||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2013)|
January 29, 1931|
Watertown, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Died||February 27, 2015
Elmira, New York, U.S.
Richard Bakalyan (January 29, 1931 – February 27, 2015) was an American character actor who started his career playing juvenile delinquents in his first several films. He had some experience having served a year's probation at age 15.
During the filming of the The Cool and the Crazy, he and fellow actor Dick Jones were arrested for vagrancy in Kansas City. They had been standing on the corner between takes in "JD" outfits and the police thought that they were actual gang members. It took several hours for the film crew to explain to the police what was going on, and had them released from jail.
Born Richard Bakalyan on January 29, 1931 in Watertown, Massachusetts, he was the son of Armenian-born William Nishan Bakalyan and Canadian (from Nova Scotia) Elsie Florence (née Fancy) Bakalyan. Bakalyan began his career playing juvenile delinquents in his first several films. He had some experience having served a year's probation at age 15.
Early in his career he was cast as thugs, outlaws, and in military action films, like The Delinquents (1957), The Bonnie Parker Story (1958), and Up Periscope (1959). During the filming of 1958's juvenile-gang drama "The Cool and the Crazy", he and fellow actor Dick Jones were arrested for vagrancy for real on-location, in Kansas City. They were standing on the corner between takes in "JD" outfits and the police thought that they were actual gang members. It took several hours for the film crew to explain to the police what was going on, and had them released from jail.
By the mid-1960s, as he grew out of these roles, he became something of a comic heavy, often cast years later in family Disney films, though still known in dramas. Some of his Disney projects included The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes (1969), The Strongest Man in the World (1975), Return from Witch Mountain (1978), and voice-efforts in The Fox and the Hound (1981), as 'Dinky' the finch bird.
Bakalyan had an uncredited role in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965) as the good thief on the cross. He appeared in several of Frank Sinatra's movies during the 1960s, such as Robin and the 7 Hoods (1964), None but the Brave (1965), and Von Ryan's Express (1965), becoming lifelong friends with the Sinatra family. While filming Pressure Point in 1962, he became friends with co-star Bobby Darin, later becoming one of Bakalyan's closest friends. It's reported Bakalyan was one of the last friends to see Darin, before his early death from heart disease, in 1973.
A prolific character player, Bakalyan was profiled in the book, "Names You Never Remember, With Faces You Never Forget" by Justin Humphreys.
Bakalyan has also appeared on numerous television shows from the 1950s through the 2000s.. Early small screen performances came in "Panic!", The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Hawaiian Eye, The Untouchables, and Batman. Later he appeared in a variety of shows, including Love, American Style, Kojak, The Bionic Woman, Charlie's Angels, Hill Street Blues, and the NBC comedy series My Name Is Earl, which was his last screen effort in October 2008.
Richard Bakalyan died suddenly on February 27, 2015, at the Arnot Ogden Medical Center, in Elmira, New York, aged 84. He was predeceased by a brother, Gerald, but survived by another brother, William, and extended family.
- The Delinquents (1957)
- The Delicate Delinquent (1957)
- The Bonnie Parker Story (1958)
- The Cool and the Crazy (1958)
- Hot Car Girl (1958)
- Up Periscope (1959)
- Paratroop Command (1959)
- Panic in Year Zero! (1962)
- Pressure Point (1962)
- Operation Bikini (1963)
- Robin and the 7 Hoods (1964)
- The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)
- None but the Brave (1965)
- Von Ryan's Express (1965)
- Follow Me, Boys! (1966)
- The St. Valentine's Day Massacre (1967)
- Never a Dull Moment (1968)
- The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes (1969)
- Now You See Him, Now You Don't (1972)
- Charley and the Angel (1973)
- Chinatown (1974)
- The Strongest Man in the World (1975)
- The Shaggy D.A. (1976)
- Viva Valdez as Moretti in episode "The Apprentice" (September 6, 1976)
- Return from Witch Mountain (1978)
- H.O.T.S. (1979)
- The Fox and the Hound (1981) (voice)
- Cold Case as Wendell Foyt; "The House" (October 24, 2004)
- Names You Never Remember, With Faces You Never Forget, by Justin Humphreys. BearManor Media, Albany, 2006. ISBN 1-59393-041-0.
- Names you never remember, with faces you never forget: interviews with the movies' character actors by Justin Humphreys - page 45
- Lentz III, Harris (April 2015). "Obituaries". Classic Images (478): 50–56.
- "(TV listing)". The Argus. January 6, 1968. p. 7. Retrieved April 21, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Richard Bakalyan Obituary". Star-Gazette (legacy.com). March 1, 2015.
- "Double Feature Set For Plaza Two Days". The Paris News. July 20, 1958. p. 21. Retrieved April 21, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.