David Huffman

David Oliver Huffman (May 10, 1945 – February 27, 1985) was an American actor and producer.

David Huffman
David Oliver Huffman

(1945-05-10)May 10, 1945
DiedFebruary 27, 1985(1985-02-27) (aged 39)
Cause of deathHomicide
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills
OccupationActor and producer
Years active1969–1985
(m. 1967)
ChildrenPhilip Huffman
Matt Huffman

Personal lifeEdit

Huffman was born on May 10, 1945, in Berwyn, Illinois, to Clarence and Opal Huffman (née Dippel).

Huffman married casting director Phyllis Huffman (nee Grennan) in 1967,[1] whom he had met as a student at Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri. The couple had two sons and remained married until Huffman's death in 1985.

Huffman was an avid sailer, recreational painter, and country‐and‐western guitarist.[2][3]


On the morning of February 27, 16-year-old Genaro Samano Villanueva, was taken into San Diego police custody after attempting to steal a radio from a car near his home. Released into the custody of his high school vice principal, Villanueva left school and went to Balboa Park. There he was spotted by Canadian tourist Jack Beamer prowling around inside the motor home of Beamer's friends. After Beamer accosted him, Villanueva fled the scene.[4]

Huffman, who was cast in the play Of Mice and Men at the Old Globe Theatre and was set to begin work on the television miniseries North and South the following week,[5] had visited the theatre shortly before noon to share cookies with the cast and crew[2] and was sitting in his van near the theatre playing his bagpipes when he saw Beamer confront Villanueva. He gave chase in his vehicle, parking the van near the Spreckels Organ Pavilion and following Villanueva into the park. When he caught up with Villanueva, the two became involved in a physical altercation, during which Villanueva stabbed Huffman twice in the chest with a screwdriver. Huffman died of exsanguination, likely within 30 to 45 seconds.[4] His body was found less than an hour later in a Palm Canyon crevice by a group of children, although it was not positively identified until later that night.[2]

On March 2 and 3, Crime Stoppers produced a reenactment of the crime that was shown on San Diego television and published in several national newspapers. The Canadian tourists whose motor home was burglarized saw Huffman's photo and death announcement in the newspaper and called police.[4] Huffman was buried on March 5 at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills).[citation needed]

Villanueva was arrested on March 12 after a police officer recognized Villanueva from a composite sketch given to police by the Canadian tourist.[6][5] On June 24, 1986, Villanueva was sentenced to 26 years to life in prison and admitted to the California State Prison, Centinela.[7] On December 9, 2011, he was denied parole for 15 years.[8]

Broadway stage creditsEdit


Year Title Role Notes
1978 F.I.S.T. Abe Belkin
1978 Ice Castles Brian Dockett
1979 The Onion Field Dist. Atty. Phil Halpin
1980 Wolf Lake David
1980 Leo and Loree Dennis
1981 Blood Beach Harry Caulder
1981 St Helens David Jackson
1982 Firefox Captain Buckholz
1983 Last Plane Out Jim Conley
Year Title Role Notes
1973 Pueblo Seaman Television movie
1973 Love Story David Ross Episode: "Mirabelle's Summer"
1974 F. Scott Fitzgerald and 'The Last of the Belles' Andy McKenna Television movie
1974 The Yanks Are Coming Television movie
1974 Lincoln Ellmer Ellsworth Miniseries
1974 Police Story T. Byron Bentley Episode: "A Dangerous Age"
1974 Nakia Episode: "The Hostage"
1974 The Gun Wayne Television movie
1976 Eleanor and Franklin Elliott B. Roosevelt Television movie
1976 Baretta Jesse Bryant Episode: "The Blood Bond"
1976 Bert D'Angelo/Superstar Episode: "A Noise in the Street"
1976 Amelia Earhart Radio Operator Miniseries
1976 Look What's Happened to Rosemary's Baby Peter Simon Television movie
1976 Captains and the Kings Sean Armagh Miniseries
1977 Play of the Month Chadwick Newsome Episode: "The Ambassadors"
1977 Testimony of Two Men Harold Ferrier Miniseries
1977 In the Matter of Karen Ann Quinlan Paul Armstrong Television movie
1978 The Winds of Kitty Hawk Orville Wright Television movie
1979 Tom Edison: The Boy Who Lit Up the World Tom Edison Television movie
1979 Lou Grant Daniel Todson Episode: "Hype"
1980 Baby Comes Home Jeff Winston Television movie
1981 The Million Dollar Face Christopher Ward Television movie
1981 Sidney Shorr: A Girl's Best Friend Jimmy Television movie
1982 Little House on the Prairie Reverend Addison Hale Episode: "Alden's Dilemma"
1983 Jane Doe David Television movie
1983 Remington Steele Wilson Jeffries Episode: "Vintage Steele"
1983 Trapper John, M.D. Barry Laughton
Frank Maxwyn
2 episodes
1983 Sparkling Cyanide Stephan Farraday Television movie
1984 T. J. Hooker Dr. Don Travers Episode: "The Lipstick Killer"
1984 The Mississippi Harley Morhaim Episode: "Going Back to Hannibal"
1984 Newhart Ted Kingston Episode: "Cats"
1984 When She Says No Carl Jerome Television movie
1984 Children in the Crossfire Larry Malone Television movie, (final film role)


  1. ^ Blank, Ed (May 29, 1985). "10 Actors Get Multiple Roles at The Public". The Pittsburgh Press. p. D4. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Damsker, Matt; Weintraub, Daniel M. (March 1, 1985). "Actor's Stabbing Death in Park Mystifies Co-Workers, Officials". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  3. ^ Bennetts, Leslie (July 28, 1978). "New Face: David Huffman Ex-Terrific Liar Gives Honesty a Boost in Film". The New York Times. p. section C, page 12. Retrieved January 5, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c Harris, Scott; Reza, H.G. (March 14, 1985). "Huffman's Slaying: Strangers Cross Paths and Tragedy Strikes". latimes.com. pp. 1–2. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  5. ^ a b "Youth arrested in actor's murder". Reading Eagle. March 13, 1985. p. 32. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  6. ^ "Youth, 16, Held in Death of Actor David Huffman". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 14, 2012.
  7. ^ "Teen Sentenced In Actor's Slaying". Reading Eagle. June 3, 1986. p. 3. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  8. ^ "San Diego County District Attorney 2011 Annual Report". San Diego County District Attorney. Retrieved September 17, 2013.

External linksEdit