David White (actor)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
David White
Born (1916-04-04)April 4, 1916
Denver, Colorado, U.S.
Died November 27, 1990(1990-11-27) (aged 74)
North Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death
Heart attack
Resting place
Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Alma mater Los Angeles City College
Occupation Actor
Years active 1950s-1986
Spouse(s) Mary Welch (m. 1952; died 1958)
Lisa Figus (m. 1959)
Children 2

David White (April 4, 1916 – November 27, 1990) was an American stage, film and television actor best known for playing Larry Tate, the boss of Darrin Stephens on the 1964–72 situation comedy Bewitched.

Early life[edit]

Born in Denver, Colorado, and later moving to Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, White later graduated from Los Angeles City College and began acting at the Pasadena Playhouse and the Cleveland Play House. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps during World War II and, after his discharge, made his Broadway debut in 1949 in the original play Leaf and Bough.[1]


David White on Dynasty in 1986, his final television appearance

White appeared on numerous television series in the 1950s and '60s. He made two guest appearances on the CBS courtroom drama series Perry Mason. In 1960 he played Henry De Garmo in the "Case of the Madcap Modiste," and in 1963 he played murderer and newspaper editor Victor Kendall in "The Case of the Witless Witness," He also appeared in Peter Gunn, Mr. Lucky, The Untouchables, The Fugitive, Mission: Impossible, Bonanza, Have Gun – Will Travel and Dick Tracy.[2] He appeared in two episodes of The Twilight Zone: "I Sing the Body Electric" and "A World of Difference". Though primarily known for television roles, White did have some minor roles in notable films in the 1950s and early 1960s, such as one of the philandering executives in The Apartment, Sweet Smell of Success, and a featured role in Sunrise at Campobello.[2] He also appeared in the 1961 film The Lawbreakers.

In 1964, White was cast as the sycophantic advertising executive Larry Tate on Bewitched, which he played for the show's entire run (1964–1972). The character was the President of the McMann and Tate advertising agency, for which the character of Darrin Stephens worked. Many of the show's episodes revolved around Larry's attempts to win an advertising account. This is the role for which he would become best-known both during his life and posthumously. Larry Tate's baby boy Jonathan was named after White's son.

Following the end of Bewitched, White was a popular character actor on numerous television series for the next decade, ranging from The Love Boat, Remington Steele, The Rockford Files, Columbo: Identity Crisis, and Rhoda, to Quincy, M.E., Cagney & Lacey and Dallas.[2] He played the role of J. Jonah Jameson in the pilot episode of the television series The Amazing Spider-Man. His final role came in 1986, on an episode of Dynasty.[2] He also appeared in the movies The Happy Hooker Goes to Washington, Disney's Snowball Express, and had a prominent role in the 1985 version of Brewster's Millions starring Richard Pryor.[2]

Personal life[edit]

White's first marriage was to stage actress Mary Welch. On May 31, 1958, Welch died of complications from her second pregnancy.[3] They had one son, Jonathan, on July 14, 1955. Jonathan died in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie in 1988. White later married actress Lisa Figus with whom he had a daughter, Alexandra.


White died of a heart attack on November 27, 1990, at the age of 74.[1] He was cremated and interred at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, where he was placed in the same niche as his son Jonathan. Jonathan died on December 21, 1988 at the age of 33. He was one of the 270 people to die in the terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.[4]


  1. ^ a b "David White, Actor, 74". nytimes.com. December 1, 1990. 
  2. ^ a b c d e David White at the Internet Movie Database
  3. ^ "Mary Welch, 35, Acted On Stage". The New York TImes. June 1, 1958. 
  4. ^ Hedges, Chris (2009). Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle. Random House LLC. pp. 18–19. ISBN 0-307-39858-7. 

External links[edit]