This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "John Larch" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (March 2013) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
John Larch
Larch as police chief in Dirty Harry (1971)
Harold Aronin[1]

(1914-10-04)October 4, 1914
DiedOctober 16, 2005(2005-10-16) (aged 91)
Resting placeMount Sinai Memorial Park[2]
Other namesHarry Larch
Years active1953–1990
Spouse(s)Vivi Janiss
(m. 1955 - 1988, her death)

John Larch (born Harold Aronin; October 4, 1914 – October 16, 2005; also credited Harry Larch) was an American radio, film, and television actor.

Early life and military service

John Larch was born Harold Aronin to Jewish parents in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1914.[3] Nicknamed "Harry" in childhood, Larch was the younger of two children of Mitchell Aronin and Rose (née Larch) Aronin, both of whom immigrated to the United States from Russian-occupied areas of Poland prior to 1908. According to Massachusetts birth registries and federal census records, Mitchell supported his family as a "cutter" in shoe factories. By 1920, the Aronins had moved to New York City, where Mitchell continued to work as a shoe cutter.[4]

Larch served four years in the United States Army during World War II, an experience that left him troubled for years after his discharge. In a 1965 interview with The Berkshire Eagle, a newspaper in his home state, he shared his views on how military service had affected him personally, especially his difficulties in readjusting to civilian life:

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.[5]


This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "John Larch" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (August 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

After his lead role in the radio serial Captain Starr of Space during the broadcast season of 1953–1954,[6] he began to perform increasingly in films. He was usually cast on the "big screen" in Westerns (How The West Was Won, 1962) and in other action films outside that genre, 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), and replacing James Gregory as Mac in the Matt Helm movie The Wrecking Crew (1969) starring Dean Martin, Sharon Tate, and Elke Sommer. Larch also appears in two 1971 Clint Eastwood films, Dirty Harry and Play Misty for Me.


Larch had the role of Captain Ben Foster on the NBC series Convoy (1965-1966).[7] 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, one of which was in 1970 as the Sheriff on "The Men From Shiloh" which was the rebranded name that year for The Virginian), Bonanza, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Hawaii Five-0, Mission Impossible (two episodes), The Troubleshooters, Bus Stop, The Law and Mr. Jones, Bat Masterson (5/27/59,S1 Ep30), The Rifleman, The Feather and Father Gang, The Millionaire, three episodes of Twilight Zone : "It's a Good Life" in which he plays Bill Mumy's father with Mumy as a young boy, "Perchance to Dream", DYNASTY (7 episodes), DALLAS (7 episodes) and "Dust".[citation needed]; and in Rawhide, "Incident At Sugar Creek" (1962) as Sam Garrett. He appeared in Vegas$ season three, in the episode "Deadly Blessing".[citation needed]

Personal life and death

Larch was married only once, to actress Vivi Janiss, the former wife of actor Bob Cummings. Larch and Janiss married in Los Angeles in March 1955 and remained together for over 30 years, until Vivi's death in 1988. The couple had no children. John continued to reside in Los Angeles, in Woodland Hills, until his death in 2005 at age 91. He is interred in a wall crypt at Mount Sinai Memorial Park in nearby Hollywood Hills.[8]

Joint acting appearances with Janiss

During their long acting careers, Larch and his wife Vivi performed together periodically on television. Larch, for example, appears with her in the 1968 episode "Yesterday Died and Tomorrow Won't Be Born" on the CBS weekly crime drama Hawaii Five-O starring Jack Lord. On earlier television series, they appear in the roles of Johnny and Elsie in the 1959 episode "End of an Era" on NBC's Western series Tales of Wells Fargo; as Isaiah and Rebecca Macabee in the 1960 episode "The Proud Earth" on the NBC anthology series Goodyear Theatre; as another married couple, Ben and Sarah Harness, in the 1960 episode "The Cathy Eckhart Story" on NBC's Wagon Train; and as John and Mary Clark in "No Fat Cops", the 1961 premiere episode of The New Breed starring Leslie Nielsen.

Partial filmography


  1. ^ "California County Marriages", marriage license and certificate of Harold Aronin to Vivi Janiss, March 26, 1955, Los Angeles, California; Bureau of Vital Statistics, California State Board of Health, Sacramento; digital image of original document, archives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (CJCLDS), Salt Lake City, Utah.
  2. ^ "John Larch", Notable Names Database (NNDB), 2014. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  3. ^ "Massachusetts Births, 1841-1915", Harold Aronin, October 4, 1914, Salem, Essex, Massachusetts; Massachusetts Archives, Boston.
  4. ^ "Fourteenth Census of the United States: 1920", family of Mitchell Aronin, "Fourth Assembly District", New York City, January 2, 1920; digital image of original enumeration page; CJCLDS Archives.
  5. ^ "John Larch Finds Success At End of the 'Road Back'". The Berkshire Eagle. Massachusetts, Pittsfield. September 18, 1965. p. 28. Retrieved April 9, 2017 – via open access
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ "John Larch", his crypt and memorial plaque pictured at Mount Sinai Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, California. Find a Grave. Retrieved October 11, 2020.