Dennis Weaver, known as Chester from Gunsmoke and Sam McCloud from the NBC Mystery Movie series McCloud, is pushing up daisies on Boot Hill at the age of 81, the same age as Deputy Barney Fife. Undoubtedly, his best performance had to be in Steven Spielberg's incredible debut, Duel. For pure creepiness, check out Weaver as the motel manager in Orson Welles' Touch of Evil where he wouldn't have been a stranger in David Lynch country.
Now comes word that Darren McGavin, immortalized as The Old Man in the holiday perrenial A Christmas Story (You remember him. He won a major award.) is also taking a dirt nap. McGavin also starred in the second best Movie of the Week of all time (after Duel), that being The Night Stalker. After the sequel, the not quite as good The Night Strangler, he continued his role as reporter Carl Kolchak for the precursor to The X-Files entitled Kolchak-The Night Stalker. However, I will always remember him as the guy who went to Galt High School at the same time as my mom. Whenever he'd appear on TV, we used to kid her by saying, "There's your old boyfriend." God, we were funny kids.
So long, boys. I'll be waiting for your mentions on the Parade of Dead Folk on the innumerable award shows.
Wow, this'll keep 'em busy until next fall's Emmy telecast.