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Darren McGavin

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Actor
Born:
May 7, 1922 in Spokane, WA
Death:
February 25, 2006 in Los Angeles, CA
Biography
A versatile leading and character actor who is equally adept at comedy as he is with drama, Darren McGavin has spent the bulk of his time on television and only occasionally appears in feature films. He also has extensive stage experience. McGavin attended a year of college and then moved to New York to study acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse and the Actor's Studio. He made his film debut in 1945 playing small supporting roles in such movies as A Song to Remember, Kiss and Tell, and She Wouldn't Say Yes. His film career did not really take flight until he appeared in Otto Preminger's The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell, The Man With the Golden Arm, and David Lean's Summertime (all 1955). In 1957, he played the title role in the television detective drama Mike Hammer. In feature films, McGavin averaged a film or two per year; by 1967, he had switched to television movies like The Outsider (1967) and The Challengers (1968). In 1971, he played vampire-hunting investigative reporter Carl Kolchak in The Nightstalker, a popular television movie that successfully blended humor, suspense, and horror. McGavin's wise-cracking character then appeared in a sequel and in 1974 starred in the short-lived television series Kolchak: The Nightstalker. While with the show, McGavin directed a few episodes. He had already directed and produced Happy Mother's Day, Love George (aka Run, Stranger, Run) (1973). In 1983, McGavin played one of his most memorable roles, that of the foul-mouthed, somewhat discombobulated, but well-meaning father in the uproarious A Christmas Story. McGavin earned an Emmy in 1990 for his recurring role as Murphy Brown's father on the popular sitcom Murphy Brown (1988-1998). Throughout the '90s, McGavin slowed down and only occasionally performed. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi
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