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David Huffman

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Cause of death  Homicide
Occupation  Actor

Years active  1969–1984
Name  David Huffman

Full Name  David Oliver Huffman
Born  May 10, 1945 (1945-05-10) Berwyn, Illinois, U.S.
Died  February 27, 1985(1985-02-27) (aged 39) San Diego, California, U.S.
Resting place  Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills
Spouse(s)  Phyllis Huffman (m. 1967–85)

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


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Personal life

Huffman married casting director Phyllis Huffman (nee Grennan) in 1967. The couple had two sons and remained married until Huffman's death in 1985.


On the morning February 27, 1985, Huffman was fatally stabbed by a suspected burglar in San Diego. The suspected burglar, a 16-year-old named Genaro Samano Villanueva, had been living in San Diego with family members for approximately five months. He had dropped out of high school but re-enrolled and was due to return to school on February 27. Earlier that morning, Villanueva was taken into custody by police after attempting to steal a radio from a car near his home on India Street. Police released Villanueva into the custody of the vice principal of his high school and told him to return to class. Instead, Villanueva left school and went to Balboa Park where he was spotted by Canadian tourist Jack Beamer. Beamer, his wife and another couple were visiting San Diego and staying in motor homes at the park. Beamer saw Villanueva prowling around inside his friends' motor home and yelled at him causing Villanueva to flee the scene.

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At the time of his death, David Huffman was appearing in the play Of Mice and Men at the Old Globe Theatre. He had visited the theatre shortly before noon to share cookies with the cast and crew. Huffman was sitting in his van near the theatre playing his bagpipes when he saw Beamer yell at Villanueva. He then gave chase in his vehicle before parking the van near the Spreckels Organ Pavilion and following Villanueva into the park. Huffman eventually caught up with the suspect and the two got into a physical altercation during which Villanueva stabbed Huffman twice in the chest with a screwdriver. Huffman died of exsanguination in 30 to 45 seconds. Huffman's body was found less than an hour later in a gulley in Palm Canyon by a group of children visiting the park on a field trip. As he was not carrying identification at the time of his death, Huffman's body was not positively identified until later that night. Police initially had no leads until the Canadian tourists whose motor home was being burglarized saw Huffman's photo and death announcement in the newspaper several days later and called police.

Villanueva was arrested on March 12 after a police officer recognized Villanueva from a composite sketch given to police by the Canadian tourist. In June 1986, Villanueva was sentenced to 26 years to life in prison for Huffman's murder. Huffman was set to begin work on the television miniseries North and South the following week. In December 2011, Genaro Villanueva was denied parole for 15 years.

Broadway stage credits

  • Butterflies Are Free as Don Baker (October 21, 1969 – July 2, 1972)
  • References

    David Huffman Wikipedia

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