Kevin McCarthy (February 15, 1914 – September 11, 2010) was an American stage, film, and television actor, who appeared in over two hundred television and film roles. For his role in the 1951 film version of Death of a Salesman, he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and won a Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year - Actor. McCarthy is probably best known for his starring role in Invasion of the Body Snatchers, a 1956 horror science fiction film.
McCarthy was born in Seattle, Washington, the son of Martha Therese (née Preston) and Roy Winfield McCarthy. McCarthy's father was from a wealthy Irish Catholic family based in Minnesota, and his mother was born in Washington state to a Protestant father and a Jewish mother. He was the brother of the author Mary McCarthy, and a distant cousin of former U.S. senator and presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy. His parents both died in the 1918 flu pandemic and the four children "were sent to live with relatives in Minneapolis. After five years of near-Dickensian mistreatment, described in McCarthy’s memoirs, the youngsters moved in with their maternal grandfather." McCarthy graduated from Campion High School in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin in 1932, and attended the University of Minnesota, where he participated in his first play Henry IV, Part 1, and discovered a love of acting.
McCarthy went on to have a long and distinguished career as a character actor. He has had some starring roles sprinkled in his career, most notably the science fiction film classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers. On television, he had roles in two short-lived series: The Survivors with Lana Turner; and NBC's Flamingo Road as Claude Weldon, father of the Morgan Fairchild character. In 1956, he appeared with Alexis Smith in the NBC anthology series, The Joseph Cotten Show in the episode "We Who Love Her". McCarthy appeared too in the 1959 episode "The Wall Between" of CBS's anthology series, The DuPont Show with June Allyson. He guest starred in the 1960 episode of The Twilight Zone entitled "Long Live Walter Jameson", as the title character.