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How Each Emergency Cast Member Died

With its captivating attention to realism, Emergency! was a groundbreaking television series. A spin-off of Adam-12 and Dragnet, the Jack Webb co-produced series ushered in a new genre of ‘municipal services TV’ series that NBC would continue to rely on for decades with its popular Law & Order and Chicago Fire offerings. For many, Emergency! bordered on being an educational program.

The stellar cast was one of the show’s biggest draws. The station 51 duo of Roy Desoto played by Kevin Tighe and John Gage portrayed by Randolph Mantooth. As well as the additions of characters like Dr. Kelly Brackett played by Robert Fuller and nurse Dixie McCall played by Julie London; became heroes and heartthrobs for viewers who lured in by the unique, trailblazing series.

Emergency ran for six seasons consisting of 122 episodes. It debuted on NBC as a midseason replacement on January 15, 1972. Replacing the two short-lived sitcom series The Partners and The Good Life. The series wrapped up on May 28, 1977 – although six additional two-hour television films produced between 1978 and 1979.

Emergency tv show cast continues to have a dedicated and thoroughly passionate fan base. But sadly very few of the original cast members are still alive to witness the show’s enduring popularity. Keep watching to find out how all of the deceased Emergency tv show cast members met their ends.

Julie London

Ms. London played a registered nurse named Dixie McCall as one of the Emergency tv show cast. She was an American singer and actress whose career spanned more than four decades. London a torch singer renowned for her sultry, languid contralto vocals who recorded over 30 albums of pop and jazz standards between 1955 and 1969.

Born in Santa Rosa California to Vaudevillian parents, London discovered by a talent agent while she was working as an elevator operator in downtown LA. She began her lengthy acting career in 1944 and went on to star in western films like 1951s The Fat Man alongside her co-star Rock Hudson, 1958s Saddle the Wind, and 1958s Man of the West.

In the 50s, she signed a recording contract with Liberty Records and started putting out musical recordings. Her first album hit record stores and 1969, but she continued to enjoy continued success as an actress portraying Dixie McCall as one of the Emergency tv show cast. In 1974, she nominated for a Golden Globe for her role in that series.

London was a heavy smoker for the majority of her life. In 1999, she diagnosed with lung cancer. Less than a year later on October 17, 2000, she was rushed to the hospital after choking and struggling to breathe. She died at the Encino-Tarzana Regional Medical Center in the early morning hours of October 18, 2000. She was 74.

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Bobby Troup

Robert William Troup Jr. was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on October 18, 1918. He was perhaps most famous for penning the song Route 66 and acted in the role of Dr. Joe Early alongside his wife Julie London on Emergency as one of the cast.

Bobby’s father was Robert William Troup and he worked for the family business J.H. Troup Music House. Bobby graduated from The Hill School, a prep academy in Pottstown, Pennsylvania in 1937. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in economics, he went on to enjoy musical success with his 1941 hit song Daddy. After serving a stint in the Marine Corps, Troup continued to experience success as a musician performing alongside and writing for artists like Miles Davis and Little Richard.

Troup started acting in the mid-50s appearing in films like 1957s Bop Girl Goes Calypso and 1959s the Five Pennies. He later appeared in shows like Mannix and the short-lived NBC series Acapulco. In 1972, he was cast as Dr. Joe Early on Emergency as one of the cast. He later played the part of Sam Gill in the 1979 television miniseries The Rebels.

On February 7, 1999, Troup died of a heart attack in the Los Angeles suburb of Sherman Oaks.

Dick Hammer

Richard Bernard Hammer was noted for being a successful American athlete, firefighter, and actor. He was born on July 17, 1930, in Long Beach, California. After graduating from high school he went on to earn his degree at the University of Southern California. While enrolled there, Hammer played basketball for the school’s team and even competed in volleyball at the 1964 Summer Olympics.

As an actor, Hammer most famously portrayed Captain Richard ‘Dick’ Hammer in the first season of Jack Webb’s Emergency as one of the cast. He ended up leaving the show halfway through the first season; however because he felt that being a real-life firefighter was far more rewarding than just playing a fictional one on TV. He went on to become a firefighter for the Los Angeles County Fire Department and retired with the rank of Captain.

In the 1970s, Hammer portrayed the Marlboro Man in Cigarette promos.

Hammer passed away on October 18, 1999, succumbing to prostate cancer at the age of 69. Although some other sources cite that the cause of his death was lung cancer.

John Smith

Smith, or Robert Errol Van Orden as he was originally named, was born in Los Angeles, California on March 6, 1931. He was a direct descendant of Peter Stuyvesant, the Dutch governor of New Netherland a former East Coast dutch colony in the United States in the 17th century.

Smith attended Susan Miller Dorsey High School in LA and after graduating he attended the University of California at Los Angeles. While he was enrolled there, he sang with a dance band and played football and basketball, and took part in gymnastics.

In the early 40s, Smith joined the Robert Mitchell Boys Choir. He went on to appear in a handful of films including Bing Crosby’s Going My Way and The Bells of St. Mary’s as an unaccredited choir member.

In the 1950s, Smith landed a job as a page for MGM and in 1952 he was cast as James Stewart’s brother in the film Carbine Williams. In 1954, Smith appeared in the Academy Award-winning disaster flick The High and The Mighty starring and produced by John Wayne as the character Milo Buck.

From there he went on to appear in several hit and star-studded 1950s films including 1957s Tomahawk Trail and Crooked Circle. He also landed roles in television series like Colt 45, Men of Annapolis, and Mike Hammer.

In the 1960s, Smith appeared in the 1964 John Wayne film Circus World, the 1966 ABC western series The Rounders, and two episodes of NBC”s The Virginian.

In 1972, he landed the minor role of Captain Hammer in Emergency.

Smith later guest-starred on the NBC police drama Adam-12. His last film role was that of Mr. Ames in Walt Disney’s Justin Morgan Had a Horse, and his last television credits were in Marcus Welby MD in 1974 and Police Woman in 1975.

Smith died on January 25, 1995, at the age of 63 of cirrhosis of the liver and heart problems. He was subsequently cremated and per his wishes, his ashes were scattered at sea.

Art Ballinger

Arthur Bent Ballinger was born on February 1, 1915, to parents Sheldon and Ellen Bent Ballinger in Los Angeles, California. He was raised in the LA metropolitan area and it was there that his career in the entertainment industry began as a radio announcer. He later transitioned over to acting on television.

His biggest credits included turns on Dragnet and Emergency. On the latter, he portrayed the character Battalion Chief Conrad.

Ballinger retired from television after the 70s, but his last memorable role in a film was that of the dedication ceremony announcer in the smash-hit film The Towering Inferno in 1974.

Art died at the Terwilliger Plaza Nursing Home in Portland, Oregon on June 10, 2011, at the age of 96.

Vince House

Vince Howard, born Vince House, was an American actor who appeared in over 100 films and television programs, although he is best remembered for playing the role of Motorcycle Office Vince in NBC’s Emergency and as Mr. Peter Butler in the drama series Mr. Novak which ran from 1963 to 1965.

Howard was born in St. Louis, Missouri on July 21, 1929. After graduating from Vashon High School, Howard served in the army as a truck driver in Germany.

Around this time, he also spent some time performing in the singing group, The Rhythm Aces. After leaving the group, he later joined a rock ‘n roll outfit called Billy Ward and the Dominoes. Eventually, he also left that group. Howard then moved to LA where he was hired to work as a tech for the Radio Corporation of America in 1958.

Howard was discovered by producer E. Jack Neuman when he was performing at a nightclub called The Horn in Santa Monica, California.

Howard began his acting career in 1963 when he landed the co-starring role in Mr. Novak. He went on to appear in dozens of shows like The Fugitive, Star Trek, Get Smart, The Monkees, and I Dream Of Jeannie. He also appeared in films like Lethal Weapon 3, Fuzz, The Barefoot Executive, and Suppose They Gave A War and Nobody Came. Howard’s last role was in the crime drama television series Murder, She Wrote, in 1994.

Vince House Death

In 2002, Howard died of leukemia at the age of 72.

We’re not going to lie. Discussing all of these celebrity deaths is a bit of a downer, but just because they are no longer walking this earth among us doesn’t mean their respective legacies have vanished. Like we already mentioned, Emergency tv show cast has enjoyed enduring popularity over the years even though the show was canceled decades ago.

On a lighter note, Emergency’s Robert Fuller, Randolph Mantooth, and Kevin Tighe are still alive and kicking.

Anyway, who was your favorite character or episode of Emergency? Let us know in the comments section below.

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