Efrem Zimbalist Jr.
Date of Birth: 30 November 1918
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. biography:
Father of Stephanie Zimbalist. Son of violinist Efrem Zimbalist Sr. and opera singer Alma Gluck. Was badly wounded during his World War II service, at Huertgen Forest. In 1935, after accompanying his father on a concert tour of the Soviet Union, Zimbalist Jr. was enrolled by his parents in a boarding school in Kiev, while they visited western Europe. Expected to learn piano in a class of wunderkinds, he was rather handicapped, for the classes were taught in Ukrainian - - a language he did not know. He eventually ran off to Moscow, where his elder sister had been lodged with a family. After spending a bad winter in Moscow (they only had their summer clothing) he and his sister hid the last of their money in the bottom of a cold-cream jar to prevent confiscation by Russian border officials, and escaped by train to Paris. Zimbalist was an early practitioner and proponent of Transcendental Meditation, as taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, prior to his conversion to Christianity. Children from his marriage to Emily McNair - Nancy Zimbalist and Efrem "Skip" Zimbalist III (by McNair, CEO Active Interest Media). Named an honorary FBI agent and presented an FBI badge by Director Louis Freeh. [8 June 2009]