Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Centennial of Kevin McCarthy's Birth

It was 100 years ago today that actor Kevin McCarthy was born. Classic film buffs might well remember him best as Dr. Miles J. Bennell in the sci-fi horror classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956). Classic television fans might remember him best from his many guest appearances through the years on such shows as The Twilight Zone, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, The Wild Wild West, and The Golden Girls. He appeared several times on Broadway, in such productions as Abe Lincoln in Illinois, Advise and Consent, Cactus Flower, and Happy Birthday, Wanda June. Indeed, Mr. McCarthy had an incredibly long career. He made his debut on Broadway in Abe Lincoln in Illinois in 1939. His final credit was in the feature film The Ghastly Love of Johnny X in 2012. Although he slowed down his pace in later years, Kevin McCarthy never quite stopped working.

There should be little wonder that Kevin McCarthy's career lasted so long and that he appeared in so many films, so many plays, and on so many television shows. He had the looks of a leading man and could easily have made a career of playing standard, lead roles. Along with his rugged good looks, however, Kevin McCarthy had the sort of talent to play any role he put his mind to. Over the years he played everything from heroes to villains, generals to medical doctors. What is more he did all of them well. Following is a pictorial tribute to a legendary character actor whose versatility insured he was always busy, but never typecast.

Kevin McCarthy as Biff Lohman in Death of a Salesman (1951)

Dana Wynter and Kevin McCarthy from Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Henry Fonda, Lee Tracy, and Kevin McCarthy from The Best Man
Kevin McCarthy in a screen cap from A Big Hand for the Little Lady
A press photo from the TV show The Survivors featuring Kevin McCarthy and Lana Turner

Kevin McCarthy from the movie Piranha
Kevin McCarthy and the Cast of 80's soap Flamingo Road
Kevin McCarthy with William Schalert, Katheleen Quinlan, & Patricia Barry from Twilight Zone: The Movie

Kevin McCarthy with Hope Lange from the film Just Cause
Kevin McCarthy in a scene from Looney Tunes: Back in Action
Kevin McCarthy in his final role as The Grand Inquisitor in The Ghastly Love of Johnny X

For more information on the life and career of Kevin McCarthy you might want to read my eulogy for him on the occasion of his death here.

No comments: