Actor Jack Bannon

John James Bannon (June 14, 1940 – October 25, 2017) was an American actor. 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 life

Bannon was born on June 14, 1940 in Los Angeles, California. His parents were actors Jim Bannon and Bea Benaderet. He graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1963.


At age 24, Bannon began working as a dialog coach on Petticoat Junction, the sitcom on which his mother starred. 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”.

Bannon portrayed Buck Williams in the drama Trauma Center (1983). 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.

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. The actor appeared in all 114 episodes of the series.

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.


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


Year Title Role Notes
1969 What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice? Olin
1970 The Phynx Blair Thompson uncredited
1970 Little Big Man Captain
1986 Miracle of the Heart: A Boys Town Story Father
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

External Links

Actor Jack Bannon – Wikipedia

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