Monday, February 27, 2006

A bad day to be an aging character actor

Today we received the news of the deaths of Don Knotts, Darren McGavin, and Dennis Weaver. Each of them gave performances that brought me much pleasure.

Barney Fife is one of the greatest television characters in history and the writers of The Andy Griffith Show not withstanding, Don Knotts was the reason why. The interplay between Barney and Andy in that show is timeless.

Darren McGavin is best remembered as Kolchak, but he was a capable guest star on so many series it is difficult to count them all. And let us not forget his performance in A Christmas Story.

And Dennis Weaver was McCloud, which was a favorite of mine while I was growing up the 1970s. It rotated in its time slot with Columbo and McMillan and Wife, each of which was also a favorite. I enjoyed him in reruns of Gunsmoke as well, but for me he will always be Sam McCloud.

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