John Larch

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John Larch
Larch, playing the Chief of Police in the film Dirty Harry, 1971
Born (1914-10-04)October 4, 1914
Salem, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died October 16, 2005(2005-10-16) (aged 91)
Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Resting place Mount Sinai Memorial Park[1]
Years active 1953–1990
Spouse(s) Vivi Janiss (?-1988, her death)

John Larch, also known as Harry Larch (October 4, 1914 – October 16, 2005), was an American radio, film, and television actor.

Early years[edit]

Larch was born in Salem, Massachusetts.

Military service[edit]

Larch served four years in the Army during World War II — an experience that left him troubled for years thereafter. In 1965, he reflected on his post-military problems, saying:

What was my hangup then? Just about everything. I was looking for the four years I had lost in service. I was also looking for a rhyme or reason to the mass murders that took place. I was looking for the ideals I had once had. I was disgusted with the world — a world in which civilians acted as though there hadn't been a worldwide holocaust.[2]


After his lead role in the radio serial Captain Starr of Space (1953–54),[3] he entered films in 1954. He usually appeared in westerns (How The West Was Won) and action films, including Miracle of the White Stallions as General George S. Patton Jr. (1963), the television film Collision Course: Truman vs. MacArthur as General Omar Bradley (1976), replacing James Gregory as Mac in the Matt Helm movie The Wrecking Crew (1969) starring Dean Martin, Sharon Tate and Elke Sommer. An old friend of Clint Eastwood, Larch appeared in Eastwood films, including Dirty Harry and Play Misty for Me (both 1971).


Larch had the role of Captain Ben Foster on the NBC series Convoy (1965-1966).[4]

He guest-starred in Jefferson Drum, Johnny Ringo, Riverboat, Naked City (three episodes), Stoney Burke, Route 66 (three episodes), The Fugitive (two episodes), The Invaders, The Restless Gun (four episodes), Gunsmoke (seven episodes), The Virginian (four episodes), Bonanza, Hawaii Five-0, Mission Impossible (two episodes), The Troubleshooters, Bus Stop, The Law and Mr. Jones, The Rifleman, The Feather and Father Gang, and possibly most famously as Anthony Fremont's father in The Twilight Zone 1961 episode "It's a Good Life". He also appeared in Vegas$ Season 3, in the episode "Deadly Blessing", as well as two other The Twilight Zone episodes playing a psychiatrist in "Perchance to Dream" and the sheriff in "Dust".

With his wife, Vivi Janiss, who was formerly married to Bob Cummings, Larch appeared on October 3, 1961, in the premiere episode "No Fat Cops" of Leslie Nielson's The New Breed on ABC. The two played a couple, John and Mary Clark. Earlier the two had co-starred on November 23, 1959, as Johnny and Elsie in the episode "End of an Era" of NBC's western series Tales of Wells Fargo, starring Dale Robertson; and on May 23, 1960, as Isaiah and Rebecca Macabee in the episode "The Proud Earth" of the half-hour NBC anthology series Goodyear Theatre. On November 9, 1960, Larch and Janiss appeared as Ben and Sarah Harness in the episode "The Cathy Eckhart Story" of NBC's Wagon Train, with Susan Oliver in the starring role. Then on December 19, 1968, the couple appeared again together in the tenth episode "Yesterday Died and Tomorrow Won't Be Born" of Jack Lord's CBS crime drama Hawaii Five-O. Larch also played Tom Mead in an episode of The Millionaire in 1956.

Partial filmography[edit]


  1. ^ "John Larch", Notable Names Database (NNDB), 2014. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  2. ^ "John Larch Finds Success At End of the 'Road Back'". The Berkshire Eagle. Massachussetts, Pittsfield. September 18, 1965. p. 28. Retrieved April 9, 2017 – via  open access publication – free to read
  3. ^ Dionne, Jerome M. Curley, Dorothy V. Malcolm, and Nelson L. (2013). Legendary Locals of Salem. Arcadia Publishing. p. 103. ISBN 9781467100809. Retrieved 15 January 2017. 
  4. ^ Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 208. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7. 

External links[edit]