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Picture Credit: ITC Television

Joel Fabiani

Birth Date: September 28, 1936 / Age: 81
Birth Place: Wastonville, California

Biography: Joel Fabiani was born into a nomadic family. His parents moved repeatedly throughout his childhood; and, as a result, Fabiani attended nearly three dozen different schools. After a stint in the Army, he went to Santa Rosa Junior College, where he majored in English. While in college he became interested in acting, and after graduation he moved to San Francisco to study at the Actors Workshop.

Fabiani moved to the east coast in the early 1960s and landed a few minor roles in plays. He found his first televsion role on the CBS religious program Look Up and Live in 1963. Fabiani worked in a number of plays, including an American version of the British hit Beyond the Fringe, and found occasional work in TV shows (including a memorable role in Dark Shadows, where only the back of his head was shown). Most of Fabiani's other work at the time was in commercials, although he had a minor role in the Ironside pilot movie.

Monty Berman, a British producer, came to America in search of an actor to play a former FBI agent in a new series in production at Lew Grade's ITC productions. Seeing Fabiani in a cigarette commercial, Berman contacted him for the part. Fabiani left for England for his only starring role, in the series Department S.

Fabiani's role as Stewart Sullivan was overshadowed by Peter Wyngarde's flamboyant portrayal of Jason King. Syndicated world-wide, Department S was popular enough to warrant a second season; however, the producers decided to spin the Jason King character off into his own series.

Undaunted, Fabiani returned to the U.S. and immersed himself in guest star roles. He appeared in countless dramas in the 1970s, including Quinn Martin Production hits The Streets of San Francisco, Barnaby Jones, and Cannon. During the 70s he also began appearing in movies, usually in small, supporting roles (such as Barney in Looking for Mr. Goodbar or the jilted dentist in Reuben, Reuben), although he had a lead role in the Austrian film Dark Echoes.

Fabiani also landed two major roles in nighttime soaps. He first played Alex Ward, the man interested in Pam Ewing's affections in Dallas. Later he played Alexis Carrington's friend, King Galen, over the course of two different seasons on Dynasty. The nighttime soaps led to daytime soap opera work. At one point in the late 1990s, Fabiani was on two soaps simultaneously (as Winston on As the World Turns and playing Barry on All My Children).

Fabiani's mellow voice found him additional work as the announcer on a series of Barbara Walters specials, and as the reader of a number of recorded books on tape. His voice was also heard as the radio announcer in an episode of Columbo.

At an age when most actors would have retired, Fabiani remained busy, landing roles as diverse as an orthodontist who "knows death when I see it" in the comedy Strangers with Candy and the Secretary of Defense who is the target of an assassain's bullet in the Nicholas Cage film Snake Eyes.

Fabiani is married and resides in New York City. In an interview he cited reading as his favorite pasttime.


> TV Credits

Starring/Leading Roles

Dallas (1978) ... Alex Ward (1980-1981)
Department S (1969) ... Stewart Sullivan

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