April 9, 2009
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Popular '60s TV actor
Dennis Cole, 69, a handsome blond actor who had numerous TV guest-star roles beginning in the 1960s and was married to "Charlie's Angels" star Jaclyn Smith for a time, died Sunday at Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., according to publicist Edward Lozzi. The cause was not given.
Cole was born in 1940 in Detroit, where he learned to sing and act. When he arrived in Hollywood, he worked as a stuntman before landing acting roles, starting in the mid-'60s with the TV series "Paradise Bay" and "Felony Squad."
Over the next few decades, he appeared in the daytime drama "The Young and the Restless" and many prime-time series, including "Bracken's World," "Bearcats!," "Medical Center," "Police Story," "Fantasy Island," "Trapper John, M.D.," "Murder, She Wrote" and "Charlie's Angels." It was on the set of that show that he met Smith. They wed in 1978, the second marriage for both, and divorced three years later.
Cole's only son, Joey, from a previous relationship, was shot and killed during a robbery in Venice, Calif., in 1991. Cole began speaking out against violence on TV and worked less in the entertainment field, eventually becoming a real estate broker in Fort Lauderdale. His son's killer was never identified, and the crime remains unsolved.
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