage, is the most valuable gift you can give yourself and everyone else around you,” Treadway said. “You might as well just be kind is what Jack’s message really was."

"Generous is the word that just keeps coming back in describing him and in describing my friendship with him. He was the same guy at home and in the workplace and in public. He was a very genuine fella,” he continued.

Others took to social media to pay their respects.

"Guest-starring on 'Lou Grant' was a pleasure thanks to Ed Asner, Nancy Marchand, and Jack Bannon," tweeted fellow actor Ray Wise. "Rest in peace Jack."

"I just learned my dear friend Jack Bannon died," wrote actress Rena Sofer. "Lou Grant star n one of the greatest ppl I knew. Husband of Ellen Travolta. I’ll miss u!!"

"As a fledgling journalist myself at the time, I loved that show," wrote another Twitter user. "My first boss called me 'Animal; because I had long hair & carried a camera. Rest in peace, Mr. Bannon."

"Rest In Peace, Jack Bannon. Great actor," added another. "Thank you for your contributions to Idaho and the acting community."

Sources: The New York Times, The Spokesman-Review, Twitter (2, 3, 4) / Featured Image: Pixabay / Embedded Images: CBS Television via Wikimedia CommonsThe Spokesman-Review

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