Subject: ARCHIVE: September 11, 2010 ~Kevin McCarthy, veteran actor who gave over 200 TV/film performances, best remembered in the lead in the horror sci-fi classic, "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (1956), but whose career rivaled any in the business, dies at 96. ...
American actor who gave over 200 television and film performances. He is best remembered for portraying the male lead in the horror science fiction film Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956). Following several television guest roles, McCarthy gave his first credited film performance in Death of a Salesman (1951), portraying Biff Loman to Frederic March's Willy Loman. The role earned him a Golden Globe Award, and a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Life and career
McCarthy was born in Seattle, Washington, the son of Roy Winfield McCarthy and Martha Therese (née Preston). McCarthy's father was descended from a wealthy Irish American family based in Minnesota. His mother was born in Washington state to a Protestant father and a nonobservant Jewish mother; she converted to Catholicism before her marriage. He was the brother of author Mary McCarthy, and a distant cousin of U.S. senator and presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota. His parents both died in the 1918 flu pandemic, and the four children went to live with relatives in Minneapolis. After five years of near-Dickensian mistreatment, described in Mary McCarthy's memoirs, the children were separated: Mary moved in with their maternal grandparents, and Kevin and his younger brothers were cared for by relatives in Minneapolis. McCarthy graduated in 1932 from Campion High School in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, then attended the University of Minnesota, where he appeared in his first play Henry IV, Part 1, and discovered a love of acting.
During his service in World War II in the United States Army Air Forces, in addition to his acting career, McCarthy appeared in a number of training films. At least one of these films (covering the Boeing B-17), has been distributed on DVD.
McCarthy, a founding member of The Actors Studio, enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a character actor, in both film and television. His breakthrough role came with Death of a Salesman (1951), in which he portrayed Biff Loman to Frederic March's Willy Loman. He had first performed the role in the London theatrical debut and was the only member of that ensemble to be cast in László Benedek's film adaptation. He received good notices for his onscreen work, receiving the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year - Actor and a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
On television, he had starring roles in two short-lived series: The Survivors (1969) with Lana Turner; and NBC's Flamingo Road (19801982) as Claude Weldon, father of Morgan Fairchild's character. He also appeared as a guest star in countless television programs, playing a wide variety of character roles.
McCarthy appeared with Alexis Smith in the NBC anthology series, The Joseph Cotten Show in the episode "We Who Love Her" (1956). He was cast in an episode of the religion anthology series, Crossroads. McCarthy appeared in the 1959 episode "The Wall Between" of CBS's The DuPont Show with June Allyson. He guest starred in a classic episode of CBS's The Twilight Zone entitled "Long Live Walter Jameson" (1960), as the title character.
McCarthy made two appearances in The Rifleman, portraying Mark Twain in "The Shattered Idol" (episode 120), original Air Date: 12/4/1961, and Winslow Quince in "Suspicion" (episode 157), original Air Date: 1/14/1963. In 1963, McCarthy appeared in the ABC medical drama Breaking Point in the episode titled "Fire and Ice". He guest starred in the ABC drama Going My Way, about the Roman Catholic priesthood in New York City. He was cast as well in a 1964 episode of James Franciscus's NBC education drama, Mr. Novak. In 1966, he appeared in the episode "Wife Killer" of the ABC adventure series The Fugitive. In 1967, he guest starred in the episode "Never Chase a Rainbow" of NBC's western series, The Road West starring Barry Sullivan.
In 1968, he guest starred on Hawaii Five-O in the episode "Full Fathom Five" as the chief antagonist, Victor Reese. The Wild Wild West (CBS) Season 4 (196869) His turn as Maj. Gen Kroll in The Night of the Doomsday Formula made one of the best villains of the series. In 1971, he guest starred in the "Conqueror's Gold" episode of Bearcats!, which starred Rod Taylor with whom McCarthy had appeared in the films A Gathering of Eagles, Hotel and The Hell With Heroes.
In 1977, he and Clu Gulager, previously cast with Barry Sullivan on NBC's The Tall Man, appeared in the episode "The Army Deserter" of the NBC western series The Oregon Trail, with Rod Taylor. In 1985, McCarthy guest-starred in a fourth-season episode of The A-Team called "Members Only". Earlier, he starred in the 1976 Broadway play Poor Murderer.
In 1978, McCarthy played a cameo role in a remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, as a man running through the streets shouting a warning in the same fashion as his character did in the original 1956 film. McCarthy appeared as Judge Crandall in The Midnight Hour, a 1985 comedy/horror television movie.
As a TZ alum McCarthy appeared in the feature film, "Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983). ...
McCarthy was one of four actors (with Dick Miller, Belinda Balaski and Robert Picardo) often cast by director Joe Dante. McCarthy's most notable role in Dante's films was in 1987 as the prime antagonist, Victor Scrimshaw, in Innerspace. They also were in Dante's Matinee (1993 film).
In 1989, he played television station owner R. J. Fletcher in Weird Al Yankovic's film UHF. Yankovic noted that "Kevin McCarthy was terrific. We had set him up to be this really rotten bad guy; but every time the director said, 'CUT!,' McCarthy would burst out laughing."
In 1996 he played Gordon Fitzpatrick in The Pandora Directive, an Full motion video (FMV) adventure game starring Tex Murphy.
In 2007 McCarthy appeared as himself in the Anthony Hopkins film Slipstream which made references to McCarthy's film, Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
On October 24, 2009, McCarthy was honored at the
Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival in Florida.
His last role in a feature-length movie was as The Grand Inquisitor in
the sci-fi musical comedy The Ghastly Love of Johnny X (2012).
McCarthy was married to Augusta Dabney, with whom he had three children, from 1941 until their divorce in 1961. In 1979, he married Kate Crane, who survived him. The couple had two children.
From 1942, McCarthy and his wife Augusta Dabney had a close friendship with actor Montgomery Clift. McCarthy and Clift were cast in a play together, Ramon Naya's Mexican Mural. The two became the best of friends and were believed to be lovers according to Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote and George Whitmore. They socialized together and acted together in several projects. The two collaborated on a screenplay for a film adaptation of the Tennessee Williams/Donald Windham play You Touched Me!, but the project never came to fruition.
McCarthy died of pneumonia on September 11, 2010, at the age of 96,
and his remains were cremated and given to his family.