October 4, 1914
Salem, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Died||October 16, 2005 (aged 91)|
|Resting place||Mount Sinai Memorial Park|
|Other names||Harry Larch|
(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.
John Larch was born Harold Aronin to Jewish parents in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1914. 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.
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.
After his lead role in the radio serial Captain Starr of Space during the broadcast season of 1953–1954, 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). 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".; and in Rawhide, "Incident At Sugar Creek" (1962) as Sam Garrett. He appeared in Vegas$ season three, in the episode "Deadly Blessing".
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.
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.