James Grover Franciscus graduated magna cum laude from Yale University in 1957 with a B.A. in English and theater. His father, John Allen Franciscus, was a pilot killed in action during WWII. His mother was named Loraine (nee Grover) and he had one sibling, a brother named John. Mr. Franciscus is best known for his work in television, including Naked City (1958), The Investigators (1961), Mr. Novak (1963) and Longstreet (1971). He also made numerous guest appearances in other popular television programs, starred in numerous television movies, and appeared in numerous feature films. In the mid 1980s, he became dissatisfied with the roles offered to him and turned his attention to screen writing. As co-founder of Omnibus Productions, he produced many classic films, such as Heidi (1968), Jane Eyre (1970), David Copperfield (1986), Kidnapped (1987), and The Red Pony (1973). An avid tennis player, he founded the James Franciscus Celebrity Tennis Tournament in the mid 1970s to raise money for multiple sclerosis research and victims (his mother suffered from this disease). He also enjoyed sky diving and scuba diving. He married Kathleen ‘Kitty’ Wellman, daughter of director William A. Wellman, on March 28, 1960, and fathered four daughters (Jamie, Kellie, Corie and Jolie). A devoted family man, his contracts often stipulated that he not be required to work past 6:00 pm. After his divorce from Wellman, he married second wife Carla in 1980 and continued to live on his two acre North Hollywood estate until his death.
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