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Subject: Archive: Warren Oates, Apr. 3, 1982


Author:
Character actor
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Date Posted: Monday, April 03, 02:52:35pm

Veteran television and film character actor Warren Oates,
who appeared most recently in "The Border" with Jack
Nicholson, has died of an apparent heart attack, officials
said Sunday. He was 52.

Phillip Shwartzberg of the Los Angeles County Cororner's
office said Oates died Saturday afternoon after suffering
an apparent heart attack at his home in Hollywood Hills.

Robert Ewert, a batallion chief with the Los Angeles City
Fire Department, said the actor's wife, Judith, tried to reach
other agencies for help first and did not call the fire
department for some time.

When paramedics arrived an estimated three minutes
after receiving the call, Oates had been dead for "at the
very minimum an hour," Ewert said. He said attempts to
revive him were unsuccessful.

Oates' body was taken first to Forest Lawn Memorial Park,
and on Sunday was moved to the coroner's office for an
autopsy, Shwartzberg said.

Oates, who began his professional career with a role in the
television series "Have Gun, Will Travel," appeared in many
films including "In the Heat of the Night" in 1967, "The
Wild Bunch"
in 1969, "Two Lane Blacktop"

and "The Hired Hand" in 1971, "Badlands" in 1973 and in
"The Border" this year.

He played the bad guy in many of his early appearances, but
his characters retained separate identities. "Even when I did
the heavies I stayed away from stereotypes," he said in a 1980
interview.

Oates was a rodeo rider in the television series "Stoney
Burke,"
made in the early 1960s. In 1980 he appeared with Kristy
McNichol and Eileen Brennan in the television movie
"My Old Man." He also made several TV pilots, including
"True Grit" and "The African Queen," in which he starred with
Mariette Hartley. Neither sold, but a movie pilot, "And Baby
Makes Six," won high ratings.

He had great respect for Ben Johnson, another character
actor known for his Western roles. The two worked together in
the movie "Dillinger" in 1973.

"I want to be like Ben Johnson," Oates said. "Not just Ben
Johnson on the screen, but Ben Johnson in every aspect of
his life. He's a straight, wonderful, natural performer. He's a
purist."

Oates was born in Depoy, Ky., in a poor coal mining area,
and moved with his family to Louisville when he was 13. Five
years later he joined the Marines and served as an airplane
mechanic for two years.

He attended the University of Louisiana and developed an
interest in acting when he joined a student theater group there.
Later he went to New York City to study acting, and moved to
Hollywood in the 1950s.

A spokesman at Forest Lawn Memorial Park said Oates' family
was expected to begin making funeral arrangements on Monday.

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Replies:
Subject Author Date
He was in 2 Twilight Zone episodes: (NT)"The Purple Testament" & "The 7th is Made Up of Phantoms"Monday, April 03, 03:41:15pm
Died shortly after making the film, "Blue Thunder" (NT)The film was dedicated to himMonday, April 03, 03:56:41pm
No relation to John Oates. (NT)But when I see his name, I think of himTuesday, April 04, 04:53:13pm
I thought he was great in The Thief Who Came To Dinner. An obscure and quirky movie, but I love it. (NT)BuddyWednesday, April 05, 07:52:06am


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