Emmy winner Darren McGavin dead at 83

Feb. 27, 2006 at 3:22 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Emmy Award-winning actor Darren McGavin, whose stage, film and TV career spanned more than 50 years, has died in Los Angeles at age 83.

The actor who played the father in the classic 1983 film, "A Christmas Story," died of natural causes Saturday, The Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

McGavin won his Emmy in 1990 for playing Candice Bergen's father on "Murphy Brown" and also starred on the small screen in "Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer," "Riverboat," "The Outsider" and "Small & Frye."

He's probably best known, however, for his portrayal of crime reporter Carl Kolchak in the 1972 made-for-TV movie, "The Night Stalker." The movie set a TV ratings record and spawned a 1973 sequel and an ABC series that ran a single season in 1974.

In addition to "A Christmas Story," his film roles included 1955's "Summertime" and "The Man With The Golden Arm," in which he played Frank Sinatra's drug dealer. He was Jerry Lewis' parole officer in 1957's "The Delicate Delinquent" and portrayed a gambler in 1984's "The Natural."

In the 1976 comedy, "No Deposit, No Return," he co-starred with Don Knotts, who preceded him in death by one day. McGavin spent more than a dozen years on Broadway starting in 1953, including roles in "Death of Salesman" and "The Rainmaker."

Survivors include four children from his first marriage, which ended in divorce. His second wife, actress Kathie Browne McGavin, died in 2003.

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