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Darren McGavin : Biography, Pictures, Photos, Trivia, Address, Filmography (Kolchak The Night Stalker, The Time Tunnel)

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Darren McGavin

Carl Kolchak in Kolchak The Night Stalker, Dr Tony Newman in The Time Tunnel

Photos Darren McGavin Birth name: Darren McGavin
Birth date: 1922/05/07
Date of death : 2006/02/25 (84 years old)
Birth place : Californie

French Traduire

Biography for Darren McGavin

A remarkably seasoned actor of stage, screen and television, Darren McGavin has notched in excess of 200 performances; however, he is most fondly remembered by cult TV fans as heroic newspaper reporter Carl Kolchak in the classic but short-lived horror TV series "Kolchak: The Night Stalker" (1974). In a long and varied career, McGavin has often turned up as authority figures including policemen, military officers, stern-faced business executives or father figures; however, he is equally adept at light-hearted comedic performances.

McGavin was born on May 7, 1922, in San Joaquin, California, and received his dramatic arts training at New York's Neighborhood Playhouse and the Actors Studio, and debuted on screen in an uncredited role in A Song to Remember (1945). Several standard roles followed over the next decade before he landed the key role of Louie the drug pusher in The Man with the Golden Arm (1955) and Capt. Russ Peters in The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell (1955), both directed by Otto Preminger. Each of these performances showcased McGavin's versatility, and his virile looks scored him the role of Mickey Spillane's hard-boiled private eye in "Mike Hammer" (1956).

McGavin stayed continually employed throughout the 1960s, appearing in such films as The Great Sioux Massacre (1965), The Outsider (1967) (TV), The Challengers (1970) (TV) and Tribes (1970) (TV). In addition, he was regularly guest-starring in dozens of TV shows, including "Gunsmoke" (1955), "Dr. Kildare" (1961), "Mission: Impossible" (1966) and "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." (1964). In 1971 he landed the role of cynical reporter Carl Kolchak in the low-budget horror thriller The Night Stalker (1972) (TV), about a vampire running amok in Las Vegas. The film was a monster ratings winner (pun intended!) and the highest-rated telemovie of 1972, and original scriptwriters were soon hard at work on a punchier sequel. The Night Strangler (1973) (TV) saw Kolchak in Seattle (after being booted out of Las Vegas by the police), and this time on the trail of a serial killer seeking the elixir of eternal youth. The second movie was equally successful, and spawned the short-lived TV series "Kolchak: The Night Stalker" (1974) with Simon Oakland as McGavin's long-suffering editor and a host of weekly guest stars including Jim Backus, Phil Silvers, Richard Kiel, Tom Skerritt, Scatman Crothers and Larry Storch.

"Kolchak" only lasted one season, but it became a bona-fide cult classic, and many years later its premise of "the unknown amongst us" inspired writer Chris Carter to create the phenomenally successful long-running TV series "The X Files" (1993), which saw McGavin guest-star in several episodes.

McGavin remained busy throughout the rest of the 1970s and into the 1980s, appearing in Airport '77 (1977), as Gen. George S. Patton in the TV miniseries "Ike" (1979) (mini), alongside Rock Hudson in the uneven sci-fi miniseries "The Martian Chronicles" (1980) (mini) and a few years later endeared himself to to a whole new generation of fans with his superb performance as the vitriolic, yet buffoonish, father in the delightful Christmas classic A Christmas Story (1983). The always versatile McGavin also popped up as a detective in Turk 182! (1985), assisted Arnold Schwarzenegger in cleaning up the mob in Raw Deal (1986) and was a doctor in the bizarre zombie/cop/zombie cop film Dead Heat (1988).

At this point it's worth mentioning that, along with his film and TV work, McGavin has also enjoyed an illustrious career on the stage, with appearances in dozens of critically acclaimed productions across the length and breadth of the US. He has appeared in stage presentations of "Death of a Salesman", "The Rainmaker", "The King and I" and "Blood Sweat & Stanley Poole", to name a few.

In 1990 the opportunity arose for McGavin to play another somewhat stern, yet comedic, father figure, this time as "Bill Brown" to Candice Bergen in the much loved sitcom "Murphy Brown" (1988). McGavin was again wonderful, and his entertaining performances resulted in an Emmy Award in 1990. Several other film roles followed in the 1990s, in such films as Adam Sandler's hit Billy Madison (1995). He died on 25th February 2006 at the age of 83.


Photos Darren McGavin n_7 Photos Darren McGavin n_7 Photos Darren McGavin n_7 Photos Darren McGavin n_7 Photos Darren McGavin n_7 Photos Darren McGavin n_7 Photos Darren McGavin n_7


Title Role
Night Stalker Reporter Standing at Desk (1 episode, 2005)
The X Files Agent Arthur Dales / ... (2 episodes, 1998-1999)
Pros & Cons (1999) Mr. Stanford
Millennium Henry Black (1 episode, 1997)
Touched by an Angel George Zarko (1 episode, 1997)
Small Time (1996/I) Sam
Grace Under Fire Grace's Dad (1 episode, 1996)
Still Waters Burn (1996) Paddy
The Commish Terry Boyle (2 episodes, 1995)
Fallen Angels The Old Man (1 episode, 1995)
Gargoyles Dominic Dracon (1 episode, 1995)
Burke's Law Conrad Hill (1 episode, 1995)
Derby (1995) (TV) Lester Corbett
Sisters Judge Harrison Bradford (1 episode, 1995)
Billy Madison (1995) Brian Madison
ABC Weekend Specials Buster (1 episode, 1995)
A Perfect Stranger (1994) (TV) John Henry Phillips
The American Clock (1993) (TV) Older Arthur Huntington
Murphy Brown Bill Brown (4 episodes, 1989-1992)
Mastergate (1992) (TV) Folsom Bunting
Happy Hell Night (1992) Henry Collins
Murder, She Wrote Martin Tremaine (1 episode, 1992)
Civil Wars Noah Caldecott (1 episode, 1992)
Miracles & Other Wonders (1992) TV series Host (unknown episodes)
Sibs (1 episode)
Blood and Concrete (1991) Hank Dick
Perfect Harmony (1991) (TV) Mr. Hobbs
Clara (1991) (TV) Albert Kroll
Captain America (1990) Gen. Fleming
By Dawn's Early Light (1990) (TV) Condor
Child in the Night (1990) (TV) Os Winfield
Kojak: It's Always Something (1990) (TV)
In the Name of Blood (1990) Fergus
Monsters Hubert (1 episode, 1989)
Around the World in 80 Days (1989/I) (mini) TV mini-series Benjamin Mudge
The Diamond Trap (1988) (TV) Chief Walter Vadney
Dead Heat (1988) Doctor Ernest McNab
Inherit the Wind (1988) (TV) E.K. Hornbeck
Highway to Heaven Hale Stoddard (1 episode, 1988)
CBS Summer Playhouse Walter (1 episode, 1987)
From the Hip (1987) Craig Duncan
Tales from the Hollywood Hills: Natica Jackson (1987) (TV) (as Darren McGaven) A.D. Nathan
Tales from the Hollywood Hills: A Table at Ciro's (1987) (TV) A.D. Nathan
Worlds Beyond (1 episode, 1986)
Raw Deal (1986) Chief Harry Shannon
Flag (1986)
Tales from the Darkside Van Conway (1 episode, 1985)
The Hitchhiker Old Man (1 episode, 1985)
The O'Briens (1985) (TV) The Father
Turk 182! (1985) Det. Kowalski
My Wicked, Wicked Ways... The Legend of Errol Flynn (1985) (TV) Dr. Gerrit Koets
The Return of Marcus Welby, M.D. (1984) (TV) Dr. David Jennings
The Natural (1984) (uncredited) Gus Sands
The Baron and the Kid (1984) (TV) Jack Beamer
A Christmas Story (1983) The Old Man
Tales of the Unexpected Sheriff Milt Singleton (1 episode, 1983)
Small & Frye (1983) TV series Nick Small (unknown episodes)
Freedom to Speak (1982) (mini) TV mini-series
Magnum, P.I. Buck Gibson (1 episode, 1981)
Firebird 2015 AD (1981) Red
Nero Wolfe Philigree (1 episode, 1981)
The Love Boat Lawrence Evans (2 episodes, 1980)
Hangar 18 (1980) NASA Deputy Director Harry Forbes
Waikiki (1980) (TV) Captain
The Martian Chronicles (1980) (mini) TV mini-series Sam Parkhill
Love for Rent (1979) (TV) Coach John Martin
Not Until Today (1979) (TV) Chief Jason Swan
Ike (1979) (mini) TV mini-series Gen. George S. Patton
Disneyland John Jay Forrest / ... (7 episodes, 1968-1979)
Donovan's Kid (1979) (TV) Timothy Donovan
A Bond of Iron (1979) (TV) William Weaver
The Users (1978) (TV) Henry Waller
Hot Lead and Cold Feet (1978) Mayor Ragsdale
Zero to Sixty (1978) Michael Nolan
Ike: The War Years (1978) (TV)
Airport '77 (1977) Stan Buchek
Law and Order (1976) (TV) Deputy Chief Brian O'Malley
Brinks: The Great Robbery (1976) (TV) James McNally
No Deposit, No Return (1976) Duke
Crackle of Death (1976) (TV) Carl Kolchak
Kolchak: The Night Stalker Carl Kolchak (20 episodes, 1974-1975)
Hay que matar a B. (1975) Pal Kovak
43: The Richard Petty Story (1974) Lee Petty
The Evil Touch (3 episodes, 1973-1974)
Police Story Matt Hallett (1 episode, 1974)
Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law McClain (1 episode, 1974)
Shaft Captain Brewster (1 episode, 1974)
Happy Mother's Day, Love George (1973)
The Six Million Dollar Man (1973) (TV) Oliver Spencer
The Night Strangler (1973) (TV) Carl Kolchak
Say Goodbye, Maggie Cole (1972) (TV) Dr. Lou Grazzo
Here Comes the Judge (1972) (TV) Judge
The Rookies (1972) (TV) Sergeant Eddie Ryker
Something Evil (1972) (TV) Paul Worden
The Night Stalker (1972) (TV) Carl Kolchak
The Death of Me Yet (1971) (TV) Joe Chalk
The Bold Ones: The Lawyers Kevin Ireland (1 episode, 1971)
Cade's County Courtney Vernon (1 episode, 1971)
Mrs. Pollifax-Spy (1971) Farrell
Banyon (1971) (TV) Lieutenant Pete Cordova
Matt Lincoln (1 episode, 1970)
Bracken's World Max Lassiter (1 episode, 1970)
Tribes (1970) (TV) Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Drake
Berlin Affair (1970) (TV) Paul Killian
The Name of the Game Eddie Gannon / ... (3 episodes, 1968-1970)
Mannix Mark (1 episode, 1970)
Love, American Style (segment Love and the Fly) (1 episode, 1970)
The Challengers (1970) (TV) Jim McCabe
The Challenge (1970) (TV) Jacob Gallery
The Forty-Eight Hour Mile (1970) (TV) David Ross
Anatomy of a Crime (1969) (TV) David Ross
The Outsider (1968) TV series David Ross (unknown episodes)
Mission Mars (1968) Col. Mike Blaiswick
The Outsider (1967) (TV) David Ross
Custer Jeb Powell (1 episode, 1967)
Mission: Impossible J. Richard Taggart (1 episode, 1967)
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Viktor Karmak (1 episode, 1967)
The Virginian Mark Troxel / ... (2 episodes, 1964-1967)
Cimarron Strip Jud Starr (1 episode, 1967)
The Legend of Jud Starr (1967) (TV) Jud Starr
Gunsmoke Joe Bascome / ... (3 episodes, 1965-1966)
Felony Squad Leslie Gorman (1 episode, 1966)
Court Martial Sgt. Callaghan (1 episode, 1966)
Confidential for Women Andy (1 episode, 1966)
Dr. Kildare Felix Holman (4 episodes, 1965)
African Gold (1965) Mike Gregory
The Great Sioux Massacre (1965) Captain Benton
The Rogues Amos Champion (1 episode, 1965)
Ben Casey (1 episode, 1964)
Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre Franklin Carson / ... (2 episodes, 1964)
The Defenders Howard Potter / ... (2 episodes, 1963-1964)
The Nurses (1 episode, 1964)
The Nurses Fitz Condon (1 episode, 1964)
Bullet for a Badman (1964) Sam Ward
The Alfred Hitchcock Hour Sheridan Westcott (1 episode, 1964)
The United States Steel Hour (1 episode, 1962)
Purex Summer Specials James Carlisle (1 episode, 1962)
Rawhide Jed Hadley (1 episode, 1961)
Route 66 Johnny Copa (1 episode, 1961)
Death Valley Days Zacharias Gurney (1 episode, 1961)
Stagecoach West Pierce Martin (1 episode, 1961)
The Islanders Phil (1 episode, 1961)
Riverboat Captain Grey Holden (44 episodes, 1959-1961)
Witchcraft (1961) (TV) Fred
Decision Dan Garrett (1 episode, 1958)
Mike Hammer Mike Hammer (5 episodes, 1958)
The Case Against Brooklyn (1958) Pete Harris
Studio One Johnny Quigg / ... (4 episodes, 1951-1958)
Beau James (1957) Charley Hand
The Delicate Delinquent (1957) Mike Damon
The Alcoa Hour Arthur Bryan / ... (2 episodes, 1956-1957)
Robert Montgomery Presents (1 episode, 1956)
Climax! Walter (1 episode, 1956)
It's Always Jan (1 episode, 1956)
Armstrong Circle Theatre Carl Broggi / ... (3 episodes, 1952-1956)
Alfred Hitchcock Presents Lyle Endicott / ... (2 episodes, 1955)
The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell (1955) Capt. Russ Peters
The Man with the Golden Arm (1955) Louie
Producers' Showcase Soldier (1 episode, 1955)
Summertime (1955) Eddie Yaeger
Omnibus (1 episode, 1954)
Kraft Television Theatre (2 episodes, 1954)
Mama (1 episode, 1954)
Campbell Playhouse (1 episode, 1954)
Suspense (2 episodes, 1952-1954)
The Philco Television Playhouse (1 episode, 1953)
The Revlon Mirror Theater (1 episode, 1953)
Danger (2 episodes, 1952-1953)
Short Short Dramas (1 episode, 1953)
Goodyear Television Playhouse (2 episodes, 1952)
Tales of Tomorrow Bruce Calvin (1 episode, 1952)
Distant Drums (1951) (uncredited) Navy Lt.
Queen for a Day (1951) Dan, Gossamer World segment
Crime Photographer (1951) TV series Casey (June 1951-1952) (unknown episodes)
Mr. I. Magination (1949) TV series American soldier
Fear (1946) (uncredited) Student
She Wouldn't Say Yes (1945) (uncredited) The Kid
Kiss and Tell (1945) Tech Sergeant
Counter-Attack (1945) (uncredited) Paratrooper


He was indeed "curiously" uncredited in The Natural (1984). During the filming of the movie, Robert Redford was so pleased with McGavin's portrayal of his character that they began to expand the role. However, after a certain point, union rules dictated that the actor's 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.

Studied Martial Arts when he was starting his career as an actor for his acting abilities.

Studied acting at New York City's prestigious Neighborhood Playhouse under legendary acting coach, Sanford Meisner.

Received a B.F.A. in Theatre / Acting from the prestigious Actors Studio, New School University in New York City.

Member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Actors Branch).

Received a special tribute as part of the Annual Memorial tribute at The 79th Annual Academy Awards (2007) (TV).



Spouse : Kathie Browne (31 December 1969 - 8 April 2003) (her death), Melanie York (20 March 1944 - 1969) (divorced) 4 children

Separated from Melanie York in September, 1966.

Children by Melanie York: Megan, Bridget, York, and Bogart.

Author of the card

  • Creation date: 10/12/2007 by franckenstein
  • Last update: 22/05/2010 by abdest

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