Saturday, July 22, 2006


Here are some excerpts from the obituaries for Jack Warden, a gruff but lovable character actor who passed away yesterday at the age of 85:

Oscar-nominated character actor Jack Warden, best known for starring alongside Warren Beatty in "Shampoo" and "Heaven Can Wait," has died at 85, his longtime business manager said.

Warden, who appeared in dozens of films and won an Emmy award as the star of the 1980s TV series "Crazy Like a Fox," died on Wednesday in New York, business manager Sidney Pazoff said.

Pazoff said the veteran character actor had retired several years ago and had been suffering from medical problems in recent years.

"Everything gave out. Old age," Pazoff said. "He really had turned downhill in the past month; heart and then kidney and then all kinds of stuff."

Warden was nominated twice for supporting-actor Oscars in two Warren Beatty movies. He was nominated for his role as a businessman in 1975's "Shampoo" and the good-hearted football trainer in 1978's "Heaven Can Wait."

He won a supporting actor Emmy for his role as Chicago Bears coach George Halas in the 1971 made-for-TV movie "Brian's Song" and was twice nominated in the 1980s as leading actor in a comedy for his show "Crazy Like a Fox."

Warden, with his white hair, weathered face and gravelly voice, was in demand for character parts for decades. In real life, the former boxer, deckhand and paratrooper was anything but a tough guy.

"Very gentle. Very dapper," Pazoff said. "Most of them (actors) are pretty true to the characters that they play. He was one who was not."

He was a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne Division but shortly before D-Day he broke his leg during a nighttime practice jump in Britain. "They sent me back to the States," he recalled in a 1988 Associated Press interview. "I was in a hospital for nearly a year."

A fellow soldier who had been an actor gave him a play to read and he was hooked. He recovered enough to take part in the Battle of the Bulge and, after the war, went to New York to pursue an acting career.

He attended acting classes and did Tennessee Williams plays in repertory companies and moved on to appear in live TV shows such as the famed "Studio One."

Over the years he had a number of recurring or starring TV roles. He was a major in "The Wackiest Ship in the Army"; the coach on "Mr. Peepers"; a coach again on the small-screen version of "The Bad News Bears,"; detectives in "Asphalt Jungle," "N.Y.P.D." and "Jigsaw John"; and a private investigator in "Crazy Like a Fox."

My first remembrance of Jack Warden was his role in 'The Wackiest Ship In The Army'. And then it was the sad and haunting episode of 'The Twilight Zone' called "The Lonely". After that, I was hooked as a Jack Warden fan.

I'd place him in the same school of character actor as James Whitmore and Darren McGavin: up from the streets tough guys whose outer persona masked men with feelings and emotional conflict.

Going outside of Toobworld for a moment, it was his performance as Max Corkle in "Heaven Can Wait" that was the only thing to not only match, but perhaps even surpass the original movie of "Here Comes Mr. Jordan". (And I mean no disrespect to the great Jimmy Gleason, as he was fantastic in the original role.)

Who do we have left that could play the roles men like Warden and McGavin could play? Charles Durning is as old as they were; Ed Asner only about a decade behind. Toobworld is going to have a great void that cannot be filled once that style of actor is gone.....

"Knight & Daye" (1989) TV Series .... Hank Knight
"Crazy Like a Fox" (1984) TV Series .... Harrison 'Harry' Fox, Sr.
"The Bad News Bears" (1979) TV Series .... Morris Buttermaker
"Jigsaw John" (1976) TV Series .... 'Jigsaw' John St. John
"N.Y.P.D." (1967) TV Series .... Lt. Mike Haines
"The Wackiest Ship in the Army" (1965) TV Series .... Maj. Simon Butcher
"The Asphalt Jungle" (1961) TV Series .... Matt Gower
"Norby" (1955) TV Series .... Bobo
"Mr. Peepers" (1952) TV Series .... Coach

Hoover vs. the Kennedys: The Second Civil War (1987) (TV) .... J. Edgar Hoover
"A.D." (1985) (mini) TV Series .... Nerva
"Robert Kennedy & His Times" (1985) (mini) TV Series .... Joseph Kennedy Sr.
Helen Keller: The Miracle Continues (1984) (TV) .... Mark Twain
Raid on Entebbe (1977) (TV) .... Lt. Gen. Mordechai Gur
Brian's Song (1971) (TV) .... Coach George Halas

Alice in Wonderland (1985) (TV) .... Owl
Hobson's Choice (1983) (TV) .... Henry Horatio Hobson

Police Story: The Watch Commander (1988) (TV) .... Joe Wilson
Still Crazy Like a Fox (1987) (TV) .... Harry Fox
Topper (1979) (TV) .... Cosmo Topper
They Only Come Out at Night (1975) (TV) .... John St. John

Problem Child 3: Junior in Love (1995) (TV) .... Big Ben
The Great Muppet Caper (1981) .... Mr. Tarkenian the News Editor
"The Bad News Bears" (1979) TV Series .... Morris Buttermaker
"Producers' Showcase"
- The Petrified Forest (1955) TV Episode

Wheeler and Murdoch (1973) (TV) .... Sam Wheeler

Dead Solid Perfect (1988) (TV) .... Hubert 'Bad Hair' Wimberly
Three Wishes for Jamie (1987) (TV) .... Owen Tavish
The Three Kings (1987) (TV) .... David
A Private Battle (1980) (TV) .... Cornelius Ryan
Journey from Darkness (1975) (TV) .... Fred Hartman
The Godchild (1974) (TV) .... Sgt. Dobbs
A Memory of Two Mondays (1974) (TV) .... Gus
Remember When (1974) (TV) .... Joe Hodges
Lieutenant Schuster's Wife (1972) (TV) .... Capt. Patrick Lonergan
Man on a String (1972) (TV) .... Jake Moniker
What's a Nice Girl Like You...? (1971) (TV) .... Lieutenant Joe Burton
The Face of Fear (1971) (TV) .... Lieutenant George Coy

"The Norm Show"
- Norm Dates Danny's Dad (1999) TV Episode .... Harry
- The Fighting Irish (1997) TV Episode .... Timothy Logan
"The Invaders"
- The Ivy Curtain (1967) TV Episode .... Barney Cahill
"The Fugitive"
- Concrete Evidence (1967) TV Episode .... Alex Patton
"Wagon Train"
- The Miss Mary Lee McIntosh Story (1965) TV Episode .... Daniel Delaney
- The Martin Onyx Story (1962) TV Episode .... Martin Onyx
"The Virginian"
- Shadows of the Past (1965) TV Episode .... John Conway
- Throw a Long Rope (1962) TV Episode .... Jubal Tatum
"Dr. Kildare"
- No Mother to Guide Them (1965) TV Episode .... Ernie Duffy
- The Adventures of Gallegher: Part 2 (1965) TV Episode .... Lieutenant Fergus
"Slattery's People"
- Question: Is Laura the Name of the Game? (1964) TV Episode .... Harry Tamiris
"Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre"
- Out on the Outskirts of Town (1964) TV Episode .... Manny Garret"Bewitched"
- It Shouldn't Happen to a Dog (1964) TV Episode .... Rex Barker
"Kraft Suspense Theatre"
- The Watchman (1964) TV Episode .... Jack Fleming
"The Great Adventure"
- Escape (1964) TV Episode .... Latham
"Breaking Point"
- No Squares in My Family Circle (1964) TV Episode .... Carlo Scotti
"Route 66"
- Two Strangers and an Old Enemy (1963) TV Episode .... Major Barben
- A Feat of Strength (1962) TV Episode .... Sandor Biro
- The Clover Throne (1961) TV Episode .... Adam Darcey
"77 Sunset Strip"
- Flight 307 (1963) TV Episode .... Max Eames
"Naked City"
- Spectre of the Rose Street Gang (1962) TV Episode .... Sam Langan
- The King of Venus Will Take Care of You (1962) TV Episode .... Steve Lollo
- The Face of the Enemy (1962) TV Episode .... Neil Daggett
"Ben Casey"
- I Hear America Singing (1962) TV Episode .... O. B. Dodson
- The Big Trouble with Charlie (1962) TV Episode .... Dr. Charles 'Charlie' Kozelka
"Alcoa Premiere"
- Flashing Spikes (1962) TV Episode .... Commissioner
"Target: The Corruptors"
- The Organizers: Part 2 (1962) TV Episode .... Jerry Skala
- The Organizers: Part 1 (1962) TV Episode .... Jerry Skala
"Tales of Wells Fargo"
- The Traveler (1962) TV Episode .... Brad Axton
"Bus Stop"
- Accessory by Consent (1961) TV Episode .... Joe Harrison
- Between Two Guns (1961) TV Episode .... Farrell
"The Untouchables"
- The Otto Frick Story (1960) TV Episode .... Otto Frick
- Head of Fire, Feet of Clay (1960) TV Episode .... Frank Barber
- The George 'Bugs' Moran Story (1959) TV Episode .... Lawrence Halloran
- Starfall: Part 2 (1960) TV Episode .... Ollie
- Starfall: Part 1 (1960) TV Episode .... Ollie
"Stagecoach West"
- A Fork in the Road (1960) TV Episode .... Stacey Gibbs
"The Twilight Zone"
- The Mighty Casey (1960) TV Episode .... Mouth McGarry
- The Lonely (1959) TV Episode .... James A. Corry
"Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse"
- Meeting at Appalachia (1960) TV Episode .... Joe Rogarti
"The Lawless Years"
- The Billy Boy 'Rockabye' Creel Story (1959) TV Episode .... Halloran
"Five Fingers"
- The Moment of Truth (1959) TV Episode .... Fitzgerald"Bonanza"
- The Paiute War (1959) TV Episode .... Mike Wilson
"Playhouse 90"
- The Day Before Atlanta (1959) TV Episode .... Jubal
- The Blue Men (1959) TV Episode .... Joe Cushing
- Nightmare at Ground Zero (1958) TV Episode .... Long
- The Flight (1957) TV Episode .... Haight
"The United States Steel Hour"
- Up Above the World So High (1957) TV Episode
"Hallmark Hall of Fame"
- The Lark (1957) TV Episode .... Robert de Beaudricourt
"The Kaiser Aluminum Hour"
- A Real Fine Cutting Edge (1957) TV Episode .... Master Sergeant Willis Debb
- Flame-Out in T-6 (1956) TV Episode .... Lieutenant Ravenna
"The Alcoa Hour"
- Tragedy in a Temporary Town (1956) TV Episode .... Frank Doran
"The Philco Television Playhouse"
- The Mechanical Heart (1955) TV Episode
- Shadow of the Champ (1955) TV Episode
- Flight from Fear (1955) TV Episode
- Save Me Now (1955) TV Episode
- The Piano (1955) TV Episode
- In the La Banza (1951) TV Episode
"Kraft Television Theatre"
- No Riders (1955) TV Episode
"Studio One"
- A Stranger May Die (1955) TV Episode .... Lieutenant Brown
- U.F.O. (1954) TV Episode .... Mike
- Screwball (1954) TV Episode .... Russ Adams
"Center Stage"
- Chivalry at Howling Creek (1954) TV Episode
"Kraft Television Theatre"
- Dr. Rainwater Goes A-Courtin' (1954) TV Episode
"The Man Behind the Badge"
- The Portland, Oregon Story (1953) TV Episode
"Campbell Playhouse"
- The Promise (1953) TV Episode
"Tales of Tomorrow"
- All the Time in the World (1952) TV Episode .... Steve


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