Jack Bannon

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Jack Bannon
Jack Bannon 1977.JPG
Bannon in 1977
John James Bannon

(1940-06-14)June 14, 1940
DiedOctober 25, 2017(2017-10-25) (aged 77)
Alma materUniversity of California, Santa Barbara
Years active1963–2006
Kathleen Larkin
(m. 1969; div. 1973)

Ellen Travolta
(m. 1983; his death 2017)

John James Bannon (June 14, 1940 – October 25, 2017) was an American television and stage actor, known as Jack Bannon.[1][2] He was best known for his role as Art Donovan on Lou Grant, a role he played for the duration of the series, from 1977 to 1982.

Early years[edit]

Bannon's parents were actors Jim Bannon and Bea Benaderet. He graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1963.[3]


At age 24, Bannon began working as a dialog coach on Petticoat Junction, the sitcom on which his mother starred.[3] In 1963, he appeared in the Season 1 episode "Kate's Recipe For Hot Rhubarb" of the series as Bobbie Joe's date, Roger. In 1969, Bannon was seen again on Petticoat Junction (after his mother died in 1968) appearing as "Buck" in the episode "One of Our Chickens Is Missing".[4]

Bannon portrayed Buck Williams in the ABC drama Trauma Center (1983).[5] He also appeared in other television series of the 1960s and 1970s, including The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, Daniel Boone, Kojak, The Rockford Files, and Charlie's Angels.[3]

Bannon's signature role was that of Art Donovan on Lou Grant. Bannon's obituary in The Hollywood Reporter described the character as an "amiable assistant editor" of the fictional Los Angeles Tribune newspaper.[6] The actor appeared in all 114 episodes of the series.[6]

The actor's film career included What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice? (1969), Little Big Man (1970), and Death Warrant (1990). On stage, he acted for 20 years in the Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre company.[6]


Bannon died on October 25, 2017, in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, from cancer at the age of 77.[7] He was survived by his wife, Ellen Travolta, an actress and elder sister of John Travolta, a sister, and two stepchildren.[6]


Year Title Role Notes
1969 What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice? Olin
1970 The Phynx Blair Thompson Uncredited
1970 Little Big Man Captain
1990 Death Warrant Ben Keane
1993 Da Vinci's War Arthur Jamieson
1993 Distant Cousins Bill Curtis
1994 Hard Vice Medical Examiner
1995 To the Limit Arthur Jameson
1996 Navajo Blues Captain Hansen
1999 The Basket Marcus
2006 Waitin' to Live Preacher
2018 Mistrust Nathan Dobier (final film role)


  1. ^ Lamberson, Carolyn (August 13, 2016). "Ignite theater will stage new play by KZZU's Molly Allen". The Spokesman-Review.
  2. ^ Thoreson, Kerri (September 21, 2016). "Main Street: Mentors can change a child's world". Coeur d'Alene Press.
  3. ^ a b c Daniel, Douglass K. (1996). Lou Grant: The Making of TV's Top Newspaper Drama. Syracuse University Press. p. 46. ISBN 9780815603634. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  4. ^ Jack Bannon on IMDb
  5. ^ Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 1105. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.
  6. ^ a b c d Barnes, Mike (October 26, 2017). "Jack Bannon, Actor on 'Lou Grant,' Dies at 77". The Hollywood Reporter. ISSN 0018-3660.
  7. ^ "Jack Bannon, Cool-Headed Co-Star of 'Lou Grant,' Dies at 77". The New York Times. Associated Press. October 27, 2017.

External links[edit]