David White (actor)

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David White
Born(1916-04-04)April 4, 1916
Denver, Colorado, U.S.
DiedNovember 27, 1990(1990-11-27) (aged 74)
Alma materLos Angeles City College
Years active1949–1989
Height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
(m. 1952; died 1958)

Lisa Figus
(m. 1959)

David White (April 4, 1916 – November 27, 1990) was an American stage, film, and television actor best known for playing Darrin Stephens' boss Larry Tate from 1964 to 1972 on the ABC situation comedy Bewitched.

Early life[edit]

Born on April 4, 1916, in Denver, Colorado, he later moved with his family to Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. He 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 Leaf and Bough.[1]


White appeared on numerous television series in the 1950s and 1960s, including One Step Beyond, where he played a police officer. He made two guest appearances on the CBS courtroom drama Perry Mason. In 1960, he played Henry De Garmo in "The Case of the Madcap Modiste" and in 1963, he played newspaper editor and murderer Victor Kendall in "The Case of the Witless Witness". He also appeared in Peter Gunn, Mr. Lucky, The Untouchables, The Fugitive, Mission: Impossible, My Three Sons, Father Knows Best , Bonanza, Have Gun – Will Travel, My Favorite Martian, and Dick Tracy. He appeared in two episodes of The Twilight Zone: "I Sing the Body Electric" and "A World of Difference." Also in 1963, he appeared on Alfred Hitchcock Presents as Detective Burr in "An Out for Oscar", and as Lance Hawthorn in "The Dark Pool". Though primarily known for television work, White had several memorable supporting feature -film roles, including portraying a sleazy columnist in Sweet Smell of Success (1957), The Apartment (1960), in which he played a philandering executive, and Sunrise at Campobello (also 1960)[2] and The Lawbreakers (1961).

In 1964, White was cast as sycophantic advertising executive Larry Tate on Bewitched, a role he played for the show's entire run (1964–1972). The character is president of the McMann & Tate advertising agency, workplace of Dick York's (and later Dick Sargent's) Darrin Stephens character. Many of the show's episodes revolved around Tate's attempts to land lucrative advertising accounts. 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. White also directed one season-six episode of Bewitched, "Sam’s Double Mother Trouble".

Following the end of Bewitched, White was a popular character actor on numerous television series for the next decade, including The Love Boat, Remington Steele, Adam-12, The Rockford Files, Columbo: Identity Crisis, What's Happening!!, Rhoda, Quincy, M.E., The Odd Couple, Cagney & Lacey, Wonder Woman and Dallas. 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. He also appeared in the movies The Happy Hooker Goes to Washington and Disney's Snowball Express, and had a prominent role in the 1985 version of Brewster's Millions starring Richard Pryor.[3]

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. Their son, Jonathan, died on December 21, 1988, at the age of 33, in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.[4]

White married actress Lisa Figus in 1959, with whom he had a daughter, Alexandra. They were married until his death in 1990.[citation needed]


He died of a heart attack on November 27, 1990, in North Hollywood, California, aged 74.[1]


Year Title Role Notes
1957 Sweet Smell of Success Otis Elwell Uncredited
1958 The Goddess Burt Harris Uncredited
1960 The Apartment Mr. Eichelberger
1960 Sunrise at Campobello Mr. Lassiter
1961 The Great Impostor Dr. Hammond
1961 Madison Avenue Stevenson Brock
1965 The Lollipop Cover Richard
1970 The Red, White, and Black 10th Cavalry Trooper #16
1972 Snowball Express Mr. Fowler
1977 The Happy Hooker Goes to Washington Senator Rawlings
1985 Fast Forward Mr. Sabol
1985 This Wife for Hire Larry Dunston
1985 Brewster's Millions George Granville


Year Title Role Notes
1960 Perry Mason Henry de Garmo Episode: The Case of the Madcap Modiste
1962 Have Gun - Will Travel Tom Carey Episode: Marshal of Sweetwater
1964-1972 Bewitched Larry Tate Recurring in seasons 1–5, starring in seasons 6–8
1973 Adam-12 J. T. McGrath Episode: A Fool and His Money
1973 The Odd Couple (1970 TV series) Phil Russell Episode: Felix Directs
1975 Rhoda Ted Cummings Episode: Friends and Mothers
1975 Columbo Phil Corrigan Episode: Identity Crisis
1976 The Rockford Files Martin Eastman Episode: Foul on the First Play
1976 What's Happening!! Mr. Reynolds Episode: The Burger Queen
1977 The Amazing Spider-Man (TV series) J. Jonah Jameson Episode: Spider-Man (pilot episode)
1978 C.P.O. Sharkey Admiral Holland Episode: Captain's Right Hand Man
1978 The Love Boat Greg Beatty Episode: Too Hot to Handle/Family Reunion/Cinderella Story
1979 Wonder Woman (TV series) The General Episode: The Starships Are Coming
1981 The Incredible Hulk (1978 TV series) Archer Hewitt Episode: Veteran
1981 Quincy, M.E. Dr. Fulton Episode: Sugar and Spice
1982 Quincy, M.E. Drew Castle Episode: Expert in Murder
1985 Remington Steele J.W. Kendall Episode: Steele of Approval
1985 Cagney & Lacey Mitchell Farnsworth Episode: Two Grand
1985 Dallas (1978 TV series) Mark Episode: Swan Song
1986 The A-Team Rudy Episode: Mission of Peace
1986 Riptide (American TV series) Professor Shellbeck Episode: The Play's the Thing
1986 Dallas (1978 TV series) Mark Episode: Return to Camelot: Part 2
1986 Dynasty (1981 TV series) Dr. Gavin Episode: The Arraignment
1989 Mergers & Acquisitions Chairman of the Board (short)


  1. ^ a b "David White, Actor, 74". The New York Times. Associated Press. December 1, 1990. p. A31. Retrieved July 1, 2022.
  2. ^ "David White, Stage, Movie and TV Actor". Los Angeles Times. November 30, 1990. p. A30. Retrieved July 1, 2022.
  3. ^ "Richard Pryor's 'Brewster' Could Be Worth Millions". The Daily Oklahoman. May 26, 1985. p. A&E 4. Retrieved July 1, 2022.
  4. ^ Hedges, Chris (2009). Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle. Toronto: Knopf Canada. p. 19. ISBN 978-0-3073-9846-8.

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