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Martin Milner, Star of ‘Adam-12’ and ‘Route 66,’ Dead at 83

”‘Adam-12’ and Martin Milner embodied the spirit of the LAPD to millions of viewers,“ LAPD chief Charlie Beck says

Martin Milner, the actor known for his roles on the TV series “Route 66” and “Adam-12,” passed away Sunday. He was 83.

Milner was born in Detroit in 1931, but moved with his family to Los Angeles, where he quickly took up acting. His first part was the role of John Day in 1947’s “Life With Father,” according to his official IMDB page.

Milner appeared in various roles across film and television before landing the part of Stephen Banner on several episodes of the popular police drama “Dragnet.”

His big break, however, came in 1960 when he starred in the CBS series “Route 66” as Tod Stiles. On the show, Stiles and his best friend Bud Murdock (George Maharis) wandered around the United States exploring social problems of the era. The show was unique in that it was filmed on location all over the country.

Milner would go on to star in the NBC series “Adam-12.” The show followed veteran LAPD officer Pete Malloy (Milner) and his rookie partner Jim Reed (Kent McCord). The show was produced by Jack Webb, who played Sgt. Joe Friday on “Dragnet.”

Like “Dragnet,” “Adam-12” was based on real LAPD cases with the names changed to protect those involved. The series was praised for its realistic portrayal of police procedure. Even LAPD Chief Charlie Beck expressed his admiration for Milner on Twitter.

“#Adam12 and Martin Milner embodied the spirit of the #LAPD to millions of viewers,” Beck wrote. “His depiction of a professional & tough yet compassionate cop led 2thousands of men&women applying 2become #LAPD officers, including me. Godspeed Martin, you will live forever in our hearts. CB”

Milner is survived by his wife, Judith Jones, whom he married in 1957, and his sons Andrew and Stuart.