John Sebastian - Rotten Tomatoes

John Sebastian

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Not to be confused with the ex-member of the Lovin' Spoonful, New York-born actor John Sebastian specialized in tough guy roles for most of his career. He only appeared in two feature films, Paul Stanley's Cry Tough (1959) and Marc Lawrence's Nightmare in the Sun (1964) -- both gritty tales of underworld activity -- but he was a regular presence in any number of (usually) crime-related television dramas, most notably those produced by Jack Webb. Sebastian was a resident member of Webb's stock company of players, making nearly a dozen appearances on Dragnet and Adam 12, in addition to working on Mannix and Marcus Welby, M.D. -- and he even managed to appear in one episode of Get Smart ("Now You See Him, Now You Don't") as a KAOS agent. Built like a fire-plug with muscles, and vaguely resembling a young James Cagney and tough-guy actor Terry Becker, with a little bit of wry cynicism à la Brad Dexter thrown in, Sebastian sported a working-class New York accent that placed him in the streets, and usually pretty mean ones when he was in character. He was perfect for crime dramas, playing cops or, much more often, hoods. In the Dragnet episode "Police Commission -- DR-13," he was totally convincing as a grease monkey/strongarm man; and in the episode "The Squeeze," Sebastian was one of the most memorable thugs in the run of the show, calmly delivering the line, "In this business, it's not how tough you are, but how tough people think you are that matters," with the kind of easy, cool nonchalance that one might later more readily associate with the narration of Goodfellas. Sebastian retired from television acting at the age of 60, following an appearance in a 1975 episode of Adam 12. He died in 1993.

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet The Pom Pom Girls
  • Father
1976

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Ironside
1967-1975
  • Ed Harris Sam
  • 1968
  • 1967

Quotes from John Sebastian's Characters

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