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Subject: Archive: Arthur O'Connell, May 18, 1981


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Character actor
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Date Posted: Thursday, May 18, 01:39:16pm

HOLLYWOOD, May 18 Arthur O'Connell, twice nominated for an Oscar as supporting actor, died today of Altzheimer's disease, a deadening of the nerve endings of the brain. He was 73 years old.

Mr. O'Connell made his debut with a small part in Orson Welles's ''Citizen Kane'' and worked with many top stars, including James Stewart, Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley and William Holden.

After graduating from St. John's College in New York, his hometown, Mr. O'Connell was a door-to-door magazine salesman. In Massachusetts, he encountered a former girlfriend who was in show business and accompanied her to an agent, who offered him a role in a touring production of ''The Patsy.'' In 'Picnic' on Broadway
He returned to New York, where he had a long career on the Broadway stage, gaining critical notice in ''Picnic,'' in which he originated the role of Howard Bevans, the reluctant suitor of the repressed schoolmistress played by Rosalind Russell.

In the 1955 movie, Mr. O'Connell played the same character and won his an Oscar nomination. He also was nominated in 1959 for ''Anatomy of a Murder,'' in which he played James Stewart's older law partner.

His other credits included ''The Naked City,'' ''Man in the Grey Flannel Suit,'' ''Bus Stop,'' ''The Great Race,'' ''Pocket Full of Miracles,'' ''Fantastic Voyage'' and ''Poseidon Adventure.'' He costarred with Elvis Presley in ''What a Wonderful Life.''

The actor also was the folksy owner of a country store in Crest toothpaste television commericals. Mr. O'Connell, who was divorced, did not have any children. A service is tentatively scheduled for Friday.

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I remember the day he died. I believe it was the FIRST I'd read of a celeb dying from affects of Altzheimer's disease. (NT)It was 36 years ago!Thursday, May 18, 02:38:31pm
My memory of him (among other appearances) was his show, "The Second Hundred Years". It confused me. (NT)I was a young tyke. Co-star Monte Markham w/be 82 next month; still working.Thursday, May 18, 04:23:46pm


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