David White (actor)

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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 1949–1989
Spouse(s) Mary Welch (m. 1952; died 1958)
Lisa Figus (m. 1959; his death 1990)
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 situational comedy Bewitched.

Early life[edit]

Born in Denver, Colorado, his family later moved 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, My Favorite Martian 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 such films as Sweet Smell of Success (1957), The Apartment (1960), cast as one of the philandering executives, and a featured role in Sunrise at Campobello (also 1960)[2] and in The Lawbreakers (1961).

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, a hamburger company owner in What's Happening!! (1976), 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. The couple had a son, Jonathan. On May 31, 1958, Welch died of complications from her second pregnancy. White married actress Lisa Figus in 1959 with whom he had a daughter, Alexandra. They were married until his death in 1990.


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 had died on December 21, 1988 at the age of 33, one of 270 killed in the terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 by Abdelbaset al-Megrahi over Lockerbie, Scotland.[3]


  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. ^ 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. 

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