Maury Chaykin

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Maury Chaykin
Maury Chaykin in A Nero Wolfe Mystery
Maury Alan Chaykin

(1949-07-27)July 27, 1949
New York City, U.S.
DiedJuly 27, 2010(2010-07-27) (aged 61)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Years active1968–2010
  • Ilana Frank (married ?–1993)
  • Susannah Hoffmann (married ?–2010)

Maury Alan Chaykin (July 27, 1949 – July 27, 2010) was an American–Canadian actor, best known for his portrayal of Rex Stout's fictional detective Nero Wolfe in the A&E series A Nero Wolfe Mystery, as well as for his work as a character actor in many films and television programs.[1]

His film appearances include The Kidnapping of the President, WarGames, Twins, Dances with Wolves, My Cousin Vinny, Devil in a Blue Dress, Cutthroat Island, The Mask of Zorro, Entrapment and Mystery, Alaska. Television wise, he starred as Sam Blecher in the first two seasons of the Canadian dramedy Less Than Kind, and made guest appearances in Seeing Things, Philip Marlowe, Private Eye, The Twilight Zone, Street Legal, La Femme Nikita, Due South, Lexx, Andromeda, CSI, Stargate SG-1, Entourage, Boston Legal and Eureka.

Personal life[edit]

Chaykin was born to Jewish parents in Brooklyn, New York. His father, Irving J. Chaykin (1912–2007), was born in Brooklyn, and was a professor of accountancy at City College of New York.[2] His mother, Clarice Chaykin (née Bloomfield, 1921–2012),[3] was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, but raised in Montreal, Quebec, since the age of three. She graduated from Beth Israel Hospital nursing school in Newark, New Jersey.[4] Chaykin's maternal uncle, George Bloomfield (1930–2011), was a veteran Canadian director, producer, writer and actor who directed Chaykin in a number of projects for film and television.[5]

Raised in New York City, Chaykin studied drama at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. He subsequently moved to Toronto, Ontario, where he resided until his death. Chaykin's first marriage, to Canadian producer Ilana Frank, ended in divorce.[6] He was subsequently married to Canadian actress Susannah Hoffmann, with whom he had one daughter, Rose. Best known for having played Jen Pringle in the Anne of Avonlea series, Hoffmann had a supporting role in a 2002 episode of the television series A Nero Wolfe Mystery, in which Chaykin starred.[citation needed]

Chaykin was a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.[1]


Chaykin was known for portrayals of blustery supporting characters. One of his rare leading roles was Nero Wolfe. Chaykin first played the legendary detective in The Golden Spiders: A Nero Wolfe Mystery (2000), an A&E telefilm adaptation of the 1953 novel by Rex Stout. Timothy Hutton costarred in the production as Archie Goodwin. The New York Times reported Chaykin's "undisguised delight" at starring in the promotion for The Golden Spiders: "There's an extraordinary billboard up on Sunset Boulevard right now, with a humongous photograph of my face. ... I drive by it constantly, back and forth, back and forth."[7] The original movie's success led to the weekly series, A Nero Wolfe Mystery, which played for two seasons on A&E and continues to air internationally. Chaykin and Hutton had worked together previously, albeit briefly, in the 1985 film Turk 182; and they worked together subsequently, in the 2006 film Heavens Fall.[citation needed]

Two of Chaykin's early motion picture roles brought him public recognition: computer programmer Jim Sting in WarGames and prosecution witness Sam Tipton in My Cousin Vinny. In 1990, he had a small but pivotal role in the film Dances with Wolves, portraying Major Fambrough, an Army fort commander who kills himself as a result of becoming insane.[citation needed]

Chaykin had his first starring role in Whale Music, a 1994 film in which he played a burned-out rock star, a character based largely on Brian Wilson. Chaykin was named Best Actor at the 15th Genie Awards for his portrayal.[citation needed]

Chaykin also had roles on the television series Seeing Things and Emily of New Moon as well as a recurring role as the intergalactic gourmand Nerus (a nod to Nero Wolfe)[8] in Stargate SG-1.

Chaykin portrayed the colorful bookie Frank Perlin opposite Philip Seymour Hoffman's compulsive gambler Dan Mahowny in Owning Mahowny, a film that critic Roger Ebert named as one of the ten best of 2003. In 2006, Chaykin appeared in an episode of the Ken Finkleman miniseries At the Hotel and received a Gemini Award for best performance by an actor in a guest role. He had a semi-recurring role in the HBO series Entourage, as volatile movie producer Harvey Weingard, a send-up of the disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein. He also appeared as Stan Deane, father of Kevin Zegers' character Woody Deane, in the 2006 romantic comedy It's a Boy Girl Thing.[citation needed]

Chaykin starred as Sam Blecher, the owner of a family-run driving school in Winnipeg, in the first two seasons (2008–2010) of the Canadian comedy-drama television series Less Than Kind. The series received the 2010 Gemini Award for Best Comedy Program or Series.[9]

"Sam is an out-of-control, good-hearted, big-hearted person who just can't quite get it right with his family," Chaykin told Q radio interviewer Jian Ghomeshi in April 2010. "He's full of love but he can't express it. But what he does express is anxiety, desperation, and the need to dominate, which is kind of pathetic." Asked whether he liked the character, Chaykin replied, "I love him. I do, I really do, and it's the same kind of love that a person has for family — where you see their foibles but at the same time you embrace them because they are a part of you. And Sam certainly is a part of me."[10]

In 2011 Chaykin posthumously received the ACTRA Toronto Award for Outstanding Performance — Male for his performance as Sam Blecher in Less Than Kind. He had been nominated for the award in 2003, for his portrayal of Nero Wolfe.[citation needed]


Maury Chaykin died in Toronto on July 27, 2010, his 61st birthday, from complications of a heart valve infection.[1]



Select theatre credits for Maury Chaykin were part of his resumé at Edna Talent Management, Ltd.[11]

Year Title Role Company Director Refs
1968 Oh! What A Lovely War Ambassador University at Buffalo Theatre Tom Moore [12]
1973 Fat Fell Down Spike Theater for the New City [13]
1974 Me? Oliver Jordan Toronto Free Theatre John Palmer
1974 Tony's Woman Alexq Theatre Passe Muraille Hrant Alianak [14]
1977 Gossip Sam Lewis Toronto Free Theatre John Palmer
1977 The Boy Bishop De Bois Factory Theatre Lab Ken Gass [15]
1977 Romulus the Great Zeno Theatre Plus Marion André [16]
1978 Gimme Shelter Ton Brooklyn Academy of Music Dodger Theatre Des McAnuff [17]
1979 Leave It to Beaver Is Dead Thompson The Public Theatre Des McAnuff [18]
1985 A Man's a Man Jip La Jolla Playhouse Robert Woodruff [19]


Year Title Role Notes
1975 Me Oliver Jordan
1978 King of Kensington Unknown Episode: "Polyfur"
1980 Jimmy B. and André Bruno TV movie
1980 Nothing Personal Kanook
1980 Double Negative Rollins
1980 The Kidnapping of the President Harvey Cannon
1981 Death Hunt Clarence
1981 Just Jessie Joey Harper TV movie
1981 The July Group Harvey TV movie
1982 Soup for One Dr. Wexler
1982 Highpoint Falco
1982–1986 Seeing Things Randall Jackson 4 episodes
1983 ABC Weekend Special "Mousey" Episode: "Horatio Alger Updated: Frank and Fearless"
1983 Curtains Monty
1983 WarGames Jim Sting
1983 Of Unknown Origin Dan Errol
1983 American Playhouse Gondol Episodes: "Overdrawn at the Memory Bank"
1984 Harry & Son Lawrence
1984 The Guardian Rudy Simbro TV movie
1984 Hockey Night "Bum" Johnston TV movie
1984 Mrs. Soffel Guard Charlie Reynolds
1985 Turk 182 Man In Wheelchair
1985 Def-Con 4 Vinny
1985 In Like Flynn Williams TV movie
1985 Canada's Sweetheart: The Saga of Hal C. Banks Harold Chamberlain Banks TV movie
1985 The Suicide Murders Sid TV movie
1986 The Vindicator Burt Arthurs
1986 Act of Vengeance Claude Vealey TV movie
1986 Philip Marlowe, Private Eye Lieutenant Copernik Episode: "Red Wind"
1986 Adderly Russian Agent Episode: "Requiem"
1986 Meatballs III: Summer Job Huey, River Rat Leader
1986 Night Heat Mallory / Merle Marlowe 2 episodes
1986 Crime Story Steven Kordo Episode: "Crime Pays"
1986 Sharon, Lois & Bram's Elephant Show Fire Captain Episode: "There's an Elephant Stuck Up That Tree"
1987 The Bedroom Window Pool Player
1987 Wild Thing Jonathan Trask
1987 Nowhere to Hide Marchais
1987 Diamonds Murray Wolf Episode: "Here Comes the Bride"
1987 Hearts of Fire Charlie Kelso
1987 Caribe Captain Burdoch
1987 Race for the Bomb General Leslie Groves 2 episodes
1987 Future Block Unknown Short, Voice
1987 Higher Education Guido Uncredited
1988 Stars and Bars Freeborn Gage
1988 Hot Paint Wilensky TV movie
1988 Iron Eagle II Sergeant Downs
1988 Twins Burt Klane
1989 The Twilight Zone James L. "Fats" Brown Episode: "A Game of Pool"
1989 Millennium Roger Keane
1989 Cold Comfort Floyd Lucas
1989 George's Island Mr. Droonfield
1989 Breaking In Vincent Tucci
1990 Where the Heart Is Harry
1990 Street Legal Ben Tochet 2 episodes
1990 Mr. Destiny Guzelman
1990 Dances with Wolves Major Fambrough
1990 Labor of Love Unknown TV movie
1991 The Adjuster Bubba
1991 The Pianist Cody
1991 Montréal vu par... Jurgen Van Doom (segment "En passant")
1991 Conspiracy of Silence Lawyer D'Arcy Bancroft Episode: "Episode #1.1"
1992 My Cousin Vinny Sam Tipton
1992 Leaving Normal Leon "Crazy-As" Pendleton
1992 Buried on Sunday Dexter Lexcannon
1992 Hero Winston, Bernie's Landlord
1992 Split Images Walter Kouza TV movie
1993 Sommersby Lawyer Dawson
1993 Matrix Lionel Meeks / Charles Meeks 2 episodes
1993 Money for Nothing Vincente Goldoni
1993 Josh and S.A.M. Pizza Man
1993 Beethoven's 2nd Cliff Klamath
1994 Exotica Exotica Club Client Uncredited
1994 Whale Music Desmond Howl Genie Award
1994 Camilla Harold Cara
1994 Transplant Unknown
1995 Unstrung Heroes Arthur Lidz
1995 Devil in a Blue Dress Matthew Terell
1995 Sugartime Tony Accardo TV movie
1995 Cutthroat Island John Reed
1996 If Looks Could Kill Dr. Richard Boggs TV movie
1996 Harriet the Spy Holiday Pageant Director Uncredited
1997 Keeping the Promise Ben Loomis TV movie
1997 La Femme Nikita Rudy Episode: "Innocent" — Gemini Award
1997 Love and Death on Long Island Irving Buckmuller
1997 The Sweet Hereafter Wendell Walker
1997 Gone Fishin' Kirk, The Waiter Uncredited
1997 Strip Search Tomas
1997 Northern Lights Ben Rubadue TV movie
1997 Pale Saints The Pirate
1997 A Life Less Ordinary Tod Johnson
1997 Mouse Hunt Alexander Falko
1997–1998 Due South Pike / Jasper Gutman 2 episodes
1998 Tracey Takes On... Kurt Rasmussen Episode: "Marriage"
1998 Jerry and Tom Billy
1998 Emily of New Moon Lofty John Episode: "Paradise Lost"
1998 The Mask of Zorro Prison Warden
1998 Psi Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal Dr. Bob Dalhousie Episode: "Harlequin"
1998 Death by Dawn Unknown
1999 Lexx Pa Gollean 2 episodes
1999 Let the Devil Wear Black Bruce
1999 Entrapment Conrad Greene
1999 Touched Bert
1999 Jacob Two Two Meets the Hooded Fang Mr. Cooper / Louie Loser
1999 Mystery, Alaska Bailey Pruitt
1999 Made in Canada Captain McGee Episode: "For the Children"
1999 Joan of Arc Sir Robert de Baudricourt 3 episodes
2000 What's Cooking? Herbie Seelig
2000 The Golden Spiders: A Nero Wolfe Mystery Nero Wolfe TV movie
2000 The Art of War FBI Agent Frank Capella
2001 Bartleby Ernest
2001 Varian's War Marcello TV movie
2001 Plan B Donald Rossi
2001 On Their Knees Norman
2001–2002 A Nero Wolfe Mystery Nero Wolfe 20 episodes
2001 Bleacher Bums Billy, The Scorekeeper TV movie
2002 Crossed Over Ethan Lowry TV movie
2002 Past Perfect Chuck
2002 The Wet Season Uncle Rick Short
2002 Hostage The Kidnapper Segment for the BMW short film series The Hire
2003 Owning Mahowny Frank Perlin
2003 Tracey Ullman in the Trailer Tales Dan Weisman TV movie
2003 Andromeda Citizen Eight Episode: "Pieces of Eight"
2004 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Joseph Greene / Joe Landers Episode: "No More Bets"
2004 Sugar Stanley
2004 The Eleventh Hour Dr. Jackson Episode: "The Revenge Specialist"
2004 Being Julia Walter Gibbs
2004 Intern Academy Dr. Roger "Tony" Toussant
2004 Wilby Wonderful Mayor Brent Fisher
2004 Sex Traffic Ernie Dwight 2 episodes
2005 Where the Truth Lies Sally Sanmarco
2005 The Hunt for the BTK Killer Robert Beattie TV movie
2005–2006 Stargate SG-1 Nerus 2 episodes
2005–2007 Entourage Harvey Weingard 4 episodes
2006 Boston Legal Ryan Myerson Episode: "Live Big"
2006 At the Hotel' Jerry Mitchell Episode: "The Perfect Couple" — Gemini Award
2006 Trailer Park Boys Chief of Police Episode: "Gimme My Fuckin Money or Randy's Dead"
2006 Eureka Sheriff William Cobb Episode: "Pilot"
2006 Heavens Fall Lyle Harris
2006 It's a Boy Girl Thing Stan Deane
2007 Superstorm Senator Wallace 3 episodes
2007 Elijah Premier Howard Pawley TV movie
2008 Production Office Shelly
2008 The Grift Rusty
2008 Blindness The Accountant
2008 Adoration Passenger & Professor On-Line
2008 Glitch Mr. Linkletter TV movie
2008 Bull Roland Gow
2008 Murder on Her Mind John Emory TV movie
2008 Hooked on Speedman Dietrich Baum
2008–2010 Less Than Kind Sam Blecher 26 episodes
ACTRA Toronto Award
2009 Cooking with Stella H.E. Mr. Durand
2009 Abroad Lord Oldenberg TV movie
2010 Barney's Version John Emory
2010 Casino Jack Anthony "Big Tony" Moscatiello
2011 The Drunk and On Drugs Happy Fun Time Hour Doctor Funtime Episode: "Maury Chaykin Fucked Us" (final role)
2011 Conduct Unbecoming Colonel Fox (posthumous release)



  1. ^ a b c Weber, Bruce (2010-07-29). "Maury Chaykin, Character Actor, Dies at 61". The New York Times. Retrieved 2021-08-17.
  2. ^ Irving Chaykin death notice in The New York Times, April 1, 2007; Irving Chaykin memorial at Baruch College
  3. ^ Clarice Chaykin Obituary in The New York Times, May 23, 2012
  4. ^ Multicultural Canada Archived 2012-07-14 at, Canadian Jewish Review, April 12, 1946, p. 18
  5. ^ George Bloomfield obituary Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine, The Globe and Mail, May 16, 2011. George Bloomfield, Internet Movie Database (retrieved May 26, 2011). Bloomfield directed Chaykin in films including Riel, Double Negative and Nothing Personal. For television, Bloomfield directed Chaykin in the TV movie Jacob Two Two Meets the Hooded Fang as well as episodes of Street Legal, La Femme Nikita, Emily of New Moon and A Nero Wolfe Mystery ("Murder Is Corny," "Poison à la Carte").
  6. ^ "Award-winning actor was TV's 'Nero Wolfe'";The Washington Post, July 28, 2010. Posner, Michael, "Obituaries; Maury Alan Chaykin, 61." The Globe and Mail, July 31, 2010
  7. ^ Weitzman, Elizabeth, "The Nominees for Hardest-Working Actor Are..."; The New York Times, March 12, 2000. "It's a rare show of vanity for an actor who specializes in particularly unsavory characters," Weitzman wrote.
  8. ^ Zekas, Rita, "That's a Maury," Toronto Star, February 19, 2006. "I've been playing a character called Nerus on a few episodes of Stargate SG-1", Chaykin told the columnist. "The creator of the show is a big fan of Nero Wolfe. Nerus is a gourmand from a different planet."
  9. ^ "Less Than Kind wins 3 Geminis". CBC News, November 13, 2010. Retrieved 2013-07-28.
  10. ^ "Maury Chaykin on Q TV" on YouTube; CBC Q video interview by Jian Ghomeshi, posted April 28, 2010
  11. ^ Maury Chaykin at the Wayback Machine (archived December 4, 2008), Edna Talent Management Ltd., archived 2008-12-04 from the original at the Internet Archive. Retrieved 2013-12-14.
  12. ^ "Tom Moore". Film Retrieved 2013-12-14.
  13. ^ "Production history". Theatre for the New City. Retrieved 2013-12-14.
  14. ^ "Director". Hrant Alianak official site. Retrieved 2013-12-14.
  15. ^ "Ken Gass". Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2013-12-14.
  16. ^ "Now that Summer's Here: a Brief History of Theatre Plus". Sonja Hermans, University of Guelph Library, 1988. Archived from the original on 2013-05-20. Retrieved 2013-12-14.
  17. ^ "BAM 150 Timeline" (PDF). Brooklyn Academy of Music. Retrieved 2013-12-14.
  18. ^ Gussow, Mel, "Stage: Of TV Survivors, Clinics and Drug Addicts". The New York Times, April 4, 1979
  19. ^ "Stage Review : Bill Irwin Proves 'A Man's A Man'". Sylvie Drake, Los Angeles Times, July 23, 1985. 23 July 1985. Retrieved 2013-12-14.
  20. ^ Award shared with Caerthan Banks, Ian Holm, Sarah Polley, Tom McCamus, Stephanie Morgenstern, Gabrielle Rose and Alberta Watson
  21. ^ "ACTRA Award Revived in Honour of 60th Anniversary". ACTRA. February 3, 2003. Archived from the original on December 9, 2003. Retrieved 2017-06-05.
  22. ^ "The ACTRA Awards in Toronto". ACTRA. Archived from the original on July 4, 2008. Retrieved 2017-06-05.
  23. ^ Award shared with Benjamin Arthur, Jesse Camacho, Wendel Meldrum and Nancy Sorel; CBC News, October 2, 2009
  24. ^ Nomination shared with Benjamin Arthur, Jesse Camacho, Wendel Meldrum, Brooke Palsson and Nancy Sorel; Canadian Comedy Awards & Festival nominees Archived 2010-06-25 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved July 28, 2010
  25. ^ The 9th Annual ACTRA Awards in Toronto — 2011 Nominees Announced (January 12, 2011); retrieved 1-14-11. "ACTRA honours Chaykin and Wright with posthumous awards"; The Globe and Mail, retrieved 2-26-11

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