Kevin McCarthy (actor)

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Kevin McCarthy
Kevin McCarthy in Invasion of the Body Snatchers trailer.jpg
Born (1914-02-15)February 15, 1914
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Died September 11, 2010(2010-09-11) (aged 96)
Hyannis, Massachusetts, U.S.
Resting place
Cremation
Occupation Actor
Years active 1937–2010
Spouse(s) Augusta Dabney (m. 1941–61) 3 children
Kate Crane (m. 1979–2010) (his death) 2 children

Kevin McCarthy (February 15, 1914 – September 11, 2010)[1] was an American stage, film, and television actor who appeared in over two hundred television and film roles, including the lead role in 1956 horror science fiction film Invasion of the Body Snatchers.[2] For his role in the film version of Death of a Salesman (1951), he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and won a Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year - Actor.[3]

Life and career[edit]

McCarthy was born in Seattle, Washington, the son of Martha Therese (née Preston) and Roy Winfield McCarthy.[4] McCarthy's father was descended from a wealthy Irish American family based in Minnesota. His mother was born in Washington state to a Protestant father and a Jewish mother.[5] He was the brother of author Mary McCarthy, and a distant cousin of former U.S. senator and presidential candidate Eugene J. McCarthy of Minnesota. His parents both died in the 1918 flu pandemic, and the four children went to live with relatives in Minneapolis. After five years of near-Dickensian mistreatment, described in Mary McCarthy's memoirs, the children were separated: Mary moved in with their maternal grandparents, and Kevin and his younger brothers were cared for by relatives in Minneapolis.[2] McCarthy graduated in 1932 from Campion High School in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin,[6] then attended the University of Minnesota, where he appeared in his first play Henry IV, Part 1, and discovered a love of acting.

During his service in World War II in the United States Army Air Corps, in addition to his acting career, McCarthy appeared in a number of training films. At least one of these films (covering the Boeing B-17), has been distributed on DVD.

McCarthy is a founding member of The Actors Studio.[7]

McCarthy enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a character actor. He had starring roles in his career, in particular the science fiction film classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956). On television, he had roles in two short-lived series: The Survivors (1969) with Lana Turner; and NBC's Flamingo Road (1980–1982) as Claude Weldon, father of Morgan Fairchild character.

McCarthy appeared with Alexis Smith in the NBC anthology series, The Joseph Cotten Show in the episode "We Who Love Her" (1956). He was cast in an episode of the religion anthology series, Crossroads. McCarthy appeared in the 1959 episode "The Wall Between" of CBS's The DuPont Show with June Allyson. He guest starred in an episode of CBS's The Twilight Zone entitled "Long Live Walter Jameson" (1960), as the title character.

McCarthy made two appearances in The Rifleman, portraying Mark Twain in "The Shattered Idol" (episode 120), original Air Date: 12/4/1961, and Winslow Quince in "Suspicion" (episode 157), original Air Date: 1/14/1963. [1] [2]

In 1963, McCarthy appeared in the ABC medical drama Breaking Point in the episode entitled "Fire and Ice". He guest starred in the ABC drama Going My Way, about the Roman Catholic priesthood in New York City. He was cast as well in a 1964 episode of James Franciscus's NBC education drama, Mr. Novak. In 1966, he appeared in the episode "Wife Killer" of the ABC adventure series The Fugitive. In 1967, he guest starred in the episode "Never Chase a Rainbow" of NBC's western series, The Road West starring Barry Sullivan.

In 1968, he guest starred on Hawaii Five-O in the episode "Full Fathom Five" as the chief antagonist, Victor Reese.The Wild Wild West (CBS) Season 4 (1968-69)His turn as Maj. Gen Kroll in “The Night of the Doomsday Formula” made one of the best villains of the series. In 1971, he guest starred in the "Conqueror's Gold" episode of Bearcats! which starred Rod Taylor with whom McCarthy had appeared in the films "A Gathering of Eagles," "Hotel (1967 film)" and "The Hell With Heroes".

In 1977, he and Clu Gulager, previously cast with Barry Sullivan on NBC's The Tall Man, appeared in the episode "The Army Deserter" of the NBC western series, The Oregon Trail, with Rod Taylor. In 1985, McCarthy guest-starred in a fourth Season episode of The A-Team called "Members Only". Earlier, he starred in the 1976 Broadway play Poor Murderer.

McCarthy appeared as Judge Crandall in The Midnight Hour, a 1985 comedy/horror television movie.

McCarthy was one of three actors (with Dick Miller and Robert Picardo) often cast by director Joe Dante. McCarthy's most notable role in Dante's films was in 1987 as the prime antagonist, Victor Scrimshaw, in Innerspace.

In 1989, he played television station owner R.J. Fletcher in Weird Al Yankovic's cult classic UHF. Yankovic noted that "Kevin McCarthy was terrific. We had set him up to be this really rotten bad guy; but every time the director said, 'CUT!,' McCarthy would burst out laughing."

In 1996 he played Gordon Fitzpatrick in The Pandora Directive, an FMV adventure game starring Tex Murphy.

In 2007 McCarthy appeared as himself in the Anthony Hopkins film Slipstream. The film made references to the film, Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

On October 24, 2009, McCarthy was honored at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival in Florida.[8]

His last role in a feature-length movie was as The Grand Inquisitor in the sci-fi musical comedy The Ghastly Love of Johnny X.

Personal life[edit]

McCarthy was married to Augusta Dabney, with whom he had three children, from 1941 until their divorce in 1961. In 1979, he married Kate Crane, who survived him. The couple had two children.[2] From 1942, McCarthy had a close friendship with actor Montgomery Clift. McCarthy and Clift were cast in a play together, Ramon Naya's Mexican Mural. The two, along with McCarthy's wife Augusta Dabney, became the best of friends and were believed to be lovers according to Tennessee Williams and George Whitmore.[9] They socialized together and acted together in several projects. The two collaborated on a screenplay for a film adaptation of the Tennessee Williams/Donald Windham play You Touched Me!, but the project never came to fruition. McCarthy died of pneumonia on September 11, 2010 at the age of ninety-six.

Selected filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ McLellan, Dennis (1914-02-15). "Kevin McCarthy obituary: 'Body Snatchers' actor McCarthy dies". latimes.com. Retrieved 2010-09-12. 
  2. ^ a b c Gates, Anita (September 12, 2010). "Kevin McCarthy, Actor, Dies at 96". The New York Times. Retrieved September 13, 2010. 
  3. ^ Montgomery Clift by Patricia Bosworth, p. 225
  4. ^ Kevin McCarthy Biography (1914-)
  5. ^ "Mary McCarthy, age 11, returns to Seattle to live with her maternal grandparents in 1923.". HistoryLink.org. Retrieved 2010-09-12. 
  6. ^ http://www.campion-knights.org/Notables/
  7. ^ Garfield, David (1980). "Birth of The Actors Studio: 1947-1950". A Player's Place: The Story of the Actors Studio. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. p. 52. ISBN 0-02-542650-8. Lewis' class included Herbert Berghof, Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, Mildred Dunnock, Tom Ewell, John Forsythe, Anne Jackson, Sidney Lumet, Kevin McCarthy, Karl Malden, E.G. Marshall, Patricia Neal, William Redfield, Jerome Robbins, Maureen Stapleton, Beatrice Straight, Eli Wallach, and David Wayne. 
  8. ^ Veteran Actor Kevin Mccarthy Honored at Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival
  9. ^ George Whitmore in Winston Leyland (ed), Gay Sunshine Interviews, (San Francisco, Gay Sunshine Press 1978), p. 324.

External links[edit]