As Rice explained in an exclusive interview, the (then) unpublished novel all of this sprang from was originally called The Kolchak Papers, and it was the first to blend the newsroom and horror fiction genres. While Darren McGavin had a major supporting role as the bookmaker Gus Sands, he received no credit. And as if this wasn’t enough, between 1989 and 1992 he appeared in five episodes of Candice Bergen’s sitcom Murphy Brown, playing her father, Bill Brown. ", View agent, publicist, legal and company contact details on IMDbPro, Celebrating Olivia de Havilland's 100th Birthday. Burt Reynolds was brought in at studio head Lew Wasserman’s request, who said, ‘This is a new actor we just hired. But this illustrates why television must enter the area of the hour show if it’s going to achieve the quality that the competition is forcing.”, Riverboat, set in the 1830s, was his next series, a one-hour show that aired between 1959 and 1961 on NBC. It was the first film produced by TriStar Pictures. By the dream I mean the dream you want for yourself, where you set your sights in life, where you want to go. A remarkably seasoned actor of stage, screen and television, Darren McGavin has notched in excess of 200 performances; however, he is most fondly remembered by cult TV fans as heroic newspaper reporter Carl Kolchak in the classic but short-lived horror TV series Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974). He's a kind of folk hero who's battling the forces of evil that we can't pin down ourselves and deal with. McGavin made his film debut in … There are more bloodsuckers in Beverly Hills than you can ever put on television. I just wanted to perform the role.”. The second movie was equally successful, and spawned the short-lived TV series Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974) with Simon Oakland as McGavin's long-suffering editor and a host of weekly guest stars including Jim Backus, Phil Silvers, Richard Kiel, Tom Skerritt, Scatman Crothers and Larry Storch. In a move that seemed to have brought him back to the beginning of his career, McGavin wasn’t credited on the film and his name didn’t appear in any publicity for it. When I was approached to play the captain, I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to capture the feeing of a great era on the Mississippi River just before and during the Civil War, but we never once went on location and they tried to pattern the show after the highly successful Wagon Train series. “When Dennis the Menace made a big splash, they added a kid to the cast. You know, I don’t think it’s any mistake that two of the characters I’ve written books about are Columbo and Kolchak.”, “They have a lot of similarities,” he continues, speaking of the detective famously brought to life by Peter Falk. Lisa Marie Presley Keeps It Casual While Grocery Shopping in LA, George Clooney Jokes He 'Taught' His Twins a Prank to Play on Wife Amal, Tanya Roberts' Hollywood Home Is Her Dream Come True — Pics, Martina McBride Reveals How 'Passionate' Upbringing Led to Her Success, How Marie Osmond's 'Faith' Helped Her Overcome Challenges in Life, Murphy Brown's Candice Bergen Is an 'Eternal Optimist' at 74 Years Old, Inside Actress Ann-Margret's Life After Husband Roger Smith's Death, Candace Cameron Bure Says Secret to Her 24-Year Marriage Is 'Great Sex', Inside Betty White's 'Low-Key' Plans for Her Upcoming 99th Birthday, Angela Bassett's Advice To Her Younger Self: 'Keep Falling in Love', Inside Actress Julianne Moore's 'Happy' Marriage to Bart Freundlich. McGavin assumed he was hired as the star of the show while Reynolds hoped the series would give him an opportunity to ultimately make a name for himself. Well, it was a kick to see Darren in that seersucker suit.”, “I remember a story that was told about, of all people, Jack Dempsey, and long after he’d been heavyweight champion,” says Dawidziak. It was the kindest thing the network could do.” And when he was asked if he’d be interested in another series, he snapped, “Never!”. Not as an actor, but as a scenic artist. Ross is an entirely different type. After the classic struggle and dozens of part-time jobs to survive, he was admitted to the famed Sanford Meisner’s Neighborhood Playhouse. That’s what I’m talking about.”. I enjoyed portraying him from the standpoint that I could pull out all the stops. His daughter, Graemm Bridget McGavin, says, ‘I can’t tell you how many people come up to me and say, ‘You know, he’s just like my dad.’ This is the closest to him of any of his roles. He’s the father of four children. CucamongaDan. In the recent retrospective documentary on the Special Edition DVD of this movie, Robert Prosky (the Judge) claimed that McGavin was cast late in the picture, and would have received a lesser billing than the other stars. Darren McGavin (May 7, 1922 – February 25, 2006) was an American actor best known for his portrayal of the grumpy but loving father in the film A Christmas Story, and for the title role in the television horror series Kolchak: The Night Stalker. And when the script was written by Richard Matheson, again you would not have necessarily pictured Darren McGavin. Member since October 1999. He’s a loner, because of a bitter past fraught with obstacles and social alienation. Sean Connery had James Bond, Christopher Reeve had Superman and McGavin had reporter Carl Kolchak, who was at the center of the 1972 Movie of the Week, The Night Stalker. “All I wanted to do was create a ‘good read’ of the type that I thought I would find entertaining; something for people to use to kill time in airports, on planes or in hotels when stuck overnight in a strange town. As noted earlier, it was while doing scenery work that McGavin scored his first role — ultimately uncredited — in 1945’s A Song to Remember. Received a B.F.A. Well, I knew that was the summer uniform of reporters in New York of that time, so that’s how the wardrobe came about. 10K 795 2. In 2003, The Hanford Sentinel did a retrospective piece on the film, commenting on McGavin, “Although he was not the first choice, [he] proved he was the best choice, bringing a boyish musicality to the character of the Old Man, crossed with the grumpy scowling of a well-practiced curmudgeon. He was 83. The always versatile McGavin also popped up as a detective in Turk 182 (1985), assisted Arnold Schwarzenegger in cleaning up the mob in Raw Deal (1986) and was a doctor in the bizarre zombie/cop/zombie cop film Dead Heat (1988).At this point it's worth mentioning that, along with his film and TV work, McGavin has also enjoyed an illustrious career on the stage, with appearances in dozens of critically acclaimed productions across the length and breadth of the US. It's funny 'cause I just saw The Natural too and Darren McGavin's (uncredited) eye looked kinda wonky, at first, but then I realised it was only a contact lense and it was supposed to be wonky. One of Gus' Girls (uncredited) Darren McGavin. Speaking to the San Francisco Examiner in 1959, he expressed, “In the 30-minute format, you either sacrifice plot for character and mood, or character and mood for plot. He received his dramatic arts training at New York's Neighborhood Playhouse and the Actors Studio, and debuted on screen in an uncredited role in A Song to Remember (1945). You want versatility? She took me to the back of the stage and showed me the flats. Seeing the old boat sitting there idle bugged him, so he suggested t higher-ups that they build a series around the boat. McGavin made his film debut in … He put me in a Catholic boarding school and I went from there to various foster homes. and the highest-rated telemovie of 1972, and original scriptwriters were soon hard at work on a punchier sequel. More importantly, he found his true passion on the stage. Darren said, ‘We gotta shoot me up in the wheelhouse. McGavin made an uncredited appearance in 1984's The Natural as a shady gambler and appeared on a Christmas episode ("Midnight of the Century") of Millennium, playing the long-estranged father of Frank Black (Lance Henriksen); he also appeared as Adam Sandler's hotel-magnate father in … Due to the popularity of both the film and the character, created by the late Jeff Rice (himself a former reporter), Kolchak returned the following year for another TV movie, The Night Strangler, and then again in 1974 for the short-lived weekly series, Kolchak: The Night Stalker. I was stand-by painter and was permitted on the set while they were working. We were halfway through filming and didn’t know where the hell we were going to use him. He was the dope pusher in The Man with the Golden Arm with Frank Sinatra. "Kolchak" only lasted one season, but it became a bona-fide cult classic, and many years later its premise of "the unknown amongst us" inspired writer Chris Carter to create the phenomenally successful long-running TV series The X-Files (1993), which saw McGavin guest-star in several episodes.McGavin remained busy throughout the rest of the 1970s and into the 1980s, appearing in Airport '77 (1977), as Gen. George S. Patton in the TV miniseries Ike: The War Years (1979), alongside Rock Hudson in the uneven sci-fi miniseries The Martian Chronicles (1980) and a few years later endeared himself to to a whole new generation of fans with his superb performance as the vitriolic, yet buffoonish, father in the delightful Christmas classic A Christmas Story (1983). Hopefully those words were indeed marked, because it wouldn’t be long before McGavin proved him right. But then there was the addition into the mix of McGavin. My English teacher also taught drama. But I think Ross is a much more ‘human’ character than Hammer ever was.” Unfortunately, the audience didn’t go for it the same way they had his take on Spillane’s character. Stephen Boyd Actor Athletic body, dark brown hair & hairstyles Kirk Douglas American actor and film producer Between 1949 and 1994 he appeared in a touring production of Death of a Salesman (as Happy Lohman) and in My 3 Angels (1954), The Rainmaker (1955), The Innkeepers (1956), The Lovers (1956), The Tunnel of Love (1956), Two for the Seesaw (1959), Blood, Sweat and Stanley Poole (1961), A Thousand Clowns (1964), The King and I (1966), Dinner at Eight (1967) and Greetings (1993 to 1994). Member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Actors Branch). firstname.lastname@example.org, Other Works All the network saw were these cockamamie monsters. During the filming of the movie, Robert Redford was so pleased with McGavin's portrayal of his character that they began to expand the role. The movie was nominated for four Academy Awards including Actress in a Supporting Role (Glenn Close), Cinematography (Caleb Deschanel), Art Direction, and Music, thanks to the iconic score by Randy Newman. fan in stands at War Memorial & All-High Stadium (uncredited) Diane H. Kelly. As noted earlier, “The Old Man” in A Christmas Story is a good example. He always wanted to get back to New York and work on the Daily News.”, McGavin, Dawidziak says, essentially merged his own personality with that of Kolchak’s. ... McGavin remained an enigma until his death from natural causes at 83 on 26 February. He studied drama at HB Studio in Greenwich Village in New York City. “They’re both shabbily dressed, sons of immigrants with European surnames who drive dilapidated cars and get there through sheer determination. The show ran for two seasons from 1958 to 1959 and a total of 78 episodes and garnered a strong audience following. To deal with it, he threw himself back into work on his first headlining film, The Delicate Delinquent, and was looking for someone to essentially take Dean’s place. Closer Weekly is part of the A360 Media Entertainment Group.Copyright © A360 Media LLC 2021. As a result he would have had to take a lesser billing in the credits. It’s the kind we need now. Darren always was able to make that character stand up and dance. Why was Darren McGavin uncredited in the natural? And I see nothing wrong with trying to do it in television so long as you feel you are working with people who are seeking to do a good job with material you can respect. A wonderful Irishman. He even claims to have a magic eye to help him pick winners and losers. In the East, you do your own pushing.”, In 1968, the Valley Times of Hollywood, California offered up a profile of the actor, noting, “The young Irishman packed his one suitcase and left for New York. Darren W. Conrad. McGavin received his dramatic arts training at New York's Neighborhood Playhouse and the Actors Studio. But there are certain roles that actors seem to have been born to play and the thing is, no matter what else they do, they will always be remembered for that part. You need goals for a character and Kolchak’s goal is to get back to the big time. It’s kind of a crazy comparison to me, but anytime Peter put on that raincoat, it was like Dempsey putting on the gloves. And despite his best efforts, besides guest starring roles over the years he found himself starring in a number of series. In the next five years he starred and co-starred in over 100 live shows — just one of the many reasons that today Darren McGavin finds acting easy.”, And through it all he was filled with a drive to succeed, telling the Daily Independent, “I’d go insane if I’m not working. Reba Mcentire Is All Smiles During Beach Vacation in Barbados! It beautifully captures the era and the family dynamic is wonderful. In a conversation with the biggest gossip columnist of the time, Hedda Hopper, he announced that he’d found his man: Darren McGavin. In 20 episodes, Burt Reynolds was given one of his early roles as Ben Frazer. And if if I’ve learned anything in this business, it’s that an actor had better be interesting.”, On Westernclippings.com, an exhaustive site devoted to TV Westerns, in an interview with Riverboat producer Gordon Kay, he said, “Darren McGavin was a nut. In 1971 he landed the role of cynical reporter Carl Kolchak in the low-budget horror thriller The Night Stalker (1972), about a vampire running amok in Las Vegas. Who knows what's going on in the White house or big business or the halls of Congress or the oil companies. Like the book, the film recounts the experiences of Roy Hobbs, an individual with great "natural" baseball talent, spanning the decades of Roy's career. I’m going to watch that.’ So it does become very insular in a way. There is no question that Darren McGavin created a wide variety of characters over the course of his career, many of them memorable. If you want proof, check out the 1970 TV movie Tribes in which he plays a tough-as-nails Marine drill instructor confronted with a maverick recruit. To read much more about Darren McGavin, please scroll down. Needless to say, he had a part, which he enjoyed. It’s a role for which he was nominated for a Primetime Emmy in the category of Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series. Baseball Fan (uncredited) Jack Scalia. Soon, he debuted on screen in "A Song to Remember" (1945). The book Kolchak was more hulking; based on a reporter Jeff had known in Las Vegas. Closer Weekly has affiliate partnerships so we may receive compensation for some links to products and services. Those were the cold years. The film was a monster ratings winner (pun intended!) The Night Strangler (1973) saw Kolchak in Seattle (after being booted out of Las Vegas by the police), and this time on the trail of a serial killer seeking the elixir of eternal youth. “That wasn’t my main consideration when I started the actually drafting,” he said. “I have a family,” he told the Democrat and Chronicle at the time, “and I see nothing wrong with an actor trying to establish a little security when he gets the chance. In another movie called Tribes, he plays a drill instructor and Jan Michael Vincent is a hippie who ends up being drafted and sent to Marine boot camp. Oh, and there’s one thing about the set up that pleases me especially. For starters, his father — through what he called “quirks in the court system” — ended up with custody of him. Thus McGavin chose to go uncredited. Studied Martial Arts when he was starting his career as an actor for his acting abilities. I was pretty good and I stayed after school to build the scenery. “Saw his face on a player’s directory, phoned him, liked him. Studied acting at New York City's prestigious Neighborhood Playhouse under legendary acting coach. He brought humor to Mike Hammer without compromising either the brutality or the vengeance-seeking ways of Spillane’s famous private eye … Hammer’s debut was greeted with the same critical enthusiasm as his large screen ones; a critical hammering. Please use him.’ They even wanted some lines. In it, he plays Captain Grey Holden, captain of the riverboat Enterprise sailing along the Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio Rivers, encountering a variety of people — some fictional, some historical — along the way. But no matter what happened on a personal basis, I still think Darren McGavin is an interesting actor. On top of that, in a movie called The Challenge he plays some type of mercenary who has single warrior combat on an island to decide some Cold War dispute. 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