Darren McGavin

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Darren McGavin

Born

5/7/1922, San Joaquim, California, USA

Died

2/25/2006

Birth Name

Gender

Male
9.3
out of 10
User Rating
24 votes

Biography

EDIT
An accomplished actor of film, TV and the stage, Darren McGavin was equally at home in comedies or dramas. He is perhaps best remembered as the "Old Man" in A Christmas Story and as wisecracking reporter Carl Kolchak in The Night Stalker. Born in 1922, he received his…more

Credits

Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Burt Reynolds, Darren McGavin's costar in Riverboat (1963), once said of him, "I will say this about McGavin. He is going to be a very disappointed man on the first Easter after his death."

    • In addition to making appearances on The X-Files, Darren McGavin also guested on Chris Carter's Millennium, playing Frank Black's estranged father.

    • After Tony Franciosa was fired from The Name of the Game, Darren McGavin was one of the actors who occasionally filled in on the series. The others were Peter Falk, Robert Culp, and Robert Wagner.

    • Darren McGavin appeared in two films directed by Otto Preminger: The Man With the Golden Arm and The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell.

    • Darren McGavin received a special tribute as part of the Annual Memorial tribute at The 79th Annual Academy Awards in 2007.

    • Darren McGavin studied acting at New York City's prestigious Neighborhood Playhouse under the legendary acting coach, Sanford Meisner.

    • Darren McGavin narrated the audiobooks for John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee series.

    • Years before they co-starred in The Night Stalker, Darren McGavin and Simon Oakland appeared together in an August 31, 1962 Purex Special for Women TV presentation called "The Problem Child."

    • During the filming of The Natural, Robert Redford was so pleased with Darren McGavin's performance that they began to expand his role. However, after a certain point, union rules dictated that his contract needed to be renegotiated for salary and billing. After haggling on salary, and holding up production of the movie because of it, the billing had to be decided. Apparently, McGavin became somewhat fed up with the proceedings and instructed his agent to waive his billing entirely so they could get back to filming. That is why he is uncredited for his appearance in the film.

    • Though he was initially enthusastic about Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Darren McGavin felt the quality of the scripts began to decline early on in the run, and he hoped the show would not be picked up for a second season.

    • Darren McGavin briefly worked for a private detective agency before he became an actor.

    • Darren McGavin narrated the original audiobooks of Robert Ludlum's Jason Bourne trilogy.

    • Jack Nicholson was considered for the role of the "Old Man" in A Christmas Story before Darren McGavin was cast.

    • Darren McGavin was married twice, first to Melanie York until 1969, then to Kathie Brown until her death in 2003.

    • Darren McGavin appears (uncredited) in the pilot of the 2005 Night Stalker revival, thanks to a digital insert of old footage into the episode. He is leaning against a desk in the newsroom in an early scene in the episode.

    • Before he accepted the role of Arthur Dales on The X-Files, creator Chris Carter had tried to cast Darren McGavin in other roles on the show, including Fox Mulder's father.

    • He won a CableACE award in 1991 (Actor in a Dramatic Series, Clara).

    • Darren McGavin was an accomplished stage actor, appearing in productions of "Death of a Salesman", "The Rainmaker", "The King and I" (as the King of Siam) and "Blood Sweat & Stanley Poole," among others.

    • He studied martial arts during his early days as an actor.

    • Darren McGavin was nominated for an Emmy in 1990 for his role as Candace Bergen's father on Murphy Brown.

    • Darren McGavin raised himself. His parents disappeared and he spent his teenage years living in warehouses and eluding social workers.

    • Darren McGavin was originally cast in The Six Million Dollar Man in what became Richard Anderson's role of Oscar Goldman. He appeared in the pilot movie, but not the regular series.

    • As a tribute to Kolchak: The Night Stalker, X-Files creator Chris Carter got Darren McGavin to appear as Arthur Dales, the agent who initially investigated the X-Files. He appeared in two episodes and was going to be in a third, but poor health forced him out. The character was replaced by M. Emmett Walsh.

  • Quotes

    • Darren McGavin: (describing the quality of his early series "Casey, Crime Photographer") It was so bad that it was never re-run, and that's saying something when you recall the caliber of television programs in those days.

    • Darren McGavin: (on Carl Kolchak) The day he was fired from the New York Journal in 1955, he was wearing a seersucker suit, a black string tie, and a white shirt with a button-down collar. So, he's still wearing 'em. He hasn't bought a suit of clothes since he was fired. What he's saying to the world is beautiful: "The heck with you, brother—I'll get my story anyway."

    • Darren McGavin: (describing the appeal of his characters) The public identifies with a loser. President Nixon only got 43 percent of all the votes in the November elections. That makes losers out of 57 percent of the voters. Besides, the country has been built by losers; guys who failed and kept on going; guys who were losers in the east and decided to move West, and, before that, guys who were losers in their native countries and decided to come to America.

    • Darren McGavin: (describing why Kolchak: The Night Stalker ended) The Night Stalker only lasted one year because I didn't want to do it any more. The pain in doing that show was excruciating. It was shot from 4:00 in the afternoon until 5:00 in the morning. At the time, no one knew ABC was on the air. It was last in the ratings.

    • Darren McGavin: (when asked by a reporter if a weekly horror series could work) We can make it fun. As for the horror side, we're not going to show much. I don't believe papier-mâché masks or rubber fins induce fear, so you're not going to see much of the monsters, but you'll see what he's done, and the fear he creates in others.

    • Darren McGavin: (describing in an interview how he played hardboiled PI Mike Hammer) I made 72 of those shows and I thought it was a comedy. In fact I played it camp. He was the kind of guy who would have waved the flag for George Wallace.

SUBMIT REVIEW
  • R.i.P. Mr. McGavin

    10
    What a sad weekend. First Don Knotts then Darren McGavin. I still can remember how I was creeped out watching Kolchek when I was 10. It was fitting how Chris Carter pay homage to him adding him to the X-files and Millennium. Then there was A Christmas Story. Just thinking about that movie puts a lump in the throat.
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