He died on Friday at home, according to a statement issued by his daughter, actress Stephanie Zimbalist, and son Efrem Zimbalist III.
Zimbalist starred as LA private eye Stuart Bailey on 77 Sunset Strip, which ran from 1958-64. The following year he starred as Inspector Lewis Erskine on The FBI which ran until 1974. In 2009, the FBI saluted him by making him an honourary agent, the highest honour the bureau can give to a civilian.
Zimbalist was born to a show business family and studied at Yale Drama School. He worked on stage before securing a contract at Warner Brothers in films such as Band of Angels, Too Much Too Soon, A Fever in the Blood, Wait Until Dark, Airport 75 and Hot Shots.
But it was in television that he made his mark, on Sunset Strip, The FBI, plus appearances on other Warner Bros. TV shows, including Maverick and Hawaiian Eye.
He had a recurring role on the Remington Steele opposite his daughter, Stephanie, and other credits included Hotel, Murder She Wrote, Scruples, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Babylon 5, Picket Fences, The Nanny and Who’s The Boss? He also did voice-over work for numerous cartoon series, including Spiderman, Superman, The New Batman Adventures, The Legend of Prince Valiant and Justice League.