As part of the security detail at an upscale party in Los Angeles, Michael Phelps had the privilege of meeting and having a 45 minute conversation with David Janssen. Never in his wildest dreams did Phelps believe he and David would share a friendship which would span 15 years, right up to the time of Janssen’s untimely passing which Phelps, himself, heard about on the news February 13, 1980.
Not one to be enthralled with public figures – believing them to be human like anyone else, regardless of their lot in life – Phelps was never star struck at the fame Janssen received, which Janssen embraced wholeheartedly. With Phelps, Janssen could forget for a few hours that he was a celebrity; for a little while, Janssen could pretend to be an ordinary man – a man who felt the desire to talk, felt the need to be heard and sought the pleasure of sharing a meal and conversation with a trusted friend, regardless of the time of day or night.
In his upcoming release, David Janssen – Our Conversations, Phelps shares hundreds of conversations he had with David Janssen on subjects ranging from his first wife, Ellie Janssen, to his thoughts about being a star on The Fugitive. He shares Janssen’s opinions about some of the top stars, producers and directors in Hollywood as well as aspects of the various familial relationships Janssen held throughout his life, including his relationship with Ellie’s daughters. Finally, he opens up about the greatest loves of Janssen’s life and his alleged womanizing and alcoholism.
This is what Marie Ange Dumas, the president of David Janssen’s French fan club had to say about David Janssen – Our Conversations: “It’s a great moving book on a great moving human being. David Janssen was such a talented actor, songwriter – a kind, intelligent man we all wanted to be friends with – and Mr. Phelps had this chance. He reports in such a moving way about his friendship with this authentic humanist. RIP, David.”
Stay tuned to hear more about David Janssen – Our Conversations, to be released soon.
5 star reviews on Amazon
David Janssen – My Fugitive is the only authorized biography of the late iconic star, largely remembered because of his role of Dr. Richard Kimble in The Fugitive, an ABC series which ran between 1963-1967 of which David owned 20%, as demanded by Ellie at the beginning of the show.
David Janssen – My Fugitive was written by David’s first wife, Ellie Janssen, and Michael Phelps, one of David’s closest friends. In this book, Ellie shares a no holds barred, intimate portrait of what it was like being married to David Janssen, coupled with the agonizing process of going through what was then considered the longest running divorce case in Los Angeles history.
During the entire ordeal, Ellie’s love for David never wavered, nor did she engage in an extramarital affair. Even as one year rolled into another and David moved on with subsequent relationships, Ellie never remarried; she continued to love David. By the time the divorce had been finalized, as part of their divorce agreement, Ellie received half of David’s ownership of The Fugitive and was left financially secure for the remainder of her life. Sadly, Ellie passed away on July 7, 1999 in Portland, Oregon, and is survived by her daughters, Kathy and Diane.
Would you like to read this book? It’s available in print at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.